EPISCOPAL SHIELD BESTHOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (11/30/17) — In a nod to the traditions of Christmas, historic Grace Episcopal Church, an anchor in the heart of downtown Hopkinsville with a rich community heritage, will host an Advent Service of Lessons and Carols 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17.

The event will be immediately followed by a festive holiday dessert reception in All Saints Parish Hall. Locally, organizers have added a twist by including members of the community to serve as readers during the service.

“This service offers the church the opportunity to embrace all of Hopkinsville and celebrate what we share in common during this special season,” said organist/choirmaster Wayne Eastham. “Our community is vibrant because of its many facets, and by including those other than our parishioners, we recognize and honor the perspective that each person brings to life here.”

“Our parish is blessed with excellent cooks and wonderful hospitality, as demonstrated during the Lenten Lunch series each year prior to Easter, and the festive holiday dessert following the service is a natural extension of that hospitality during the Christmas season,” said Grace’s Priest and Rector, Alice Nichols.

Eastham noted that Pam Vance is organizing the dessert and stated that items will be homemade and elegantly presented.

“The fellowship after the service offers us time to enjoy the company of our neighbors and friends,” Nichols said.
 
So what exactly is a service of lessons and carols? Nichols referenced the denomination’s official website, sharing that the services began in 1878 and were formalized two years later by the Archbishop of Canterbury in England. The Advent version of the service developed slightly later at King’s College in Cambridge, England and is celebrated around the world, normally as a Sunday evening service on the first or second Sunday of the season of Advent.

Nichols said, “The name, “Advent,” actually comes from the Latin word “adventus,” which means “coming.” It was given to this time of year in December because Christians are waiting for the coming of Jesus Christ. This season is traditionally seen to be a time of waiting expectantly and happily and preparing for Christmas at the end of December. It is also a reminder of how the Jewish nation waited for the Messiah and how Christians are now waiting for the return of Christ.”
 
During the service, scripture readings are interspersed with carols and songs by the choir. A professional orchestra will join Grace’s choir and organists, and those attending will be invited to sing along on carols.

The roster of speakers include: Griffin McCoy, Dr. Alissa Young, Danielle White, Rev. Buddy Slaughter, Judge Andrew Self, Alissa Keller, Edwin White and Anne Noel.

Organizers say the service length of approximately 60 minutes is ideal for families.

“We want everyone to come experience the sights, sounds, fragrances and traditions of the season, and to feel a warm welcome from Grace Episcopal,” Eastham said. “It is going to be a special night.”

Admission to the service and holiday dessert is free.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Wayne Eastham
 

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