Church on Christmas?

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Michael Spencer has a roundup of responses (including his own) to the news that many of the nation's evangelical megachurches are punting services on Christmas morning, although they will have Christmas eve services.

Cancelling Sunday service on Christmas day is not as novel as some of the reaction seems to suppose. There was one Sunday Christmas during my schoolyears -- 1977 -- and if I recall correctly, the little Southern Baptist congregation we belonged to cancelled Sunday services.

Also, it was our church's practice to sing Christmas carols only on the Sunday nearest to Christmas. The Sunday School quarterly (it was a long time before I knew it wasn't spelled cordalee) had a lesson from the nativity accounts on that Sunday, and the pastor would preach a Christmas sermon, and that was about it for our church's observance of the holiday.

It wasn't that Christmas-themed content was banned on other Sundays, it's just that we stuck to the usual pattern the rest of the time -- gospel hymns from the late 1800s and early 1900s, and the pastor preaching from wherever he happened to be on his expository preaching through the Bible. No Advent, no Christmastide, no Christmas eve or Christmas day service.

We did have our own family Christmas traditions -- reading the nativity story and a time of prayer as a family, driving around to look at Christmas lights, then opening one gift each on Christmas eve -- new pajamas. Christmas day was always about gifts, food, and family.

I'm glad the church we now belong to has a Christmas eve service. I think it's right to come together as a church to celebrate the Incarnation of Christ. I agree that our country's biggest and most visible churches ought to be open on Christmas day and ready to receive and minister to those who will only enter a church on Christmas. But, for what it's worth, closing a church on Christmas day is nothing new, and nothing especially progressive.

UPDATE: Our church, Christ Presbyterian Church, 51st and Columbia, will have services at 6 and 11 p.m. on Christmas eve, and at the usual time, 10:45 a.m. on Christmas day, with Sunday School at 9:15. No services that Sunday evening.

In the comments, Elaine Dodd has posted times for her church's Christmas eve and Christmas day services. If you're part of a Tulsa area church having services on those days, feel free to post a brief comment with the details.


Elaine Dodd said:


Doug and I invite anyone who would like to attend church on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning to worship with us at Southminster Presbyterian Church, 3500 South Peoria.

The Christmas Eve services will be at 7:00 and 11:00pm. Doug will sing in the Chancel Choir at 11:00pm. The Christmas Morning service will begin at 10:00am and I will serve as liturgist that day.

Please join us.
Elaine Dodd

susan said:

The T.W. probably will publish a list of churches having Christmas services. I think they did last year--they should if people remind them in their religion section of the news.

The American Family Association Online has been successful in getting thousands of names so that people will refuse to shop at TARGET until they bring back "Christmas".

I would also greatly suggest they allow all stores to have the Salvation Army Bell Ringers back ringing their bell for the needy and be allowed to sing as part of the Christmas spirit. Salvation Army is always there to help the neediest families. During times of crisis, they are always there to help, but it takes lots of donations, so please encourage all stores like Target to stop being a Scrooge and allow the Salvation Army Bell Ringers back too.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 5, 2005 10:03 PM.

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