Although Christmastide doesn't officially begin until the evening of December 24, the celebration of 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 5 and December 7 at 7:30pm. These are ticketed concerts.
- Four different services of Lessons and Carols are offered beginning December 16. See more below.
- Britten's Ceremony of Carols and Rutter's Dancing Day are prefomed by the choristers of Saint Thomas on December 14 at 5:30pm. This is a ticketed event.
- The Saint Thomas Youth perform a pageant on Sunday, December 17 at 1pm.
- The Blessing of the Crèche (a service for children and their families) is on December 21 at 5:30pm.
- The Solemn Eucharist of the Nativity is on Christmas Eve at 11pm (Midnight Mass) and Christmas Day at 11am. See more below.
At Saint Thomas, we offer variations of Lessons & Carols at four services from December 16 through December 24:
- The traditional Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols is on Sunday, December 17 at 4pm and repeated on Christmas Eve at 4pm.
- A shorter Service of Christmas Lessons and Carols (lasting approximately fifty minutes) is on Saturday, December 16, at 4pm and repeated on Wednesday, December 20, at 12:10pm.
The Blessing of the Crèche
In 2017, we bless the crèche on December 21. The blessing occurs at a service designed specifically for children and their families. The service begins at 5:30pm and is sung by the boy choristers.
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.
Please join us on A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve at 4pm, and for the Solemn Eucharist of the Nativity on Christmas Eve at 11pm (Midnight Mass) or Christmas Day at 11am. Please be aware that the church will likely be full to capacity for both services on Christmas Eve. All three services are sung by the Saint Thomas Choir of Men & Boys. And all three services, as well as all the choral services throughout the season, will be webcast live, and available on demand for many weeks following. So whether you are with us in person, or via webcast, you are most welcome to take part. O come, let us adore him.