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Christmas Countdown: 7 Days

December 17, 2012

Despite the sadness of recent days, preparations continue for our Christmas Eve celebration at the Maryland State Fair.

Each year Christmas Eve is a joyful celebration, but we always strive to be mindful of those who are not joyful. It can be a very difficult holiday for those who mourn. So we always try to shape the service with a range of emotional pitches including both joyful and wistful  moments.

This is even more important this year than ever.  It is now clear that the enormity of the tragedy in Newtown Connecticut will, rightly, absorb our national attention in the days ahead. Some commemoration or acknowledgement on Christmas Eve will be important.

I remember hearing Pastor Andy Stanley talk about the Sunday after 9/11, churches across the country were filled with people who were coming for…something. But in many places what they got was…nothing…nothing except a reminder that churchworld is irrelevant to their world.  The week after that those same churches were back to more or less empty again.

We can’t let that happen on Christmas Eve, when thousands of people who never go to church will be coming to the Cow Palace. We must speak to their felt need and address this tragedy.

But that said, we have no idea what to do.  So, while we’re thinking about it, we are most open to your ideas. What do you think we should do?  You can post your ideas here on the blog, or, if you prefer, you can send them directly to my office (kcaddick@churchnativity.tv).

Let us know what you think.

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  1. One idea might be to light the candles just before the start of Mass to include those who are not with us at Mass.

    In the opening prayer he could reference the light of Christ somehow miraculously impacting the tragedy in Newtown. Hope this sparks an even better idea.

  2. I think it waits till after Communion. Fr. White says something about praying with the victims’ families and with and for all of those who are so painfully feeling the loss of loved ones this Christmas.

    One soloist, one acoustic guitar, “Silent Night” 2 verses
    or “Still, Still, Still” with choir.

    Both sound like lullabies and suggest peace and comfort.

  3. My idea would be to set up some section of the church (which is what the cow palace will be) and have a place where folks can come by light a candle in remembrance of the person in their life that won’t be celebrating Christmas this year because they have passed on.

    You could get 20 little Christmas trees one for each child that lost their life in Newtown with an ornament, an angel perhaps that the time travelers kids could make for each child, with his/her name on it. You carefully place the candles around them.

    And allow a place for parishioners to kneel, pray and remember those kids or their own loss during the year …

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