Durham News: Community

On Faith: Duke Chapel to hold 4 Christmas Eve services

A file photo of a Sunday worship service at Duke Chapel.  Duke Chapel will close to the public for about a year starting May 2015 so the university can repair the ceiling, replace the roof and perform other restoration work.
A file photo of a Sunday worship service at Duke Chapel. Duke Chapel will close to the public for about a year starting May 2015 so the university can repair the ceiling, replace the roof and perform other restoration work. News & Observer file photo

Duke Chapel will hold four Christmas Eve worship services, including a live, statewide telecast of the 11 p.m. service.

The first service begins at 2 p.m. and is suited for families with young children. A service with carols and Holy Communion starts at 4 p.m. with preaching by Duke Chapel Dean Luke Powery and singing by the Durham Children’s Choir.

Another service starts at 6 p.m. and will feature Christmas carols, a brass ensemble and a sermon from the dean. The traditional service of Lessons and Carols begins at 11 p.m. with an instrumental prelude at 10:30 p.m.

All the events are free. For the 11 p.m. service, plan to arrive at least 30 minutes in advance as a capacity crowd is expected.

“Christmas is about comforting traditions, creches, hymns, gifts, family meals. But it is also about surprises: a virgin gives birth, a baby threatens a king, God descends to humankind,” Powery said. “My hope is that god’s presence be as near to us this season as it was in the manger of a baby boy thousands of years ago.”

The 11 p.m. service will be broadcast live across the state on Time Warner Cable News, channels 14 or 200.

Members of the public are invited to sing in the choir for the 11 p.m. service. A rehearsal at 9 p.m. is required.

St. Paul’s Lutheran

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church will hold Christmas Eve services at 5, 7 and 10 p.m. today in the sanctuary at 1200 Cornwallis Road.

The 5 p.m. service is planned for families with small children, but all are welcome. The 7 p.m. service is a candlelight service with the Laudete Handbell Choir participating. The 10 p.m. service is also a candlelight service with the senior choir participating. Pastor Scott Anderson and Vicar Daniel Locke will lead all services.

All are welcome.

New Hope Presbyterian

New Hope Presbyterian Church, 4701 NC Hwy. 86, between Chapel Hill and Hillsborough, will mark Christmas Eve with a traditional Lessons and Carols service. Music will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the service beginning at 6 p.m.

St. Titus Episcopal

The Christmas Eve Mass at St. Titus Episcopal Church will begin at 10:30 p.m. with Christmas carols followed by the Holy Eucharist at 11 p.m. Celebrant will be the Rev. Monroe Freeman, a former rector. A reception will follow the service. St. Titus is located at 400 Moline St.

Jewish scribing

The Jewish community celebrated Hannukah, the festival of lights, last week in homes around the area and across the world.

On the eve of the holidays, Rabbi Zalman Bluming, director of Chabad Durham-Chapel Hill sponsored a unique workshop at the Lerner Jewish Community Day School at 1935 W. Cornwallis Road.

Rabbi Yosef Serebryanski, a Sofer or scribe, from Brooklyn, New York, demonstrated how a Torah scroll, Phylacteries and Mezuzot are written. He illustrated all of the necessary steps, beginning with the preparation of the parchment, the mixing of the special ink and the writing of the Hebrew alphabet using a feather.

Serebryanski, 27, received his training from world class Jewish scribes in Brooklyn and Israel.

“This presentation allowed me to share with very young children some of the more traditional and ritual aspects of Judaism,” the rabbi said. “The Mezuzot on their doorposts at home, the Torah scroll in the synagogue will hold new meaning to them as they understand the secret to their making.”

Each child and others in the workshop took home a piece of parchment, a testament to their personal experience in Jewish scribing.

Contact Flo Johnston at fjohnston314@gmail.com or call 910-361-4135.

  Comments