A child touches an idol of baby Jesus in a church, in Jammu, India, Sunday, Dec.25,2011. Christmas Day is observed as a national holiday in India. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Editor’s note: We would like to thank those who took the time to tell us about their Christmas services. If you do not see your church here, please contact it directly to see what it has planned.
First Congregation Church, UCC, 429 Main St. (Route 116). Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, 7:30 p.m. Readings and carols.
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Main and South streets. Tuesday, Dec. 24, family service at 4 p.m., carol sing at 9:30 p.m. and the Festal Eucharist at 10 p.m. 413-628-4402.
St. John’s Episcopal Church, 15 Park Ave. Fourth Sunday of Advent service, Dec. 22, 9 a.m. Christmas Eve service, Dec. 24, 5 p.m. 978-249-9553
The Bernardston Unitarian, 1739 First Meetinghouse. Holiday Music and Pot luck Luncheon Celebration will be on Sunday, Dec. 22, starting at 11:30 a.m. and led by special guest singer-songwriter Jim Scott., who compiled and edited the “Earth and Spirit Songbook” and has several of his songs included in the “Singing the Living Tradition” hymnal, including “Gather the Spirit,” which is popular across many denominations. He is well known for his choral music arrangements, directing and workshops.
United Church of Bernardston, 58 Church St. There will be two Christmas Eve services by candlelight: 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Many families with young children enjoy the early service and the later one is usually attended by adults. On the prior Sunday, Dec. 22, the choir will performing a Cantata at 10:30 a.m.
First Congregational Church of Buckland, Mary Lyon Church, Upper Street. Sunday, Dec. 22, 10:30 a.m., Christmas Sunday regular worship service. Tuesday, Dec. 24, 9 p.m., Christmas Eve Service with scripture readings, Carols and candle Lighting.
Charlemont Federated Church, 175 Main St. Christmas pageant on Dec. 22, during the 9:30 a.m. church service.
Christmas Eve service on Dec. 24 at 7:30 p.m. A candlelight service with lessons and carols of Christmas, open to all.
Dec. 29, Alice Parker Sing! at 3 p.m.
Saint Marks Roman Catholic Church, 85 Main St. There will be a Christmas celebration at 9 a.m. on Dec. 25.
St. John the Baptist, Church Street. Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 4 p.m. New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 4 p.m., Solemnity of Mary (Vigil Mass).
The First Church of Deerfield, 71 Old Main St., will offer two services Christmas Eve: 4:30 p.m., Family Service with carols, children’s sermon, Advent candle lighting, with choir music by Bach, Byrd and Mendelssohn, as well as a variety of carol settings.
The service is followed by the Living Manger at 5:30 in the stable behind the Deerfield Inn. The inn will provide refreshments inside for manger visitors.
At 9 p.m., there will be a service of lessons and Carols with choir and string accompaniment, carols, and traditional Christmas Biblical texts read in a darkened, quiet setting, ending with candle light singing.
The First Congregational Church of Gill, 6 Center Road, Gill, will offer its annual Christmas Eve service at 5:30 p.m. There will be music, singing and a message titled “What Child is This?” We will joined by the Northfield Community Church.
Northfield Mount Hermon Church of Christ, Memorial Chapel, One Lamplighter Way, Mount Hermon. Christmas Eve service of lessons and carols, Dec. 24, 4:30 p.m. Chaplain Michael Corrigan will officiate and Beatrice Dowdy will provide piano accompaniment. Collection will benefit Greenfield Family Inn, tel. 498-3338
All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 399 Main St., (on the corner of Main and Hope streets), will host its annual Christmas Eve Vespers service on Tuesday, Dec. 24, at 7 p.m., led by worship leader Robert Traynor and featuring musicians Laura Siersema, Max Johl and the All Souls Choir. After the traditional candlelight recessional and caroling on the sidewalk, participants will have a time for fellowship in the Parish Hall with coffee, hot cider and old friends. www.uugreenfield.org, 413-773-5018.
Blessed Sacrament Church, 221 Federal St. The Masses for the Vigil of Christmas on Tuesday, Dec. 24, will be celebrated at 4 and 9 p.m. The Mass at 4 p.m. will be preceded by a program of special Christmas music performed by the Sanctuary Choir at 3:30. The Mass on Christmas Day will be celebrated at 9 a.m.
Christ Church of Franklin County will hold its traditional carols and candles Christmas Eve Service, Tuesday Dec. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Guiding Star Grange Hall, 401 Chapman St. 772-5860 or www.christchurchgreenfield.org.
First Congregational Church, 43 Silver St. Dec. 24 at 7 p.m., Candlelight Service. Family service with Christmas carols and communion. Service ends with traditional singing of “Silent Night” while the church is lit by candlelight only.
First United Methodist Church, 25 Church St. Tuesday, Dec. 24, 7 p.m. Family Service. Tuesday, Dec. 24, 11 p.m., Candlelight Service.
Holy Trinity Church, 133 Main St. Christmas Eve, masses at 5:30 p.m. and Solemn Mass of Christmas at 9 p.m. The choir will present a program of Christmas music at 8:30 p.m. Christmas Day, mass at 9 a.m. Vigil Mass on New Year’s Eve at 5:30 p.m. and on New Year’s Day at 9 a.m.
Second Congregational Church, On the Common, 16 Court Square. Sunday Dec. 22, 10 a.m., Fourth Sunday in Advent — A Prelude to Christmas. Tuesday, Dec. 24, 7 p.m., Christmas Eve Service, the story of Christmas, carols, music and candlelight. Tuesday, Dec. 31, 7 p.m., Taizé Service, inspirational music with moments of reflection. People are invited to come at 6: p.m. to learn the special music. 413-774-4355.
St. James Episcopal Church, 8 Church St., Dec. 24, 4 p.m., a Family Service with Pageant; 8:30 p.m., carols; 9 p.m., a Choral Holy Eucharist. Dec. 25, 9 a.m., Holy Eucharist. Dec. 29, 10 a.m., lessons and carols with Holy Eucharist.
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 23 Long Ave. St. Paul’s will celebrate Christmas Eve with a candlelight service at 7:30 p.m.
Unity in the Pioneer Valley, 6 Arch St. The Rev. Bill Heller. Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, Tuesday, Dec. 24, at 6 p.m. Listening to the Christmas story through the Gospels and through metaphysical interpretations. Sing favorite Christmas carols. Candlelight.
New Year’s Eve Burning Bowl Ceremony. Tuesday, Dec. 31, at 6 p.m. Burn away whatever you wish to leave behind in 2013 and affirm what you want in 2014. This is a touching ceremony based on old tradition. Candlelight.
Wesley United Methodist Church, 98 North Maple St. Christmas Eve worship: 4 p.m., Children and Family Worship; 7 p.m., a candlelight celebration of the Nativity of our Lord with the Sanctuary Choir, congregational singing and scripture readings. The service closes with Holy Communion. Nursery care will be provided; 11p.m., Contemplative Celebration of the Nativity: This candlelight service offers a more reflective and quiet worship with Holy Communion. 413-549-1550.
First Congregational Church of Montague, 4 North St., will hold a traditional Christmas service of lessons and carols on Dec. 24, at 7 p.m. This service takes us through the Christmas story, as recorded in the bible, and begins with a young family lighting the Advent Wreath. Readings are interspersed with familiar carols, inspiring choir anthems and a soloist accompanied by guitar. After the final reading, all sanctuary lights are turned off and the candles, which each visitor or member was given when they arrived, are lit. In this soft light, participants will sing “Silent Night” as a reminder of the hope and light that shines through the darkness because of the birth of Jesus and his universal teaching to love God and one another. And, in the end, participants will sing “Joy to the World.” First Congregational Church of Montague is a United Church of Christ.
New Salem Central Congregational Church, 22 South Main St. Christmas Eve service Tuesday, Dec. 24, from 7 to 8 p.m. Lessons, carols, and a joyful noise choir.
The New Salem Central Congregational Church Choir is performing Koel Rainey’s “Singing with the Angels” Cantata on Sunday, Dec. 22, as the message of the 10 to 11 a.m. service.
St. Patrick Church (Roman Catholic), 82 Main St., is as follows: Tuesday, Dec. 24, 4 p.m., Vigil of Christmas Mass in lieu of Midnight Mass. Tuesday, Dec. 24, 6 p.m., Vigil of Christmas Mass (Children’s Pageant). Wednesday, Dec. 25, 10 a.m., Nativity of the Lord Mass
Bethany Lutheran Church, located at 62 Cheney St., will have a Candlelight Christmas Eve service with Holy Communion at 7 p.m. Presiding minister is the Rev. Janice Schuyler and Ross Bergantino will be the musician. Light refreshments will follow the service. 978-544-3541.
First Congregational Church of Shelburne, 22 Church St. Tuesday, Dec. 24, 7 p.m., Christmas evening services. No service scheduled Christmas day.
Saint Joseph, 34 Monroe Ave. Christmas Eve, Dec. 24: 8:30 p.m., Festival of Carols; 9 p.m., Christmas Eve (Vigil Mass, Nativity of the Lord). Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 9 a.m., Nativity of the Lord. New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 9 a.m., Solemnity of Mary.
Trinity Church, 17 Severance St. Christmas Eve: 7 p.m., carols and candles family service. 11 p.m., Holy Communion.
Holy Name of Jesus, 15 Thayer St. On Christmas Eve at 9:30 p.m. a child will carry the baby Jesus to the manger. Then, in a candle-lit church, participants we will sing the first carols of the season. Holy Mass will then follow. The parish choir will be joined by Matt Cadarette on guitar.
Mass on Christmas Day will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Following Mass, the church will toll the steeple bell in honour of Jesus’ birth.
South Deerfield Congregational Church, 71 North Main St. Christmas Eve’s Candlelight Service, led by the Rev. Jeremiah Rood, will begin at 7:30 p.m. There will be lots of singing of Christmas carols and scripture readings, as well as special music by the choir, accompanied by organist Jane Filkins.
The Sunderland Congregational Church, 91 South Main St. Christmas Eve Family Candle Light Service beginning at 7 p.m. The service will include the singing of favorite Christmas carols, reading of the Christmas story, special music from the church’s handbell and vocal choirs. The service will conclude with everyone singing “Silent Night” by candlelight.
Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, 84 K St. Tuesday, Dec. 24, the Vigil Mass of Christmas Eve will begin at 4 p.m. with the Blessing of the Christmas trees, manger and the Christmas hay to await the coming of the Christ Child. Carols will be chanted in English, Polish and Latin. After the Mass, which will be in English, the congregation, following an old Polish tradition, is welcome to take a memento of the blessed hay for the centerpiece on their Christmas Eve dinner table.
The midnight mass of the shepherds will begin at exactly midnight. It will be introduced at 11:30 p.m., Dec. 24, with a concert of carols in English, Polish and Latin. As the bells ring the midnight hour of Christmas morning, Dec. 25, the time of the birth of the Christ Child, a statue of the Infant Jesus will be blessed and carried in solemn procession around the church and then enshrined in the manger. The Mass will follow in English.
Pasterka is the name given to the Polish Midnight Mass. Pasterka means Shepherds Mass and it is filled with all the joy and pageantry the Polish people can muster for this holy commemoration of the moment when God became man. The crib is blessed, processions are held, the bells are rung and the choir is at its best.
Wednesday, Dec. 25: The Mass of Christmas Day will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the solemn proclamation of the birth of Christ and the solemn procession to the manger. Mass will be in English with carols chanted in English, Polish and Latin.
Wednesday, Jan. 1, is the Feast of the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord and the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. Masses for the Holy Day will be offered on Tuesday, Dec. 31, at 4 p.m. and on Wednesday, Jan. 1, at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Special prayers will be offered in thanksgiving for the past year and in supplication for blessings in the coming year.
Our Lady of Peace Church, 90 Seventh St. Tuesday, Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve) There will be no 7 a.m. Mass. The Mass at 4 p.m. will be a Children’s Christmas Mass with the telling of the Nativity Story following the reading of the Gospel. The “Mass of Midnight” will be at 10 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 25, Christmas Day Mass will be at 10 a.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 31, A Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God will be at 4 p.m. followed by the annual New Year’s Eve Prime Rib Dinner in Fr. Casey Hall.
Wednesday, Jan. 1, the Mass of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, will be at 10 a.m.
St. Andrews Episcopal Church,. 7th and Prospect streets. Tuesday, Dec. 24, 7 p.m. Christmas Eve Service, with Holy Eucharist.
Vernon Union Church, 2631 Fort Bridgman Road. Dec. 22, at 7 p.m., service of carols and candles followed by an old-fashion Christmas cookie fellowship time. 802-257-8523, www.vucvt.org.
The First Congregational Church of Whately, 177 Chestnut Plain Road, has the following activities planned for Christmas Eve: 6 p.m., supper, free-will offering; 7 p.m., Christmas Pageant followed by cookies and a special visitor; 9 p.m., Candlelight Service of carols and readings.