Christmas Eve Services at First Congregational Church in OG

Christmas Eve Services at First Congregational Church of Greenwich include a traditional Christmas pageant and “White Gifts.”

Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24
Christmas Eve in Old Greenwich will feature four different services at the First Congregational Church, each service designed for a special audience. From the first service at 10:00 a.m., primarily designed for families with young children, to the 9:00 p.m. Candlelight Service that particularly attracts high school and returning college students, all age groups will have ample opportunities for worship and celebration on this special day of the year.

The afternoon and early evening services, at 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., will feature performances of First Church’s traditional Christmas Pageant, “Once in Royal David’s City,” re-enacted by adult and school-age members of the congregation in colorful period costumes.

Between those two services, at 4:00 p.m., all are welcome to join the congregation outside by the crèche to serenade passersby on Sound Beach Avenue with traditional Christmas carols.

All of the four services are united by the offering of “White Gifts” of clothing, toys, books or other useful items that will be delivered to Covenant to Care for Children, an interfaith charity that  provides direct assistance to Connecticut’s children who are neglected, abused and/or impoverished. This longstanding Christmas Eve tradition at First Church encourages worshippers to bring gifts for children wrapped in white paper, which gives the illusion of snow when placed under the Christmas trees in the Meetinghouse.

“The White Gifts tradition is special for us because it continues our fall ‘Giving Season’ right up to Christmas Day,” said Chris Hartwell, Chair of the Church Council at First Church. “But everyone is joyously welcomed at all of our services, whether or not they happen to bring a White Gift.” Ribbons and bows are not needed, or even encouraged, for White Gifts. “And if you find yourself without white paper at the last minute,” Hartwell says, “you will find that many patterned papers are white on the reverse side; or you can just use white tissue paper. However the gift is wrapped, it will mean so much to the child who receives it.”

Complete schedule for Christmas Eve at First Church in Old Greenwich:

10:00 a.m. Family Service (For our youngest families)
Rev. Patrick Collins, preaching / Music by The Cherub Choir
Nativity Scene featuring Church School Children

3:00 p.m. Family Service.
Rev. Richard S. DenUyl, Jr., preaching / Music by The Children’s Choir
“Once in Royal David’s City” Christmas Pageant

4:00 p.m. Carol Sing
Meet by our crèche across from Binney Park

6:00 p.m. Festival Service
Rev. Richard S. DenUyl, Jr., preaching / Music by The Chancel Choir and Brass
“Once in Royal David’s City” Christmas Pageant

9:00 p.m. Youth/Alumni Candlelight & Communion Service
Rev. Patrick Collins, preaching / Music by The Youth/Alumni Choir and harp

First Congregational Church of Greenwich is located at 108 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich.