According to The Rev. Dr. Randall Day, Priest and Rector, “At Christmas, we celebrate the message of God’s inclusive and unconditional love for absolutely everyone. Here at St. Mark’s, we practice a spacious Christianity where there is room for all—and invite every member of the community to enjoy this special season here with us.” Here is the schedule of St. Mark’s services this holiday season.
Monday, December 17, 2012—“Blue Christmas” Service
At 4:30pm, anyone experiencing grief or loss—also known as “the blues”— this season is invited to a “Blue Christmas” church service to help acknowledge the pain and loneliness that can prevail especially around the holidays. (Year-round, St. Mark’s hosts a “Grief Group” on the third Monday of every month at 4:00 pm led by clinical psychologist Dr. Douglas Smith that is free and open to the public.)
Monday, December 24, 2012 – Christmas Eve
At 4:00 pm, the community is welcome to join in the Posada, a re-enactment of the journey of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem as they seek shelter for the birth of Jesus. Meet in downtown Los Olivos at 3:45 pm at Fess Parker’s Wine Country Inn, 2860 Grand Avenue, and journey through town and conclude at the church with a simple carol service and a brief reception (for those who wish). This is a favorite of families and children of all ages.
At 9:30 pm, the Music of Christmas will be provided by St. Mark’s choir and special musicians with a special program prior to the traditional 10:00 pm Candlelight Service including favorite carols and the Holy Eucharist (Communion) that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ more than two thousand years ago. A complimentary reception follows in Stacy Hall for all to enjoy.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012—Christmas Day
At 10:00 am, a festive Christmas service with favorite carols, sermon, and Holy Eucharist (communion) will be offered; followed by a reception with refreshments and good cheer in Stacy Hall.
Sunday, December 30, 2012—The First Sunday of Christmas
At 10:00 am, a service of Carols and Communion continues St. Mark’s Christmas celebration followed by complimentary refreshments in Stacy Hall. (There will not be a service at 8:00am or 5:00pm this Sunday only.)
Sunday, January 6, 2013— Feast of the Epiphany; Boar’s Head Festival
The Feast of the Epiphany (the commemoration of the arrival of the three kings at the manger in Bethlehem) will be celebrated in the morning with services at 8:00am and 10:00 am. At 4:00 pm, all are welcome to join in a Boar’s Head Festival in celebration of this principal feast and the end of the Christmas season. A traditional Epiphany Carol Pageant with pipers and costumed characters in the church leads into a grand feast with music and games in Stacy Hall. The public is invited and donations of any amount are welcome. According to Rev. Dr. Day, the Boar’s Head Festival is rooted in ancient times when the boar was considered the king of the forest animals, the most ferocious and dangerous to humans. Boar was hunted and served as a prized entrée—and beginning in 1340 in England, the presentation of a boar’s head at Christmas came to symbolize the triumph of Jesus Christ over sin.
St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church
2901 Nojoqui Ave., Los Olivos, CA 93441