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St. Thomas to celebrate with Christmas Eve service

St.Thomas Episcopal Church in Elizabethton welcomes worshipers to the oldest in-use church in the city for services beginning at 10:30 p.m. with celebrations beginning at 11 p.m. on Friday, Christmas Eve, Dec. 24. Moments after midnight at Christmas morning, the congregation, celebrating the Christmas story from the Holy Bible, joining in Holy Communion, and singing beloved music, gather in procession to the street. Facing the city with the mountains surrounding all proclaim in song, “Go Tell It on the Mountain that Jesus Christ Is Born!”

Father Timothy Holder, priest and pastor at St. Thomas, invites especially those from counties served by St. Thomas, Carter, Johnson, Unicoi and Washington. The parish draws its traditional members from the area, but also Latinx communities in Northeast Tennessee, as well as musicians and lovers of the musical traditions here at home in Appalachia. Services are bilingual and blessed by singers and musicians from throughout Elizabethton and beyond.

“The church is renewed by many traditions and people, differing communities and customs, all sustaining and enlivening the Gospel anew,”  Holder said, “Today is an exciting and demanding time for the faithful. Celebrating the birth of Jesus means light, promise and hope at these pivotal times in history.”

To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Holder explained, ‘Love – Jesus, the ‘King of Love’ – will make a way. Let us follow the Holy Child at this wonderful Season.”

Center for Disease Control  protocols are observed for everyone’s safety and well-being: vaccines and boosters, masking and good site-ventilation. Testing is also recommended as everyone faces the COVID-19 pandemic for the long-term.

St.Thomas’ Christmas Midnight Mass will be streamed at “St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Elizabethton, Tennessee” on Facebook.