Due to covid and in consideration of the safety of our congregation, on 21st December we took the decision to move our Christmas services onto zoom. This did not however prevent us from engaging fully with our planned services. With the church already decorated and the empty crib waiting, in the afternoon of Christmas Eve we gathered, albeit digitally to hear again the Christmas story. Zooming in, two of our congregation, our youngest server and her mum, took the role of narrators and the vicar in church acted out their words with the nativity figures, gradually building the crib as the story went along. During our time together we listened to some Christmas carols and at the end we prayed for the healing of our world. It was a different experience but one which still held much of the joy of this season.
Setting up an altar next to the newly populated crib, at 11.30pm we gathered once again for our service of Midnight Mass and again for Christmas morning, with the readings being done vai zoom and all wrapped up with more carols.
In the days following we kept the Feasts of St Stephen, St John, the Holy Innocents and Thomas a Beckett, with a said Mass; our usual custom. We may have done things differently this year,, but those few days were still a hopeful reminder of the good news of Christmas. For although the 2020 Christmas was not quite as we all planned or expected, neither was that first one 2,000 years ago and look what came of that. 'Welcome all wonders in one sight! Eternity shut up in a span, Summer in winter, day in night, heaven in earth and God in man.'