This time of year it’s common to hear the phrase, “Keep ‘Christ’ in Christmas,” but a number of local churches are also offering the opportunity to keep the ‘mass’ in Christmas as well.

Churches offering Christmas Eve services in the area bridge the denominational divides, and while some will, in fact, be offering a mass, others will be offering simple candlelight services, and still others will be offering a little something different for those who wish to attend.

Some of the special Christmas service offerings will include:

4Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, Hamburg, 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 22, candlelight service

4Cornerstone Church of Crossett, 5 p.m., Friday, Dec. 24, candlelight service

4South Main Baptist Church, Crossett, 5 p.m., Friday,  candlelight service

4Holy Cross Catholic Church, Crossett, 5:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 24, Mass

4St. Mark Episcopal Church, Crossett, 5:30 p.m., Friday, festive Eucharist

4First United Methodist Church, Crossett, 6 p.m., Friday, candlelight service

4First United Methodist Church, Hamburg, 6 p.m., Friday, candlelight service

4Southside Baptist Church, Hamburg, 6 p.m., Friday, candlelight service

4Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Crossett, 7 p.m., Friday, candlelight service

4Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Hamburg, 7:30 p.m., Friday, Mass

The Christmas holiday is the celebration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, which is recounted in the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke:

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

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