Christmas Candlelight Service

Walter Larson Sr. of Bethel enjoyed the annual Candlight Service at the Moravian Church on Christmas Eve. 

by Greg Lincoln

Alusistuami Kinurayagarluting Agayutlerkaat

The Bethel Moravian Church held their annual Yup’ik Candlight Service on Christmas Eve in Bethel to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus. The beautiful service was led by Frank Matthew of Quinhagak, Freda Jimmie of Kwigillingok played the piano. Families sat together as they worshipped and sang Christmas hymns in Yup’ik Nunam Yui Kuyakilit, Itlpitsi Anegilaulriani, Kuyatsi Tamarpitsi, Agaiuyutvut Yurtuk, and Anegilat Aturpagtut, Ashilngum Iluane Tanegermitetlrukut, and closed with Kuyana Kuyana.

Every part of the service took place in Yugtun. The congregation had church service pamphlets written in the very ancient Yup’ik orthography which has been used since Moravian missionaries came to the Kuskokwim and coastal regions. The service ended with the lighting of the candles and singing Agiak Tanqigpalria led by songleader Elena Aluskak.

Folks greeted one another after the service. Many of those attending were those who were stranded, unable to return home to their villages due to weather and planes not being able to fly. We know that feeling of not being able to return to our village, we hope that you will be able to go home soon.

We will be taking a week off next week, our only time off in the year. We are looking forward to recharging and relaxing. Thank you for all of your kind support and encouragement through 2021! This is a most blessed time of year for all of us, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and a very happy birthday to our beloved Allie. Our first issue in 2022 will be on January 12th, 2022. Thanks folks, quyana cakneq.

The Bethel Moravian Church congregation gathered together on Christmas Eve for the Candlight Service. In front at bottom right is 6 yr. old Vaughn Larson attending with his family.