Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Worship 2008

We finished up two Christmas Eve services this evening. It was beautiful – a reflective, candlelight atmosphere singing Christmas carols accompanied by violin, cello, and piano.

As we usually do, we ended the evening singing Silent Night in the dark as we slowly lit candle after candle to slowly fill the room - representing the light Jesus brings to our lives. Both the 4:30pm and 5:30pm services were packed.

I also wanted to share a little from our morning services last Sunday. We aimed to refresh the way we look at Christmas and the carols we sing. A fun part of the service was when we had a congregation led sing-a-long of The 12 Days of Christmas.

Many people don't know that there is much Christian symbolism hidden in the song. It is a good deal more than just a repetitive melody with a list of strange gifts. "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written in England to help young Catholic Christians learn the tenets of their faith when it was illegal to be found with any literature of their faith.

The "true love" mentioned in the song doesn't refer to an earthly suitor, but to God Himself. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The rest of the gifts are outlined at the end of this post.

This last Sunday, we divided up the people in twelve groups - then each group was responsible for singing the part of the song that mentioned their group number. Second service was out-of-control! It was crazy and very fun. The group really took their sections to heart with dancing, bird motions, and an impromptu solo! See the photos...

9 Ladies Dancing

2 Turtle Doves

5 Golden Rings

Other symbolism of The Twelve Days of Christmas:
  • 2 Turtle Doves - The Old and New Testaments (Heb. 8:6-13)
  • 3 French Hens - Faith, Hope and Love (1 Cor. 13:13; 1 Thess. 5:8)
  • 4 Calling Birds - The Four Gospels
  • 5 Golden Rings - The Torah (first five books of the Old Testament)
  • 6 Geese A-laying - The six days of creation (Gen. 1)
  • 7 Swans A-swimming - The seven-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:8-10)
  • 8 Maids A-milking - The eight beatitudes (Matt. 5:3:-11)
  • 9 Ladies Dancing - The nine fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22, 23)
  • 10 Lords A-leaping - The ten commandments (Ex. 20; Deut. 5:6-21)
  • 11 Pipers Piping - The eleven faithful apostles
  • 12 Drummers Drumming - The twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed
Well, that's it for this late Christmas Eve. On another note, we leave early tomorrow morning for California. That's right - vacation. That means no blogging for a couple weeks. Our wish to you? Have a blessed Christmas and New Year!