Wednesday, December 26, 2007

An Old Fashioned Christmas Eve

My supply time at St. Thomas in Canyon City corresponded with Christmas Eve, so we just stayed over on Monday and did the Christmas Eve too. St. Thomas is one of several "Carpenter Gothic" churches in our Diocese. They were all built by the same man who traveled from town to town building churches (literally). Most were built in the 1870's and St Thomas was built in 1876 and completely restored in 1976. It is a beautiful little church for the old gold mining town of Canyon City. It is the only Episcopal Church in Grant County so parishioners from all of the towns of the John Day Valley attend. Christmas Eve was special, it was snowing and the streets were white with snow and in the Church the only light was from candles and the original 1876 oil lamps. It was a sell out crowd, the singing was heartfelt and I got to do a baptism as part of the service. (Baptisms, when needed are performed whenever a priest is available, and I was) There were real garlands of pine and fir boughs and the flickering light played on the stained glass windows in a truly wondrous way. Except for the modern clothing, the church service could have been straight from Currier and Ives. I felt honored to have been able to participate even though we had to drive home on Christmas morning.

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