All are welcome to join us as we celebrate again the gift of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, to us this Christmas. Here are a few highlights as we move towards, and keep, our celebration of Christmas:
The Advent Carol Service
Sunday 1st December, 6.30 pm
Advent Sunday marks the start of a four week period of spiritual preparation as we ready ourselves to celebrate the great feast of Christmas. Our Advent Carol Service offers a lovely way to mark the start of this season. Through a sequence of bible readings and beautiful music sung by our choir, we will hear again the story of God’s people eagerly awaiting the coming of Jesus, waiting in darkness for the promised Christ-light to shine. As well as wonderful singing from our choir there will also be some of the great Advent hymns for us to sing and we follow the service with mulled wine.
The Christingle Service
Sunday 8th December, 4.00 pm
Come and join us for this ever popular and enjoyable service for people of all ages at this time of year. The ‘Christingle’, is a lighted candle mounted in an orange. These are given out in the service in exchange for donations made in envelopes or “purses” for the work of The Children’s Society. The Christingles are then lit, reminding us that Jesus is the light of the world and shines in the darkest parts of our world. Donations raised at our Christingle year after year enable The Children’s Society to work with thousands of children in this country who face life’s harshest challenges – children who may find themselves sleeping rough this winter; fleeing conflict and war; caught in a cycle of crime; or marginalised due to a disability. We are delighted to welcome children from our schools and uniformed groups in Redbourn to raise money for these needy children. Last year we raised over £600. With your support we could raise even more – do join us if you can.
The Lights of Love
Sunday 15th December, 6.30 pm
Christmas can be a time when we’re all too aware of our bereavements and those we miss. We offer this reflective service as a chance to remember in prayer those we love but see no longer, those we’ll miss at Christmas. At the end of the service we process outside and light up our Lights of Love, festooned in a churchyard fir tree. These lights are sponsored in memory of loved ones whom we wish to remember at this time of year and envelopes, if you want to sponsor a light, can be found in our church now.
A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols
Sunday 22nd December, 6.30 pm
Another musical offering in the run up to Christmas is the lovely Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. In this service we hear a sequence of bible readings interspersed with choir items and congregational carols for us all to sing – making this one of the quintessential services of the Christmas period and certainly one not to be missed. Many of the organizations and institutions in Redbourn are represented in the reading of the Lessons – it really is a carol service for everyone to enjoy, it’s free and no tickets are needed. Do come along and bring family, friends and neighbours.
Tuesday 24th December
Candlelit Crib Service, 3.30 pm and 4.30 pm
One of the highlights of Christmas is without doubt witnessing the enjoyment and excitement through young people and our Crib Service on Christmas Eve will be a delight for all children young, and not so young! We invite all the children to come in costume, dressed up as characters from the Christmas story to play their part as we tell again the story of the First Christmas with singing and prayer. We gather at our Crib to witness the stable gradually filling with characters as they come to visit the baby Jesus lying in the manger.
The First Eucharist of Christmas, 11.30 pm
This service, often known as Midnight Mass, is an absolute gem and is really the first of the main Christmas services. We gather at 11.30 pm to celebrate the Christmas story of God coming among us in the birth of Jesus. This is a communion service with the blessing of our special crib, and includes lovely carols for us all to sing. Why not round off a lovely evening with family or friends, by coming along to join us for one of the most moving and wonderful services in the whole year? Whether you come to St Mary’s regularly or not – you can be assured of a very warm welcome – for you and your family and friends.
Wednesday 25th December
8.00 am and 12 noon Holy Communion
We offer three services on Christmas morning, the first and last of these are traditional Communion services using The Book of Common Prayer.
10.00 am All Age Eucharist
Our main service on Christmas morning is a Eucharist, where God’s people, young and old, gather together to celebrate the joy of Christmas. We have a candlelit procession, sing carols and offer a less formal sermon to suit all ages. Come and mark the true meaning of Christmas with us at St Mary’s this year. Following our 10 am service, Will and Claire invite you to join them for a glass of sherry or other refreshments in the Transept, adjoining the Church.
In the time leading to Christmas St Mary’s will continue to offer daily public worship:
Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer (9.30 am and 5.00 pm Monday to Friday), as well as our Holy Eucharist on a Wednesday evening at 7.30 pm and various other special services.
The Church will remain open from 9.15 am until 5.30 pm each day for private prayer and for all who wish to visit. We are particularly conscious of our ministry to visitors staying in Redbourn during the Christmas period and to those who don’t usually worship with us.