Last year, my family decided to attend two Christmas Eve services. Coincidentally, they were both at Methodist churches (we actually don’t attend a Methodist church, but these were both services that had been suggested to us); the first at Highland Park UMC, and the second at Northaven UMC. Despite being mere miles away from each other, the churches might be as different as Methodist churches in Dallas, Texas can be, so it was an interesting evening.
Highland Park’s service was packed, despite the vastness of the sanctuary. The choral music was beautiful, and despite the fact that we sat in the very back, it felt as if the joy and solemnity of the service enveloped everyone in attendance. After sitting in the traditional nave that is Highland Park’s sanctuary, it was quite a switch to attend Northaven’s service in a sanctuary in the round. Instead of a choir, two soloists performed Christmas music, and instead of hundreds, perhaps thousands of people, the Northaven service held a few dozen. I loved the acoustics and feel of the sanctuary, and my favorite part of the evening was a segment in which members of the congregation read prayers and passages out loud — spontaneously. There were no pre-chosen readers, but everyone there seemed comfortable taking a turn in reading the evening’s liturgy, with no awkward pauses.
Both churches are holding Christmas Eve services again this year, and you can find the details on the Highland Park and Northaven websites. Other churches in our neighborhood will of course be holding services, too — Rev. Blair Monie of Preston Hollow Presbyterian (and one of our religion columnists) will preside over four. Please feel free to leave details on your church’s services in the comments.
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