First Congregational Church offers multiple Christmas Eve services

Christmas TreeChristmas is a very special time at the First Congregational Church of Greenwich and its seasonal offerings provide something for everyone.

Dec. 13 marked the exciting arrival of live sheep for the church’s crèche on the church lawn. Cared for by “shepherds” from the Thalheim family for many years, the Sykes family of Old Greenwich enthusiastically takes over the task this year. The sheep will be in town through the Christmas season.

Then on Sunday, Dec. 22, the fourth Sunday of Advent, the church will have a live nativity in the outside crèche for the first time. Be sure to drive or walk by to check out this unique sight.

And, as always, everyone is invited to join the very special Christmas Eve celebrations. At 10 a.m. a lessons and carols service will take place. This service is especially for families with young children and includes a live nativity in the church’s historic Meetinghouse.

At 4 p.m. the family service will be held, including the “Once in Royal David’s City” children’s pageant. Then at 5 p.m. is the community carol sing. All are invited to gather around the Christmas tree on the front lawn of the church to sing some holiday favorites. At 8 p.m., the communion and carols service will include festive music and communion and at 11 p.m. the candlelight service and carols take place. During this last service, the Meetinghouse is illuminated by candlelight while attendees share in the magic of the season.

While sharing his thoughts on the music being presented on Christmas Eve, Director of Music and organist, Craig Scott Symons, said, “Christmas Eve is always a magical time for musicians and church-goers alike. There are so many amazing pieces of music written for this season and all of our vocal choirs will be present at one of our 4 services. Each service is designed to appeal to a specific age group and the music in the service reflects that. For me, the service that means the most is our 11 p.m. service. The rushing around is over and the stillness of the late-evening hour and candlelit worship space has a calming effect, particularly with the addition of a harp throughout the service at both 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.”

Enjoy the Christmas season at the First Congregational Church, located at 108 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich (across from Binney Park). For more information, call the church at 203-637-1791 or visit

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