Christmas at St. Stephen's
Sunday, December 24, 2017: The Fourth Sunday in Advent AND Christmas Eve
Since the Fourth Sunday of Advent falls on December 24 this year, we have adjusted the morning worship schedule to accommodate the full schedule of Christmas Eve services in the afternoon and evening. There will be no Sunday school, Forum, Sunday Community Supper, or Compline service that day.
Sunday morning, Advent IV
8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist: Rite One
10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist: Rite Two*
Sunday afternoon and evening, Christmas Eve: things to know
All services take place in the main church with overflow seating in the Fellowship Hall and Palmer Hall. Services with an asterisk offer child care for age 4 and under. The child care rooms are located in St. Stephen's Preschool on the basement level and are staffed by loving professionals who have received training in safe church practices.
Parking: free parking is available in our parking lot at the corner of Somerset and Grove, and on the street. We encourage you to arrive early.
Handicap accessibility: there is an elevator on the ground level just inside the power-assist doors to the parish house off the main parking lot. Entrances to the church from Grove Avenue and Three Chopt Road are also handicap accessible. Inside the church, there are several pews with space at the end to accommodate wheelchairs. Those who wish to receive communion but are not able to walk to the communion rail may inform any of the ushers; a minister will come to you during the administration of communion.
Assistive listening devices are available for those who are hearing-impaired. Please ask an usher. (Ushers will be identified by ribbons on their nametags.)
We ask that you not "save seats" at these very popular services. Ushers will discourage this practice.
Please note that there will be two afternoon/evening services for families with young children--at 3 and 5 p.m.--in place of the one service at 4 p.m. This change is in response to the large number of people attending the 4 p.m. service in years past. This means that the Celtic Christmas service begins later (at 8 p.m.) than it has in the past.
Christmas Eve service schedule and music
3:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist: Rite Two, Family Service* with music led by a volunteer choir of children and youth in grades 2-12, with members of other St. Stephen's choirs helping to lead the singing (service is preceded by 30 minutes of music)
5:00 p.m., Holy Eucharist: Rite Two, Family Service* with music led by the Cherub Choir, the Palmer Hall Choir and the Middle School Choir (service is preceded by 30 minutes of music)
7:30 p.m. Musical prelude* by Virginia Girls Choir and instrumentalists
8:00 p.m. Celtic Christmas service* with music led by Virginia Girls Choir and instrumentalists
10:30 p.m. Musical prelude with chamber orchestra and St. Stephen's Choir
11:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist: Rite One, Traditional Christ Mass St. Stephen's Choir, chamber orchestra, organ, congregational hymns and carols
Monday, December 25, 2017--Christmas Day (parish office closed)
10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist: Rite Two, with Sanctuary (the Compline choir), organ, and congregational hymns and carols
Sunday, December 31, 2017--Christmas I
8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist: Rite One
9:00 a.m. Lessons and Carols*
No Sunday school or Forum this week
11:15 a.m. Lessons and Carols*
5:30 p.m. Celtic service*
6:30 p.m. Sunday Community Supper
8:00 p.m. Compline
Child care is available for children 4 and under during services indicated with an asterisk.
The 5:30 p.m. Saturday service of Holy Eucharist: Rite Two will take place as usual on December 23 and December 30.
The parish office is closed:
Monday, December 25
Tuesday, December 26
Monday, January 1
(When the parish office is closed, there is no Morning Prayer or Evensong.)
Farmers Market @ St. Stephen's
The Farmers Market @ St. Stephen's will be open on Saturday, December 23 from 9 a.m. until noon, but will be outdoors that day. There will be no market on Saturday, December 30.
Gifts due Sunday, December 10
St. Stephen’s annual Angel Tree ministry matches a youngster or family identified through our outreach partners with parishioners who would like to purchase gifts for them at Christmas. Select an ornament from our Angel Tree (which will be placed at the Outreach Table across from the steps and elevator in the parish house, near Palmer Hall) and purchase items from the wish list on it. Gifts (unwrapped) are due Sunday, December 10. Instructions are provided at the tree, and you may contact Deb Lawrence in the parish office with any questions.
Christmas flower memorials
Due Friday, December 15
Many people like to remember loved ones with a Christmas memorial: a donation for poinsettias, greenery and floral decorations in the church. These memorials are acknowledged in Christmas Eve and Christmas Day bulletins. If you would like to such a memorial, please contact Judy Kidd. Your request must be received by December 16 to be included in the bulletins.
Abundant Gifts Catalog
Outreach partners provide "wish lists" to St. Stephen's, and you can purchase these gifts in honor of a friend, family member or other loved one. Copies of this catalog and order forms are available at the outreach table in the parish house, or you may download them here:
catalog // order form
Questions: Deb Lawrence
May Fair House holiday schedule
The May Fair House will close at 3 p.m. on Friday, December 22, and re-open on Monday, January 8, at 10 a.m.
Christmas pageants take place in the main church on two dates at St. Stephen's:
Saturday, December 16 at 3 p.m.: Children's Pageant (Want your child to participate? Follow this link.)
Sunday, December 17 during the 11:15 a.m. service: Youth Pageant (Information about taking part is here.)