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St. Patrick’s to hold traditional Christmas Eve services

Special to The PREVIEW

The congregation of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church invites the community to join them for traditional Christmas Eve services at 5 and 8 p.m., with special Christmas music beginning at 7:15 p.m.

The 5 p.m. family service will include a Christmas pageant presented by the children and youth of St. Patrick’s along with familiar Christmas carols and Holy Eucharist.

“This is always a fun service that is specifically tailored for kids,” says Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s.  “The children have been working together preparing to share the story of Christ’s birth.  I always look forward to seeing families worshipping and celebrating with their children, reminding them of the true meaning of Christmas.”

At 7:15 p.m. there will be a special offering of Christmas music by local artists, Jessica Peterson (flute), Anita Briggs (harp), Heidi Tanner (violin), Darcy DeGuise (soprano), Robert Neel (baritone) and members St. Patrick’s Chime Choir under the direction of Sally Neel.

This will be followed by the beautiful, traditional 8 p.m. Christmas Eve service of Holy Eucharist and a sermon by Fr. Neel.  The service also features Christmas anthems presented by The Choir of St. Patrick’s and Christmas hymns accompanied by guest artists.

“There is just nothing that punctuates the significance of the birth of Christ like the Christmas Eve liturgy,” says Fr. Neel. “After weeks of holiday commercials and hype, it is a relief to finally come to the point of it all, the celebration of the birth of the savior of the world.  Hearing the glorious music, sharing the readings of Christ’s nativity from the Holy Bible, celebrating communion, and seeing the church aglow with candlelight as the congregation quietly sings ‘Silent Night’ is when the truth of God’s love for humankind comes home to roost.  In the midst of the chaos of the world and the tragedy of recent events, I truly hope and pray that our community will be in church on Christmas Eve and will make a commitment to make worship a part of their lives throughout the coming year.”

St. Patrick’s is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.

For more information about Christmas Eve or regular Sunday worship services, call 731-5801 or go to www.stpatrickspagosa.org.

This story was posted on December 20, 2012.