I don't know how many of my blog readers go to Christmas Mass or have ever been to one at all. When I was in Kindergarten and Nursery School, my family always went to the early Christmas Mass at 6pm; when we were school children we got to attend the late Midnight Mass.
As children, we loved the Christmas Mass, because, unlike the Sunday masses, it was somehow magical. There was the huge decorated Christmas tree behind the altar. As a child I always wondered what toys were wrapped up in the huge gift boxes under the tree (and who got them). But the best thing for me was two songs that we sang every year at this special service. The first was "Angels we have heard on High" with its swaying refrain 'Gloria in Excelsis Deo'. During the refrain the organ resonated so loudly so that even the most tone-deaf among the church goers lost their fear of singing. The organs bellowing sound forgave everyone's off-key singing.
The second song was 'Silent Night.' Our church was founded by German immigrants who gave up speaking German during World War II as proof of their loyalty to the new homeland, disontinuing worship in German, using English instead. Nonetheless stanzas of this song were occasionally sung in German.
When the song was over, we stood up and carried our burning candles out in a procession to place them gently in the snow. It was really quiet and everyone – especially the children – completed this task with great care and reverence.
I remember the choir master with her long blond hair wearing her angelic choir robe. She sat on a high stool in front of the altar and played this hymn on her guitar. Meanwhile, the lights dimmed slowly. A single candle lit the other ones, row by row,until all of the candles of the congregation – even the children's – were lit with one communal flame. When the song was over, we stood up and carried our burning candles out in a procession to place them gently in the snow. It was really quiet and everyone – especially the children – completed this task with great care and reverence. The candlelight in the dark of the night shown against the whiteness of the snow. It was an awe-inspiring. I imagined that the angels were with us at that peaceful moment.
When I was asked to take part in a challenge to develop something for my blog for the Advent and Christmas season, these scenes came to my mind. Today I want to give you a little bit of my Christmas. Below you'll find links to a free crafting printable, that you can download to make your own luminated choir of angels with.
There are 12 faces and 12 dresses, 12 wings and 24 hands – enough for 144 different angels. Since not all Angels have pretty blonde curls, I have given each angel's face its own unique appearance. In case you need more than 144 angels for your angelic chorus, I have also attached a template for your own creations.
Finally, a few more tips: it's easier if you use a pair of paperclips and a hair band or rubber band as third and fourth helping hands until the glue dries. I put a hair band around the base of the angel after I wrapped the dress around the candle and put the paperclips over the sleeves and wings until all the glue was dry.
Decorating your angels is easiest when the paper pieces lie flat on the work surface.
You don't need any special knowledge or equipment, just scissors, glue and a printer, as well as a bit of parchment or baking paper. And if you don't have an LED tea light, don't worry. They still are pretty without one. But please think about safety when using LED tea lights and do not let them burn unattended.
My choir of angels is designed for LED tea lights and is a nice decoration for the festive holiday table. You can download the free DIN A4 crafts sheets here. And if you can only print with a US letter printing format, I have a version ready for that, too. I'll keep the downloads available until New Year's Eve 2017.
Have fun creating your own choir of angels! I would make me very happy if I could post your angel choirs in an upcoming blog. Write to me firstname.lastname@example.org and subscribe to my blog if you would like to participate in other promotions and occasional freebie downloads.