Ditto
(newbie)
12/20/06 01:33 PM
O/T Christmas Eve

This is slightly embarrassing and I hope you can help. I will be totally alone this Christmas and I decided that I want to alleviate that aloneness by attending a candlelight service at a local Methodist Church, although I received an invitation to a Baptist Church so I may go there.

I was raised by people who were not religious, so in essence, I have never been in any religionís house of worship.

Can someone please describe for me what I should do upon entering the church (Iím assuming I just sit down toward the back but I am not entirely sure of the process), and what the service will generally be like? Is there something I should know to do?

Thank you for your help with this.


Buckeye
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/20/06 04:05 PM
Re: O/T Christmas Eve

You go in the door, everyone will be greeting you and saying Merry Christmas, you reply back.

You sit wherever you want. In most churches, everyone sits in the back.

Basically, just pay attention - some churches have "programs" and it is marked when you are to stand or sit. Some just rely on the minister to "wave" you up or down.

Also, take some money with you to put in the collection plate - there is always a collection plate.

Normally, Christmas Eve and/or Day services are very uplifting with lots of Carols (all versus). Churches and people are all decked out so don't wear jeans.

You might just find out that you like it and will go back for another "regular" service.

Almost forgot, there also may be communion (wine/grape juice and bread). Listen carefully because some groups don't believe in "open" communion - meaning that if you believe, you partake. If it is a "closed" communion, only people of the church take communion.

Good luck!


Karen1
(Pooh-Bah)
12/20/06 06:08 PM
Re: O/T Christmas Eve

Congrats on your choice of aloneness allievation! I too will be attending a candlelight Christmas Eve service at our local methodist church with a start time of 11:30 pm I am a baptized methodist but not a member of this church.

My suggestions are the same as Buckeye's. Although I am vaguely acquainted with some folks who are members, I may not even see them there as there are several services on Christmas Eve. From past experience, someone will see you, perhaps a lot of someones, who will realize they have not seen you there before and make you welcome. If not sure, just follow the lead of others.

I will be visiting my son and d-i-l , about 1.5 hours from here, on Christmas Eve Day and have also been invited to d-i-l's parents for the evening. They invited me for Thanksgiving and I did not go. As I will be in the area this time, I feel duty bound to go. It is inot that I do not know, or enjoy, my d-i-l's family, just that I had planned to be home by 7 pm as do not like night driving... and that is the start time at d-i-l's parents. Dinner is also involved. I am hoping dinner will be later, that I go and visit for a short time and then head for home.

I will be alone on Christmas Day. I called several churches to see if they were doing a Christmas dinner that I could volunteer to help at, and have not found one doing so. I imagine they want to keep Christmad Day for just family.

I plan on checking in and out of here often on Christmas so perhaps we will run into each other.

Karen


Ditto
(newbie)
12/20/06 07:10 PM
Re: O/T Christmas Eve

What would be an appropriate amount to place in the collection plate?

Buckeye
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/20/06 08:20 PM
Re: O/T Christmas Eve

Well, that is strictly up to you. I have seen some people put $1 in and I have seen $20. Personally, I think $5/$10 sounds about right.

Also, in my church, we have collection envelopes in the pews. That way you can put your money in the envelope and no one needs to know how much or how little you put in the collectin plate.


overtherainbow
(enthusiast)
12/20/06 10:16 PM
Re: O/T Christmas Eve

OH I am so Happy to answer this post. That is exactly my boat I was in last Christmas Eve although I had just started attending the Methodist services in early Advent when I was standing outside the church having my typical Sunday religious experience eating a Old Fashioned donut and wallowing in self pity and decided I needed to "fill the hole with soul" and went in on a whim.
Christmas Eve services are way cool. Just be prepared to Belt OUt "We Three Kings" Silent Night and all the religious carols. They are not big on "Frosty the Snowman" or Jingling the Bells. Wear a Santa Hat or red or green ( Although just about this time of year I kinda feel like doin target practice with Santa. )Ususally the music is great with bell ringers and the full choir.
If you are the usual divorce broke person just contribute the cost of a DVD rental in the collection plate. Church is usually marvelously decorated. Made Christmas Eve special when I was alone last year with not a relative within 3000 miles.
Away in a manger no crib for a bed. Heck remember they had it rough too. 9 months pregnant and a 90 mile donkey ride from Nazareth to Bethlehem. And the smells in that manger. Can you imagine what that would do to a 9 moth pregnant woman??
If you decide to join it is a wonderful church. My Methodist church even has children's pagents with the synagogue across the church . The music rocks depending upon the musicians that join the church.


rschiller
(old hand)
12/21/06 12:08 AM
Re: O/T Christmas Eve

How wonderful this is.........

To be honest though, I don't think you should worry about your clothes(decking out) or even putting a nickel in the offering. I am Presbyterian, was raised Lutheran, but go to the Methidist church often too. Here in our community, they don't care what you wear, they care you are there. :)

They want you there to celebrate the birth of our savior.

There should be a bulliten that you will follow. It will have page numbers for hymns they sing and you will find a hymnal close at hand where ever you sit. I would sit closer too, so you can see better.

What a true Christmas blessing. Please tell us how you liked or disliked the service.



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