Religion briefs: Christmas Eve services at local churches

‘Two Nights Before Christmas’ at Mayberry

On Dec. 23, 1984, the youth of the Mayberry First Church of God presented a Christmas musical. It told the story of a grumpy old janitor whose job was to clean the toy store every night after it closed. On this night, he nods off to sleep. While he is asleep, the toys come to life and ask the janitor to help them understand the true meaning of Christmas. Reluctantly, he helps them, as well as himself, find what Christmas is really all about.

Ever since that year, every time Dec. 23 has fallen on a Sunday, the youth of the church present “Two Nights Before Christmas.” This year’s production marks the sixth presentation. The service is on Dec. 23 at 7 p.m. and will include a Christmas carol sing-a-long with the Mayberry Concert band and will conclude with a time of fellowship and refreshments. All are welcome to attend. The church is located at 2428 Mayberry Road, 1 mile north of MD 140 between Taneytown and Westminster.

Oakland UMC to celebrate Christmas

Oakland United Methodist Church will celebrate the birth of Jesus with a Christmas musical on Sunday Dec. 23 at the 10:30 a.m. worship. A live Nativity will be part of the service. A Candlelight Christmas Eve service with lots of special music will be held at 7 p.m. on Dec. 24. Pastor Bob Wellman welcomes all to Oakland UMC, located at 5901 Mineral Hill Road in Eldersburg.

St. Mark’s holding Christmas Eve service

St. Mark's Lutheran Church at 1373 Main St. in Hampstead will have a special Christmas Eve worship service. On Dec. 24, the service will begin with special music at 4:30 p.m. At 5 p.m., a Christmas Eve Communion worship service will be held at 5 p.m. At 7 p.m., special music (choir, handbells, organ) and at 7:30 p.m. they will have a Candelight Communion worship service. Additionally, on Dec. 30, at 9:30 a.m., Lessons and Carols will be led by Jake Ziegler at 9:30 a.m.

Christmas Eve service at Westminster Baptist

Westminster Baptist Church will have a Christmas Eve service, open to all, to celebrate and reflect in preparation for Christmas Day, to be held on Dec. 24 at 6 p.m. Westminster Baptist Church is located at 354 Crest Lane, Westminster. For information visit

Ebenezer UMC celebrates Christmas

Ebenezer United Methodist Church invites the public to attend its special Christmas events and services at 4901 Woodbine Road in Winfield. The children’s Sunday School Christmas Pageant will be held during the 11 a.m. worship service, Sunday Dec. 23. Christmas Eve services will include a traditional family worship with the Chancel choir at 8 p.m., followed by a candlelight worship, with special music, at 10 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24. Only one worship service will be held at 11 a.m. Dec. 30, with no Sunday school.

Watch Night Prayer Service at Ascension

A New Year's Eve Watch Night Prayer Service will be held at 6 p.m. on Dec. 31, at the Church of the Ascension at 23 N. Court Street in Westminster. Ascension asks all to “come join Church of the Ascension as we close the year with prayers of thanksgiving and a dedication to God for His faithfulness through the years.”