PARKERSBURG - A traditional candlelight Christmas Eve service will be held at 7 and 11 p.m. today at First Lutheran Church, 19th and Plum streets in Parkersburg.
The services are a tradition each Holy season. Both services will include featured vocalists, the Festival Choir and the Eastlawn Brass Quintet.
Special music will precede the 7 p.m. service beginning at 6:45 p.m. and at 10:30 prior to the 11 p.m. service. Holy Communion will be celebrated at both services. Everyone will be given a candle to join in the lighting of candles during the singing of Silent Night.
First Lutheran Church, located at 19th and Plum streets in Parkersburg, prepares for its traditional candlelight Christmas Eve services at 7 and 11 p.m. today. Special music will precede each service beginning at 6:45 and 10:30 p.m. The public is invited.
Both services are open to the public.
First Lutheran Church is handicapped accessible. A nursery will be available during the early service. Call the church office at 304-428-6174 for additional information.
A number of other local churches in the Mid-Ohio Valley will also be holding special Christmas Eve services today to mark the holiday.
The services and programs today will include:
* First Congregational Church, 7:30 p.m., 318 Front St., Marietta.
* First Christian Church, 7 p.m., 1400 Washington Ave., Parkersburg.
* Gilman United Methodist Church, 7 p.m., 312 Gilman Ave., Marietta.
* Fairview Heights Chapel, 6 p.m., 115 High St. on Harmar Hill, Marietta.
* St. John's Evangelical Church, 7 p.m., 312 Fourth St., Lowell.
* North Parkersburg Baptist Church, 6 and 7:30 p.m., 3109 Emerson Ave., Parkersburg.
* Edgelawn/Epworth United Methodist Church Charge, 6:30 p.m., corner of Sixth Avenue and Myrtle Street, south Parkersburg.
* Christ United Methodist Church, 7 p.m., Third and Wooster streets, Marietta.
* 14th Avenue Gospel Mission Church, 7 p.m., 4124 14th Ave., south Parkersburg.
* Macfarlan Community Church, 6 p.m., MacFarlan, W.Va.
* Christ Memorial Episcopal Church, 5 p.m., 409 Columbia Ave., Williamstown.
* Tunnel United Methodist Church, 7 p.m., 65 Coffman Road, Warren Township.
* Putnam Congregational Church, 7 p.m., 707 Masonic Park Road, Devola.
Some churches will also be holding Christmas Day programs, including one community breakfast and three free community dinners on the holiday:
* In south Parkesburg, First Evangelical Methodist Church, at 1906 Gihon Road, will hold its free community Christmas Breakfast from 10-11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
* First Presbyterian Church Christmas Day Dinner from noon-2 p.m. Tuesday at 1341 Juliana St., Parkersburg.
* Coolville United Methodist Church Christmas Day Dinner at 1 p.m. Tuesday at 26460 Main St., Coolville.
* Tri-City Baptist Church Christmas Day Dinner, noon, Tuesday, 914 Grandview St. in south Parkersburg.