Christmas Eve Returns to ‘Normal’

Editor’s Note: To add church services to this list, email information to editor@spiritofabilene.com

By LORETTA FULTON

The traditional glow of candlelight will once again be experienced on Christmas Eve, as most churches return to in-person worship.

COVID-19 and its variants are refusing to go away, but Christmas Eve services won’t be affected this year as much as in 2020. Some protocols will be in place, like distancing and wearing a mask, but churches that traditionally host Christmas Eve services in person plan to do so this year. A year ago, many chose online only or a hybrid of virtual and in-person services.

A post on the Westminster Presbyterian Church Facebook page proclaims a message that everyone can agree with:

“It will be wonderful worshipping together this year!”

Following is a partial list of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services. To add a service, email information to editor@spiritofabilene.com

ST. LUKE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH
501 Sunset Drive
10 a.m. Royal Hours
8 p.m. Matins
9 p.m. Divine Liturgy
Philip LeMasters, pastor

HIGHLAND CHURCH OF CHRIST
425 Highland Ave.
5 p.m. Candlelight service, including Holy Communion, special moment for children, and a brief inspirational message
Shane Hughes, minister

FIRST CENTRAL PRESBYTERIAN
400 Orange St.
6 p.m. candlelight service and Holy Communion
Come early to hear Dan Mitchell play his classical guitar.
Cliff Stewart, pastor

WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
4515 S. 14th St. 
6 p.m. candlelight service
Chris Turner, pastor

PIONEER DRIVE BAPTIST CHURCH
701 S. Pioneer Drive
5 p.m. Holy Communion
6:30 p.m. candlelight service
John Whitten, pastor

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
1133 N. Third St.
6 p.m. family service, including children’s service
11 p.m. 53rd annual candlelight service, which will be broadcast live on CW channel
Interim pastor

WYLIE BAPTIST CHURCH
6097 Buffalo Gap Road
5 p.m. candlelight
Mike Harkrider, pastor

EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF THE HEAVENLY REST
602 Meander St.
4 p.m. Holy Eucharist in the nave
6 p.m. Lessons & Carols in the courtyard
10 p.m. Festival Holy Eucharist in the nave (also livestreamed)
Christmas Day: 10 a.m. Holy Eucharist in the nave; 1 p.m. Holy Eucharist in Swahili in the nave
David Romanik, rector

ST. MARK’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
809 Barrow St. (ACT Black Box Theater next to ACT main stage)
6:30 p.m. Holy Eucharist and candlelight
Christmas Day: 10 a.m. Holy Eucharist
Mary Glover, rector

ALDERSGATE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
1741 Sayles Blvd.
5:30 p.m. Candlelight service
Dustin Wilhite, pastor

ST. PAUL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
525 Beech St.
6 p.m. Lessons & Carols
Steve Patterson, pastor

WYLIE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
3430 Antilley Road
5:30 p.m. candlelight service
Jeff Hatcher, pastor

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
202 Butternut St.
5:30 p.m. candlelight service
Scott Seymour, pastor

ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH
2801 Antilley Road
6:30 p.m. candlelight
Clyde Kieschnick, pastor 
SACRED HEART CATHOLIC CHURCH
837 Jeanette St.
Christmas Eve: 4:30 p.m. Mass 
Christmas Day: 3 p.m. Reconciliation 
Albert Ezeanya, pastor
ST. VINCENT PALLOTTI CATHOLIC CHURCH
2525 Westview
Christmas Eve: 5 p.m. and midnight Mass at St. Vincent; 8 p.m. Mass at Our Mother of Mercy in Merkel
Christmas Day: 10 a.m. Mass at St. Vincent; 5:30 p.m. Mass in Merkel
Emilio Sosa, pastor
ST. FRANCIS CATHOLIC CHURCH
826 Cottonwood St.
Christmas Eve: 5:30 p.m. Children’s Mass; 10 p.m. Mass
Christmas Day: 10 a.m. Christmas Mass; 4 p.m. Betrothal Blessing–Catherine O’Brien and Hamdam Naktoum
Isidore Ochiabuto, pastor

HOLY FAMILY CATHOLIC CHURCH
5410 Buffalo Gap Road
Christmas Eve: 5:30 p.m. Children’s Christmas;  8 p.m. music prelude and candlelight Mass; 11:30 p.m. carol singing, followed by Midnight Mass
Christmas Day: 11 a.m. Mass
Santiago Udayar, Pastor

Loretta Fulton is creator and editor of Spirit of Abilene

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