In the Quiet Stillness..


It.  Is.  Almost.  Here.


This is my most favourite time of the year, EVER!  The snow, the lights, the music, the smells, friends and family gathering, the cooking (it’s the only time of the year I really enjoy doing this part), the decorations…

In our  family Christmas Eve meant attending a midnight church service, it was magical.  Families dressed up in their  Christmas best, and came together to the church.  The children attending were very excited about being able to stay up late and greetings of ‘Merry Christmas!’ resounded in the hallways of the church.  Traditional carols were sung from the words that were projected on the wall at the front of our church (yes, before we had Powerpoint), and the pastor spoke  from a spotlight in the pulpit about the birth of  christ.

And then, at the very end of the service and the church was engulfed in darkness, the choir processed from the balcony, each holding a candle and singing ‘Silent Night’.  Each congregant also had a candle and  the light was passed along from one to the next.  In the glow of the candlelight and the choir encircling the congregation and we sang together, in english and in german (it is Minnesota after all).  The last verse was always hummed (still is today).

In the moment following the final note there was a silence, a stillness, among the congregation.  As I reminisce I realize that in that silence, if we paid close attention, we found the greater meaning of Christmas… it truly is not about us or about finding that perfect gift, is it?

All in a moment of…

Quiet Stillness.

There is still a Christmas Eve service like this at the church, though its much earlier in the evening now and the congregation is about a quarter of the size it was then. It still brings me to tears, leaving me in awe of the gifts given to us.

In the midst of the rush to complete our Christmas shopping, the throngs stampeding the malls to find the gifts that are just right (and the most popular) for our loved ones, let’s take a moment to remember why we celebrate Christmas.  Find that moment of quiet stillness.

We hear this often around the holidays, remember those who do not have family to be with, or do not have homes in which to celebrate the holiday season within.  Let’s consider this not only  at the holidays, but year round.

(you knew a video was coming, didn’t you?)

Though this is not a recording of ‘Silent Night’, it is absolutely beautiful and elicits stillness.  I suggest lighting the tree and the holiday candles, turning off the iPod, computer games and cell phone, and having a mug of hot chocolate (or mulled wine) while watching this one.

Merry Christmas!


18 responses »

  1. What’s not to love about Christmas especially if it ends up being a white Christmas to boost. I love Silent Night. It’s such a beautiful and powerful song.

    Stopping by from SITs. Have a great weekend.


  2. Beautiful! You brought me to tears. I miss the Christmas Eve Candle Light services of my childhood. *sniff* :’^/
    Now it is filled with food, family, and frivolity (too much gift getting, and noise!

  3. I LOVE the description of your church service. So beautiful. We never did that at our church (a special service every now and then but we were a small church under 80 & many people traveled over the holidays.), what a wonderful reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. That song was hauntingly beautiful!
    I couldn’t imagine what Christmas is like in Minnesota…all that snow! I’m from PA, but I’m pretty sure we don’t get snow like you do.

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog yesterday on my SITS feature day 🙂 I really appreciate it!

  4. Beautiful post. Thank you. I always cry during service; it’s the carols, it’s the nativity display, the shared peace and love. Christmas is truly in that silence. Yes.

  5. This was such a beautiful post! I need to create a spot for quiet stillness in my new home. I’m STILL unpacking and was letting it get to me… until this post. Thank you so much for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s