Some data on the subject (courtesy of LifeWay):
- 6% of Protestant churches planned to have a Christmas Eve service, but no service on Christmas Day. 28% planned to have service on Christmas Day, but no service on Christmas Eve. 63% planned to hold services on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Compared to other regions of the nation, Protestant pastors in the South are the least likely (62%) to hold Christmas Eve services.
- Full-time (71%) and part-time (74%) pastors are more likely to be planning a Christmas Eve service than bivocational or volunteer (53%) pastors. Pastors identifying themselves as “mainline” (87%) are more likely to have a service on Christmas Eve compared to those identifying themselves as Evangelical (70%).
- Nearly as many Protestant pastors plan to host services on New Year’s Day (88%) as Christmas Day (91%). 26% are planning for their church to hold services on New Year’s Eve.
- 74% of Americans agree (strongly or somewhat) that “Christmas is primarily a day for religious celebration and observance.” But, 67% agree that, “Many of the things I enjoy during the Christmas season have nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ.”
All of which is very interesting for this Lutheran living in the heart of Dixie... especially when remembering all those Christians who faced persecution and terrorist threat to be in Church on Christmas!!
You can read some local coverage on this matter here (courtesy of The Tennessean).