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How was your Christmas?

How was your Christmas?

Merry Day After Christmas. We’d like to hear about your churchgoing experience this past weekend. Or your church viewing experience, if you were among those who had a chance to watch the Christmas Eve broadcast from General Seminary during with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori preached. Did you hear a good sermon? Did you give a good sermon? How was the music? Feel free to share links to text, podcast or videos.

To get the ball rolling, I want to say how impressed I was by Bishop Mariann Budde’s decision to begin her Christmas Eve sermons (6 pm and 10 pm) by singing a song–unaccompanied. The song was Christmas in the Trenches, which tells the story of the famous Christmas truce that broke out spontaneously along the front lines early in World War I. Her voice was pleasant, but not powerful, and the pulpit microphone, while ideal for preaching, didn’t provide perfect amplification, so one had to listen hard. This created an air of vulnerability (and therefore risk) which made the performance that much more compelling.

If one is going to preach on amazement, amazing your audience is probably a good way to start.


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Lee Alison

Though I am without congregation (not by choice), I did not sit with my partner because she was thurifer (smile)… Not being able to proclaim the Last Gospel as I have since 1993 was particularly difficult though I suppose it is good for a priest to sit in the congregation; I’d just rather it be by sabbatical. Nonetheless, the imposed fast from being able to preach and celebrate at the Holy Eucharist (such an incredible joy and privilege) is probably good for me to remember what it is like to be in the congregation. I am totally impressed by Bishop Budde’s singing such a powerful song. Now I need to track down the rest of her sermon.

Tommy Dillon+

This is what made my Christmas this year: A disabled veteran, a woman named Helen who no longer professes the “faith” wanting healing prayers after Xmas Mass, receiving cards of thanksgiving from the food pantry guests, dancing angels doing the running man and robot dances at the Xmas pageant, and the muppets singing “When the River Meets the Sea” with Jimmy Fallon. The light that shines in the darkness never goes out!


I had the bog-standard “Only-Come-Xmas-Eve-Spontaneously Rude People” (talking during ALL the music) *right* behind me. [A silent “Shh” was completely ignored] >:-(

Had to remind myself “Christ was born for Rude People, too”. ;-/

JC Fisher

Paul Woodrum

For the first time in a number of years I had no sanctuary responsibilities and got to sit with my hubby in the congregation at St. Luke in the Fields, NYC. The music — organ, harp, cello, choir and congregation (few sing the way this one does!), was magnificent, the incense divine, the sermon good and the liturgy flowed flawlessly. The congregation was overflowing and the post service reception excellent. Oh holy (and fun) night.


I listened to Lessons & Carols from King’s College. (I think it’s still available via American Public Radio.) Did not attend in person at all, although was considering going to midnight Mass at a local Catholic monastery.

It’s great that webcasts are offered, I think! They can definitely reach a lot of people – and L&C is a really good way to get in touch with the most basic way of hearing the story. (I just love hearing the the Prologue from the Gospel of John as the last lesson – so amazing and dramatic.)

Wish I could’ve seen the thing from General Seminary, though – but I don’t have cable.

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