Christmas Eve service

Macon Messer, right, raises his candle and shows an expression of joy as he sings in celebration of the birth of Jesus during a previous Christmas Eve service at the First United Methodist Church of Belton. Also pictured on the left is Emma Lathi.

Christmas is right around the corner and several area churches have special events and services planned for the holiday.

Local events include:

First Baptist Church of Belton carol and candlelight service

First Baptist Church of Belton will hold a carol and candlelight service 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

The service will highlight the music of the Christmas season and celebrate the birth of Jesus.

The church is located at 506 N. Main St. in Belton.

First Baptist Church of Temple Christmas Eve services

The First Baptist Church of Temple will offer three Christmas Eve services on Dec. 24.

A family friendly service featuring fun songs and glow sticks for children will be held at 3 p.m. and a candlelight service with communion will be offered at 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

The church is located at 8015 W. Adams Ave. in Temple.

First Presbyterian Church of Belton upcoming events

The First Presbyterian Church of Belton has announced several upcoming activities.

On Sunday, the church will have a special musical program featuring James Flowers, a violinist with the Temple Symphony Orchestra. Flowers will present Advent solos and duets.

At 6:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, the church will hold a Service of Lessons and Carols and Communion, which will feature congregational singing, lectors reading the story of the Lord’s birth, Jamis Whitis, trombonist, and the chime and choral choirs offering special music. Children are invited to be part of the manger tableau at the conclusion of the service. Hot chocolate and cookies will follow for a time of further celebration and fellowship.

On Christmas Sunday, Dec. 26, the church will offer a casual environment for worship centered on singing the hymns of rejoicing in the spirit of Christmas. The wearing of Christmas sweaters is encouraged.

Sunday services start at 11 a.m. The church is located at 2500 Church St. in Belton.

Cross Church on Birdcreek Christmas Eve service

Cross Church on Birdcreek invites the community to a candlelight Christmas Eve service at 6 p.m. on Dec. 24. The service will include special music and a message.

The regular Sunday services start at 10:45 a.m.

The church is located at 2202 Birdcreek Drive in Temple.

First Lutheran Church Christmas Eve service

First Lutheran Church has announced that it will hold Christmas Eve services at 3 p.m. on Dec. 24.

The candlelight service will include Holy Communion and carol singing. The event is open to the public.

The church is located at 1515 W. Adams Ave. in Temple.

Foundation United Methodist Church

Foundation United Methodist Church will hold offer candlelight Christmas Eve services at 5 p.m. (nursery available) and at 7 p.m. (no nursery available) on Dec. 24.

The church is located at 10751 W. Adams Ave. in Temple.

First United Methodist Church of Temple

First United Methodist Church of Temple will hold candlelight Christmas Eve services on Dec. 24. A family friendly service will take place at 5 p.m. in the sanctuary. A contemporary service will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Growbowsky Family Life Center. A Holy Communion service will take place at 8 p.m. in the sanctuary.

The church is located at 102 N. Second St. in Temple.

Belton First United Methodist Church activities

Belton First United Methodist Church, located at 205 E. Third Ave. in Belton, has announced several upcoming events.

The church will hold a Blue Christmas program 4 p.m. Sunday. The program is for those experiencing grief and loss during the holidays. “Blue Christmas is about dropping the merry and bright and recognizing the hard stuff — the loss, the relationships, the separations, the hard emotions. Blue Christmas is about recognizing that God knows about sadness and loss and wants to comfort and help you,” a church news release states.

The church also has announced its advent schedule. On Friday, Dec. 24, an outdoor worship will take place at 5 p.m., and candlelight and carols worship services will be held at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. On Sunday, Dec. 26, one service will take place at 10:45 a.m.

Vista Community Church events

Vista Community Church, 7051 Stonehollow in Temple, will offer Christmas Eve services over two days. Services will be held 6 p.m. Dec. 23 and 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 24.

The Vista Kids program will be available for infants through preschool during each service.

On Dec. 26, the church will offer a full family worship service at 10:30 a.m. There will be no Vista Kids or student programs available. Everyone is invited to worship together in the auditorium.

Longest Night service at Christ Episcopal Church

Christ Episcopal Church, 300 N. Main St. in Temple, will hold a Longest Night service 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 22. The service also will be streamed online at facebook.com/christchurchtx.

The special service aims to bring comfort to those who experience grief and loss during the holiday season.

Participating ministers will include Janice Krause (Christ Episcopal Church), David Krause (St. Francis Episcopal Church), Rachel Harber (Associate Missioner, UMHB), and Deacons of St. Francis Episcopal and Christ Episcopal:  Tamara Clothier, Glennda Hardin,  and Becky Sparks.

Special music will be provided by Central Texas musicians Sheryl Goodnight, Dr. Leon Couch, Li Ping, Gerald Nicholas and Crystal Conner.

A special table will be set up where participants may bring a photo of a loved one to commemorate them and to offer a special remembrance that was not possible at the time of their passing.