Churches decorate for the Advent season in a variety of ways. It can happen before, so that people walk in on the first Sunday of Advent to see a transformed sanctuary, or the transformation can take place before everyone’s eyes during a special service called the Hanging of the Greens.
The service is based on the tradition of decorating the home with wreaths, garlands, a Christmas tree, and evergreens for Advent and Christmas. In a church setting, it readies the sanctuary (and church members) for the season. As we make ready for the birth of the child by preparing the sanctuary, we make ready ourselves in the sanctuary of our hearts. Accompanied by familiar music and scripture readings, the various symbols of tree, lights, candles and wreaths, are brought forward and briefly explained. As we decorate the church, we rededicate these symbols–and also ourselves–to the service of God and the ministry of Jesus.
Emily Rudquist, organ/piano
Chancel Choir ~ Brad Bradshaw, director
Magnificat noni toni…Dietrich Buxtehude
Carol of the Advent…Besançon Traditional
The Holly and the Ivy…Henry Walford Davies, arr.
Bethlehem Down…Peter Warlock
Emmanuel Comes…Mark Hayes