Churches celebrate Christmas Eve a few days late - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Churches celebrate Christmas Eve a few days late

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- Winter weather certainly in full swing here in Iowa, but remember last Thursday, Christmas Eve, things were looking a lot worse. That prompted a lot of churches to cancel traditional Christmas Eve services.

Three days after December 24th, actual Christmas Eve, church members at Saint Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls gave it another go. Church leaders decided Thursday morning to call off the scheduled evening candlelight service.

"Based on the forecast, we decided we didn't want anybody slipping and falling... Like a lot of churches did," Jerry Hageman said.

For everyone, canceling a special service was a tough call.

"A lot of these members, even on Sunday services, feel that their day isn't complete without the service. So on Christmas Eve, that decision isn't made often. This is my first time in 20 years that it's been canceled," Hageman said.

"It was kind of upsetting in a way because our family was here, our son and his family were here and our daughter was here, and we'd planned to come here," Audrey Lowin said.

Some members, like Lowin and her family, went to other churches' services on Thursday, but she and many others made sure the Christmas Eve tradition was kept at their home church, even if a bit later than planned.

Even though St. Paul's candlelight service wasn't on the 24th, it still fits on the Christian calendar.

"The nativity begins on the 25th of December and it goes up to the day of the epiphany which is January 6th. So, we're in the Christmas season right now, as opposed to the advent season... So it's a go with the flow," Pastor Jim Carstensen said. Carstensen is pastor of a Waterloo church and filled in Sunday.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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