He dressed himself all in his best, and at last got out into the streets. The people were by this time pouring forth, as he had seen them with the Ghost of Christmas Present; and walking with his hands behind him, Scrooge regarded every one with a delighted smile. He looked so irresistibly pleasant, in a word, that three or four good-humoured fellows said, “Good morning, sir! A merry Christmas to you!” And Scrooge said often afterwards, that of all the blithe sounds he had ever heard, those were the blithest in his ears.
* * * *
He went to church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and fro, and patted children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of houses, and up to the windows: and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed that any walk — that anything — could give him so much happiness. In the afternoon he turned his steps towards his nephew’s house.
–A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Scrooge went to church. I know that Catholic, and I assume Anglican, churches have a tradition of midnight Mass on Christmas, and I imagine other masses are held on Christmas Day. Most evangelical churches don’t have a tradition of holding worship services on Christmas morning. Some have some kind of Christmas Eve service. Our old Southern Baptist church had a Christmas Eve Candlelight Lord’s Supper service at about 6:00 P.M. on Christmas Eve so that people could still get home in time for family festivities. Another Southern Baptist church we attended a long time ago had a silent Christmas Eve service. Signs at the doors enjoined silence upon entering the church and asked that worshippers maintain that silence until they went out the doors. Each person was given a candle, and the church was lit with candles. There was music, and the Word was read from the pulpit, but the worshippers were silent. It was quite refreshing.
What does your church do for Christmas worship —either on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day? How will your family incorporate worship inot your Christmas celebration?