St. Barnabas to hold ecumenical Christmas service

Published 2:47 pm Thursday, December 10, 2015

Children and those “young at heart” of all backgrounds are invited to come get in the Christmas spirit for the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols hosted by the St. Barnabas Anglican Church on Dec. 12 at 4 p.m., said Fr. Jonathan Filkins.

“It is not an Anglican service. It’s more ecumenical and it’s geared towards everybody,” Filkins said. 

Filkins said Laura Ewald, the director of the production, had more time this year to prepare and rehearse and he is excited to see her do a great job for the second straight year.

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“The theater is quite impressive. Ewald has gone to great lengths to really make it a professional presentation,” he said.

Filkins said the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols has been traditionally performed in the English church for centuries and, that the St. Barnabas version is an interpretation of it.

The performance uses puppets to illustrate the story. The story begins with readings of the Old Testament and the coming of the Christ child, Filkins said. It proceeds forward with Joseph and Mary going to Bethlehem, the birth of the Christ child, and the nativity scene in Bethlehem, which is narrated by Filkins. There are solo performances both instrumental and vocal and Christmas carols, Filkins said. 

“It’s a great way to get into the holiday season and spirit. There is plenty of opportunity to sing-a-long and we are looking for a canned food donation, mac-and-cheese, jelly, peanut butter—things along those lines. 

The donations are for Christian Care ministries, the only full-time food pantry for the needy in Picayune,” Filkins said. 

“I am very enthusiastic about this, these events become tradition in our community and I’m excited about the breadth of this performance.” St. Barnabas Anglican Church is located at 201 Norwood St. in Picayune.