President Trump and Christmas Eve

Each Christmas Eve since his election, President and Mrs. Trump have continued their practice of attending a late-night Christmas Eve eucharist at an Episcopal church. Last year, when the president remained in Washington due to the government shutdown, they attended the service at Washington National Cathedral. Because the sermon by the Bishop of Washington, the Right Reverend Marianne Budde, referred to Mary and Joseph as migrants, it received some press attention. Other years when the Trumps have spent the holiday at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach they have attended the service at Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach. It is here that they were married in 2005.

Since they are in Mar-a-Lago this year, they may be planning to attend this church again. The service leaflet for the 10:30 p.m. Festival Eucharist is posted online. As is customary in Episcopal churches, the “prayers of the people” or general intercession includes a prayer for the president. The prayer to be used reads:

God of Peace, bestow your wisdom on all who govern—especially for Donald, our President; Ron, our Governor; and the Mayor and members of the Town Council— that in honoring the earth and its diverse races, cultures, and religions, we may celebrate the light of this holy night

The homily is scheduled to be given by the rector of the parish, the Reverend James Harlan. Among the many carols included in the service is John Rutter’s “Candlelight Carol” which was also sung earlier today at the famous Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College, Cambridge.

If the service at Palm Beach is live streamed it will be available at this site.

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