Angels have arrived on the front lawn of North Raleigh United Methodist Church.
Each angel stands a few feet tall and represents a larger personal story.
“Some honor current family members or grandchildren. Various others will celebrate groups – Sunday school groups do that,” said volunteer Sue Ellen Rosen, who brought the tradition to North Raleigh United Methodist in 2003, patterning it after a similar effort at a church in Virginia. “And then a large percentage purchase them in memory of someone or a group of people.”
The first year, there were 90 angels. Since then, the number has grown to around 200. They are set up each year during the first week of December after a special service inside the church.
The congregation then proceeds to the lawn to celebrate the lighting of the display by singing the Christmas hymn,“Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” The angels remain in place until the second week of January when a team of some 50 volunteers, led by Rosen, disassembles them so they can be sent home with their owners until the next Christmas season.
It has become a treasured tradition at North Raleigh United Methodist Church on Honeycutt Road.
“It was basically to bring to the church a way for people to celebrate or to honor people in their lives at a very special time in the Christian calendar, Christmastime.” Rosen said.
The Unity Choir’s Glory of Christmas concert has become a six-year Raleigh tradition. The program draws from many faiths and cultures as well as many musical styles, from sacred to classical to Broadway.
Performed with an orchestra and professional soloists, the concert is a community favorite that regularly fills the sanctuary. Two performances are scheduled this year: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, and a family matinee at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17.
Choir director Scott McKenzie is a concert pianist who brings to Unity an extensive background in music theater and choral conducting. The Unity Choir is a volunteer choir that rehearses weekly and performs several Sundays a month and at special events. Members range from professional singers to those with limited musical training. New members are welcome, regardless of experience.
This year’s concert will be the first in Unity’s new sanctuary at 5570 Munford Road in Raleigh. It is an airy, accessible space with comfortable seats and lots of room to move around.
For information and reservations, go to www.unitytriangle.org. Unity honors all faiths and traditions with services focusing on affirmative prayer, meditation and music. Doors are open to all.
Raleigh Boychoir concert
The Raleigh Boychoir will present its annual Carols of Christmas concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, at Edenton Street United Methodist Church, 228 W. Denton St., Raleigh.
All the choirs within the RBC will perform yuletide favorites.
Admission is $8 for students, $12 for seniors and $15 for adults. For information and to buy tickets, go to raleighboychoir.org and click on the “concerts” tab.
Carla Turchetti compiles Faith in Focus each week. Email her with details of upcoming events at firstname.lastname@example.org.