General News

Christmas Celebrations

Christmas is a very special time in the Christian calendar, a time of great joy as we celebrate the birth of the Christ child.



On Monday, December 23, a large number of families joined us for our Christingle Service so it was just as well that willing helpers had spent the afternoon creating 250 Christingles!  Carols were sung, the Christmas story was read, the symbolism of the orange was explained, the lights were dimmed and the Christingles lit. As they were carried through the darkened church who can forget the wonder and delight on so many faces. And the fun did not end there because the service was followed by hot chocolate and marshmallows in the hall!


On Christmas Eve the Watchnight Service saw close to 400 worshippers enter the sanctuary, a sanctuary watch13_43.JPGnow lit by candles: on arches in the centre aisle, round pillars and on candelabras, those in the apse causing the stars on the ceiling to glisten and sparkle. There were joyous moments as the well known carols were sung; there were quiet moments of prayerful silence when all was still; there were thoughtful reflective moments during the beautiful singing of the choral group, and as midnight arrived and the anniversary of Christ’s birth was announced, there were outstretched arms and many voices as all greeted each other with ‘Happy Christmas’!


Christmas_morning_2013_002.jpgOn Christmas morning a marvellous mixture of ages came together for our morning service, for there were grannies and great-grannies there as well as many children. The sanctuary looked very festive with its candle-lit arches down the nave, Christmas tree on the chancel steps and the different nativity scenes displayed on the window sills. The whole atmosphere was one of warmth and welcome. The children were invited up to the front and asked what they had received for Christmas and there was many a smile at some of the answers! And, as always, the service finished with that wonderful last verse of ‘O Come all ye faithful’: ‘Yea, Lord we greet thee, born this happy morning’! Many worshippers then stayed on for coffee and stollen, and this was much appreciated, especially by those for whom Christmas does not mean a family gathering. 


All our Christmas services were led by our minister, Revd Scott McKenna, whose address at each was, as always, interesting, thought provoking and inspiring. His sermon for Sunday 22 entitled ‘Not another virgin birth?’ can be listened to here.


Lastly, on Sunday morning, December 29, we held our traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. Again this service was very well attended, being popular with both our regular worshippers and many visitors who are in Edinburgh at this time. The beauty of the service was greatly enhanced by the singing of the choir and choral group, led by Walter Thomson, and by the wonderful playing of Dr John Willmett on the organ. 


With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

Through the unknown, remembered gate

When the last of earth left to discover

Is that which was the beginning;

At the source of the longest river

The voice of the hidden waterfall

And the children in the apple-tree

Not known, because not looked for

But heard, half-heard, in the stillness

Between two waves of the sea,

Quick now, here, now, always –

A condition of complete simplicity

(Costing not less than everything)

And all shall be well and

All manner of thing shall be well

When the tongues of flames are in-folded

Into the crowned knot of fire

And the fire and the rose are one.

                                                T S Eliot

[Printed on the front of the Orders of Service at our Christmas services]




Contact Information

Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church,
18 West Mayfield,

0131 667 1522 / 0780 801 1234

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Scottish Charity Number: SC000785


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