Our Advent theme this year is based on the liturgical tradition of the O Antiphons, also known as The great Os. An “antiphon” is a verse or song chanted or sung in response, and in Christian tradition the “O Antiphons” refer to those traditional Advent statements about the Messiah that we hear in the carol, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” In early church history, seven antiphons were recited in the week leading up to Christmas. Each Antiphon does two things: names an aspect of the identity of the Messiah, and reminds of a prophecy about the coming of the Messiah.
In the four Sundays of Advent, and on Christmas Eve, we wll remember five of these antiphons, reflecting on Jesus Christ as Lord (12.3), Dayspring (12.10), Desire of Nations (12.17), Wisdom (Sunday morning 12.24) and Emmanuel (Evening 12.24). In doing so, we will worship the one who is coming to us again this Advent fulfilling the hopes of our world and the hopes of our individual hearts.
According to Professor Robert Greensberg of the San Franciso Conservatory of Music, the Benedictine monks arranged the original seven antiphons with a definite purpose. If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one in Latin – Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia – the Latin words “ero cras” are formed, which are translated to mean, “Tomorrow, I will come.” It’s the grand hope of Advent – that what we have longed to see will be known in our place and time, through the person of Jesus. We hope you’ll join us as we share this hope, and these proclamations of the Messiah, throughout this season, until we can all come to believe more fully that tomorrow Messiah will come.
First Sunday of Advent | December 3rd | O Adonai
Each Sunday of Advent, our Sanctuary will be adorned with decorations each week, building up to Christmas. First Sunday you’ll find: Sanctuary adornments: Angel Banners, Advent Wreath and Moravian Star.
10:30 am | Our first Advent service will be led by our Children as all three of our Children Choirs will be leading us in worship.
4pm | The North Carolina A&T University Choir, under the direction of Maestro Travis Alexander, will present a Christmas choral concert in the sanctuary. Come and enjoy these outstanding voices of NC A&T as they perform Rutter’s Gloria and additional music of the season in classical, gospel, and contemporary acapella styles. This event is Free and Open to the Public
Second Sunday of Advent | December 10th | O Dayspring
Sanctuary adornments: Chrismon Tree
10:30am | Join us for the second Sunday of Advent as Rebecca Little will share her faith story. The Youth Choir and the Youth Handbell Choir will lead worship.
4pm | Baker Lawrimore: Organ Recital Sanctuary
December 13th 5:30pm | Spontaneous Nativity is a wonderful way for children to be a part of the Christmas story! First families start off with breakfast for dinner at 5:30pm then children change into a costume to be in the Christmas story in the Sanctuary. If you’d like to see this adorable service, it will start at 6:15pm. Be sure to sign up your child by December 12th to be a part!
Third Sunday of Advent | December 17th | O Desire of Nations
Sanctuary adornments: Window candles, greenery, and garlands
10:30 am | For the third Sunday of Advent, our Sanctuary Choir and the Instrumental Ensemble will lead worship.
3-5pm | Caroling to the Home-bound: We have a number of church members that reside in private homes, retirement communities, and nursing facilities that are unable to make it to church on a regular basis. Come join as we go to them to brighten up their holiday season with some Christmas carols. Carolers will gather at 3 pm in the Atrium to depart in groups to visit the homebound. Questions? Contact Steve Sumerel
5:30pm | 6-7:30pm | Youth Christmas Party at the Petitt’s! If you are in Middle or High School, come celebrate the Christmas season together after caroling! We’ll have a very Christmas-y time with yummy food and games! Please bring a $10-$15 white elephant gift. Contact Sarah Parker for more details
Fourth Sunday of Advent | December 24th | O Wisdom and O Emmanuel
Sanctuary adornments: Poinsettias
9:15-10:15 am | Birthday Party for Jesus in Children’s Sunday School.
10:30 am | In the last Sunday of Advent, our Sanctuary Choir and the Brass Ensemble will lead worship.
5pm | Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. This service will have communion and carols. There will be activity packets for children to keep them engaged during the worship service. There is childcare provided for children 3 and under.
*Poinsettia memorials and honorariums that have been pre-ordered can be picked up after the Christmas Eve service in the Sanctuary.