St. Patrick’s Christmas Eve services to offer classical tradition and beauty

By Sally Neel
Special to The PREVIEW
If you have ever watched a royal wedding or a service held in the Washington Cathedral, you may have been in awe of the glorious music, the beautiful vestments and the holiness of the service itself.
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church carries on these traditions as it offers its glorious Christmas Eve services. The church will be decorated with the beauty of Christmas, candles will glow, the Christmas Gospel reading will be proclaimed, and an orchestra and choir will lead the singing of carols.
At 5 p.m., families with small children, along with others who appreciate the opportunity to worship at the earlier hour, will gather for the family service and Holy Eucharist. The service will include special music offered by youth pianist Grace Wiersma. The Rev. Douglas Neel will offer a special sermon directed towards the younger members of the congregation.
“This service is a wonderful combination of traditional worship and the wonders of childhood,” said Neel.
At 7:30 p.m., classical Christmas music, provided by the NightSong Trio (Jessica Peterson on flute, Heidi Tanner on violin and Sally Neel at the piano), flutist Kathy Wadenpfuhl, Sarah Dorian (cello), Graham and Claudia Dorian (violin), and Briggs Dorian (viola), along with baritone soloist Robert Neel, tenor soloist Dale Scrivener, soprano Anita Jo Lenhart and the choir of St. Patrick’s who will fill the church with music of quiet beauty. Please arrive early to enjoy this beautiful preservice music.
At 8 p.m., the organ and instrumentalists will announce the great procession of the choir and clergy into the church as the congregation joins in singing “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” This service is a traditional service with carols, choral anthems, sermon and Holy Eucharist, punctuated with the candlelight singing of “Silent Night.”
On Christmas Day, at 10 a.m., worshippers will gather for a quiet but lovely celebration of Christ’s birth with a homily by Doug Neel, Holy Eucharist and carols.
The community is invited to attend these services and all other services at St. Patrick’s, regardless of your religious or no-religious affiliation. “In God’s House, at God’s Table, all are invited to be fed.” You are encouraged to arrive early for Christmas Eve services.
St. Patrick’s is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. Sunday morning services of Holy Eucharist are offered weekly at 8 a.m. (no music) and 10 a.m. (with music). For more information about St. Patrick’s and its ministries, call 731-5801.

This story was posted on December 22, 2018.