Advent and Christmas at Saint Mark’s

Advent and Christmas 2023

Advent is a season of preparation for the coming of Christ.

We prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth at Christmas.

We prepare for when Christ comes again.

Blessing of Homes on Epiphany – Saturday January 6.

There is an old practice of blessing homes at Epiphany and chalking the top of the door to remind us that everyone who comes in brings the light of Christ with them and that as we go out into the world, we carry the light of Christ with us.

Chalk is used in this service as an ordinary substance made of common elements of the earth, put to holy use. Chalk will not permanently mar the dwelling. As its image fades from view over time, those who participated in its original placement will remember it and the purpose for which it was intended. In doing so, they may rededicate themselves to that purpose. After a year passes and a new Epiphany arrives, they will have the opportunity once again to celebrate the themes of this season and once again to seek God’s blessing on their homes and on those who come and go through its doors.

The writing over the door is traditionally the year and the initials C, M & B in memory of the traditional names of the three Magi who visited Jesus.  As a reminder for us to seek the presence of Christ when we go out of the door.  The mark looks like this   20+C+M+B+24.

Sign Up for Pastor Vicki to bless your home.

Use these prayers to bless your home.


Activities During Advent and Christmas

Children’s Christmas Pageant

Sunday, December 24, 5 p.m. 

Children of all ages are welcome in the Saint Mark’s Children’s Christmas Pageant. There are no auditions and there are roles for everyone who would like to participate, including those who may be in from out of town or visiting Saint Mark’s for the first time.

For information about how to volunteer or participate in the Children’s Christmas Pageant, or to watch a video of last year’s service, please visit

Advent Wreath-Making Workshop

December 3, after the 8 and 10:30 worship services

Everything you need to make your own Advent wreath will be available in the parish hall, including wire wreath forms, candles, greens, and embellishments. No experience is necessary as members of Saint Mark’s Flower Guild will be on hand to offer their expertise.

A Festival of Advent Lessons and Carols

Sunday, December 3, 4 p.m.

The Saint Mark’s Choir and the Canterbury Choir will come together to lead Saint Mark’s beloved Festival of Advent Lessons and Carols.

An annual parish favorite, the service of Lessons and Carols alternates Advent-themed lessons with beautiful and inspiring music, all in preparation for the Christmas season.

Music will include choral works by Thomas Foster, Ola Gjello, Simon Lindley, Sarah MacDonald, Leo Nester, Boris Ord, Craig Phillips, and Charles Wood.  The service will feature a world premiere of an anthem by the Canadian composer Sarah MacDonald, commissioned for the Saint Mark’s Choir in memory of Barbara Mayr.

Admission is free. Donations will be accepted in support of the Special Music Fund.

The service also will be livestreamed on our website and Facebook page. Please join us for the return of this uplifting event, and be sure to invite some friends!

An elegant reception will follow.

The Giving Tree

December 3 – December 17

The Giving Tree is located in front of the chapel. It has been decorated with ornaments labeled with gift suggestions requested by children.

Unwrapped gifts can be placed under the tree from Sunday,  November 27 through Sunday, December 17.

Gifts are donated to NNEMAP Food Pantry’s holiday gift shoppe, which is available to pre-registered families in the Linden neighborhood with children up to age 16.

You can use our Amazon Gift List to have gifts shipped directly to Saint Mark’s.

Christmas by the Clock

Tuesday, December 12, 2022, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

The Canterbury Choir will perform Christmas carols as part of the  Christmas by the Clock celebration at Tremont Center in Upper Arlington. Come out and support our young choristers as they represent Saint Mark’s for this fun community event, which features free sleigh rides and treats from the Goodie Shoppe, live reindeer, and an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Advent Quiet Morning

Saturday, December 16, 9 am – Noon

A chance to take a moment to pause and reflect in the midst of a busy season.

We will begin at 9 a.m. with morning prayer.

There will be three reflections on Advent themes; each followed by time for prayer and reflection.

The morning will end with Noonday prayer.

Bring your journal, knitting, art supplies or book if you’d like.

We will gather in the Canterbury Center.

Outreach Ministry Cookie Walk

Sunday, December 17, following the 10:30 worship service

The Outreach Ministry’s Cookie Walk is a great way to try a variety of homemade cookies. Cookies are weighed and priced at $10 a pound. All of the funds raised from the sale this year benefit NNEMAP.

There will also be a smaller cookie walk between the 8 & 10:30 a.m. services.

You can drop your cookies off at church before the walk or bring them on December 17.

Advent Materials

There are Advent materials available in the parish hall in the arch-shaped book rack near the kitchen, where the Forward Day by Day booklets are located.  You can also download them from this page.

Materials include:

In 2021 we published a series of short video meditations on Advent themes for you to use at home.

Week One Video

Week Two Video

Week Three Video

Week Four Video

You can watch last year's special services here.

Festival of Advent Lessons and Carols

Music by Saint Mark’s Choir

Including choral works by F. Guerrero, J. Hunnicutt, I. Kellam, R. Lehman, P. Manz, C. Mawby, C. Phillips, and C. Wood.

Family Worship for the Eve of the Nativity


Children’s Christmas Pageant

Music by Canterbury Choir

December 24, 2022

Solemn Worship for the Eve of the Nativity

preceded by

Carols for Choir and Congregation

Music by Saint Mark’s Choir

December 24, 2022

Worship on Christmas Day


Holy Baptism


December 25, 2022