Everyone is inivited to join The Presbyterian Church in Morristown this Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24, at any of our three services at 4, 7 and 11 p.m. Each service varies in its traditional, yet fresh approach to the presentation of the Christmas story. The music is spectacular and the setting in this historical church – decorated simply with wreaths and poinsettias – is awe-inspiring.
The 4 o’clock service allows families with children to worship together in a family friendly atmosphere. The children’s choirs lead the service under the direction of Alexandra Mead (Christian Ed Director) and Julie Ramseyer (Children’s Music Director). The liturgy is told in story form and the hymns are child friendly. As the story unfolds, children bring wooden characters to the front of the Sanctuary to create the nativity scene. One of the traditions most beloved by the youngest children on up through high schoolers is Cloth for the Cradle. The chancel is cleared, leaving only the crib. The children line up, pick a piece of fabric and place it on the cradle, decorating it for the baby Jesus. There is a sense of awe on the faces of the children as they walk up to choose the fabric and carefully lay it with the other pieces. The afternoon service ends with the spreading of the light through candles and a rousing song of Joy to the World. The entire service is kept to about 45 minutes, important to those with young children.
Both the 7 and 11 p.m. services are candlelight services of lessons and carols with nine readings interspersed with traditional carols, choral and instrumental music. Both offer musical preludes a half-hour beforehand. The services are led by Pastor David Smazik with music directed by Matt Webb. Music for the 7 o’clock service is provided by the Ringers-on-the-Green (ROGS) high school bell choir, the Cantate Omnes multi-generational vocal choir and instrumentalists. A musical prelude of bells, cello and organ begins at 6:30 p.m.
The 11 o’clock service opens with a prelude at 10:30 p.m. by the ROGS bell choir and an ensemble of former ROGS (called FROGS, of course). The music during the service is provided by the ROGS and the Chancel vocal choir. Bring tissues for the finale – the ringing-in of Christmas morning by the FROGS followed by a congregational singing of Silent Night by candlelight.
On Christmas morning, Tuesday December 25, The Presbyterian Church in Morristown offers a chapel service at 11 a.m. led by Pastor Cynthia Alloway.