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.
November 29, 9 - 10 AM
Advent Wreath Making is back! We are excited to offer this activity for free to families thanks to a generous sponsor. While the event is free, it is important to register, so that we can order enough materials.
As we monitor the weather and changes in COVID-19, other accommodations may be made to pick up kits instead of assembling in person. Stay tuned for updates or feel free to email Mother Shayna.
Registration is required for planning purposes. Click here to register.
St. Nicholas Mass
Saturday, December 5th
Outdoors on the campus of Saint James
As in years past, St. Nicholas will be making an appearance on the grounds of Saint James on December 5th. He’ll arrive shortly after 4 PM and will share his stories with all those who attend.
Children will then be invited to search for gifts left by St. Nicholas in the church yard; cookies and warm cider will follow.
Social distancing and masks are requested. Saint Nicholas will also be present for the weekend mass.
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.
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.
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.
Festival of Lessons and Carols
The Anglican tradition of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols during the season of Advent dates back to 1880 when Edward White Benson (later to become Archbishop of Canterbury) designed the service for use on Christmas Eve in Cornwall, England.
This Advent season at Saint James, our Festival of Lessons and Carols will include four lessons and music by the Saint James choir, Dr. William Wright, vocalist Seth Antes and clarinetist Doris Hall-Gulati. Click here to view the video on our Saint James YouTube channel.
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.
Monday, 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 24, 4:30 PM
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!
Head Start Gift Drive and Luncheon
As part of our ongoing commitment to Head Start at Saint James, Daughters of the King and other parish volunteers organize a holiday gift drive for our Head Start students and their siblings. Beginning the weekend after Thanksgiving, parishioners are invited to stop by the Narthex before or after services and pick up a gift tag with a child's name and gift wish. Once purchased, wrapped and labeled, gifts are brought back to the church for distribution to Head Start children and their siblings at the holiday lunch on December 12th.
Advent Vespers Celebration & Carol Sing
December 9, 6 PM
Join Fr. David for an inter-generational vespers celebration with hot chocolate, mulled cider and a bonfire at the home of Patti and Andy Woolworth. We'll revisit traditional Advent prayers and join in Christmas carols as part of the holy fun of being together in the darkness and light while we await the coming of the Christ Child into all our hearts and homes! Please dress warmly for the weather.