The service moves right along and keeps you entertained. I'm pretty much right along with Opal in her feelings about church, but I don't have a problem with attending this service once a year. Maybe she wouldn't either. Well, here's the program:
Prelude - Organ music while congregation gets seated
Call to Worship - 10 lines
Processional Hymn - Once in Royal David's City
Unison Prayer - 8 lines
Anthem (choir/organ only)
Hymn - O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Hymn - Hark, the Herald Angels Sing
Readings - 8 short ones
Hymn - Angels We Have Heard on High
Christmas Doxology 4 lines
Prayer of Dedication - 4 lines
Hymn - The First Noel
Readings - 2
Hymn - O Come, All ye Faithful
Candlelight Service - Reading followed by lights out and lighting of candles while singing 4 verses of Silent Night, then 2 readings and candles extinguished.
Benediction - 5 lines
Recessional Hymn - Joy to the World
Postlude - organ music while congregation exits
Each reading is no longer than 2 minutes long, so it moves right along and it's difficult to lose concentration, even for myself. :) The whole service lasts only 1 hour from end of prelude to start of postlude.
So anyway, here's what happened... In the lines that are in italics, the organist messed up. :) The readings were usually traded off between the male and female ministers. In this case there were two readings. When the male minister finished his, the female minister went up to speak, but before she got there, the organist began playing the introduction to O Come All Ye Faithful! :) Well he only played a few chords before he realized his mistake. He covered for it nicely though... instead of playing the chord at the syllable "Joy"(-ful and triumphant...) he improvised a cadence to bring the organ to a proper musically dignified finish. :) And the female minister made a humorous comment about who's in charge. Hehe...
The organist is awesome though. That's the first time I've heard of him making a mistake. (My dad sings in the choir, so he would know, even though the rest of my family only goes once a year.) And for the recessional hymn each year (it's always the same program, just about), he plays an awesome interlude before the final verse that changes key and it's just totally awesome. Over the years I've learned it by ear so I can play it on the piano. Maybe I'll post a recording of it sometime.
How about now? ;-) Here it is: Joy to the World interlude