Faith briefs for Dec. 20

The Passion of Christmas’ at MMS theater today

Believers Church presents “The Passion of Christmas” at 7 p.m. today at the Marshall Middle School theater. It is a view, through the eyes of a passionate follower, of the manger to the triumphant return of Jesus Christ.

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at St. James

The annual candlelight service,”A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols,” will be at 4 p.m. Sunday at St. James Episcopal Church, 101 N. Fifth St. in Marshall.

Since first introduced by King’s College, Cambridge, England in 1918, the service begins with the singing of “Once in Royal David’s City.” It is one of the signature liturgies of any Anglican or Episcopalian parish.

Traditionally, the first verse is sung by a young person. This year, the soloist will be chorister Keelin Louwagie with the piano introduction by Evan Franson. Soloists include Regina Gorter of Pipestone, owner of Vocal Dance Studio, and music director of the Musical Art Center in Pipestone. Regina has sung with the Minnesota Opera. Guest soloist also is Ethan VanderWoude of Holland, a student at Southwest Christian High School in Edgerton and member of the One Accord Choir. Readings of the Nine Lessons will be members of the congregation and community.

The King’s College service was adapted from an order of worship used on Christmas Eve in 1880, “a little service for Christmas Eve – nine carols and nine tiny lessons.” The lessons and prayers have remained virtually unchanged since that time. Readers of the Nine Lessons begin with the traditional chorister reading from Genesis telling of the fall in the Garden of Eden and continues with readings that tell of the unfolding of the great mystery of the incarnation and the birth of Christ.

Nativities from around the world open house

The Rev. Marilyn Leach, priest at St. James Episcopal Church, will open her house again to share the nativities she has collected from around the world. Her nativities come from Africa, Europe, Asia and South America as well as many from artisans in the United States including the complete Marshallite Ed Carberry nativity and angel collection. The open house is at her home at 408 North 5th Street in Marshall and will be open from 5-8 p.m. today and 2-5 p.m. Saturday.