Christmas, the season and day, places a special importance on family. Maybe it is the only time in this crazy day and age of ours, that the absolute importance of spending time with family and friends out-ranks the elements that seem to take much of our time; stuff like work, careers, sports, programs, etc.
Holding on to this aspect of Christmas, is maybe the last hope for preserving our relationships with those whom we live with and love. It is a chance to see that we have more in common with those whom we love, something deeper than shared interests or distractions. And for that I encourage that we all take this God given holiday, and use it to know each other, and to be with each other.
But often this desire to spend time with family seems to conflict with any attendance at various services offered by the Church. Somehow Church becomes one of those things that take away from family. To make attendance to Church, adverse to time with the family, is to limit the love we share with our loved ones. Making it something that is here today and gone tomorrow.
Spending time together with family and friends, it is good. But when we do it in thanksgiving to God, its meaning and importance becomes holy and even eternal. This season speaks of family, and gifts. Not simply our families and gifts, but God’s gift of love that conquers poverty, loneliness, violence, and ultimately death. Born for our sake in a manger with His mother, and step father.
Attending even some of the services over this season, offers us the chance to prioritize the Lord’s love for us, our spouses, children, friends, even strangers, in the same manner that we are blessed at this time of year by the chance to prioritize our families over all other distractions how ever worthy they might be.
Have a very blessed feast of the Nativity in the flesh of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, and a blessed time with your loved ones.
The schedule of services for Christmas are as follows.
Thur. Dec. 24th –
Great Vespers with Litya and Old Testement readings – 6:30 pm.
Fri. Dec. 25th –
Christmas Liturgy – 10:00 am
Sat. Dec. 26th –
Divine Liturgy for the Synaxis of the Mother of God -10:00 am
Great Vespers – 5:00 pm
Sun. Dec. 27th –
Divine Liturgy (St. Stephen the first martyr) – 9:30 am