You're invited to make sharing a service with the whole Church a part of your Christmas Eve tradition, and perhaps be inspired to host similar events in your own parishes in years to come. As with the Holy Week services earlier in the year, those who cannot make it to a local parish for Christmas Eve worship can join either or both of the following programs (Christmas Eve 2019 services will be available December 24):
The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (service bulletin here) is one of the pivotal and most popular choral services of the year. For many, it marks the beginning of Christmas. The service follows a format in which nine lessons are interspersed among 12 carols, motets and hymns. The lessons – which cover the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus – are read by nine representatives of the Saint Thomas parish.
This traditional Christmas Eve liturgy (service bulletin here) with Holy Eucharist and congregational singing of carols, includes an effort to intentionally create more space for silence and listening. Following the sermon the congregation observes a full three minutes of silence and listening indicated by the pealing of bells. The liturgy uses the expansive language version of the Holy Eucharist Rite Two approved for trial use at The Episcopal Church's 2018 General Convention.
Get notified when these services are live using Facebook Premiere
In addition to being available on this page, both Christmas Eve services will stream from The Episcopal Church Facebook page on December 24.
Facebook Premiere, a new feature available through Facebook Watch, gives viewers the opportunity to "subscribe" to upcoming programs before their air date. Subscribers will receive a reminder shortly (about 20 minutes) before the program airs, and will be able to comment and share their viewing experience with others around the world.
Airing times on December 24:
Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols - 4:00 p.m. EST - Facebook Premiere link coming soon.
Christmas Eve Liturgy - 12:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m. EST - Facebook Premiere link coming soon.
Both services will be available for on-demand viewing on this page and The Episcopal Church Facebook page following the premiere events.