SHPC CHRISTMAS EVE WORSHIP SCHEDULE
Four Different Services to Choose From
-Online Communion Service (YouTube & Facebook)
-3:00 PM Children’s Service (outdoors)
-5:00 PM Candlelight Service (outdoors)
-9:00 PM Candlelight Service (outdoors)
Inclement Weather Plan
In the event of rain, any or all of our outdoor services may not be able to occur in-person. If that happens, we invite you to join the online service using the link above. We plan to send out a final email on the morning of December 24 with a weather update.
Christmas Eve Worship Details
The “holy night” on which we celebrate Jesus’ birth is the central focus of the season of Advent, and worshipping together as a church family with singing and candlelight on Christmas Eve is such an important tradition. We often welcome neighbors, visitors, and extended family to these services as well. However, during this time of COVID-19, we find ourselves at alarmingly increased risk by large crowds, shared indoor ventilation, singing, and other critical factors. So, in order to keep our church family safe and keep the essential core of these traditions intact, the church staff and worship committee have been hard at work planning and expanding our Christmas Eve worship opportunities. This year there will be FOUR SERVICES for you to choose from as you prayerfully and safely discern how to join in worship.
Online Communion Service
There will be an entirely online option with a full Christmas Eve worship service. This service will include a children’s message, homily, and the sacrament of communion. The service will “premier” as a video on our YouTube and Facebook pages beginning at noon on December 24. This is the safest option and the service that includes worship components for all ages worshipping together. Before you join the service please prepare the communion elements of bread and wine/juice to share at home, and have a candle ready to join in the candle lighting. The video and the bulletin for this service can be accessed by clicking the buttons included in church-wide emails.
3:00 PM Children’s Service
This service (along with the other in-person options later in the day) will be planned to occur entirely outside and will be led from the front steps of the sanctuary similar to the evening vespers services we have become used to. This service is designed specifically for children and their families. Thus, it will include an extended children’s message but no homily for adults. Also, our Children’s Choirs will sing an anthem. Because the service is entirely outside, with social distancing and masks, we will include singing of special Christmas carols.
5:00 PM Candlelight Service
As with our other in-person options, this service will occur entirely outdoors with mask-wearing and social-distancing required of all worshipers. These safety precautions will allow us to sing some beloved carols in addition to music led by soloists. At the conclusion of the service we will continue the candlelight tradition but with an adjustment for safety and outdoor weather requirements. This year we will use battery operated electronic candles that will not blow out from the wind and will not require a large group of people exhaling at the same time to extinguish. Because the service will occur outdoors after dark we encourage all in attendance to dress accordingly for the cold and to bring a flashlight or electric lantern. You will also be guided by luminaries on the church grounds.
9:00 PM Candlelight Service
Our final service on Christmas Eve will follow the exact same pattern and details as the 5:00 service.
We hope that you will carefully consider all the options and risks as you decide which service to attend on Christmas Eve.