Churches plan holiday services

Special Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services are aplenty this week in area churches.
Wesley United Methodist Church, 301 E. Madison Ave., will have a Christmas Eve candlelight communion service beginning at 8 p.m. The holiday sermon will be given by the Rev. Trudy Kenyon Anderson, with special music by the Chancel and Wesley Bells Choirs. The service will conclude with the traditional lighting of candles and singing of “Silent Night.”
Members of Neosho Falls United Methodist Church, Main and Ninth streets, will gather at 6 p.m. Christmas Eve for worship services that will include a holiday message, singing and a special communion service followed by the lighting of candles and the singing of “Silent Night.”
Members of Grace Lutheran Church, 117 W. Miller Rd., will gather at 7 p.m. for Christmas Eve services and again for services at 10:30 a.m. Christmas Day. New Year’s Eve services begin at 7 p.m.
First Baptist Church, 801 N. Cottonwood, invites community members to its 6 p.m. Christmas Eve services.
Area residents are invited to celebrate Christmas Eve services at 5 p.m. at Salem United Methodist Church, 3 miles west of Iola on Highway 54 and 2 miles south on 800 St., and at Calvary United Methodist Church, 118 W. Jackson Ave., at 7 p.m.
Christmas Eve Masses will be recited at 5 p.m. at St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Piqua, and at 7 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Yates Center.
Christmas morning Mass will be said at 9 a.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church, 301 S. Jefferson, in Iola.
Confessions will be heard at 7 o’clock tonight at St. John’s Catholic Church in Iola and again at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. John’s and 5:15 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Yates Center. Confessions will be heard again at noon Thursday at St. John’s.
Luminaries will light the sidewalks at a special candlelight Christmas Eve service at First Presbyterian Church, 302 E. Madison Ave. A special program of Christmas music begins at 7 p.m. followed by the traditional service of carols and candles at 7:30 p.m. Light will spread from one to all as each will be given a candle to light and hold during the singing of “Silent Night.” The worship service will include music from the Handbell Choir, directed by Sally Huskey, with a special oboe obligato by Paula Sutherland. The Chancel Choir, under the direction of Jan Knewtson, will feature a vocal solo by Jim Gilpin. Piano and organ accompaniment will be provided by Kathleen McCollam. Nursery care will be available for those with small children, and there is an elevator for any who have difficulty with stairs. The service is open to area residents.