All Ye Faithful: Vicksburg area churches set Christmas observances

Published 8:00 am Saturday, December 18, 2021

Friday is the final day of the Advent Season.

For Christians, Christmas and Christmas Eve are days observed by special church services celebrating the birth of Christ. And while the area’s Catholic Churches holds vigil masses next Friday and Christmas Day masses to celebrate Christ’s birth, other area churches will have holiday services next Friday followed by a service Sunday. Some churches, however, have special Christmas services this Sunday.

The list of services includes:

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• Hawkins United Methodist Church will hold its Communion worship service at 6 p.m. Saturday in the church sanctuary.

“It’s going to be a traditional Christian worship service,” pastor the Rev. Austin Hoyle said. “We’re going to read the gospel lesson, we’re going to sing some of our favorite carols and we’re going to meet in Holy Communion together. The thing about the United Methodist Church is we have an open communion table, so all are invited to participate.”

• First Baptist Church will hold an evening Christmas vesper service this Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

“We will celebrate our Savior with songs scriptures, and the lighting of the Christ Advent candle and the observance of the Lord’s Supper,” said Dr. Matt Buckles, First Baptist pastor. “It’s about an hour-long service. This service is about a 50-year tradition at First Baptist and it’s always done the Sunday night before Christmas.”

• Christ Episcopal Church will have two services on Christmas Eve at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., rector the Rev. Sam Godfrey said. He said the early service will have organ and violin music 15 minutes before the service. The 11 p.m. service will have early music featuring flute and organ music.

• Trinity Episcopal Church, Rev. Andy Andrews, church rector, said the church will have a Christmas pageant at 4:30 p.m. Christmas Eve with Christmas Eve mass at 5 p.m.

“It’s a festival Eucharist with extra instruments, a big choir, angel singing; the good news being shared,” he said. “We’ll gather again on the first Sunday of Easter at 10:15 a.m. for a carol sing-along and Holy Eucharist.”

• The Rev. Kevin Bradley, pastor of Crawford Street United Methodist Church, said the church will not have its usual Christmas Eve service and will instead offer the Eucharist to church members.

“What we determined was that was the safest practice as we continue the journey not only through Advent but also through this pandemic is to have folks come as families on Christmas Eve to receive the Lord’s Supper,” Bradley said.

“We’ll have our sanctuary open and I will be there from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve to celebrate the Eucharist with folks. Just create a space where people can rest in God’s presence and receive communion and have prayer.”

• St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Bovina will have Christmas Eve services at 6:30 and 10:30 p.m. with music beginning 15 minutes before each service, rector the Rev Elisabeth Malphurs said. There will be no Christmas Day service and one service of Lessons and Carols at 10 a.m.

• Like First Baptist Church, Trinity Baptist Church will have its Christmas service this Sunday at 6 p.m., the Rev. Bill Wright, church pastor, said.

“It will be Christmas music; carols, a message and Lord’s Supper,” he said. Wright said the service will be available for families to watch through the church’s Facebook page from Saturday through Sunday.

• St. Michael Catholic Church will hold masses at 5:30 and 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve and 9 a.m. Christmas Day. The 5:30 p.m. Christmas Mass will be a children’s Mass.

• St. Mary Catholic Church will have a 6:30 p.m. Mass Christmas Eve.

• St. Paul Catholic Church will have a 5 p.m. Mass Christmas Eve that will be preceded by a children’s Christmas program at 4:30 p.m. Mass Christmas Day is 9 a.m.

• King Solomon Baptist Church will have a musical and preaching starting at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.


About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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