As Thanksgiving ends and the Christmas season begins, Christians mark the pre-Christmas season of Advent, a “time of holy preparation,” notes the Rev. Joseph Graumann, pastor of St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton St., Marlborough. “We look to the past and celebrate our ancestors while looking forward to Jesus coming among us.”
To focus on Advent, the first season of the Christian church year, St. Stephen will offer a series of Wednesday evening services at 7 p.m. on November 28 and December 5, 12, and 19. Everyone is welcome to take a step away from the sometimes frantic Christmas preparation to participate in the “Word Up Wednesday” services, which will offer discussion and Holy Communion, as the series moves from a season of darkness into light. One of Advent’s most prominent symbols is the candles lit at the beginning of each week.
“In the first week of Advent, one candle is lit amidst the darkening skies,” said Pastor Graumann. “Week by week, the number of candles grows to turn darkness into light. This is what we celebrate; moving from the darkness of the present age to the light of the presence of God.”
The Advent services will focus on how the light of Christ breaks into a dismal world. “As Christians, we bear that light within us and share it with others.”
To celebrate Christmas, St. Stephen will offer a 7 p.m. Christmas Eve service, with candlelight and carols, and music from voice and handbell choirs, and a 9:30 am Christmas Day service. Both will include Holy Communion.