Because Christmas falls on Sunday this year, some churches are opting to close that day so that families can spend the morning together at home.
Among the nation’s top 20 largest Protestant churches — as ranked by Outreach Magazine — three will be closed on Christmas, and 10 will be having only one service, The Tennessean reports.
LifeChurch.tv, an Oklahoma-based megachurch with 14 locations in five states, says it will be closed on Christmas, but it plans to hold Christmas Eve services.
In Atlanta, First Baptist Church will hold morning services on Christmas Eve but close on Sunday.
Life Research, based in Nashville, says its national survey of Protestant churches found that 91% would hold at least one service Christmas morning, while about 9% will not worship on Sunday at all. Some plan Christmas Eve services instead.
“Having church on Christmas Day when it falls on a Sunday seems as if it would be as much of a given as having Thanksgiving on a Thursday, but this has been an issue of discussion and contention in recent years,” says Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research. “Also, just because an overwhelming majority of pastors think that way doesn’t mean those in their congregations necessarily share their perspective.”
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SOURCE: USA Today