9 lessons and carols – to be broadcast online, Christmas Eve, 2pm @onlinecarols

Image of an angelBack in November (it seems like an age ago already!) a small group of enthusiasts put on a wonderful Remembrance Service through Twitter. Joanne Cox wrote about it on BigBible. I was really inspired by this and wondered aloud at the time whether a 9 lessons and carols service would also work on Twitter.

After giving it a lot of thought, I decided that a simple blog would perhaps work best to put out a series of readings and carols. I shared a poll using the fab tool Doodle (if you ever need to organise a meeting or rota I would really recommend it!) and asked friends (many of them our #digidisciples) if they would like to volunteer for either a reading or a carol. I decided not to be prescriptive at all and just encourage people to make a blog post in any format they liked for their chosen reading or carol.

I also asked the fantastic James Robinson (aka @noahsapprentice) if he would create us an avatar (pictured here) for the accompanying Twitter account and Facebook page and then it took only a week to fill up all the slots for the online service.

The aims of the service are to help people to celebrate online the good news of Christ’s coming, support people who for whatever reason cannot get to a church service this year and also to show how new media can be used in worship. It is not the idea to replace what is happening in churches all around the world but rather to utilise the internet to do something that couldn’t be done in a church and connect Christians around the world in proclaiming the Good News of Jesus in a creative way through reading scripture and singing carols.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the creativity of the people who are taking part in this service, there will be a ukulele version of a carol, a rendition of Hark the Herald by London Gallery Quire and Robb Sutherland (aka @changingworship) is going to do a never-before-experienced version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, plus a lot more – so I hope that might have whetted your appetite! May I just say here a huge thank you to all of those who are taking part.

How to attend

At 2pm on Christmas Eve the service will begin and each section (readings and carols plus prayers) will be published as a separate blog post at the home of the service here: http://onlinecarols.posterous.com/. These posts will also be shared on Twitter – please follow @onlinecarols and on Facebook on this page.

You will need to keep refreshing the page whichever way you choose to attend the service if you are attending ‘live’. After the service has been broadcast feel free to visit  http://onlinecarols.posterous.com/ at any time after Christmas Eve to watch the service from beginning to end in your own time – maybe you could share some of the posts with bored relatives on Boxing Day?!

You can sign up to attend on Facebook here or Twitter here – please do share this event with your friends.

Do you know anyone who can’t get to a church service this year? Why not encourage them to join us at 2pm on Christmas Eve online?

Please help us to spread the word about this online event and share and retweet each of the posts we put out so that the biggest number of people can take part. If you’re tweeting please use the hashtag #onlinecarols.

I hope and pray that this will be a unique way for us to celebrate together the greatest news of all this Christmas!

About Bryony Taylor

Enthusiast for learning, technology, Christian faith and life! Ordinand in the Church of England - training at Cranmer Hall, Durham.