Tonight I went to my local Church with my Dad and my Gran for the annual Christingle service, my other family members used to go as well but over the years they have stopped going, I however still like to go as it has become a tradition to me :)I will admit to you all that I do believe in the Christian faith and I do not knock anyone else's religions and opinions either, I am not an extremely religious person, I only go to church twice a year and it is on the Sunday before Christmas and also Christmas day, these are, like I've stated a tradition to me and I always really enjoy them and they always put me in the festive spirit if I am not already beforehand :p
I thought it would be something different to go into detail about this tradition of mine for those who are not familiar with it :)
Ever since I was little I have been to these services and it used to be hosted by Reverend Derek who was a brilliant man! So full of energy, he used to dance about to the upbeat carols and really make us all laugh. He was absolutely fantastic! However he has retired this year so it was held by a lady called Reverend Kathryn. I must admit I wasn't sure how the service would be now that it had a new Reverend but I was pleasantly surprised as Kathryn was just as full of energy and fun, so I look forward to future services by her :)
It is held at St John's Methodist Church which is not far from where I live, you bring along a candle and you turn up and are greeted by friends of the church who shake your hand and welcome you and hand you a booklet which has the details of the service on them and the lyrics to the carols you will be singing, the service is set out like this: CAROL, PRAYER, LESSON. This is repeated a few times before the final message.
After you are welcomed by the Reverend, the Choir then sings the first verse of the first carol and then the congregation join in with the rest.
Then after a few carols, the Choir sing a carol, this year they sang "Holy Night". I love hearing them sing because they all sound so angelic, its very peaceful.
Halfway through the service the small children who are there voluntarily go to the front and sing 2 carols. When I was little I used to go up all the time, sadly I'm too big for that now :p haha!
They usually sing "Away in a manger" and followed by "Come and join the celebration", the latter we all join in with and clap along as it is an upbeat tune.
Also during one of the carols we all then light our candles that we brought with us, one is usually enough but some bring more, it's just personal preference really.
My favourite carol of all time is "Hark the Herald Angels Sing!" for those of you who have never heard it, click Here, hope you enjoy it as much as I do :)
These are usually done by the Reverend to which we reply with "Amen" at the end. We also say the Lord's Prayer once throughout the service. We also end the service with a final prayer too.
I have heard the Christmas story many many times now, but I still never tire of hearing it! This part of the service has a member of the Choir who comes to the podium and reads out a passage of the Bible that speaks of the Christmas story. A different member of the Choir reads out a different passage.
This is a photo of the contents of the booklet I was given to give you an idea of how it was set out :)
So there you have it! I hope you all have enjoyed reading about my Christmas tradition XD
HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!