Monday, December 17, 2012

Hanging of the Greens

Two weeks ago, on the first Sunday of Advent, I envisioned/wrote/led the service at church. (As I soak in that last sentence, I realize how full-of-myself it sounds. It just happened to be one of those jobs that I think is kind of great for the church and church-goers. I had an idea that I thought was good, got the approval of the leaders of the church.... and killed myself making it happen. It was a nice change of pace from so much church work - like agreeing to do a job that someone suggests to you, only because it needs to be done and the workers seem to be few.) My thought was for a Hanging of the Greens service, in which the sanctuary was decorated for the season before our eyes, over the course of our morning worship time. Each element was introduced and, when needed, explained, as in the case of the evergreen swags and garland, which represent eternity and life...
...and wreaths, which combine the vibrancy of the eternally green branches with the shape of a circle, which represents God's eternal nature.
Also new to some people was the origins of the poinsettia, which is sometimes called the flores de nochebuena, or the Flowers of the Holy Night. The many points of the poinsettia petals remind us of the star of Bethlehem.
We lit the Christmas tree...
We rang bells...
The children placed the nativity...
We lit candles... A
A few parts of the service did not go as planned. More things did. I was too exhausted and grumpy to see things clearly even as some of the people of the church wandered over to my corpse to tell me thank you for my work. I went home and said, "Never again." Two weeks later, I'm instead thinking how can I do it better next time, and with less stress? I come back to the notion that church work SHOULD be labors of love and inspiration. The question is: How do you keep the love and inspiration in the labor? Do you have the answer? 'Cause I don't.

1 comment:

  1. what an interesting idea for a service! I love it. I have NO ANSWER, no wisdom for your query because I have the same question. My reaction is usually to drop the commitments and stay home, but I wonder if I will regret a quiet life later. . .not that I would call my life quiet now, but it's not marked by flashes of special occasions very often, I think.


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