christmas eve is probably my favorite church service of the year. our sanctuary is gorgeous with the trees and the poinsettias, with ALL 4 advent candles lit AND the christ candle in the middle… it probably helps that this is the church I grew up in and I remember waiting for all that stuff as the season progressed, and how exciting it always was when it FINALLY got there. And then there is the music. growing up as the kid of the organist, who did christmas eve “right”, I have high standards. we MUST start with “oh come, all ye faithful”, and we MUST end with “joy to the world”. the church is always packed, so the organ is played at full blast, with all the extra bells and whistles. it is unbelievably awesome. deanna, our new organist, does not disappoint. the music is always wonderful. near the end (right before ‘joy to the world’), we always turn the lights down and sing “silent night” by candlelight. I don’t know what it is, but I have NEVER made it through that without tearing up.
the last couple of years, shane and layla have been involved in the special music for the service, singing and playing handbells, so it has been just micah sitting with dave and i.
here is the mass choir number, “calypso lullaby”. layla is the shortest singer, second from the right. shane is playing bells in the middle of the 3 boys in the back row of ringers.
and afterward, when we’ve hugged everyone we only see a few times a year, found all of our family members, and made sure no one has chocolate on their face, we take a family picture by one of the christmas trees.
merry christmas! what a special reminder, every year, of the fulfillment of God’s promise to forgive our sins and bridge the gap that sin has caused to be between us and Him – to restore us to Him, so that we can live as His people.