From candlelight ceremonies to traditional services, local Churches and community centers welcome the public to share, pray, sing and relish the spirit of the season this Christmas Eve. Here are the Christmas Eve events featured in the Spirituality and Holiday sections of the Xpress Community Calendar:
• All are welcome to celebrate at St. Matthias Episcopal Church where Christmas Eve Service will be accompanied by contemporary gospel and Christmas music starting at 5:45 p.m. The Holy Eucharist service at 6 p.m. will include a full choir assisted by organ, piano, trumpet, flute and cello. Located at 1 Dundee St. (off South Charlotte). Info: 252-0643.
• A Christmas Eve Candle Lighting Service will be held at the Unity Center and will feature scripture, music and readings of the Christmas story. Free childcare will be provided. Located at 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Road. Info: 684-3798, 891-8700 or click here.
• The Land of the Sky UCC and Westminster Presbyterian Church welcomes the public to celebrate the birth of Christ with a joint, Family-Friendly Worship Service at Westminster Presbyterian starting at 5 p.m. The service will feature drama, scripture and Christmas hymns. Childcare will be available. Located at 15 Overbrook Pl. Info: 242-0268.
• St. Mark’s Lutheran Church will host a “Family Candlelight and Christmas Love Feast” featuring a traditional early and late Candlelight Communion, held at 7 p.m. and again at 11 p.m. Music for the communion will begin at 6:30 and 10:30 p.m. Located at 10 N. Liberty St. For info, click here.
• The First United Methodist Church of Hendersonville presents Christmas Eve Worship held throughout the evening: The Children’s Celebration Choir performs at 4:40 p.m., followed by a Family Service in the Sanctuary at 5 p.m. At the early service, gently used/new stuffed animals will be collected for children at Mainstay and The Healing Place. SONday Praise & Worship will be held in the Barber Christian Life Center 6:30 p.m. Also, a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service will be held at 8:30 p.m. and again at 11 p.m. Music for the candlelight service will begin at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Located at 204 6th Ave., in Hendersonville. Info: 693-4275.
• St. Andrew’s Episcopal (99 Academy St., Canton) holds an early Christmas Eve service at 5 p.m.; midnight Mass begins at 10:30 p.m. Info: 648-7550.
• Basilica of St. Lawrence (97 Haywood St., Asheville) offers a 5 p.m. Christmas Eve first vigil Mass; a Mass in Spanis at 8 p.m. and carols followed by midnight Mass at 11:30 p.m. Info: 252-6042.
• East Asheville United Methodist (48 Browndale Road, Asheville) holds an 11 a.m. Christmas Eve and Holy Communion service. Dress is casual, all faiths are welcome. Info: 298-3211.
• Emmanuel Lutheran (51 Wilburn Place, Asheville) offers Christmas Eve candlelight services at 7 & 11 p.m. Info: 281-8182.
• First Christian (470 Enka Lake Road, Enka) holds a Christmas Eve candlelight service at 6 p.m. Info: 665-9499.
• First Congregational United Church of Christ (20 Oak St., Asheville) presents a Christmas Eve family service with Nativity story and communion at 5 p.m., carols with communion and candlelight at 11 p.m. Info: 252-8729.
• Central United Methodist (27 Church St., Asheville) holds a Christmas Eve service for children and young adults at 3 p.m.; the church band performs from 5-5:30 p.m., other services are held at 5:30 and 11 p.m. Info: 253-3316.
• Christ United Methodist (81 Garrison Branch Road, Weaverville) has a 7 p.m. Christmas Eve candlelight service. Info: 645-5785.
• Kenilworth Presbyterian (123 Kenilworth Road, Asheville) presents Christmas Eve lessons and carols by candlelight, with cider and cookies from 5-6 p.m. Info: 252-8872.
• Living Savior Lutheran (301 Overlook Road, Asheville) holds its Christmas Eve by candlelight service at 6:30 p.m. Info: 650-0404.
• First Presbyterian (372 Bee Tree Road, Swannanoa) offers Christmas Eve candlelight and carols, followed by refreshments at 5 p.m. Info: 686-3140.
• The Rock Church (273 Monte Vista Road, Candler) holds a service at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Info: 670-7625.
• Calvary Episcopal (2840 Hendersonville Road, Fletcher) has Christmas Eve services with Holy Eucharist and candlelight at 5:30 and 10:30 p.m. Info: 684-6266.
• Holy Family Episcopal (419 Turnpike Road, Mills River) holds a Christmas Ev service with carols and anthems at 6:40 p.m., followed by Festival Eucharist at 7 p.m. Info: 891-9375.
• Calvary Baptist (23 Phillips St., Canton) holds Christmas Eve candlelight communion at 6 p.m. Info: 648-3725.
• First United Methodist (566 S. Haywood St., Waynesville) starts the holiday with a 3 p.m. family-oriented Christmas Eve service, followed by open communion from 5-7 p.m. and an 11 p.m. candlelight service. Info: 456-7530.
• Cummings Memorial United Methodist (3 Banner Farm Road, Horse Shoe) offers a Christmas Eve service at 4:30 p.m. Info: 891-9413.
• Grace Lutheran (corner of Sixth Avenue West and Blythe Street, Hendersonvill) holds Christmas Eve services at 5, 7 & 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Christmas carol singing. Info: 693-4890.
Be sure to check out the Community Calendar for additional holiday events through the New Year. Happy holidays to all!
Know about additional Christmas Eve services or events in the area? Let us know by leaving a comment.