Christmas often conjures up mental images chock full of overflowing stockings and ornately adorned pine trees hovering over a mountain of gifts. For many in the city of Duncan and across Stephens County, attending church on Christmas Eve and Christmas is just as important.
The birth of Jesus will be celebrated in churches throughout the area this weekend. Candlelight services will be held tonight and Sunday, along with midnight mass tonight.
Here is a list of Christmas Eve and Christmas services compiled from some of churches around Stephens County.
- Ray of Hope will hold its annual Christmas Eve candlelight service from 6 to 7 p.m. today. The candlelight service will be a memorial service for those who have lost loved ones. Special singing of hymns will fill the air for the church on Refinery Road and U.S. Highway 81, south of Duncan. The story recalling Jesus’ birth will be read during the special service.
- Assumption Catholic Church at 711 W. Hickory, in Duncan, will meet for midnight mass at 11:30 p.m. today. Hymns will echo through the sanctuary. Mass will also be held earlier at 5 p.m. to accommodate families. A Christmas mass will be at 10 a.m. Saturday.
- First Presbyterian Church, 704 W. Ash, in Duncan, will hold its first Christmas Eve service under Tracy Evans. In her second year, Evans’ first attempt at a Christmas Eve service was overturned by a blizzard last year. Evans and First Presbyterian Church will hold a candle light service and sing “Silent Night.”
“It will be fabulously traditional,” she said. Service will begin at 6:30 p.m. today.
- Immanuel Baptist Church, 207 N. Second, in Duncan, will hold its Christmas Eve service at 5 p.m. today.
- New Hope Baptist West Church, 200 S. 42nd, in Duncan, will gather at 5 p.m. today for a candlelight service. Its congregation will not gather Saturday, but will meet again at 10 a.m. Sunday for a worship service. Pastor Randy Southerland will lead the Christmas meditation tonight during the candlelight service.
- First United Methodist Church, 2300 Country Club Road, in Duncan, will meet twice today, at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. to ring in Christmas. The congregation will gather for communion and a candlelight service. The choir will provide the music during the 5 p.m. service. FUMC will host a brunch at 9 a.m. Sunday, with worship following at 10 a.m.
- Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 2401 Country Club Road, in Duncan, will hold a candlelight service at 7 p.m. today, complete with hymns and scripture reading. GSLC will meet at 10 a.m. Sunday.
- West Side Christian Church, 1801 W. Beech, in Duncan, will begin its candlelight service at 6 p.m. today. There will be no Christmas services. “Christmas Eve is for celebrating, Christmas day is for families,” pastor Fred Rider said. Sunday service will resume as normal. “It will be a Christmas wrap up,” he said.
- Duncan First Baptist Church, 901 W. Ash, in Duncan, will hold a Christmas Eve service at 5:30 p.m. today. Tonight’s service is a candlelight service, complete with the reading of the Christmas story and carols.
- Miracle Revival Center, 8/10 of a mile south of the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center, across from the airport in Duncan, will hold a communion and candlelight service at 6 p.m. Sunday.
— David Laughlin is a reporter for The Duncan Banner. He can be reached at 580-255-5354, Ext. 160, or via e-mail at email@example.com.