The pandemic may have halted the traditional Christmas celebrations inside the building where treasured carols and flickering candles filled the sacred space. However, the pandemic is not stopping Christmas and churches, including St. Paul’s, located at 139 Pearl St., from finding safe and yet meaningful ways to celebrate the birth of Christ.
From 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 24, St. Paul’s will offer “Christmas in Cathedral Park.” Paul O Productions will turn the cathedral into a lit canvas using moving, Christmas-themed colored lights on two sides of the historic structure. This will be reminiscent of the lit grain elevators in Buffalo’s Outer Harbor in years past, but on a more intimate scale. All are welcome to enjoy the light display by driving by or by parking and walking through Cathedral Park. Mask wearing and social distancing will be required.
From 5-6 p.m., the Rockwell Brass Quintet will have an ensemble playing familiar carols as people enjoy the light display. The clergy team will be available in Cathedral Park for those who wish to receive a blessing and/or communion to go. To view the light display from a vehicle, turn onto Main Street from Church Street and then take an immediate right onto Cathedral Park. For those who wish to enjoy by walking in the park, parking is available on Pearl Street. Two surface lots and two parking garages are within walking distance.
In addition to the light display and carols in Cathedral Park, St. Paul’s will offer two other Christmas celebrations via virtual platforms. At 9 p.m., St. Paul’s will premiere on its Facebook and YouTube channel “Some Lessons and Carols for Christmas” based on the “Christmas Lessons and Carols” service originating at King’s College, Cambridge. Participants will reflect on the Christmas story through passages of scripture and carols led by the cathedral choirs. It will include children dressed in costume to help tell the sacred story.
On Christmas Day at 10 a.m., St. Paul’s will livestream a service with prayer, scripture reading, a sermon and seasonal sounds on the pipe organ. To learn more about these services or to learn how to view each offering, go to www.SPCBuffalo.org.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, at the corner of Church and Pearl in downtown Buffalo, was designed by Richard Upjohn and was considered Buffalo’s first national architectural landmark in 1851. It is classified as a National Historic Landmark. St. Paul's is now the permanent site for "Homeless Jesus," a sculpture installed in 2015 that attracts area residents as well as visitors from across the nation.