Christmas Past: Church Services

St Magnus Cathedral Orkney

Attendance at Church was much higher than it is today in Orkney. As well as the Christmas Eve Midnight service congregations would also assemble for the ones on Christmas Day. The higher attendance at church also meant there were many more places of worship.

In 1921 Christmas Day fell on a Sunday. The churches in Kirkwall were busy.

The Paterson UF Church, Kirkwall, heard from Rev Taylor who addressed the congregation with the story of the wise men bringing their gifts to the baby Jesus. An evening service was also held where there was a great deal of singing.

St Magnus Cathedral evening service on Christmas Day was one of praise and was led by Rev Wm Barclay. The congregation joined with the choir in several seasonal hymns.

St Olaf’s Church, Kirkwall, held 3 services on Christmas Day at two of which was the administration of the Holy Communion. The church was in a poor state of repair and was not decorated as it would normally be. The three services were led by Archdeacon Craven.

In Stromness an evening choral service was held in the North UF Church. There was a large number of people in attendance and the service was led by Rev. James Christie. There were many carols sung by the choir and the congregation, the last hymn being ‘Thou didst leave thy throne’.

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