There is a twist on the 37th annual Hanging of the Greens at Wake Forest Baptist Church.
The service has become so popular that there has been standing-room only. So this year the church will offer two nearly identical services on Sunday, Dec. 4.
Services at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. will both be in a sanctuary decorated to welcome Advent.
“The Hanging of the Greens is the time when the church can officially prepare the sanctuary for the coming of Christ in the same way we prepare our homes for the coming of Christmas,” said Bryant Moxley, minister of music and worship at Wake Forest Baptist. “Hopefully, we are also preparing our lives for a renewed awareness of Christ’s presence during the Advent and Christmas seasons.”
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Churches use greenery because it is so rich in symbolism.
“The hanging of the greens, liturgically, is meant to provide interpretation of the decorations the church is using,” Moxley said. “The greenery is symbolic of everlasting life, because it is evergreen. You have the wreaths with the circles that represent the endless concept of eternity. You have the white candle which is the Christ candle, that represents purity, and the purple candle used for Advent represents royalty.
“The holly leaves with the red berries represent the blood of Christ. And the poinsettia is one of the most symbolic Christmas elements at Hanging of the Greens with the red leaves and the flower shaped like a star.”
The services will emphasize the music of the season.
“The music in the service will be very diverse,” Moxley said. “We will have our chancel choir and handbell choir and we have a professional brass quintet that will be a part of the service along with our newly rebuilt pipe organ and our youth choir.
“In the first service, uniquely, our children’s choirs will share music and in our second service, uniquely, the men’s chorus will share music. We will have congregational singing of familiar carols and Scripture lessons and interpretive readings that provide some of that symbolic background.”
Both Hanging of the Greens services are free and open to the public. They will benefit the ChurchNet foundation, a consortium of churches, nonprofits and individuals that provide assistance with utility payments and prescription medication costs for people in need in Wake Forest, Rolesville and Youngsville.
Wake Forest Baptist Church is located at 107 E. South Ave., Wake Forest.
Walk through Bethlehem
Wake Forest Presbyterian Church will once again present its outdoor living nativity, Walk through Bethlehem.
Visitors will experience the Christmas story while walking through a re-creation of history. It takes a cast and crew of more than 250 volunteers to present this journey.
The nativity is free and open to the public. Donations of money and non-perishable items will be accepted to support the anti-hunger efforts of Tri-Area Ministries and Backpack Buddies.
The walk through Bethlehem will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, and Saturday, Dec. 3; and from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4.
Wake Forest Presbyterian is located at 12605 Capital Blvd., Wake Forest.
Christmas at DPAC
Tickets will be available starting Saturday, Dec. 3, for the Christmas at DPAC services presented by The Summit Church.
The services at the Durham Performing Arts Center are free, but all participants must have a ticket.
Services will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22; 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23; and 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24.
For information and to secure a ticket, go to www.christmasatdpac.com.
Carla Turchetti compiles Faith in Focus each week. Email her with details of upcoming events at firstname.lastname@example.org.