Religion News in Brief

Christmas Eve


Christmas Eve Services at the Federated Church

The community is warmly invited to celebrate Christmas at two services on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road.

The 10 a.m. Service of Worship will be focused on singing favorite carols and learning the stories behind them. There will be a time for children and the service will be followed by fellowship and refreshments in Bailey Hall. Then at 5 p.m. come and celebrate Jesus' birth with beloved, carols, scripture, an interactive time for children and a Christmas message from the Rev. Kathy Clark.

Special music will be offered by the Federated Church Choir under the direction and accompaniment of Mary Edwards, with a special solo piece from Patti Cody. This candlelit service will end with the arrival of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. Non-perishable food items continue to be gathered under the Christmas tree in the church through Dec. 31 for the Arlington Food Shelf. The Federated Church of East Arlington is a local church in covenant and connection with the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

For additional information, call the church office at 802-375-2548, send an email to or visit the church Facebook page


Lessons and Carols at UU

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bennington will hold its Christmas Eve candlelight service of Lessons and Carols at 5 p.m. tomorrow evening, Dec. 24. All will be welcomed at 4:45 p.m. for cookies and egg nog so come early and enjoy some Holiday Hospitality before the service. Bring the kids for a bright celebration of the season and of love.

The service will be biblical readings from Luke and Matthew, reflections by Rev. Kathy Duhon, selected prayers and the singing of traditional carols. The service will end with attendees gathering in a circle with their votive candles singing "Silent Night."

The mission of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bennington is to create and nurture a spiritual, ethical and welcoming community by celebrating personal growth, diversity of beliefs and freedom of expression. The UUFB Meeting House is located at 108 School Street, Bennington, Vt, and meets each Sunday from 10 to 11 a.m.


Christmas Eve at Second Congregational Church

On Dec. 24, Christmas Eve will be a full day at Second Congregational Church. At 10 a.m., we begin worship on this Fourth Sunday in Advent, lighting the 4th Advent candle in our wreath, the Candle of Love. We'll hear the story of the Anunciation to Mary that she had been chosen to bear God's Child, and we'll sing all those Christmas carols you've been waiting all Advent to sing. Bring some extra Christmas cookies to share during our Sunday Social.

At 4:30 p.m. the Second Congo Brass will serenade us with Music of the Season, and at 5 p.m. we begin our Christmas Eve Service by candlelight, with handbells and anthems galore, lessons from Scripture, and a warm welcome to visitors and members alike. Nursery care is provided. Afterward join us for a cup of hot (or cold) cider and greet old and new friends.

At 10 p.m. our Service of Candlelight, Carols, and Communion begins a more contemplative way to settle into Christmas.

Both Christmas Evening services will receive a freewill offering for the Emergency Food and Fuel Fund. Checks should be made out to Second Congregational Church, with EFF in the memo.

Second Congregational Church is an Open and Affirming, Green Justice Congregation of the United Church of Christ. We welcome to our work and worship all people of faith or in search of faith, without regard to age, race, economic condition, disability, or sexual orientation, and we seek to care and advocate for the earth and its creatures. Our building is located at 115 Hillside St. in Bennington, and is wheelchair-accessible. For further information, contact the church office at 802-442-2559 or visit


Christmas Eve at Old First Church

On Dec. 24, the First Congregational Church of Old Bennington will offer a candlelight Christmas Eve service at 5 p.m. This family service will be filled with familiar readings and carols and concludes with the congregation singing "Silent Night" with lighted candles in front of the church. A wheelchair ramp will be provided. The public is warmly invited.


Christmas Eve service

The Arlington Community Church will hold a Christmas Eve Service on Dec. 24, at 7 p.m. at Chapel on the Green, 62 Covered Bridge Road, off of Rt. 313. Everyone is welcome to come and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


Northshire Baptist services Dec. 24

Northshire Baptist Church ( will hold services at special times on Dec. 24. From 9:45-10:30 a.m. there will be a children's Christmas Pageant and short Worship Service at Equinox Terrace Assisted Living (324 Equinox Terrace in Manchester Center, behind Shaw's). All are welcome.

Then from 11 a.m. to noon, they will have a Christmas Eve Worship Service at Northshire Baptist Church (5769 Main St. in Manchester Center). Children's Church is provided for children ages 2 to 6 during the 11 a.m. Worship Service. The regular Sunday Worship Service time is 9:30 AM. For additional information, contact Pastor Tim Counts at 802-430-1949 or


Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

We welcome everyone to the 5 p.m. Christmas Eve Candlelight Service led by Rev. Penny Rich Smith. There will be lessons and carols, special music, the lighting of the Christ Candle, a Christmas Homily ( "The Miracle and Wonder of Christmas"), and a closing candlelight circle with the singing of "Silent Night." Come and worship on this special holy night of wonder and joy. Wheelchair accessible from the back door at the parsonage driveway.

The North Bennington Congregational Church will not hold a morning worship service on Christmas Eve.


Christmas Eve Service at Congregational Church

The community is invited to a Christmas Eve Celebration at the Congregational Church of Rupert on Sunday, Dec. 24, at 7 p.m., with a Service of Lessons and Carols. Jane LoBrutto will lead the service, which will include a short homily and a special time for children. We will conclude with a special candle-lighting ceremony. Kevin Bishop will direct the chorus and provide musical accompaniment on the church's Estey pipe organ. The church is located at 2501 Route 153 in Rupert and is handicap accessible.


United Church of Dorset and East Rupert celebrations

United Church of Dorset and East Rupert invites the community to its Christmas celebrations on Dec. 24. There will be three services.

Our Sunday Service for the Fourth Sunday of Advent will begin at 10 a.m. This will be a service of Lessons and Carols.

The family service will begin at 4:30 p.m. It will include a Christmas story, a special time with the young and congregational candle-lighting. Soloist, Marcia Holland will be singing both the gathering and offertory songs.

The second service will begin at 8 p.m. and will include Communion and congregational candle lighting. Soloist Richard Grip will begin the service and our choir will be singing as well.

There are no services on Christmas Day.

The Church is located at 143 Church St. (Off Route 30) in Dorset. Questions: call the office at 802-867-2260.


Christmas Eve service at Peru Church

A Christmas Eve service at the Peru Church will take place at 6 .pm. If seating is necessary, we recommend that you arrive by 5:30 p.m. at the latest. Dr. Fox is our choral and instrumental conductor and Pastor Margaret will be preaching. Our community choir will serenade the congregants. We hope to see you there.

Christmas Eve, Day


St. Peter's Episcopal observes Advent

The Rev. Justin Lanier of St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Bennington, invites people of all faiths or those in search of faith to join us in our service of Christ and of each other. On Sunday, Dec. 24th, the fourth Sunday of Advent, Lanier will celebrate Holy Eucharist at the 8 a.m. service and the 10 a.m. service, using Rite I (traditional language) of the Book of Common Prayer.

St. Peter's Choir will be lead by our Organist and Choir Director John Riddle. The Gospel for the service will be Luke 1:26-38. A healing service will follow each liturgy.

Additionally, there will be two Christmas Eve services, one at 5 p.m., as well as an 11 p.m. service, with music starting at 10:30 p.m.

Monday, Christmas Day, Dec. 25, there will be one 9 a.m. service.

On Wednesday, Dec. 27, Evening Prayer and Contemplative Prayer are cancelled. The services will resume on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018.     

The Eucharist service on Thursday, December 28, is cancelled for this week. Services will resume on Thursday, Jan. 4.

St. Peter's Choir will not rehearse on Thursday evening, Dec. 28. The next rehearsal will be Thursday, Jan. 4.

Check out the Leave a Coat Take a Coat Rack in the cloister at St. Peter's. Take what you need, leave what you don't nee.

The annual meeting will be on Sunday, Jan. 21, following the 10 a.m. service. There will be a luncheon, so bring a dish to share. There is a sign-up sheet in the hallway at St. Peter's.

St. Peter's is wheelchair accessible. For more information about our church, visit or call 802-442-2911.


Catholic Christmas Mass schedule

Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales Church, 238 Main St., will offer Masses as follows:

- Sunday, Dec. 24 - Masses will be offered as follows: 4 p.m. ~ Traditional music led by the Youth Ensemble; 8 p.m. ~ Music with a cantor and organ; Midnight ~ Music with the Church Choir

- Monday, Dec. 25: 9 a.m. Traditional music with cantor and organ.

Call 802-442-3141 or visit for more information.


Catholic Christmas Mass schedule

St. John the Baptist Church, 5 Houghton St., will offer Masses as follows:

- Dec. 24: 4 p.m. Children's Christmas Story, and Music with the Gospel Group.

- Dec. 25: 10 a.m. Music with the Choir.

Call 802-447-7504 or visit for more information.


Zion Church Christmas services:

Zion Episcopal Church invites the community to a choice of five services, all of which include Holy Eucharist (Communion). Dec. 24, at 5 p.m. at Zion is the family service with Christmas Pageant, followed at 7 p.m. with a service at St. John's Chapel (Manchester Village), and back at Zion at 9 p.m. for the Candlelight Service with choir and special guest Joana Genova of Taconic Music.

On, Dec. 25, a Christmas Day service will be held at Zion at 10 a.m.

Zion Church is located at 5167 Main Street/Route 7A between Gringo Jack's and Ye Olde Tavern and is fully accessible. For more information contact Zion Church 802-362-1987 or or visit website at


St. James Episcopal Church

St. James Episcopal Church, on Route 7A, has announced its Advent schedule. Everyone is welcome; you need not be Episcopalian to participate.

- Sunday, Dec. 24 - Fourth Sunday of Advent, 9 a.m., Holy Eucharist - Rite II; Sunday, Dec. 24 - Christmas Eve, 5 p.m. - Christmas Eve Service - Holy Eucharist.

- Monday, Dec. 25 - Christmas Day, 10 a.m. - The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Eucharist.

- Sunday, Dec. 31 - First Sunday of Christmas, 9 a.m. - Lessons and Carols and Holy Eucharist; 3 p.m. - Messiah Sing-Along.

- Monday, Jan. 1 - Feast of the Holy Name, 10 a.m. - Holy Eucharist.

The Rev. John M. Miller, Jr. will be celebrant and preacher at all services

Established in 1764, St. James' is the cradle parish of the Episcopal Church in Vermont. The present church building was consecrated in 1833, built after an earlier one was destroyed by fire. We strive to be a community of open hearts and discerning minds. We practice open table fellowship and All are welcome to join us. We offer worship according to the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. All worship opportunities are child-friendly. For additional information about Advent and Christmas services or any other services at St. James' Episcopal Church, contact the parish office at 802-375-9952; send an e-mail to or visit


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