Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Vespers 2010

The next Christmas event on our schedules this year was the one that is perhaps my favorite Christmas event every year -- the Christmas Vespers service.  It's such a lovely service -- lessons and carols, a choir, beautiful solos, a brief homily, all with the aim of refocusing our hearts and minds on the miracle of Emmanuel, God with us.

And again, this year was no exception.  The students handled all the surprises and hiccups before the service (75 too few chairs; a random stage left over in the common room) with such aplomb that no one even realized that any of the changes (lovely wooden chairs hauled in from the dining hall; hello, big huge stage at the front of the room) weren't part of the original plan.  And it really was such a beautiful evening of interfellowship worship!

The choir and musicians on the stage

Dion leading the congregation in carols

The pure joy of Stephen's solo in "Emmanuel"

Pastor Matt's homily

Some of the sophomore girls singing together

And I absolutely loved Becky's rendition of "Welcome to our World."  In large part, of course, because of her beautiful voice, but it's also one of my favorite Christmas songs:

Tears are falling, hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
You've been promised, we've been waiting
Welcome Holy Child
Welcome Holy Child

Hope that You don't mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long-awaited Holy Stranger
Make Yourself at home
Please make Yourself at home

Bring Your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
Word now breaking Heaven's silence
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born

So wrap our injured flesh around You
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect Son of God
Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world