Advent and Christmas at Saint James

Waiting in anticipation

Each year, as we enter the Advent and Christmas seasons, we prepare our hearts and minds for the arrival of God into our world as an infant. During this time of quiet reflection, wonder and expectation, we invite everyone to explore the activities at Saint James to help deepen their Advent experience as we look forward to the birth of our Lord.

Children, Youth and Families Christmas cookie Bake (Ages 5-18)

Saturday, December 2, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Parish House Forum room

Gather with us in the parish house kitchen to bake and decorate a variety of holiday cookies while listening to Christmas music. Each child will leave with a sampling of the cookies they baked.

Please register so we can be sure to have enough supplies for everyone! Click here to register!

Advent Wreath-Making

Sunday, December 3 at 9:30 AM | Parish House Forum room

Enjoy hot cider, donuts and fellowship at our family-friendly Advent wreath-making forum hour. We’ll have the Advent candles, wire wreath frames, greenery and accessories for you to create your own, unique Advent wreath for the season. Invite a friend!

St. Nicholas Mass with Live Nativity Animals

Saturday, December 9th beginning at 3:30 PM

Come on out and see St. Nicholas in a horse-drawn carriage as he arrives at Saint James on the eve of the second Sunday in Advent. He’ll start at Duke and Chestnut Streets and end at the church where there will be live nativity animals. The Mass and story time with St. Nicholas begin at 4:00 PM. Refreshments will be served. Held rain or shine.

*Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols

Saturday, December 16th at 5:00 PM

With the Saint James choir and members of the Saint James Compline choir

The Festival of Lessons and Carols is a service of scripture and song that dates to the late 19th century. In this service, we listen to scripture lessons which recount the Fall, the promise of a Messiah, the Incarnation, and the Great Commission to preach the Good News. Click here to view via livestream.

*Streamed live

*Children’s Mass and Pageant

December 24, 2022 | 6:30 PM

Families of all ages are invited to attend this colorful retelling of the birth of Christ presented by our children and youth in full costume. Click here to view via livestream.

*Streamed live

Christmas Eve Services

*7:30 PM: Candlelight Mass | click here to view the stream
*10:30 PM: Musical prelude
*11:00 PM Midnight Mass with incense | click here to view the stream

Christmas Day

December 25 10:00 AM Holy Eucharist with Carols

*Streamed live

Blue Christmas

Tuesday, December 21, on the winter solstice

Blue Christmas (also called the Longest Night) is a day in the Advent season marking the longest night of the year which falls on or about December 21, the winter solstice.

On this day, we honor those who have lost loved ones and are experiencing grief. All are invited to visit the churchyard—adorned in blue lighting—which will remain open until 8 PM.

Children’s Mass and Pageant

December 24th
Join the community of Saint James for our Christmas Pageant and Mass as we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. This annual tradition begins with a prelude featuring our youth followed by the reading of the Christmas narrative while over 40 cast members, in costume, act out the story. All are welcome as we celebrate the birth of our Lord!

Women’s Gathering in Advent

December 15, 2 – 2:30 PM via Zoom

Women’s Gathering prepares for Advent in a discussion of St. Hildegard’s life and her vision, “The Redeemer” from Scivias (Know the Ways of God). In “The Redeemer,” she describes how “The Living Light” redeemed the world through the Incarnation.

Saint Hildegard of Bingen was a medieval nun, counselor, healer, philosopher and composer who was one of the few prominent women in medieval church history. She is one of only four women who were named a doctor of the church, meaning that her doctrinal writings have special authority in Roman Catholicism. She is considered by many to be a patron saint of musicians and writers.

If you would like the Zoom invitation to attend,  please email Lorraine Rollo.

In the Footsteps of Mary: An Advent Pilgrimage

With Dr. Cordelia Moyse on December 12th at 2 & 4 PM

The theme of the walk is the Magnificat, the joyous song Mary proclaimed when the Angel Gabriel announced to her that she was to be the mother of Jesus.

As we make our way through the sanctuary, chapel and churchyard, participants will be invited to think about Mary’s powerful vision of the world shaped by faith, hope and love. We will also reflect on the lives of some of the inspiring people for whom Saint James was their spiritual home.

Our walk will begin at the gazebo and will last approximately 40 minutes. Masks and social distancing are required. Held rain or shine.

Men’s Spirituality Group

December 12, 8 – 10 AM via Zoom
In this season of Advent, we examine our expectations for life’s transformations and how scripture, prayer, liturgy, and community can help us understand them in the context of God’s grace, mercy and will for our lives. What are we expecting from God through life’s transformations? Join us as we discuss and consider our transformations in this season of expectation.

Hershey Handbell Ensemble to Perform at Saint James

Saturday, 4 – 6 PM in the cloister fountain area

The Hershey Handbell Ensemble will be at Saint James to ring in the sounds of the holiday season from the cloister fountain area from 4 – 6 PM Saturday, December 19th.

Masks and social distancing are required. Event subject to change.