Christmas Services 2020 thru 3 January 2021
Updated: Jan 23
Dear Friends: With COVID infections, hospitalizations and deaths surging dramatically both across the nation and in our immediate area, and at rates that exceed even the highest numbers seen in earlier stages of the pandemic, I have made the difficult decision to return to all online services for the foreseeable future, including Messiah's Christmas celebrations. I trust you will appreciate that this decision was not made easily or quickly, but only after consultations with health professionals, advice from our Bishop, and with much careful thought and prayer. With the Light of Christmas approaching, the prospects of an effective vaccine being approved and available soon, and no known incidents of COVID infection affecting Messiah parishioners, there is much for which we can be thankful and hopeful. But we are not safe just yet, and it would be foolish to close our eyes and pretend that we are. We must continue to be vigilant. As your priest and pastor, my ultimate concern is for the safety, health and well-being of each of you in my spiritual charge. And it is in that spirit and out of that deep concern that I have made this decision. I ask for your understanding. As with so many things this year, our 2020 Christmas celebrations will be different than in prior years, different than what we expect and look forward to every year, but we are determined to make them as meaningful and celebratory and festive as always - just different than in prior years with services being pre-recorded and posted to the Messiah website on the appropriate dates. Here is the schedule for the coming weeks:
Sunday, 13th December - Third Sunday of Advent: music, lessons, prayers and sermon Sunday, 20th December - Fourth Sunday of Advent: Advent Lessons & Carols - Scripture and carols trace humanity's salvation history, beginning with the Creation and the Fall, through the proclamations of the prophets, and culminating in the Angel Gabriel's announcement to Mary that she will bear the Son of God Christmas Eve, 24th December - two service offerings:
Children's Service - a shorter service written for children with the telling of the Nativity story and building of the creche, simple prayers, and familiar carols
Traditional Service - featuring music, lessons, prayers and sermon
Sunday, 27th December - no worship service this morning Sunday, 3rd January - Second Sunday after Christmas Day: music, lessons, prayers and sermon On those Sundays when we will not be gathering in-person, services will be available online, on television, and by mail:
A link to the service will be posted on the church website: messiahgwynedd.org.
In addition to the Messiah online worship postings, Bishop Gutierrez will continue to post weekly services on the diocesan website: diopa.org. And for the four Sundays in Advent, Bishop Gutierrez will be broadcast on CBS at 5:30a.m.; and at 6:00a.m. on Christmas morning.
Weekly mailings of the liturgy, readings and sermon will continue to be sent to homebound parishioners without computer access. Should you wish to be added or removed from this list, please contact the church office: 215-699-9204.
Blessings! Grace! Peace! Joy! And love to each of you in this blessed season! Keith