A new church year begins with Advent Sunday on November 29, 2015. Please join us throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons. Our doors are open every day of the year, and we offer at least one Mass every day.
For four Sundays prior to Christmas, the Church observes a season of waiting, anticipation, and preparation known as Advent. Advent literally means coming, the coming of the promised Messiah, Our Lord Jesus Christ, God incarnate. You will notice that throughout the Advent season, the front of the altar proclaims Adveniat Regnum Tuum, or “thy kingdom come.” Indeed, during Advent we not only commemorate the anticipation of the Christ child more than two thousand years ago, but also the coming of Christ the King, the Risen Christ who will come again in glory—a kingdom not yet in its fullness but nevertheless very much a part of the present moment.
So as we near the winter solstice, daylight growing scarcer, we light more and more candles around the Advent wreath, the light of Christ coming nearer and nearer. The month leading up to Christmas, then, is a way of preparing us for what has come and what is to come.
The Christmas Collect in the Book of Common Prayer says it all: Almighty God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him and as at this time to be born of a pure virgin: Grant that we, being regenerate and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
Although Christmastide doesn’t officially begin until the evening of December 24, Christmas begins to blend into Advent beginning the second week of December, as follows:
- Handel’s Messiah is performed by the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys alongside Concert Royal on December 8 and December 10 at 7:30pm. These are ticketed concerts.
- The Saint Thomas Youth perform a pageant, A Medieval Christmas, on Sunday, December 13 at 1pm.
- Five different services of Lessons and Carols are offered beginning December 16. This year, it is offered on Christmas Eve at 4pm. See more below.
- Britten’s Ceremony of Carols and Rutter’s Dancing Day are performed by the choristers of the Saint Thomas Choir on December 17 at 5:30pm. This is a ticketed event.
- The Blessing of the Crèche (a service for children and their families) is on December 23 at 12:10pm.