Christmas 2018

Sunday December 2nd

Advent Carols - St Etheldreda's - 6pm

And so we begin the Advent journey. This candle-lit service takes place in the oldest part of our historic church, with seating in the Salisbury and Brocket chapels; it is here that we start our journey towards Bethlehem, and journey with Mary and Joseph towards the stable. During this service we listen to readings from the bible that foretell the coming of Jesus. Through scripture, prayer and wondrous music we take our first steps on our Advent journey.

Sunday December 16th

Nativity on the Farm - Hatfield House Farm - 4pm

This is one for all the family. Perhaps you came last year and know what a lovely time everyone had; this year it is tweaked a little, telling the story of our Saviour’s birth from a different perspective, that of the Arch Angel Gabriel. With lights, costumes and animals to see and stroke and a different route around the farm we keep the telling of the story fresh. Starting from George’s car park, we move into the farm. Candles (battery ones) in jars will be issued to the children so that as it gets dark, the scene becomes infused with mystery and delight. On our journey from stable to stable we accompany the angels, shepherds and Wise Men on their search for the Promised Messiah. At our story’s conclusion, and after taking photos of your children with the characters in the stable, we adjourn to a barn for mulled wine, soft drinks and mince pies. (This is free entry and a retiring collection is shared between The Donkey Sanctuary and the church.)

Thursday December 20th

Carols in the Pub (Eight Bells, Old Hatfield - 8pm

After a Compline service (7pm, shortened evening prayer) in church, we will gather in the Eight Bells for an informal time of drinks – bring your own mince pies – and song. Come to both or one; we’ll be there!

Saturday December 22nd

Readings and Carols at St Luke's - 4pm

This service will appeal to young and old, family and singles. We hope that you might have just finished your Christmas shopping, or perhaps you are just ready to get Christmas started and have some festive fun. Whatever the case, St Luke’s warmly invite you to drop in for an informal service of readings and traditional carols by candlelight - followed by Christmas refreshments.

Sunday December 23rd

Nine Lessons and Carols - 6pm

Now a traditional Candle-lit service, though only for the last hundred or so years, it will be celebrated in churches all around the world. In that sense it is a truly family service, sharing worship and fellowship with Christians in Syria, Lebanon, Europe, America, Australia and Africa – in places of plenty and in places of famine; in places of peace and quiet and in places of war and strife. We listen to nine simple readings from Genesis, the prophet Isaiah and the gospels, the story of God’s promise to humankind. The service will begin with the choir processing in with the ethereal solo first verse of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, before they and we join in raising our voices in the beauty of this hallowed place. If you are only able to make it to one service, this is perhaps the one to choose. And mulled wine and mince pies to follow.

Monday December 24th

Crib Service - 5pm

This is an event organised by our Sunday School for families and children of all ages. All children are invited to come dressed as an angel or a shepherd and join in our recreation of the nativity of Jesus. Many in our Hatfield community tell us that for them Christmas doesn’t start until they have watched the children gather around the crib to sing ‘Away in a Manger’.

Midnight Mass - 11.30pm

A traditional and much loved service. Perhaps we find some meaning in coming in from the dark outside cold into a warm and welcoming church ablaze with light, just as Mary and Joseph thankfully entered the stable warmed by the breath of the ox and the ass. We sing full voiced – aided by our wonderful choir—the familiar carols and hymns which speak the words our hearts would say. As the clock strikes Midnight, we join with Christians all around the world celebrating the birth of Jesus. A wonderful way to begin your Christmas day.

Tuesday December 25th

Holy Communion at St. Etheldreda's - 8am

Christmas Eucharist at St. Etheldreda's - 9.30am

And so we come to Christmas day. We can rejoice in the birth of Our Lord and Holy Communion, sharing in the true Christmas meal. This is a family Eucharist and it would be lovely, if Santa has been, to have children choose one of their presents to bring and show us. A happy time, a happy day.

Christmas Eucharist at St. Luke's - 11am