Christmas begins at Christ Episcopal Church

Photos by Daniel Jackovino

GLEN RIDGE, NJ — Christ Episcopal Church observed the Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 16. The presentation weaves stories from Scripture with Christmas carols and hymns.

The Rev. Diana Wilcox, of Christ Episcopal Church, said the service can focus, as her church does, on Advent, the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, or it can focus on Christmas.

“But no matter which service you attend,” she said in an email, “the story is told in Scripture and sacred music of our relationship with God. It is fitting in this time of Advent to take a moment to remember who we are — a people deeply loved just as we are — that God came into the world and the Word became flesh so that we might know this love deep in our hearts.”

The Christ Episcopal Church service began in St. Mary’s Chapel, located in the south transept, with the choir singing by candlelight. The church lights were raised and the choir, continuing to sing, proceeded through the nave to the altar. About 50 people were in attendance.

For the lessons, eight stories were from the Old Testament, with excerpts from Genesis, Isaiah, Baruch, Micah and Zephaniah being read. The lessons concluded with a New Testament reading of Luke 1:26-38, with the angel Gabriel announcing the birth of a son.