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A Scribner-area church is continuing a longtime tradition.

And area residents are invited to join in a celebration as the congregation looks toward the Christmas season.

The event is called, “The Hanging of the Greens.”

It starts at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at St. John Lutheran Church, Cuming County Line. The church, which is at 123 County Road 16 Boulevard, is a member of the Faith Ambassadors Lutheran Parish.

After the service, the congregation will host a lunch.

The Hanging of the Greens is a western Christian ceremony during which many people adorn their churches with Advent and Christmas decorations, said Loree Dahl, church member.

This is done on — or directly before — the start of the Advent season in preparation for Christmas.

During the service, the Advent wreath, the Christmas tree and other special decorations are put in place. The significance of the evergreen and the different symbols are explained through narration and song.

“The goal is to ‘saturate’ Christmas with symbols and images and reminders of Jesus so that everywhere we look, everything we do, reminds us visually and spiritually of the Messiah that is coming,” she said.

Vicar Bob Ball will lead the service as well as lay readers. Members will take part in decorating the windows, placing the blue armaments on the altar and lighting the Advent wreath.

This year’s theme is “How Far Is it to Bethlehem?” This question will be presented each Advent Sunday as part of the Advent wreath lighting.

“Members of St. John’s will join with Christians around the world, with the saints who have walked this path before us, and with each other as week by week, day by day, we will look for the stable and seek the Holy Family who are inside,” Dahl said.

On Christmas Eve, rejoicing in the completed journey to Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph will tell of their journey.

Sunday school children will bring their gifts to the manager.

“In Scripture and song, the joy of the Holy Night will be celebrated,” Dahl said.

The service concludes with a candle light singing of “Silent Night.”

Donna Meyer, chairperson on the parish’s hospitality task force, invites area residents to attend.

“We hope you can attend this joyous event so you, too, can learn the meaning behind the placement of the greens, the candles, the poinsettias,” she said. “Many of those in attendance will be asked to participate in the decorating; and special music will be shared during the service. All are welcome!”

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News Editor

Tammy Real-McKeighan is news editor of the Fremont Tribune. She covers news, features, religion stories and writes the weekly faith-based, Spiritual Spinach column.

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