Special note: Christmas Eve service at Plymouth
On Christmas Eve we gather to welcome the Christ child anew into our lives with carols, a reading of the Christmas story from the first chapter of Luke’s gospel, prayers, a very short pastor’s message, and we end by gathering in a circle and singing “Silent Night” a cappella (that is, just voices) while holding candles with the lights dimmed. By most comments we have received it is one of the congregation’s favorite worship services of the year, and is very family-friendly. For those of you wondering how to fit this into your family’s celebration schedule, the service is around 30-40 minutes long. One special note: it is the 200th anniversary of the writing of “Silent Night.”
Our worship service starts at 9:30 am each Sunday, although many gather before that time. The choir rehearses at 8:45 am, and other folks usually start gathering around that time as well in our narthex to catch up with one another and to greet new folks. Most move into our worship space before 9:25 am in order to hear our great organist or pianist (or others) play a wonderful prelude to help us to center ourselves for our worship time.
We at Plymouth UCC practice open communion–all are welcome to partake in the lave and grace offered in bread and fruit of the vine (juice, so that it truly is open to all) as we are all invited by Jesus to share with one another. We share in communion on the first Sunday of each month, and during special services.
Most weeks the children leave the worship service after the children’s message (for “young Christians of all ages”) for Sunday School. Children are welcome in worship, or for those who prefer we have a nursery (and nursery attendant), as well as a “cry room” right off the worship space where parents can still hear the worship service.
We have bulletins and hymnals but we don’t follow a “high liturgy” style, and the worship leader guides the assembly through any (voluntary) movements. We welcome participation by all in the worship service; there are opportunities to be scripture readers, ushers, acolytes (fancy term for candle lighters), communion servers, music/poetry, and greeters.
As to what to wear, we are as eclectic in dress as we are in other ways: jeans to dresses to ties (for one or two); we know that what counts is that we are “dressed” in kindness and respect and love in what we say and do.
Following worship we have a time of continued fellowship with refreshments.
Throughout the church year various special services occur. See our calendar and other posts for more information.