Christmas Eve – A Wonderful Time of Year at Wekiva Presbyterian Church in Longwood
Everyone is invited to join Wekiva Presbyterian Church this Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24, at any of our three services at 5:30, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Each service varies in its traditional, yet fresh approach to the presentation of the Christmas story. The music is spectacular and the setting in this lovely church – decorated simply with wreaths and a Christmas tree – is awe-inspiring.
The 5:30 p m service allows families with children to worship together in a family friendly atmosphere. The children’s choirs lead the service under the direction of Aloma Bratek (Music Associate) and Joan Grace (Children’s Music Accompanist).
The liturgy is told in story form and the hymns are child friendly. As the story unfolds, children portraying the characters of the nativity scene make their way to the front of the Sanctuary. One of the traditions most beloved by the youngest children is that when the scene is completed, they are able to come forward and see it up close. The chancel is like the stable of Bethlehem and there is even a real baby Jesus, with his parents portraying Mary and Joseph. There is a sense of awe on the faces of the children as they walk up to see the timeless scene. The service ends with the spreading of the light through candles as everyone sings “Silent Night” and then rousing song of “Joy to the World”, as do each of the other services on Christmas Eve. The entire service is kept to about 45 minutes, important to those with young children.
The 7:30 service is the traditional Lessons and Carols service, with nine readings interspersed with traditional carols, choral and instrumental music. The 7:30 and 10 p.m. services are led by Pastors John Dalles and Paul Anderson with music directed by Betsy Bone.
Music for the 7:30 service is provided by the Chancel Choir and Mission Faith, one of the church’s middle and high school choirs. The 10 o’clock service includes communion. The special music is provided by the church organist Gary Galloway, the Glefke Family Singers (“O Holy Night”) and “Gesu Bambino” sung by Betsy Bone.
The church grounds are illuminated throughout Christmas Eve by more than 200 luminaries; and at the conclusion of each service a brass ensemble will play traditional Christmas carols outdoors.
Wekiva Presbyterian Church is located at 211 Wekiva Springs Lane, in Longwood.