The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 12, 2003


Feed the Christmas Spirit at local churches

Here it is, two weeks until Christmas and perhaps you're experiencing a vaguely unsettled feeling that something's missing. It's not about the gifts you still need to buy, cards that need sending, or decorations that aren't quite decking the halls. There's an inner emptiness, a feeling of not being fully involved in the season. If this sounds familiar, perhaps what you lack is that intangible state of mind called the Christmas spirit.

The FRS Green Sale Revels make their way into Union Hall. Left to right are: Michael Bagshaw as St. George, David Dawson as the Turkish Knight and Steve Bagshaw as the Lost Wiseman. Kathy Booth created the costumes and make-up.

(Photo by Ellen Huber)

Although there are many variables at work in conjuring the Christmas spirit, it helps to know that the Christmas spirit is alive and well — and especially contagious — in our local churches at this time of year. It is cheering to hear our favorite carols and the traditional stories or visit an old-fashioned holiday fair. I challenge anyone to watch a Christmas pageant and not smile at the sight of children dressed up as sheep, shepherds and wise men. The churches here in Carlisle offer a wealth of candlelight services, holiday music and pageants, as well as charitable opportunities — all open to the public. They welcome you to come, partake and feed your Christmas spirit.

The First Religious Society (Unitarian Universalist)

27 School Street
Pastor: Rev.Tim Jensen
Saturday, December 13
• Join a contingent from the church for a "work party" for the Habitat for Humanity in Lowell and give of yourself in an active, tangible way this holiday season. Some workers will be building low-income housing, others will provide lunch for the construction crew. To join them, call George Bishop at 1-978-369-5080. For information on other volunteer opportunities at the church, call the office at 1-978-369-5180.

Sunday, December 14

• Attend the service at 10:30 a.m. and enjoy a sanctuary beautifully decorated with holiday greens. Join in singing traditional carols including "O Little Town of Bethlehem," "Go Tell It On the Mountain" and "O Thou Joyful Day." The sermon title is "A New-Fashioned Christmas." The sanctuary is handicapped-accessible.

Sunday, December 21

• The 10:30 a.m. service at the First Religious Society will feature the traditional Christmas Pageant. Children (many dressed as barnyard animals) and adults will present the Christmas story while performing traditional and original music.

Christmas Eve
• At 3:00 p.m., there will be an early Christmas Eve service, suitable for small children and their families. This shorter service features the church's Family Singers (a multi-age choir), as well as traditional lessons and carols.

• 5:00 p.m. This Christmas Eve service focuses on beautiful holiday music—both instrumental (viola, piano and organ) and vocal. This service will also feature traditional carols and lessons.

• 11:00 p.m. The enchanting late-night service of candlelight, lessons and carols.

St. Irene Catholic Church on East Street. (Photo by Ellen Huber)

St. Irene Catholic Church
187 East Street
Pastor: Rev. Thomas P. Donohoe
Masses are offered daily at 9:00 a.m., Saturdays at 5:00 p.m. and Sundays, 8:00 and 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

• In the lobby of the church, there is a "Giving Tree." People are welcome to select cards from the tree and — as indicated on the card — purchase gifts for an elderly person or child to be returned to the church.

Sunday, December 21

• 9:00 a.m. mass will feature the annual Christmas pageant, starring the parish's fifth grade students.

• Following the pageant, there will be a delicious Pancake Breakfast, sponsored by the eighth graders. Admission is three cans of non-perishable food for the Food Pantry.

• Christmas Dinner Food Baskets will be collected at St. Irene for Catholic Charities of Lowell and Lawrence. Catholic Charities has requests from over 400 local hungry families in need of a meal this Christmas, including the working poor, the elderly and the unemployed. The need is great this year, with more requests than can be filled.

Christmas Eve
• There will be special masses said at 4:00 (this service will feature the children's Angel Choir) and 5:30 p.m. At 11:30 p.m., the church is offering something new: a service of lessons and carols, to precede the traditional midnight mass.

Christmas Day
• A meaningful Christmas Day mass will be offered at 11:00 a.m.

The Carlisle Congregational Church on School Street. (Photo by Ellen Huber)

Carlisle Congregational Church
147 School Street
Pastors: Rev. Keith G. Greer and Rev. Stephen J. Weibley
Saturday, December 13 from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The annual Christmas Fair. Come and browse through this traditional holiday fair, offering festive greens, a white elephant sale, home baked goodies and unique gifts, including those handcrafted by women of Rwanda. Luncheon will be served, and orders for Christmas cookies will be taken.
Sunday, December 14

• Services in their beautifully decorated sanctuary will be held at 11:00 a.m., and will include traditional holiday carols such as "Joy to the World".

Sunday, December 21
- Christmas Sunday service at 11:00 a.m.
• Gather at the church at 3:30 p.m. for Christmas caroling. After caroling, singers will gather at the church for fellowship and refreshments.

Christmas Eve

• A special service of candlelight, lessons and carols will be held at 7:15 p.m.

Happy Holidays!

© 2003 The Carlisle Mosquito