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Ask Chicagoist: Christmas Church Trip?

By Thales Exoo in Miscellaneous on Dec 21, 2007 3:38PM

2007_12_askcarols.jpgDear Chicagoist,

Where is the best church to go see traditional Christmas carols this holiday season?

I've just moved here from Kansas City and only today realized I now have to find a new place to go for my annual trip to church. I don't mind if it's really Jesus-y (it's Christmas after all) though that's not really my "scene"--I just really love traditional carols sung in a traditional "churchy" way (versus some big Mannheim-steamroller-Andrew-Lloyd-Weber-$45 -a-seat-spectacle). Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.


Merry Christmas, JB.

Chicagoist and church haven't really gone together since -- well, ever. We do like Christmas music though; it's probably our favorite part of the whole holiday shebang. [Ed note: I like the presents.] So while we may not have first-hand experience with any of the churches we're going to discuss, we think they at least sound like comfortable and welcoming places for casual church-goers who want to get into the holiday spirit, in the more literal sense.

St. Peter's Episcopal Church at 621 W. Belmont promises to "love, nurture, and celebrate one another in our diversity," and has Christmas services Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On the 24th there are carols at 10pm, and a service at 10:30pm. Christmas Day has service at 10am.

Ebenezer Lutheran Church at 1650 W. Foster has two Christmas Eve services. One at 4pm is a children's service complete with the Christmas story and children's choir. The other is at 9pm and is a candlelight worship; "traditional and contemporary music will be included."

Third Unitarian Church at 301 N. Mayfield (near Austin and Lake) has Christmas Eve dinner, service, and caroling starting at 3:30. On Christmas day they have an 11am service "with much holiday music."

LaSalle Street Church at 1136 N. LaSalle has two Christmas Eve services. One at 5:30pm is "an intergenerational celebration, featuring special music, visuals, storytelling and lots of carol singing." The one at 9pm is "a quiet, elegant, candle lit service of carol singing, Scripture reading, prayer and reflection." Take your pick based on your needs and personality.

Chicago's Fourth Presbyterian Church at 126 E. Chestnut has four Christmas Eve services (with the 8:30pm one being broadcast on CBS). They are all candlelight services, the 4pm one being a Children's Pageant, 6pm is a family service, and 8:30pm and 11pm are both more traditional services of "Lessons and Carols."

First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple is the oldest church in Chicago, and is located at 77 W. Washington. They have two Christmas Eve services "with carols, candlelight and communion." One is at 7pm, and the later at 11pm.

So we know there are more churches out there than we could ever hope to start to touch upon, so please help us out here; is there a place you'd recommend for JB to go on Christmas to hear some traditional Christmas carols?

Image via paata

God rest ye merry gentlemen? Need some advice? Email ask(at)chicagoist(dot)com.