We’ve been collecting your Christmas service horror stories, and here they are. I was surprised by how many people submitted theirs anonymously, but anyway, here are the top three. May your Christmas services go better than what you’re about to read.
Silent Night, Holy Night, Please Dial 911
I was onstage to close out our Christmas service with “Silent Night,” which we usually sing by candlelight. As I sang, I watched in horror as a rather large candle on a stand in front of me began to tilt. I was already into the song, so I couldn’t stop without derailing a very intimate, introspective service, so I just kept watching.
By the second verse, it was inevitable that the candle would fall. In my mind, I saw visions of the church burning to the ground and general chaos ensuing.
Instead, to my relief, it went out in mid-air, right before it hit the carpet.
Retweet The Sounding Joy
submitted by Zac Baker
This may be wrong of me, go ahead and judge, but I’m not a fan of most Christmas songs that get played in churches. As a worship leader, I actually have a “Do-not-play list” which started out as a joke, but has grown pretty lengthy over the years. Quite a few songs that some would expect me to play around December are on it.
I do have many Advent songs that I love, and include in my lists, but I have also found some ways to have a bit of fun with them.
A few years ago I convinced the media team at my church (New Life Assembly in Brantford, Ontario) to change a word on the screen for “Joy to the World.” Every year since, we sing:
“Retweet the sounding joy”
Looking forward to it again in a few weeks.
The Alternate Arrangement
I tried to warn him, but he wouldn’t listen.
I had been mentoring a younger worship leader on my team, and my pastor and I decided to have him close out the Christmas Eve service by leading “Silent Night.” He told me he wanted to try an alternate arrangement of the classic carol, and I recommended against it.
“You don’t want to mess with that song, dude,” I told him. “It’s close to sacred.”
“It’s just a couple small changes to modernize it,” he replied. “The melody is still the same. Most of the changes are just rhythmic.”
We went back and forth, but I eventually yielded. Because I knew what would happen.
When the Christmas Candlelight service neared the end, he approached the mic and started a very different strumming pattern to open “Silent Night.” And when he opened his mouth to sing, the congregation as a whole completely disregarded his weird rhythm and sang “Silent Night” the traditional way.
As he stood on the stage and the congregation overpowered him, he made eye contact with me, but I just shook my head. I tried to warn him.