Penfield to host Epiphany carol service'

IRONVILLE Penfield Homestead Museum in Ironville will host a 12th Night Epiphany carol service Sunday, Jan. 6, 2008. The program will begin at 6 p.m. at the Penfield Church. The 12th Night will include a special musical program, with parishioner participation, presented on the Cornish Reed Organ. This organ was recently donated to the church and refurbished by Paul Carey of the Carey Organ Company. The financial aid for this community project was funded in part by the Arts Council for the Northern Adirondacks. This organ will be the newest organ to be added to the Penfield Historical Organ Collection, included with membership in the Reed Organ Society Inc. for preservation and conservation of reed organs. Refreshments will be served at the parsonage next to the church, after services. All donations received at the celebration of the community will continue to fund church projects. The Twelfth Night tradition dates to the Middle Ages. In early times, Christmas was 12 days of celebration, starting on Dec. 25 and culminating on the 12th night, which was considered Christmas Day. Hence, the song Twelve Days of Christmas and the play Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. In 529, Roman Emperor Justinian named Christmas to be a civic holiday. Work and public business not associated with the celebration of the holiday was strictly forbidden. In 563, a decree from the Council of Braga declared that fasting on Christmas was prohibited and in 567 the Council of Tours elected the 12 days from Dec. 25 to Epiphany to be sacred. As a result, in the Middle Ages Christmas was not one day to take off work and spend with family, but 12 days of celebration. In older times, the Twelfth Night brought great festivities. In some areas of the world, it is still proper to erect a Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and leave it up until a week after New Year for this reason.

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