We had quite a joyous celebration at Advent Lutheran to mark the First Sunday of Advent. The music, readings and reflections as well as the participation of the congregation in decorating the church was beautiful and moving. The pews were filled with people of all ages celebrating together as we began the Advent season.
The processional hymn was one of my favorites, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”. How exciting to see all of our choirs processing in, from the adults down to our wee Cherub Choir. The readings and prayers inspired us. As we progressed through the service decorations were added to the church. The first lesson shared the story of the Annunciation. The perfect model of faith, Mary, who surrendered to God’s will with her response “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38),
Then the processions began. With each one there were hymns and readings. First the Light. 10 family groups carried candles, one for each of the windows in the church. Next the Holly and the Ivy was carried in to adorn the candles on each window. (I was honored to carry one of these.)
The children were then called up to decorate the tree with the Chrismons. As the processions continued we had two precious children portraying Mary and Joseph and a youth carried the star which was added to the top of the Chrismon tree.
All of our choirs sang different selections. The music is always wonderful for our services but this night was truly a blessing. Joy filled the sanctuary! The final choral offering came after the church was fully decorated. The Chapel/Chancel Choir performed “Savior of the Nations Come” by Richard Nance. Narration by one of our members made this especially moving.
The evening closed with fellowship at a reception in Fellowship Hall that featured tables full of sweet treats and goodies shared by those attending. This evening was also the kick off our Alternative Gift Fair which gives us a chance to make a difference by helping others. Donations are made to organizations in honor of or in memory of someone. In exchange for the donation you may select one of the many handmade star ornaments displayed on the trees. The stars reflected the theme of “BE A LIGHT” and were made by different groups and Sunday School classes from the church. This photo shows the star made by the Prayers & Stitches Group I enjoy being a part of.
As Advent continues we wait with joyful anticipation to celebrate the birth of our Savior!