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Home » CHFWeb Forum » HotTopics » Christmas Day Services .... Thoughts?
Christmas Day Services .... Thoughts? [message #818997] Sat, 03 December 2016 23:53 Go to next message
K in nc  is currently offline K in nc
Messages: 3157
Registered: January 2006
Senior Member

Ok. There is an interesting discussion I am following on a friends page regarding services on Christmas Day. One of our large churches in the area has decided to not have service, they have a special "livestream" that will air during service time, but the church will be closed.

I am amused and a little disturbed by some of the discussion. People are all over the spectrum on it. One person even said it was sin to not be open on Christmas Sunday. That one surprised me a little bit. Most can see both sides of the issue.

Our church is having a one hour service, no Sunday school, nursery only, no children's church. We expect low numbers and not many children. The discussion was interesting, with several strong believers saying they would stay home and enjoy their family traditions instead of coming to service. One is an older person with grandchildren, the other a young person with young children.

First is your church having service on Christmas Sunday?
Will it be a "normal" morning, or abbreviated in some way?

And. what are your thoughts?


Wife to the most wonderful man in the world for 27 years! Mom to the three most wonderful kids in the world! (well most of the time)
Re: Christmas Day Services .... Thoughts? [message #818998 is a reply to message #818997 ] Sun, 04 December 2016 06:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa T. is currently online Lisa T.
Messages: 5497
Registered: April 2005
Location: New Hampshire
Senior Member
We have a Christmas eve service, a midnight service, and a Christmas morning service. Most people will attend one of these. The Christmas eve service is geared towards families and children and might be a bit longer than an hour. The other two services will be about an hour...which is a typical length for a service in our church. No other activities like Sunday school will take place.

The nativity itself was a family event, certainly, for Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.

It was also a community event, which included shepherds, magi, priests, and probably friends and extended family.

Personally, I can see good reason to celebrate both within the family and in the Christian community. For me, the Incarnation is a major event that should be prepared for and celebrated. Yes, I know we are not celebrating it on the exact date...but the rhythm of preparation, birth, celebration and the retelling of the entire story of God made flesh is important to commemorate.

That is also why in our church and in our family we see Advent as a time of preparation--a spiritual journey that mirrors the journey of Mary and Joseph toward the birth of Christ. We do not put up all our decorations after Thanksgiving, but use the month of December to savor the preparation, as we would for the birth of any new baby. We prepare our hearts as well as our home. We use the Advent wreath and Jesse Tree to remind ourselves of our own preparation and of how God prepared the world for His Son.

Just as with the birth of any baby, the birthday is very special. But the days after the birth are also quite special, and are celebrated at home. We also continue to celebrate the incarnation in a special way in our homes and our church for 12 days after Christmas--until Epiphany, on January 6, when we recall the visit of the Magi. Because we are still celebrating, it is still Christmas season in our home and church until then. Our lights, our tree, our candles, our creche are still visible in our homes as a sign that God has come to live among us.

Of course these truths are still true at any other time of the year, but this is the time we focus on it and remember it in a special way, so we join together with our Christian community to consider it together.

[Updated on: Sun, 04 December 2016 07:00]


Lisa T.
Re: Christmas Day Services .... Thoughts? [message #818999 is a reply to message #818997 ] Sun, 04 December 2016 08:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
praise2christ  is currently offline praise2christ
Messages: 2166
Registered: August 2009
Location: Northern KY
Senior Member
Beautiful, Lisa! Your Christmas season seems much more peaceful and focused than mine. I need to be more purposeful in my focus on Christ.

Our church does have services when Christmas falls on a Sunday. As far as I know, it will be normal services. I think it was last time Christmas fell on a Sunday.

Having to get ready for church on Christmas morning does make things more complicated (getting kids ready and out the door on a normal Sunday is a chore!), but since the birth of Christ is the reason for the holiday, it would seem counterproductive (not quite the right word, but it is early! Embarassed ) to skip a chance to join with His family and celebrate.


Stacy, mom to 12-year-old boy/girl twins and a three-year-old boy.

"Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's finger." Hans Christian Andersen
Re: Christmas Day Services .... Thoughts? [message #819000 is a reply to message #818997 ] Sun, 04 December 2016 09:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Tracy in Peru  is currently offline Tracy in Peru
Messages: 7972
Registered: April 2005
Location: Trujillo, Peru
Senior Member
We have Saturday and Sunday services. "Christmas" in Peru is celebrated on Christmas eve starting at midnight. We are having a combined service early evening on the 24th, with nothing on Sunday.

To me, Christmas is about so much more than just the savior's birth. It is a time to make a real effort with family. Making memories with children is important and that is where all the traditions come into play. He is the reason for the season and all we do points to Him and glorifies Him. I don't want to not attend church if Christmas falls on a Sunday, but niether do I want to have an "off" year where the service disrupts our traditions. There is security and peace in traditions that happen only at Christmas time.

I'm a big one for traditions. We are away from family and so it is just us, which is why it probably is so important. Dh makes a huge effort to get everything "done" so he has some real time off during that time too.

For so that serve, making arrangements that can bless them is important too. They need time with their families.


In Him--Tracy
Re: Christmas Day Services .... Thoughts? [message #819001 is a reply to message #818997 ] Sun, 04 December 2016 12:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
Messages: 14917
Registered: April 2005
Location: Georgia
Senior Member

We normally have two services on Sunday, with SS in between. If I am not mistaken, on Christmas we are only having the one worship service, and no SS. I have nursery that day. :/

We are also having a Christmas Eve service at 5;00 on Christmas Eve.

Here's my take on it...Christmas is the celebration of Christ's birth and a time to worship Him. What better place to do that than in church?

However, from the time of my childhood, Christmas Eve was a special family time, and for the many years that dh was in the pastorate, our family missed that family time. When he left the ministry, we committed that we will focus on the family on Christmas Eve. Family events start at 5:00. On the years when we've been in a church with a late night candle light service, we've done the family thing and then gone to service, but when they conflict, we're choosing family.

When my kiddos were little, it depended where we were when Christmas fell on a Sunday. When we were spending Christmas in TX and there was church, we got up early and did our Christmas morning stuff early before church and went to church. When we were here visiting family, we did as they did....which meant not going to church.

IMHO, I certainly don't think it's a sin to have or not to have services, or to do a regular service or abbreviate it in some way. I think it would be sad for the pastor/staff to have to get up and prepare and do their thing only to have folks not come. I think it would be sad for people who want to worship with the saints not to be able to...but in the end, I think it is entirely a matter of preference and considering the interests of all involved (i.e., us skipping Christmas Eve has more of a negative effect on my extended family than it does on the church at this point in time..) I think people just need to consider what works for their family and let other families do the same! (And if your church is closed on Christmas, there are bound to be others you could attend for worship if that's your thing...ya know?)


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: Christmas Day Services .... Thoughts? [message #819002 is a reply to message #818997 ] Sun, 04 December 2016 15:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Leigh  is currently offline Leigh
Messages: 4572
Registered: April 2005
Location: Tennessee
Senior Member
I think we will be having regular services. In our tradition, Christmas starts on the 25th. We will go through Epiphany and end with a bonfire (for Christmas trees) and chili cook off.


Leigh
Tennessee

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

~~Benjamin Franklin

Re: Christmas Day Services .... Thoughts? [message #819013 is a reply to message #818997 ] Mon, 05 December 2016 18:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Diana P.  is currently offline Diana P.
Messages: 4039
Registered: April 2005
Location: New England
Senior Member
I honestly don't see what the conflict is all about.

I don't see that any church needs to get caught up in "religiosity." Just because Christmas falls on a Sunday, there is nothing Biblical that requires us to have a service that day.

On the other hand, churches should feel free to offer a service, if they so choose to do so.

Our church is not doing a Christmas service this year, although we WILL be doing it the Sunday prior. The children's department will also be providing us with a special program.

We feel that Christmas Day is a great day to minister to our families and friends, especially those who are unsaved, and to share the good news of His coming, and the significance of His birth.


Grace & Peace,
Diana

"Do your best, then rest"

Re: Christmas Day Services .... Thoughts? [message #819055 is a reply to message #818997 ] Fri, 09 December 2016 12:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teri in AZ  is currently offline Teri in AZ
Messages: 4072
Registered: April 2005
Location: Tucson, AZ
Senior Member

We are having our normal Christmas eve services at 4 and 5:30, and a regular service on Christmas morning. There won't be Connect Groups, however and I'm not sure what is going on in the Children's department. I expect the turnout Christmas morning will be pretty light, but that's ok. Choir is singing as far as I know (maybe not, I've not seen the hotsheet for that Sunday yet), but I know we are singing for Christmas Eve. Our philosophy is why not have church like usual? Another faith has always had church on Christmas - no matter what the day it falls on. I think it will be nice to be worshipping with our church family that morning!


Teri in AZ

God is still on the Throne.
Re: Christmas Day Services .... Thoughts? [message #819057 is a reply to message #818998 ] Fri, 09 December 2016 20:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
elliemaejune  is currently offline elliemaejune
Messages: 1219
Registered: April 2005
Location: Texas
Senior Member
Lisa T. wrote on Sun, 04 December 2016 05:56

We have a Christmas eve service, a midnight service, and a Christmas morning service.


We have five services on Christmas Eve and two on Christmas Day. Smile


Born again since 1974
Married to Mr. Ellie for over 30 years
Mom to 2 amazing grown-up dds and 2 dsil
Grandmother to 1 beautiful baby boy

A kitten dies every time you use an apostrophe to pluralize.
Re: Christmas Day Services .... Thoughts? [message #819058 is a reply to message #818997 ] Fri, 09 December 2016 21:01 Go to previous message
Elise  is currently offline Elise
Messages: 1954
Registered: April 2006
Location: Ohio
Senior Member
We will have our usual Sunday services - morning and evening. We don't celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, so there's nothing special going on. I imagine the crowd will be small as many people will be out of town visiting family. If our church weren't having services that day, we'd find somewhere else to go worship.

[Updated on: Fri, 09 December 2016 21:02]


Blessings,
Elise


Wife to Dan
Retired homeschool mom to Emily and Bryan
Academic Resource Tutor at a local high school - basically Mom-at-the-kitchen-table for about 50 students
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