Afterward we had been invited to some dear friends for Christmas eve dinner and fun family time. She is Swiss, he American and they have 3 wonderful children, two in college, one in high school who we take delight in. They prepared a beautiful meal and we all ate until we could eat no more!They love Tanner so he was able to come along for the ride as well. He behaved until dessert when he got hold of 3 pieces of the chocolate nut date cake that we left on the counter. It seems that he can't get through an evening without doing something naughty! At least we had all eaten our fill of a beautiful and delicious dinner. We rounded out the evening by playing Christmas Charades which was really quite hilarious. Grand Prize goes to William for acting out In Excelsis Deo in a most creative way. Good for Valerie for guessing it as well! Yes, my thoughts did wander to them when we sang it on the day after Christmas! We got home in time to watch a bit of the mass from Rome and were soon resting peacefully, fully content with our Christmas Eve celebration. Christ the Savior is born, hallelujah.
This year, we decided to hold the service in the large sanctuary upstairs, where the Swedes have their worship services, because they have their service at 11.00 so it was open. The big sanctuary has a huge ceiling and is beautiful when all the candles are lit so it was a great opportunity for us to create something special. The choir sang, a sweet Ugandan family lit the Christ Candle, the music was beautiful and traditional, the readings well spoken and I enjoyed bringing a message about hospitality at Christmas. It was a wonderful time of worship and focus on Christ's birth.
The music was lovely with members of the Tatlow family providing piano, strings accompaniment. Helen Downey sang a lovely rendition of Mary did you know and our choir led out with music from around the world. Doug delighted the children by having them help him build the nativity out big, wooden characters. All in all, it was a joy-filled occasion indeed.
|The main sanctuary beginning to fill in.|
|Finally the four candles of advent burning brightly and the Christ candle shining beside them.|