Join us for Advent & Christmas 2018


Advent is a special time within the church when we prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ Child at Christmas. Through Sunday morning worship, special prayers services, and other activities at First Congregational, we hope to enrich your experience of this sacred season and give you opportunities to experience the living God in a new and vital way. Please join us!

First time visiting us? Read about what to expect at a typical service.

Worship Services

Hanging of the Greens
December 2, 10:00 AM

Lighting of the 1st Advent candle, the candle of Hope

This family-oriented service is our festive annual kick-off to the season of Advent when we don the church with decorations and through word and song share the religious origins of wreaths, evergreens, poinsettias, the Christmas Tree and even Saint Nicholas.  “O Come all ye faithful!” Read more…

Advent Worship
December 9, 10:00 AM

Lighting of the 2nd Advent candle, the candle of Peace

On the second Sunday of Advent we light the second candle of the Advent Wreath, the candle of Peace. Our service will focus on preparing for the birth of the one the prophets referred to as the Prince of Peace.  “And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”

Lessons & Carols
December 16, 10:00 AM

Lighting of the 3rd Advent candle, the candle of Joy

Join us for the church’s annual Festival of Lessons and Carols, a beloved tradition from England where God’s word is proclaimed and contemplated in a special sequence of readings, prayers, choral anthems and congregational carols and hymns. This year, the Senior Choir presents Antonio Vivaldi’s much-beloved Gloria in D Major, RV 589, with chamber orchestra, organ, harpsichord, chorus and soloists. Read more about this year’s program.


Service of Light
Thursday, December 20, 7:00 PM

Join us for a time of prayer, candle lighting and music. Designed to move from darkness to hope, the service opens us to God’s quiet presence. Read more below…


Advent Worship
December 23, 10:00 AM

Lighting of the 4th Advent candle, the candle of Love

Another beautiful Advent service, the last Sunday of the Advent season, when we light the candle of Love leaving only the Christ Candle to be lit the following day. The Bell Choir will be performing this Sunday and at the end of the service there will be an opportunity for people to come forward and play the bells themselves!

Christmas Eve Services

Family Candle Lighting & Pageant
Monday, Dec. 24, 5:00 PM

A festive worship service where the children present the story of Christ’s birth, carols are sung, and together we light candles of peace and hope to brighten the darkness and welcome Christmas. “Joy to the World, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her king!”


Candlelight Worship
Monday, Dec. 24, 10:00 PM

A beautiful and joyous Christmas service with carols, the Christmas story, prayer, and candle lighting to warm and brighten the cold winter with the shared joy and celebration of Christ’s birth.  “Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright.”

Epiphany Celebration
January 6, 5:30 PM

We celebrate Epiphany with a simple potluck meal which includes a special dessert. Afterwards, three Wise Men (or wise women, boys, or girls) will lead us by flashlight through the darkened church in search of the baby Jesus. Join us for this fun and family-friendly event! Read more…


Community Events


Bean Soup Community Supper
Thursday, December 6, 5:00-7:00 PM

It’s the new and improved Bean Supper, now called the Bean SOUP Supper! It’s healthy and simple and a completely free gift from us to the wider community. Join us downstairs in Chidley Hall on and enjoy delicious soups (meat, vegan, gluten-free), bread, cider and cookies. Bring your friends and family for this festive event, and then head to the Town Tree Lighting across the street on the Common. Read more…


Women’s Advent Gathering
Monday, Dec. 4, 7:00 PM, Chidley Hall

Begin your spiritual preparation for the busy Christmas Season by centering yourself. Invite a friend, teenage daughter, sister or mother to join you for this tradition of fellowship, reflection and music. Read more…


Ensemble Noel Concert
Sunday, December 9, 2018, 7:00 PM

Join us for a lush and engaging concert of carols and songs, scored for voice, piano, accordion, whistle and pipes. This unique program is filled with music from Medieval chant to Handel’s “Messiah,” from French carols to Poulenc, from Celtic melodies to fresh settings of traditional carols – all arranged by the creative “Ensemble Noel,” with their roots in traditional, classical, world and improvisational music. Read more…

Service of Light: A Service of Prayer, Candle Lighting and Music
Thursday, Dec. 20, 7:00 PM

Join us for a time of prayer, candle lighting and music. Designed to move from darkness to hope, the service opens us to God’s quiet presence. Come in the face of life’s challenges, anxieties, and fears. Come when grief or loss disrupts life. Come to remember those whom we hold dear. Come during the rush of the holidays, or invite a friend or loved one facing difficulties. Read more…



Opportunities to Help Others

The Outreach Commission sponsors these annual events. Please participate in any or all of the collections as the spirit of the season moves you. Donations should be dropped off at the church.

cookie-wCookie Walk
December 9, 11:00 AM, Chidley Hall

Join the youth for their annual Cookie Walk happening on December 9th after the service in Ripley Chapel. For those who are new to the Cookie Walk here’s what it is all about! We ask people to bake their favorite (nut free) Christmas cookies and drop them off before the service starts on 12/9. After the service we invite the whole congregation to make a donation and receive a dozen cookies of their choice. The money that we raise then gets split 50/50. Half of it helps to support the youth mission trip and the other half we use to buy socks for the Outdoor Church.

Advent Visitation
December 9, 11:30 AM

Would you like to reconnect with elders and other congregation members who can’t routinely make it to Sunday worship? Consider joining us for Advent Visitation Sunday. Read more…



The Giving Tree

During the holiday season, our church provides gifts to some of our neighbors. This year we will provide gifts for children and youth at Woburn Council for Social Concerns and the Germaine Lawrence School. We are also collecting warm socks for the congregation at the Outdoor Church and warm clothing for the men and women who call the Lowell Transitional Living Center home. Read more…


The Outdoor Church 
December 30, 12 PM

Please lend a hand this holiday season with the Outdoor Church. There are many ways you can make a difference! On December 30, we will receive donated ingredients, make sandwiches and send them with a few church members to Cambridge. Another way we are supporting the Outdoor Church is through the Advent Worlds of change boxes. Read more...


The Dwelling Place needs volunteers for Saturday, December 15!

Would you like to make the holiday season a little brighter for individuals and families in need? Please think about putting on your angel wings and jingle bells and joining the FCC crew at The Dwelling Place on Saturday, December 15. We could use 3-5 volunteers to prepare and serve a meal for about 25 people. Read more…


City Mission Society Christmas Shop
December 2, 9, and 16; 12-6 PM

Each year, we partner with City Mission to give gifts of time, talent, and treasure to families and children in need in the Boston area. Our church will again host the annual Christmas Shop downstairs in Chidley Hall on three Sunday afternoons in December. Read more…