Christmas Eve traditions


Many churches in our community will be celebrating with a Christmas Eve Service –

What is your Christmas Eve Tradition? Every family celebrates special holidays in their own way. Christmas Eve is no exception, with families incorporating a wide variety of traditions. Our family treasures memories of attending a candlelight service on Christmas Eve. While attending church together is a family tradition, there’s something uniquely moving about the dim lighting, the glow of the candles and the words of the age-old Christmas hymns.

There’s no other evening quite as magical as Christmas Eve; in fact, my most treasured time of worship during the Christmas season. I just loved raising my candle in this collective effort to praise Him for the light he brought to our dark world. Attend a service this year with your family and even pray about inviting someone to come with you! Listed below are the times of special services being held here in our community on the 24th (these are most of our local churches in the Arcanum area; and all the information I had at my deadline.)

Christmas Eve Service at Castine Church of the Brethren located at 624 State Route 127 will be held in the Sanctuary at 8 p.m. You are welcome to come and bring your friends.

Arcanum Faith United Methodist, located at 101 E. South Street invites you to come and join in a time of celebration of Jesus’ birth at 7 p.m. on December 24th. Pastor Greg Herndon states “All are welcome to join them to celebrate the Birth of the Christ Jesus!”

Greenville Grace Brethren Church, 4805 State Route 49, invites you to join them for a Christmas Candle Lighting service at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve to celebrate the birth of our Saviour. Grace is pastored by Danny Wright.

Ithaca Grace United Methodist, 750 Arcanum-Ithaca Road, invites you to join them for their Christmas Eve Candlelight service at 8 p.m. Members of Gordon UMC and Ithaca’s St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church are now holding combined services at Grace.

Pleasant View Missionary Church, 5231 Gettysburg-Pitsburg Road will hold Candlelight Services at 11 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Pitsburg Church of the Brethren will host Christmas Eve services at 10 p.m. Pastor Ken Oren welcomes you to join them at 8376 Pitsburg-Arcanum Road.

Trinity United Methodist Church, 112 West South Street, Pastor Doug Baker and the congregation welcome you to join them at 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve for their Candlelighting Service. Special Christmas music will be shared by organist, Judy Mills.

Pitsburg Trinity Lutheran, 8520 Oakes Road will hold Christmas Eve Worship Services at 4 p.m. and 11 p.m.; both services will include candle lighting and Holy Communion.

Can’t make it to church with small children or elderly relatives? Then bring the warmth of the experience to your living room. Just dim the lights, let members of the family read the Christmas Story from the scripture in Luke Chapter 2, and sing your favorite carols by the glow of candles.

Luke 2 (New International Version (NIV))

2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

My family and I wish you a Merry Christmas. This year has been somewhat difficult after the loss of my husband earlier this year. I found this poem that I would like to share. Blue Icicle ~ “I found something special, I want to share with you, to help you through the holidays, when you might be feeling blue. It’s hard to lose someone we love, Celebrations can hurt so much. But remember the hoys you shared, and you’ll feel their gentle touch. May this blue icicle remind you, it’s okay to shed a tear. But the love you shared, is still in your heart. So you loved one, will always be near.”

Vickie Rhodehamel is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her Arcanum community column. She can be reached by calling 937-692-6188, by e-mail at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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