The celebration of Christmas is a common thread for countries around the world, and the Christmas Eve service for the Mosaic United Methodist Church is structured around those cultural traditions.
"We are excited at the thought that Jesus is the hope of the world, he came to be our hope." said the Rev. Carolyn Moore, the church's pastor. "We can celebrate Christmas in unity with people all over the world who believe in Jesus."
The service will begin with the Mexican tradition called Las Posadas, which recounts the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. In Mexico, the celebration takes place for nine days before Christmas, with families knocking on their neighbors' doors while holding small nativity figurines, asking, "Is there room for Jesus?"
In the Mosaic service, Moore said, nativities from a dozen different countries will be set up at the altar. During the first song, which will be sung in Spanish, children in the congregation will walk up and place figurines in the nativities.
During prayer time will be the "touch of peace," which follows the Iraqi tradition where a bishop places a figurine of Jesus in a manger, then touches someone in the congregation, who then touches the next person.
The English tradition of singing God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen will be celebrated during the collection of the offering, which will benefit local families of soldiers serving in Iraq. The cultural service will also feature the American tradition of drama and carols, and the African song Betelehemu.
The one-hour service, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Christmas Eve at Evans High School, 4550 Cox Road, will end with candles being lit to the German music of Silent Night. Light refreshments and gifts for children will be available after the service.
For more information, call Moore at 877-6468.
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