It has been so wonderful to spend Christmas in Carlisle this year. After all the travelling we did while on home assignment, I was perfectly content to stay put and celebrate Christmas at home. It could have been difficult because a number of people go home to the continent (Europe) during Christmas. But there were still a number of people around!

On Christmas Eve, Leon and I attended a readings and carols service at Carlisle Cathedral. I have a love for sacred Christmas music, mostly because I’ve grown up around it. I also had the opportunity to sing quite a lot of sacred music when I was in college at Hope College’s Christmas Vespers services. So needless to say, I was a bit excited to hear and experience the songs and liturgy that were presented at the carol service.

Inside Carlisle Cathedral

The service was set up in a way that included songs, readings and Scripture that told the story of Christ’s birth from beginning to end. The best thing, I think, was the message that was given: it was a Christian message, which actually is not very common in Anglican churches of this nature (very liturgical, traditional, formal, etc). Through out the service, the congregation were asked to sing along with various carols as well.

What a great way to celebrate Christ’s birth! I like some of the liturgy at Christmas because it’s a good reminder of why we really do celebrate the holiday.

After the carol service we went over to a friend’s home for a Christmas meal together. She had invited several others around as well (mostly Americans). It’s been enjoyable to have a “family” of sorts to celebrate the holidays with!