Religions and Spirituality

Somerville Church Hosts Boar's Head Festival Jan. 7

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SOMERVILLE, NJ - The United Reformed Church, 100 West Main St., hosts the annual Central Jersey Twelfth Night-Boar’s Head Festival on Sunday, Jan. 7, at 4 p.m.

All are welcome to come and revel in the celebration of the Twelve Days of Christmas, as they did in Elizabethan times.

A cast of 125 actors will celebrate the story of Christmas as perhaps once done in an Elizabethan Manor. The church sanctuary will be transformed into an English manor with candlelight, banners, trees, and crests. The Lord and Layde of the manor will welcome guests to share in the festive celebration and the story of the Nativity.

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In medieval times, the boar was a symbol of evil, the “king” of the great forests, and a ferocious menacing animal to man. The presentation of the boar’s head at Christmas symbolized good over evil.

The church endowed this custom with symbolic meaning, transforming it to the worship of God, and the triumph of Christ over evil. The ceremony of the boar’s head became a part of Christmas celebrations in the great manors throughout the middle ages.

This year's performance will feature a youth choir a youth choir, updated costumes and new roles.

The cast will wear Elizabethan and Biblical costumes and perform vocal and instrumental music including handbells, bag pipes, drums, organ, brass quintet, and harpists.

Cast members include members of United Reformed Church, Bernardsville United Methodist Church, Peapack Reformed Church, Westminster Choir College, Rutgers University, the Atlas Brass Quintet, Somerset County Police Pipes and Drums, and local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops.

The 2018 Twelfth Night Boar’s Head Festival is directed by United’s Music Director, F. Paul Dickey, Larry J. Carey, Music Director at Peapack Reformed Church and Linda Hayes, Deacon at United Reformed Church.

Everyone is welcome to attend and there is no charge for admission, however a freewill offering is appreciated. To keep up with updates about the festival throughout the year, follow the Facebook page; facebook/urctwelfthnight.

Call Rev. Paul G. Jannsen, pastor, for further information at (908) 725-4545.

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