Blue Christmas, traditional services

DAMARISCOTTA — Rev. Erika Hewitt, minister of the Midcoast Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, invites the public for a Blue Christmas service, a quiet, reflective time of hope and healing for anyone who has experienced the loss of a family member or friend, job difficulties or other personal struggles, at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, at Porter Meeting Hall in Skidompha Library.

A traditional candlelight Christmas eve service will be held at 4 p.m. Kevin Kiley will provide music and accompany the hymn singing. People of all faiths – or no religious faith – are invited to both services.

Entrance to the library for all fellowship services is through the Elm Street entrance.

Christmas Eve and day services at Edgecomb church

EDGECOMB — After the tree is decorated, the cookies are baked and all the presents are wrapped, Edgecomb Community Church invites people to celebrate the birth of the Christ child at its special Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 5 p.m. Sunday.

During this worship service, the Christmas story is told, Christmas carols are sung and candles are lit to remember and honor the coming of God’s light of love into the world.

The celebration of the coming of Emmanuel continues on Christmas morning at 9:30 a.m. with a service including scripture readings, carol singing and a special Celtic prayer.

All are welcome.

Edgecomb Community Church, UCC, is located at 15 Cross Point Road at the intersection of Cross Point and Eddy roads. For more information, call 882-4060.

Second Congregational Church plans two different services

NEWCASTLE — Second Congregational Church will once again provide two alternative approaches to celebrating Christmas – one focusing on joyous traditions, and another on the more spiritually reflective – on Sunday.

First is the All-Church Christmas Pageant and Intergenerational Worship Service at 10 a.m. All are invited to share the joy of Christmas by being part of the story. There’s a place for shepherds, animals of all types, wise people, angels, cherubim, and, of course, stars. Costumes will be available for anyone who needs them. A brief Christmas reflection will also be shared.

Later, the family candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols will begin at 5 p.m. Come early to share in special music beginning at 4:40 p.m. The worship service begins at 5 with lessons and carols, lighting of the Advent wreath and the Christ candle.

A special message for children will be followed by lighting candles as “Silent Night” is sung to welcome in Christmas. The Chancel Choir and the Handbell Choir will share special music to ring out Christmas joy.

Second Congregational Church, UCC is located at 51 Main St. For more information, call 563-3379.

Advent Lessons and Carols at St. Andrew’s

NEWCASTLE — In what has become an annual tradition, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church will present a service of Advent Lessons and Carols from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

At this service, readings will be interspersed with carols and hymns, including such favorites such as “People, look East,” “O come, O come, Emmanuel,” and “Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming.” As a highlight of the service, soprano Sherri Dietrich will sing “He shall feed his flock” from Handel’s Messiah.

In 1934, 16 years after he introduced “A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols for Christmas Eve” to King’s College, Cambridge, the Dean, Eric Milner-White, composed a further service, “A Procession with Carols upon Advent Sunday.”

His concern for more imaginative forms of worship appears in the preface he wrote to that service: “In the old English liturgies, the Advent offices made a preparation for the coming of our Lord to this earth far more vivid and eager than those of our present prayer book. So an Advent carol service, if without precedent, is not without suitability, if it helps to express ‘the desire of all nations and ages.’”

The purpose of this service was “not to celebrate Christmas, but to expect it.”

For many among those who know both the Advent carol service and the “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols,” however much the Christmas Eve service is, for them, a part of Christmas, the Advent service has a depth and intensity distinctively its own.

St. Andrew’s is located at 11 Glidden St.