Christmas tree festival

Opened the Christmas tree festival with a carol service/Christingle/Blessing of the crib as the next service at St A’s won’t be until midnight on Christmas Eve.

It was interesting to try and merge three services into one and I was very relieved to see that the travelling nativity set had made it back to church in one piece and all the children arriving clutching sheep that they had kept safe.  Last night I wasn’t sure which family had it so I couldn’t remind them to bring it back to church. If they hadn’t arrived it would have been a bit tricky blessing an empty crib scene.

 There were 20 christmas trees, each decorated by different groups in the village, to represent different countries in the world.  The trees look beautiful with their sparkly lights but the one that touched me the most was decorated by the youth club.  It represented Afghanistan.  The children had written little notes to the soldiers who can’t be with their families for Christmas.

We took our Christingles and stood by a country of our choice so that the light of Jesus would shine on the people there.  When the main lights were turned out the glow sticks in the Christingles looked like Christmas tree lights.  All very pretty.

I don’t much like the words to ‘Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree so I asked my mother in law to write a verse that I felt we could sing in church.

Here it is:

Oh Christmas tree, your branches spread

Into this dark world’s madness.

With fragrance pure, your warm allure

Dispels our gloom and sadness.

And Jesus Christ, eternal tree,

Spreads out his arms for you and me.

Oh Christmas Child, light up our lives

With your own joy and gladness.

                                          (words: J M Godfrey)

If you want to use it please acknowledge her.

I was pleased so many made it to church, including some that have been unable to come for a long time because of illness.  The path was a sheet of ice and lethal.  It took me three times as long to drive home as I after the tenth attempt at the icy hill decided to cut my losses, reversed for a very long way in the dark until I could turn round and then did a 3 mile detour to attempt the village from a different direction.

Note to self:  Come back the long way after the midnight service and make sure that there is a torch in the car!

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