Holy Days

Make the Church Fragrant

Make the church
fragrant with the smell of living things and our holy play.

In acts of hanging greens and listening to the
words of prophets and seers let us make our hearts and this space a place of
inward and outward preparation for the One who comes to give us second birth.

This morning we had a complicated, lovely, unusual service of worship, beginning with a little play about Advent, followed by Hanging of the Greens. Yesterday the chair of our Deacons noticed a man selling freshly cut local trees in the town square, and she found a beautiful 9 foot tree for the sanctuary.

For now its only decorations are mittens, hats and scarves. We are gathering mittens and other cold weather accessories to be given to two local schools with populations in need. This is a new project for Main Street Church, and I had no idea whether it would fly. Much as I loved the tree, I could only imagine how pitiful two pairs of mittens would look hanging on it! (Lights and ornaments will wait until later in Advent.)

At the children’s time, I invited all the young people forward, and then I asked people with mittens to contribute to raise their hands.

This was the moment of truth.

Fully half the adults sitting in the pews put their hands into the air. The children hung the mittens, with help from a lay reader at the lectern high beside the tree. There were almost too many to hang!

The wreaths and the tree smelled lovely, but I celebrated the fragrance of generosity.

(Picture to follow.)

11 thoughts on “Make the Church Fragrant”

  1. We did this at my old church and it was wonderful. A couple would bring a tree down from near Lake Superior each year. Also at a more liturgical church where I worked, and they used blue vestments/paraments for Advent, the instruction was to bring blue mittens, scarves etc. (I liked our rainbow ones better!) People in cold climates understand about mittens, I think.

  2. Lovely–on more than one count. We’re not allowed to have real greens in church because of fire codes. Artificial just aren’t the same.
    Do you do Jesse tree ornaments, or go straight to Christmas?

  3. In the past, the church has used Chrismons, but there was no enthusiasm for getting their tattered selves out this year. On the 23rd, the tree will be decorated for Christmas.

  4. Oh how wonderful…Having spent a disheartening morning discussing why it is apparently not feasible to hold the “Christmas Fayre” here for the benefit of anything other than individulad church groups (which therefore compete hotly with each other for their slice of the profits) I’m close to despair at the inwardness of this congregation – and kind of relieved that I’ll be making a fresh start, with a different set of issues to wrestle with!
    Thank you for a glimpse of a hopeful future

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