Christmas Eve Services
at First United Methodist Church of Clarion.
Christmas will be lovely, meaningful, and as you may have already thought, will be different this year due to the virus and necessary safety measures. The biggest difference will be the need to make Christmas Eve reservations well in advance of Christmas week. Due to the traditional crowds, especially at the 7PM service, and with Covid safe seating, we will, regretfully, need to turn people away once our maximum seating has been reached. Our reservation system is now ready to take your reservation so everyone will know which service to come to and so as not to be disappointed as were Mary and Joseph when at the door we must say, “the inn is full”.
This year we are scheduling four Christmas Eve services instead of three:
3:00 – A family Christmas especially with children in mind and for those with evening plans, which will allow families to return home in time for supper and early to bed. The Messengers will play at this service.
5:00 and 7:00 – Our candlelight services featuring a sacred quartet.
11:00 PM – Our candlelight service with Holy Communion.
The majority of the church has been concerned with Covid viral safety. Our 7:00 PM service will be live streamed onto YouTube and Facebook and remain posted on-line for all who wish to view from home. For those who wish to worship in the sanctuary, in addition to reservations we continue to implement the following practices for your safety:
- The church, including entry ways, restrooms, and sanctuary is chemically cleaned before and after each service.
- While moving about, including entering and departing the church, you need to mask. Because of distanced seating, you may if you wish remove the mask during worship and while seated.
- Ushers will guide you to designated seating which has been designed with your group size in mind, be it a single, a couple, or a larger group. The measured distance between groups is at least six feet. Group reservations should endeavor to arrive together.
- Congregational and large choir singing has been proven to be a high risk of contagion activity. Rather than singing together, we have arranged for a small ensemble to be present at each service to sing for us the beloved and sacred tunes.
Please know and help others to know that the reservation system is to help us ensure we may seat you when you wish to come. Once we have reached our reservation maximum we will guide you to your second choice of service. Those arriving at the church doors without reservation will be permitted to make reservation at the door but only until we reach reserved seating capacity. Those coming to a fully reserved service or a service that has reached seating capacity will need to wait outside until ten minutes before service time and may need to be turned away if seating remains full.
If you have made a reservation and later find you are unable to come, please call and cancel your reservation by the day before in order to make room for others. Be on time, which is actually a little early, for your reservation is only valid until ten minutes before worship time. At ten minutes till we will assume you are a no-show and will release your seats to those who may be waiting.
Other seasonal activities you may enjoy . . .
Friday December 11, 9 AM – 5 PM – Spread Christmas cheer and ring the red kettle bell for the Salvation Army at Walmart’s grocery entrance (left doors). The proceeds are used locally to help cover utility bills for those in need. Please call the church office to reserve your time.
Sunday December 13, 7 PM – our annual Carols Around YOUR (Home) Table, this time done virtually by computer in your homes. Enjoy in your home this beloved First Church tradition livestreamed on your choice of Facebook or YouTube. At conclusion this program will remain posted so you may view it again, or after you return from evening obligations.
Wednesday December 16, starting at 4:30 PM – our monthly food distribution for church and community known as “Love Cupboard”.
We continue to worship and praise God, do ministry week to week, and look forward to the Christmas season. The virus has impacted many in various ways. Call us if you have questions or if we may be of help to you in some way.