We will gather again at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, Christmas morning for a light-filled, peace-filled Eucharist. If you have never come to a Christmas morning service, this is your chance to try one! I think you will become a convert, if you do.
My Christmas wish for you all comes at the end of my welcome message, so I will say here that our messages return after the first of the New Year in 2017. May your holidays be joyous and filled with love.
A MESSAGE FROM DEAN GIBSON
Welcome to Christ Church Cathedral, the oldest Protestant church in the state of Alabama. Tonight, as we gather to celebrate once again the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, we join generations of worshipers who have sung and prayed and heard the Bethlehem story in this sacred place on this holy night. As you settle yourself before our worship begins, spend a few minutes imagining the moments in history seen by that “cloud of witnesses”-times of wars and of longed-for peace, times of economic hardship and of great prosperity, times of national or personal crisis and of joy and celebration. If we place ourselves within the context of those worshippers and their moments in time, we may gain a new perspective on the matters we carry in our hearts tonight. We may also gain strength and courage from the prayers and the hopes and dreams that linger in the walls around us.
Our worship tonight also takes us outside of time, into the eternal life of God, as we hear the words of scripture, sing the psalms and hymns, and say the ancient creeds and prayers. We will be lifted to other dimensions through the music. We will be drawn into the sacred mystery of the Eucharist.
Whether this is your first visit to Christ Church or the repeating of long-standing tradition for you, I am glad that you are here tonight and extend the welcome of the Vestry and the whole Cathedral Family to you. Ushers wearing purple badges are here to assist you tonight; they can direct you to water and restrooms, to our nursery, or to hearing assistance devices available for your use. At the appropriate time, they will direct you to communion. Please know that all Christians are welcome at the Lord’s Table; if you do not wish to receive communion, you may cross your arms to receive a blessing.
We will gather to worship again tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m., our regular Sunday worship time. Christmas Day worship is a peaceful and joyous way to begin a holiday with friends and family. We will have music and will sing favorite Christmas hymns and carols.
I wish you a blessed Christmas: may you know God’s peace and share the Good News of God’s love with the world.