By Vickie Rhodehamel
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.)
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 6 p.m. on Dec. 24. All are welcome to join them to celebrate the Birth of the Christ Jesus with a special message by Pastor Dave Brisker. On Christmas morning they will hold regular worship services at 11 a.m.
Grace Church, 4805 State Route 49, invites you to join them for a Christmas Candle Lighting service at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 23 at 7 p.m. On Christmas Morning, they will worship at 10 a.m.
SonRise Church (formerly known as Gordon Grace UMC and St. Matthew Lutheran ELCA Partnership), located at 750 Arcanum-Ithaca Road, invites you to join them for their Christmas services. There will be a Family Christmas Eve service at 4 p.m. on the 24th and a Traditional Candlelight and Holy Communion Services at 7 p.m. On Christmas Morning, they will worship at their regular 9 a.m. service time.
Pleasant View Missionary Church, 5231 Gettysburg-Pitsburg Road will celebrate the birth of the Saviour at their Christmas Eve Services at 7 p.m. Christmas Morning Worship will be at 10 a.m. with no Sunday School.
Community of Faith located at 109 West George Street is excited to see your entire family on Christmas morning. You are welcome to attend just as you are, you will see people wearing all types of clothing. They will greet you with fresh coffee and Christmas cookies for you to enjoy during their family services at 9:30 and 11 a.m. There will also be a candlelight portion of the services as well as a worship and a message. Pastor Brandon Peterson welcomes you to join
Trinity Lutheran Church will host Christmas Eve Services featuring Holy Communion at both 4 and 10 p.m. On Christmas morning, they will host a Casual or Wear your Ugly Sweater service with Christmas Carols and other special music at 10:30 a.m. Trinity is located at 8520 Oakes Road, Pitsburg. Pastor Mel Musser welcomes those in the community to join them in person or on FM 88.3 and hear their service on the radiowaves each Sunday morning.
Christmas Eve Services at Castine Church, 624 US Route 127, Castine, invites you to join them for their 7 p.m. service. They will host virtual (online services) on Christmas morning at 8 and 10 a.m., and again at 1, 3, and 7 p.m., there will be no in-person service.
First Baptist Church of Laura will hold candlelight Christmas Eve services at 6 p.m. You are invited to join them as they celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and then finish the services in candlelight and song. FBC is located a 1661 Haworth Road, Laura.
Abbottsville United Methodist Church welcome the community to join them on Christmas morning at 10:30 a.m. for Worship Services. Pastor David Wilson would like to share Christmas blessings and love.
The annual Candlelighting Service at Trinity Methodist Church will be held at 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve with Pastor Doug Baker. Special music will be shared by Judy Mills and Vickie Rhodehamel on the organ and piano. The church is located at 112 West South Street.
Immanuel Baptist Church at 500 West South Street invites the community to celebrate the Christ Child’s birth on Sunday the 25th at their Morning Worship Service at 10:30 a.m. The Ladies Choir will present a mini-Cantata directed by Barbara Jackson. As always, coffee and donuts will be served in the church narthex. Pastors Greg Greve and Pastor Dan Kuhbander and the congregation welcome you to join them!
Fort Jefferson UMC, 3856 Church Street, Ft. Jefferson, invite you to join them for their Traditional “Candlelight Service”. All are welcome as they gather to celebrate the coming of the Messiah on Saturday, December 24th at 8 p.m.
Family of God Ministries will host their annual Candlelighting Service at 7 p.m. and also celebrate Christ’s birth on Christmas morning at 9 a.m. FOG is located at 310 West South
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. They will host regular Worship Service times on Christmas day.
Ware’s Chapel will host a Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship from 7 to 8 p.m. You are invited to a unique nativity experience “Once Upon A Manager” as they worship Christ on the Eve of his miraculous arrival to earth. Ware’s Chapel is located at 1060 Foos Road, West Manchester.
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. My family and I wish you a Merry Christmas and send you the spirit of love, joy, and giving, remember to unwrap it on Christmas Eve.