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.

Advent Wreath-Making

Sunday, November 21st at 9:30 AM in the Parish House Forum room

Advent wreath making typically takes place in the forum room of the parish house just prior to the beginning of Advent. All are invited to participate in this family, hands-on activity that makes it possible for participants to celebrate, in their homes, the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.

St. Nicholas Mass

Saturday, December 4th at 4 PM

This delightful tradition at Saint James celebrates the life of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra—better known to us as St. Nick. The event will be outdoors this year in the Memorial Garden, where children, youth and families, will enjoy the holiday lights, treats and a visit from St. Nicholas. The church will be open for attendees to walk through and experience the spirit of the holiday season!

In case of inclement weather, the service will move indoors to the sanctuary.

View last year’s photos here!

Advent Retreat

Saturday, December 18th

Join Fr. David Peck for an afternoon to explore what makes for hope in our lives. Learn to create inner stillness despite a reactive world; experience inner silence despite a noisy city; and through ancient music and yoga find your mind and body refreshed. Click here for more information.

Festival of Lessons and Carols

Sunday, December 19th at 4 PM

With the Saint James choir and Aliya Cycon, oud

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.

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 24, 2021

Weather permitting, the annual CYF pageant under the direction of StephJo Wise with the assistance of parent-volunteer Sam Stimpert will be presented outdoors in the memorial garden. Pageant participants will be in costume, and those who desire will read their parts aloud.

Communion will be offered in the sanctuary following the service. Masks are encouraged; if you forget your masks, they are available here. If you are feeling unwell, please remain at home, and enjoy the streamed services offered later.

The pageant will be shorter, different, casual and still a fun gathering of sharing the Christmas story over cocoa and a Christmas fire!

Christmas Eve Services

6:30 PM Candlelight Mass
8:30 PM Candlelight Mass | click here to view the stream
11:00 PM Midnight Mass with incense | click here to view the stream

Christmas Day, December 25 10:00 AM Holy Eucharist with music

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.