Thirteen fragrant evergreen wreaths along the walls and aromatic branches over all the sanctuary doors welcome parishioners to the Church of the Holy Cross in Hilo this Christmas season.
At the annual Hanging of the Greens on Saturday, Nov. 30, volunteers also decorated two Christmas trees and raised the Star of Bethlehem scene and two trumpeting angels as the focal points of the Christmas decorations.
The beautiful blue paper-cut Star of Bethlehem has 36 detailed cutouts of apples, autumn leaves, butterflies, cactus, a cornucopia, doves, evergreens, flowers, giraffes, grapes, a manger scene, palm trees, raindrops, a river valley, the solar system, spider web, stars and wheat. At the bottom of the panel is the city of Bethlehem, all lit up. Two accompanying “flying” angels have detailed cutouts of angels, a camel, donkey, a manger scene, shepherds, sheep, stars and the wise men.
The main Christmas tree features Chrismons — symbols of Christmas such as the manger, star, crown, fish, rainbow, apple, dove, heart, ladder and the Jesse tree. Eight banners along the side walls of the sanctuary also feature Chrismons.
The second, a “Giving Tree,” encourages worshippers to bring toiletries for a charity and canned goods and perishables for the Food Basket.
Guest preachers will present the Sunday sermons in December because Pastor Tom Olcott retired as the church’s pastor in November. These speakers include the Rev. Larry Walter, the Rev. Ruth Farrell, the Rev. Charles Buck and Ron Fujiyoshi.
The Christmas Eve service will be at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 24, with Walter bringing the word, with two songs by Na Leo Ni‘o Lani, the chancel choir directed by Pedro Ka‘awaloa. The traditional candlelight service sung to “Silent Night” will also be observed. All are invited to see the Christmas decorations and worship at the church, which is at 440 W. Lanikaula St. For more information, call 935-1283.