Dec. 9, 2013
Brownsville's Christ Church Anglican
Plans 18th Century Christmas Service
BROWNSVILLE, PA – To celebrate the holiday season, Christ Church Anglican will present an 18th century Christmas service in the tradition of Brownsville's early settlers, including historical impersonations of its prominent leader, Jacob Bowman, and his family.
The free one-hour service, beginning at 6 p.m., will be held Dec. 21 in the 154-year-old church at 319 Church St. Immediately following the service, the "Bowman family" will retire to their homestead, Nemacolin Castle, to perform Christmas Carols as an added attraction for the Brownsville Historical Society's candlelight tours.
|The Koscek Family portray the Bowmans|
The Kovscek family of Brownsville will portray the Bowmans. The service will be set in 1805, creating several similarities between the families, including the age of Mark Kovscek who is portraying 43-year-old Jacob.
Kovscek has appeared at several area events as Jacob, employing an English accent. This time, he will perform in Jacob's native tongue, German, with his seven-year-old daughter providing the English translation for an opening German hymn. The prelude also will focus on the church's history, architecture, liturgy and decorations.
Kovscek's wife, Heidi, will play Isabel Bowman, the Irish wife of the esteemed businessman. Portraying the Bowman children is the Kovscek clan: Hannah, 17, as Mary Sterling; Olivia, 15, as Annie Elliott; Emma, 13, as Harriet Elizabeth; Nathanael, 11, as James L.; Ava, 7, as Matilda; and Gloria, 3, as Louisa. Ironically, all but two of their ages match those of the Bowman children in 1805.
"The parallels are fascinating," says Kovscek who, like Bowman, is Senior Warden of the church, the highest lay position.
The Kovsceks and members of the congregation will be dressed in period clothing for the solemn, meditative service, which is taken from the 1789 prayer book of the Anglican Church. The service, led by the Rev. Deacon Don Bowers, will include Christmas carols, the only deviation from the original worship. Jerry Gearhart, Kovscek's father-in-law, is the church organist.
"As a church, we want to do things that are meaningful for the community," Kovscek says. "We want to share the history of our church, spread Christmas cheer and create a memorable celebration of the season."
To further engage the community, Christ Anglican Church is partnering with the Brownsville Historical Society to mark this special event in their shared history. Bowman built the original wing of Nemacolin Castle in 1789 as a trading post. Through the years, his family expanded the structure to 22 rooms as their family and wealth increased.
Christ Church Anglican seats approximately 200. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for the free service.
Brownsville Historical Society is conducting guided candlelight tours at Nemacolin Castle, 136 Front St., through Dec. 29 on Fridays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tours are $8 for adults; $4, for children 12 years old and under.
FOR AN INTERVIEW:
Mark Kovscek, 724-208-1962
Kovscek family of Brownsville, taken at 2011 Arts Festival
Christ Church Anglican