Christmas Eve Services Blossom

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

XmasEveFlier235As Cornerstone Church planned its services for Christmas Eve this year, it realized that more is better.

Between the three locations of the multi-site, Grand Rapids area church there are nine Christmas Eve services at times ranging from noon to 10 p.m.

"Because we are trying to reach people who typically don't attend church, we spread the service times out during the day to make it convenient rather than expecting the family to adjust their schedule around us," said Ken Nash, director of multi-site/worship and a teaching pastor.

The church's main campus, on 84th St SE in Caledonia, is offering Dec. 24 worship at 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. At the 56th St SW location in Wyoming there are services at noon, 2 and 4 p.m. The downtown/Heritage Hill campus on Lafayette Ave. SE has Christmas Eve worship at 8 and 10 p.m.

"Our staff and volunteer teams put a lot of creative energy into planning the day, which always makes for a fun and engaging Christmas Eve worship experience," Nash said.
Each of the locations has its own pastor and live music, so the services are not mere carbon copies. "They are similar but there are nuances throughout that keep it real," Nash added.

Noting the church's "culture of outreach," Nash said Cornerstone's Christmas Eve service attendance has always been high relative to its size. So in order to accommodate the growth, they've continued to add services and overflow seating options.
See the exact location and times online.


Other churches have beefed up their Dec. 24th services in recent years.

Central Reformed Church at College and Fulton St. in downtown Grand Rapids is offering two quite different Christmas Eve services.

A 4 p.m. service is titled "Christmas By Story" and is advertised as an interactive service for families. At 10 p.m. is the more traditional "Christmas By Candlelight" service of lessons and carols. The church does not have a Christmas morning service.

Meanwhile, Park Congregational Church on Park PL NE near the downtown library is hosting an 11 p.m. Christmas Eve Festival Worship complete with symphony strings, brass, timpani, chancel choir, carols and sermon with lighting of advent candles. Even though it's a late evening service, child care is offered.

Harvest Bible Chapel on Exchange St. in Spring Lake has Christmas Eve services at 4 and 6 p.m. with no worship on Christmas morning.

Afternoon services on Christmas Eve are likely a good option for older worshippers who may be hesitant to venture out at night. A 4 p.m. service, for example, can be completed before nightfall, which comes early this time of year.

There are churches who continue the tradition of Christmas morning worship. Seventh Reformed Church on Leonard St. NW has a 9:45 a.m. Christmas service, the same time as its regular Sunday worship. Seventh also hosts a 9:45 a.m. service on New Year's Day.


Here's something a bit different: while not a worship service, you can still hear music of the season from your car at the annual GVSU Carillon Holiday Concert, starting at 9:30 p.m. Christmas Eve at the Pew Campus downtown, 401 West Fulton. Hear a mixture of carols, sacred, secular and classical selections performed on the 48-bell instrument, which sits inside the high clock tower donated by the Beckering family. Performing will be GVSU's official carillonneur Julianne Vanden Wyngaard. Simply park in one of the adjacent lots north of Fulton and enjoy the music. An attendant has printed programs with a song list. Free admission (616-331-3484).
Author Information
Terry DeBoer
Terry is journalist who writes for newspapers, magazines, newsletters and websites. His most frequented “beat” is arts and entertainment. He is married with two children and lives in Grand Rapids.

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