Christmas Eve Checklist

Review lighting cues with ushers. Go slowly, review it twice.

Candles check. Make sure you demonstrate how to tip the unlit candle to the lit candle, not the other way around (dripping wax!).

Extra thank the choir!

Have all readers do a sound check. Remind readers to quietly get in place a few second before their piece so as to avoid dead lulls while people walk up to the pulpit or lectern.

Hankie in robe pocket. Cough drops. Water at pulpit.

Cut and paste the carol lyrics into your document so you don’t have to fumble with the program.

Don’t thank everyone after reading and singing. It’s not a talent show. Respect the liturgical flow.

Remind people to take poinsettias but don’t do it during the service itself.

Poking fun at Christmas legend is not sophisticated. It’s the opposite. Don’t be a mythbusting asshole; what are you, fourteen?

Don’t generalize. Not everyone has children, is traveling, exchanging presents or looking forward to tomorrow. Speak for your own experience but remember those whose Christmases don’t look anything like yours.

Do not under any circumstances have a drop of alcohol before your service. ‘Tis NOT the season for working under the influence, and if you argue otherwise you should see someone about your alcohol dependence.

If you have an allergic reaction to the pine wreaths hanging directly behind you at the pulpit, take the first possibility opportunity to CALMLY walk away from the offending greenery, take your papaers and a handheld mic (if possible) and conduct the service from the chancel. Do NOT announce what you’re doing. During a carol, calmly speak to the ushers to have them remove the wreaths so you can resume as you had planned.

(Yes, it is possible to get through a Christmas Eve homily while having an allergic reaction to the wreaths hanging in the pulpit.)

Attire: Shine shoes. Trim nose hairs. Wash face, at least. Style hair. Do a booger check. Straighten stole. Smile, baby!

Be beautiful. And God bless us, every one.

One Reply to “Christmas Eve Checklist”

  1. I loved picturing this service.

    Here is my list for a much smaller church with an elderly congregation in the southern hemisphere:

    Check the temperature. Does the cooling need to be run on high but turned off before the service to eliminate draughts on parishioners and candles? Cooling not working? Are there enough windows open to catch any possible breeze?

    Text the solitary and chronically ill musician to see if she is well enough to come but have the CDs ready in case of a sudden health crisis.

    Double check the altar and credence table as the sacristan’s memory is not what it was.

    Check the roster. Who might fail to arrive or need reminding of what they are doing?

    Have a place ready for the flowers which usually come with only 2 minutes to spare.

    Have print copies of the sermon and prayers and check that the hearing loop is working.

    Be totally prepared and mentally rehearsed.

    Smile and love them all.

    [This is SO GOOD!!! SMOOCH! – PB]

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