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Christmastide Services

At Christmastide and year-round, welcome!

To find services near you, please click here for a full listing of congregations located in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Wherever you are on your journey of faith, The Episcopal Church welcomes you this Christmas and throughout the year. 

Members of L.A.'s Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, Westchester, pass the peace on the third Sunday of Advent, the day before this message was sent to the diocesan community. Photo: Bishop Taylor

Members of L.A.’s Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, Westchester, pass the peace on the third Sunday of Advent, the day before this message was sent to the diocesan community.

Photo: Bishop Taylor

An Advent and Christmas Message from Bishop John Harvey Taylor

 

Being the World We Want

May all the joys and blessings of this sacred season be with you and those you love.

Charles Dickens wrote this of Scrooge: “He carried his own low temperature always about with him. He iced his office in the dog days; and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas.” Everyone in ministry is a temperature setter, too, or so a mentor priest once told a group of us. She said we would change others’ outlook not so much by preaching and teaching but by adjusting our temperamental thermostats – setting them on kind, empathetic, cheerful, curious, and just. Setting them on love.

The Christ child is the anti-Scrooge, cooling fevered, anxious brows, warming cold days. Not knowing when Jesus was born, early Christians gave the world his annual celebration when it most needed his fire – a few days after the winter solstice, when nights were longest and coldest. Christmas has been a warming pinpoint of hope in the darkness ever since.

During Advent, we’re on a precipice, teetering between darkness and light, alpha and omega (delta and omicron this year), the imperfectability of earthly life and God’s realm of justice, peace, and love. We all know people – maybe we are people – who complain when someone says “Merry Christmas” too early. And yet it’s better not to grasp too quickly for the precious gift in the manger. We spend liturgical time preparing to come before him in awe – the child who transforms the world just by being and then goads us to be transformative in his name, spirit, and example.

Loving the world as he does, the child asks much of those pledged to imitate his love. The one who feeds the world with his body gives us heart to help the food and housing insecure. Jesus lends prophetic authority to the anguish we feel at news of armies massed on Ukraine’s borders or of families fleeing violence and injustice who are shivering south of our borders. Discerning the connection between Jesus’s authority and his vulnerability and self-sacrifice, we may even receive grace to lay down our privilege, or at least put it to work for God’s glory and the sake of God’s people.

This Christmas, we can again offer warmth and fellowship to one another by gathering safely and celebrating the Nativity in person. Giving thanks for our reunited communities of faith in the Diocese of Los Angeles, let us redouble our work of reconciliation in our families, churches, and communities, and in a nation so addicted to fear and certitude that just watching the news can make us feel Scrooge’s chill in our bones. This Christmas, let us covet Christ’s and one another’s warmth. Let us be the way we want others to be. Let us be the world we want.

Yours in Christ’s love,

+John

Siendo el Mundo que Deseamos

Un mensaje de Adviento y Navidad del Obispo John Harvey Taylor

Que todo el gozo y las bendiciones de esta estación santa sea con ustedes y con aquellos que ustedes aman.

Charles Dickens escribió lo siguiente sobre Scrooge: “Siempre llevaba consigo su baja temperatura. Al llegar a la oficina en los días de verano, la enfriaba solo con su presencia; y no subía ni un grado su temperatura durante la Navidad.” Una sacerdote mentora nos dijo en una ocasión, todos y todas en el ministerio somos reguladores de temperatura también. Nos dijo que nosotros cambiaríamos la perspectiva de otros quizás no tanto con nuestra predicación y enseñanza, sino que al ajustar nuestro termostato de temperatura – ajustándolo para ser más amables, comprensivos, gozosos, curiosos y justos. Ajustándolo en el amor.

El Niño Jesús es lo opuesto a la indiferencia, ansiedad y frialdad de Scrooge. Los primeros cristianos, sin saber cuándo Jesús había nacido, le dieron al mundo la primera celebración anual cuando más se necesitaba de su calor – unos días después del solsticio de invierno, cuando las noches son más largas y frías. Y desde entonces la Navidad ha sido un punto de esperanza en el medio de la obscuridad.

Durante Adviento, nos encontramos en un precipicio, tambaleándonos entre la obscuridad y la luz, el alfa y el omega (este año entre delta y ómicron), entre la imperfección de la vida terrenal y el reino de Dios de justicia, paz y amor. Todos conocemos de alguien – quizás somos nosotros esas personas – que se quejan cuando alguien dice “Feliz Navidad” muy temprano en la temporada. Y, sin embargo, es mejor no apresurarnos tanto al regalo precioso en el pesebre. Dedicamos tiempo litúrgico preparándonos para venir ante él con gran asombro – ante ese niño que solo con su presencia transforma al mundo y luego nos invita a transformar en su nombre, espíritu y ejemplo.

Amando al mundo como lo hace él, este niño nos exige bastante a aquellos que nos comprometemos a imitar su amor. Aquel que alimenta al mundo con su cuerpo nos da un corazón para ayudar aquellos que no tienen alimento o albergue. Jesús da autoridad profética a la angustia que sentimos cuando escuchamos las noticias sobre ejércitos aglomerados en las fronteras de Ucrania o sobre las familias que tratan de escapar la violencia y la injusticia al sur de nuestras fronteras. Al buscar discernir la conexión entre la autoridad de Jesús y su vulnerabilidad y sacrificio, quizás hasta recibamos la gracia para poner a sus pies nuestro privilegio, o por lo menos poner a trabajar nuestro privilegio para la gloria de Dios y en beneficio del pueblo de Dios.

Esta Navidad, podemos nuevamente ofrecer uno al otro nuestro calor y compañerismo al congregarnos de forma segura y celebrando la Natividad en persona.  Dando gracias por nuestras comunidades de fe nuevamente reunidas en la Diócesis de Los Ángeles, incrementemos nuestro trabajo de reconciliación en nuestras familias, Iglesias y comunidades, y en una nación sumamente adicta al temor que con solo ver las noticias sentimos el hielo de Scrooge en nuestros huesos. Esta Navidad deseemos el calor de Cristo y de nuestro prójimo. Seamos lo que queremos que otros sean. Seamos el mundo que deseamos.

Suyos en el amor de Cristo,

+John

  Past Events

 

  • SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5, 5 p.m.

Advent Carol Service | St. John’s Cathedral (514 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles 90007)

Prepare your heart for the season of Christmas. Come experience the ancient tradition and joyful expectation of the Advent carol service, sung by the choir of St. John’s Cathedral. Music selections include “This is the truth sent from above” by Ralph Vaughan Williams; “A spotless Rose” by Herbert Howells; “A hymn to the Virgin” by Benjamin Britten; “Tomorrow shall be my dancing day” by Richard Shephard; “I wonder as I wander,” arr. Aaron McDermid; “Be still, my soul” by Percy Whitlock; “There is a flower” by John Rutter; and several hymns for congregational singing, plus organ voluntaries by J.S. Bach and Adolphus Hailstork. Proof of full vaccination required for entry. Masks must be worn at all times.

Video: https://www.facebook.com/StJohnsLA/videos/331915455024200

  • SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5, 5 p.m.

Handel’s Messiah | St. James Episcopal Church (3209 Via Lido, Newport Beach 92663)

The choir of St. James and the Laguna Beach Chorale combine with soloists and orchestra to perform selections from George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah.” At the end, the audience will be invited to sing along on the “Hallelujah” chorus. Suggested donation is $25. A light reception will follow. Child care will be provided. Parking is available in the church lot across 32nd Street, and in metered parking around the church.

  •  SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5, 5 p.m.

Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols | All Saints Church (132 N. Euclid Avenue, Pasadena 91101)

In the warm ambience of the candlelit church, the Coventry Choir will offer motets, carols and canticles of intense, mystical beauty. A meditation by Mike Kinman will focus on the meaning of the coming of the Christ in a contemporary context.

  • THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9, 6 – 8 p.m.

Advent Discussion: ‘From Many, One: Conversations Across Difference’ | One in the Spirit Ministry

Advent offers us the opportunity to prepare ourselves for family gatherings during the holiday season which – for some of us – bring the challenge of engaging across differences. The One in the Spirit initiative invites Episcopalians and our neighbors to engage in one-to-one listening and sharing across the many differences that challenge us. Participants will have a chance to see how this framework can enable them to communicate with others with whom they disagree on contentious issues and transform their relationships in the process. Second of three discussions; next discussion Dec. 16.

Zoom Registration: Wendy Lords, wendylords10@gmail.com

  •  THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9, 7 – 8 p.m.

A Christmas Taizé | St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (1432 Engracia Avenue, Torrance 90501)

The mutual ministry of St. Andrew’s and Christ Church, Redondo Beach, invite all to this candlelit service of music, meditation and prayer. Taizé services will be held on the second Thursday of each month during the program year

Information: 310-540-1722

  • SATURDAY, DECEMBER 11, 4:30 – 7 p.m.

Festival of Lights | St. Mary’s Episcopal Church (428 Park Avenue, Laguna Beach 92651)

A Christmas celebration with lights, trees, delicious food, musical entertainment, good times and good cheer. Caroling on the patio begins at 4:30 p.m., followed by dinner, entertainment and a silent auction. Tickets: $25 ($10 under 12).

Reservations here https://stmaryslb.breezechms.com/form/6c6dcc

  • SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12, 4:30 p.m.

Advent Procession of Lesson & Carols |St. James’ Episcopal Church (3903 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90010)

Information/Livestream/on demand here https://stjla.org/greatmusic/

Choir of St. James’, Canon James Buonemani, director

  • TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 7:00 p.m.

LGBTQ+ Ministry Christmas Party | All Saints’ Church Rectory (506 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills)

Refreshments, holiday surprises and singing around the piano and the pool. Bishop John Harvey Taylor will be a special guest. All are welcome, but reservations are requested, as space is limited; text or call Jim at 415.385.3456.

  • THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16, 6 – 8 p.m.

Advent Discussion: ‘From Many, One: Conversations Across Difference’ | One in the Spirit Ministry

Advent offers us the opportunity to prepare ourselves for family gatherings during the holiday season which – for some of us – bring the challenge of engaging across differences. The One in the Spirit initiative invites Episcopalians and our neighbors to engage in one-to-one listening and sharing across the many differences that challenge us. Participants will have a chance to see how this framework can enable them to communicate with others with whom they disagree on contentious issues and transform their relationships in the process. Third of three discussions.

Zoom Registration: Wendy Lords, wendylords10@gmail.com

  •  FRIDAY, DECEMBER 17, 4 – 6 p.m.

Living Nativity | Christ Episcopal Church (408 S. Broadway, Redondo Beach)

The mutual ministry of St. Andrew’s and Christ Church, Redondo Beach, invite all to a celebration around the nativity scene with carols, cookies – and live animals, including a camel, donkey, cow, sheep and goat.

Information: AndrewandChrist.org

  • SATURDAY, DECEMBER 18, 5:00 p.m.

Carol Singing for the Season | Rebecca’s Garden at Christ Church (1127 N. San Antonio Avenue, Ontario 91762)

Candlelight, hot cider and merriment in the urban oasis of Rebecca’s Garden.

(A recent Episcopal News story about the garden is here. https://diocesela.org/news/ontario-parish-rebeccas-garden-dedication/)

  • SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19, 4:00 p.m.

Advent Lessons and Carols | Holy Trinity Episcopal Church (100 N. 3rd Avenue, Covina 91723)

The parish choir and guest musicians will present music by Mealor, Howells, Lauridsen, Poston, as well as the Advent antiphons and traditional carols. The service concludes with a Christmas Tableau featuring children of the diocese and Holy Trinity Church. The service will be followed by a spaghetti dinner, hosted by the Men’s Club.

information: 626.967.3939 or holytrinitycovina@yahoo.com

  • SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19, 5 – 6 p.m.

Christmas Lessons and Carols | All Saints Beverly Hills (504 N. Cambden Dr., Beverly Hills 90210)

The service of Lessons & Carols, as adapted over a century ago at King’s College in Cambridge, has become one of the most beloved services throughout the Anglican world. All are invited to enjoy All Saints’ presentation of this time-honored tradition.

information: allsaintsbh.org/music-offerings

  • MONDAY, DECEMBER 20, 5:00 p.m.

Blue Christmas | All Saints’ Episcopal Church (3847 Terracina Drive, Riverside 92506-0149)

A service of light, in the midst of darkness. For those grieving or finding it hard to be of joy.

Information: allsaintsriverside.org

  • WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 7:00 p.m.

Blue Christmas | St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (24901 Orchard Village Rd., Santa Clarita 91345)

A service of comfort and community for those grieving during this holiday season.

Information: st-stephens.org