Blairgowrie Advertiser - - NEWS - Blair­gowrie Par­ish Church

The an­nual ser­vice of Christ­mas praise and read­ings in Blair­gowrie Par­ish Church on Thurs­day evening last week was a high­light of the joy­ous sea­son with read­ings, car­ols and mu­si­cal pre­sen­ta­tion.

The ser­vice opened with the choir singing the in­troit, ‘Lo, How a Rose E’er Bloom­ing’, a Ger­man tra­di­tional carol.

A wel­come to mem­bers of sev­eral con­gre­ga­tions in the town by the Rev. Harry Mow­bray, was fol­lowed by the hymn, ‘O Come, O Come, Em­manuel’, and prayer af­ter which Mr Mow­bray joined the tenor sec­tion of the aug­mented choir, con­ducted by or­gan­ist Lex Dun­lop.

A se­lec­tion of car­ols and hymns was in­ter­spersed with read­ings by mem­bers of var­i­ous con­gre­ga­tions in the town.

Read­ings were by Alis­dair Drum­mond (Isa­iah ch 9) and Mau­reen Mow­bray (Micah ch 5), Blair­gowrie Par­ish Church; Very Rev. Kenny Rath­band (Isa­iah ch 11), and Gill Buxbaum (St Luke ch 1), St Catharine’s Scot­tish Epis­co­pal Church; Rev. Linda Ste­wart (St Matthew ch 1) and Eve­lyn Grieve (St Luke ch 2), Rat­tray Par­ish Church; and Pat McCarthy (St Luke ch 2), and John Thom­son (St Matthew ch 2), St Stephen’s RC Church.

The ninth and fi­nal read­ing by Mr Mow­bray was from St John ch 1.

Car­ols by the choir were ‘O Come, Our World’s Redeemer’ and ‘A Vir­gin Most Holy. In a vi­o­lin in­ter­lude Es­ther Jack played ‘Win­ter’ from Vi­valdi’s Four Sea­sons, and a mod­ern swing­ing ver­sion of ‘O Lit­tle Town of Beth­le­hem’. Es­ther was ac­com­pa­nied by Mr Dun­lop on or­gan, and the con­gre­ga­tion burst into spon­ta­neous ap­plause as or­gan­ist and vi­o­lin­ist ex­changed high fives.

Hymns in­cluded ‘It Came Upon the Midnight Clear’; ‘O Come, All Ye Faith­ful’; ‘See In Yon­der Manger Low’; ‘As With Glad­ness Men of Old’ and ‘Love Came Down at Christ­mas’. The ser­vice closed with prayer, the hymn, Hark the Her­ald An­gels Sing’, and the Bene­dic­tion. A re­tir­ing of­fer­ing was taken for Chris­tian Aid.

The ser­vice was fol­lowed by a re­cep­tion in the church hall with mince pies pro­vided by Ken and Ethel Dow and helpers.

Morn­ing wor­ship on the fourth Sun­day in Ad­vent on Christ­mas Eve was con­ducted by Mr Mow­bray.

The ser­vice com­menced with the choir singing the in­troit, ‘Let All To­gether Praise Our Lord’, fol­lowed by the min­is­ter’s wel­come and in­ti­ma­tions.

The hymn, ‘In the Bleak Mid­win­ter’, was fol­lowed by prayers of ap­proach and con­fes­sion and the light­ing by Sun­day School mem­ber Cather­ine Mur­rie of the Ad­vent Can­dle to re­mind us of Mary and the events lead­ing up to her be­ing the mother of Je­sus.

The first four verses of Hymn 282, ‘Christ­mas Is Com­ing!’ were fol­lowed by Chil­dren’s Time. Mr Mow­bray pro­duced a tree which the chil­dren noted was not a Christ­mas tree as it was not dec­o­rated. So while the chil­dren dec­o­rated the tree, the con­gre­ga­tion sang the first three verses of the hymn, ‘See Him Ly­ing On a Bed of Straw’. Just as the tree dec­o­ra­tions give mean­ing to the tree, the com­ing of the baby Je­sus gives mean­ing and pur­pose to our lives.

Scrip­ture read­ings by David Howat were from 2 Sa­muel ch 7 vv 1-11, 16, The Lord’s covenant with David, and St Luke ch 1 vv 26-38, Mary is promised a son. Be­tween the read­ings the choir sang the an­them, ‘The An­gel Gabriel’, a Basque carol.

The hymn, ‘Still the Night, Holy the Night!’ was fol­lowed by Mr Mow­bray’s ser­mon about David and the Ark of the Covenant, re­lated to the an­nounce­ment to Mary of the com­ing birth of Je­sus. King David was promised by God that his de­scen­dant’s king­dom would last for ever. The an­nounce­ment to Mary that her com­ing son, Je­sus, would be an eter­nal ruler in God’s king­dom fol­lowed that prom­ise to David. The com­ing of Christ as a baby changed the world for­ever and we are called to con­tinue that change so that the joy, peace and love of the Christ­mas

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