by Andrew Henderson
Area churches have planned special Christmas Eve services.
The Fulton Alliance Church will hold its annual Christmas Eve candlelight service at 6 p.m.
There will be singing of Christmas carols, listening to the children’s choir, lighting the Advent wreath, and listening to a special Christmas message from Senior Pastor J. Spurling. The service ends with the singing of “Silent Night” and lighting the candles throughout the congregation.
The Fulton Alliance Church is located at 1044 N.Y.S. Rte. 48, just south of the Fulton City line.
State St. United Methodist Church will be holding its annual Christmas eve services at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m.
Also, Wednesday mornings State Street United Methodist Church opens their doors to the homeless.
Coffee, donuts and fellowship are offered from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Christmas Eve worship will be held at 7 p.m. at the First United Church of Fulton, 33 S. Third St., Fulton.
This traditional service of “Lessons, Carols & Candlelight” will include the Christmas story from Scripture, the singing of carols, and candlelight shared in a large circle at the close of the service.
The Chancel Choir, directed by Burton Phillips, will bring the anthem, “Jesu, My Son,” a Chilean lullaby carol translated and arranged by Mary E. Caldwell. Ella Hicks will be the soloist for the carol.
The United Voices Quartet will perform “Jesus, What a Wonderful Child,” a traditional spiritual arranged by Rollo Dilworth. Scripture readers will include Roxanne Seeber, Barbara Hubbard, and Alan De Line.
Children will light the Christ Candle within the Advent Wreath. Burton Phillips will sing “O Holy Night” during the offertory and he will also assist in German for the singing of “Silent Night.” Colleen Ingersoll will serve as the guest organist.
The Christmas Eve service at the Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church will be held at 6 p.m. Mount Pleasant is a country church built in 1870 and is known for the brilliant stained glass windows surrounding the entire sanctuary.
Christmas Eve, the interior lights are dimmed and the windows are back-lit from outside, creating an atmosphere that one little boy described as “like being inside a Christmas ornament.”
The service will feature the congregational singing of many of the hymns and carols of the season as well as music by a number of musicians.
This year, instrumental numbers will be presented by Ron and Nancy Caravan, The Corbett Family (Ginny, Joe and Scott), and the singing trio of Burnetta Bennett, Brooke Dolbear and Ashlee Stupp.
Pastor David Grey will bring a brief meditation and the service will close with the singing of “Silent Night” accompanied by the Corbetts.
This year, an offering will be received for the work of the local chapter of the Salvation Army.
Christmas Eve services at Hannibal Methodist Church will be held at 7 p.m. The Methodist Churches of Granby and Martville will be sharing in this service.
Wayne Kellogg, a professional musician and a native of Hannibal, will be guest organist for the service.
God’s Vision Christian Church in Hannibal will host its candlelight Christmas Eve service and children’s pageant will be 5:30pm Monday. All welcome.
The Christmas Eve service at Southwest Oswego Methodist Church will held at 6:30 p.m. The candlelight service will include Scripture, carols and special music.
The Minetto United Methodist Church will conduct its annual Christmas Eve Nativity Barn Service at 5 p.m. at the Greco Family Farm, 297 W. Fifth Street Rd.
Attendees are asked to dress warmly; a flashlight will also be useful.
The traditional Candlelight Communion Christmas Eve service will follow at 8 p.m. in the church sanctuary at State Route 48 and County Route 8 in the village of Minetto.
Little Utica United Methodist Church is holding a special candlelight service on Christmas Eve at 8 p.m.
Rev. Betty Morey, Little Utica’s pastor, said she is looking forward to celebrating this joyous holiday.
“Christmas Eve is a wonderful time for families to join together in worship as we remember that Jesus is the reason for the season,” Morey said.
“We will be singing the familiar carols of Christmas and lighting our candles in celebration of the One who is the Light of the World. We invite everyone to join us in our time together.”
Morey is also the pastor at the Warners United Methodist Church and will be leading its Christmas Eve service starting at 6 p.m.
Little Utica United Methodist Church is located on Lamson Road, heading west off Route 48, just past the intersection of Lamson Road and East Mud Lake Road.