Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Annotated Guide to Advent/Christmas at CPC

Every place has its traditions, and some are a little peculiar, so I thought I'd explain a little about what we do at CPC to keep our spirits focused on Christ during this season.

Download the entire Advent/Christmas schedule

The Advent Wreath - A devotional tool used to focus on the light that Christ brings into our lives during Christmas. Consists of four candles (either pink or purple) symbolizing the weeks leading up to Christmas and a white center candle symbolizing Christ. On Sundays during worship, starting November 27, we will light one candle each week. Then on Christmas Eve we will light the inner white candle. Many of us also have advent wreaths in our homes and light them daily during a meal or during private devotions. The church distributes a daily Advent devotional to help focus us on Christ's coming.

Poinsettias - members and friends of the congregation contribute to decorating the sanctuary by buying poinsettias in honor or remembrance of those they love. Those who desire to take their poinsettias home after the Christmas Eve service pay a premium of $12. Those who leave their poinsettias behind to decorate the sanctuary through the Christmas season pay $6. Those who are feeling generous or forgetful pay $12 and leave their poinsettia behind.

Advent Kickoff Potluck (Sunday, Nov. 27 @ 6:00) - a low key dinner to get the Christmas season started right.

Lighting of Malverne (Saturday, Dec. 3 from 5-9) - Malverne's Christmas festival. We have a table out on Hempstead Avenue (which is closed) and give away free cookies and hot cider while inviting everyone to join us for the Christmas season (and beyond).

Cookie Walk (Sunday, Dec. 11 after church) - an annual fundraiser for the Presbyterian Women. In the old days they would bake cookies and sell them to the congregation. Now everyone in the congregation bakes cookies and then buys their cookies back.

The Christmas Tree (Decorated on Dec. 11 during worship) - The sanctuary Christmas Tree is communally decorated with generations of ornaments made by church school children and others.

Caroling (Sunday, Dec. 11 @ 3:30) - We gather for a simple dinner of soup, bread and hot dogs before careening around town to sing carols at the homes of our shut ins and others. We than return to the church for a relaxing evening of hot coco, cookies and conversation in the church lounge.

Christmas Eve Services (Dec. 24, 4:00 & 11:00) - The so called "family service," the 4:oo service makes a special effort to include the congregation's children in telling the Christmas story. It also includes special music, Pastor Fritz's Christmas sermon and communion. The 4:00 service tends to run a little longer than an ordinary Sunday service. The 11:00 service is a low key service of lessons and carols. Members of the congregation read a series of scriptures beginning with Genesis that illuminate the coming of Jesus. Between readings the congregation sings carols or special music is offered. There is no sermon. The service ends shortly after 12:00 am on Christmas morning.

Download the entire Advent/Christmas schedule

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