It’s holiday crunch time.
Hanukkah began Tuesday and Christmas is this Sunday, but don't forget this weekend is more about family anything else.
Many Patch readers, no matter what holiday they're celebrating, will gather with others to observe religious beliefs and remind each other what the season is really all about. Religion becomes increasingly important to many this time of year, and many Bergen County religious centers hold special services over the holidays.
will hold a “No Tears Christmas Pageant” at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve. In this unique pageant, the parents with the youngest child in church act as the holy family. The other children in church then decide, on the spot, what roles they would like to take on and dress accordingly (as stable animals, shepherds, kings, queens and angels.)
Reverend Victor Peterson explained that if a child decided to switch roles during the production or suddenly came down with a case of stage fright and went back to their seat, it wouldn't be a problem.
“[The point is] everyone participates in the story where they fit in — no more, no less, no tears,” Peterson said. In the end, all in attendance sing “Silent Night” after lighting individual candles and coming together in a circle.
“Great joy and a wonderful way to begin Christmas,” Petersen said.
A candlelit worship service complete with a telling of the Christmas story and selected music will be held at 10:30 p.m.
“The drama and poignancy of Jesus’s birth find expression with the lighting of candles, the silence and the awesome wonder of music,” he added.
In Glen Rock,'s Christmas Eve schedule includes a family liturgy at 4 p.m., liturgy at 6 p.m., sacred songs and carols at 9:30 p.m. and a solemn Christmas liturgy at 10:30 p.m. Three liturgies will be celebrated on Christmas Day, at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and noon.
The last mass will feature the church’s children’s choir.
in Wyckoff will be holding two Christmas Eve services, at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. There will be no service on Christmas Day, but the church is offering an alternative experience that can benefit families well after a typical service would conclude.
“We are providing a 17-minute DVD featuring a fireside chat with [me] focusing on the birth of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke 2:1-7,” lead pastor Jeff Boucher said. “We are also providing several questions for a family discussion based on the video that can be used on Christmas day or throughout the week.”
The video will also be available on the church’s website.
On Saturday — the fifth night of Hanukkah — is offering an evening of traditional Jewish activities for both children and adults with their Erev Xmas Family Chinese Dinner and Movie event.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Palisades is holding a sermon on Christmas Eve called “Christmas: A Subversive Holiday of Hope.”
Here's a list of some other local religious services:
Where: , 31 Passaic Ave., Hasbrouck Heights
When: Sat. Dec. 24, 5 p.m.
Where: , 500 Main Street, Wyckoff
When: Sat. Dec. 24, 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Where: West Side Presbyterian Church, 6 South Monroe St., Ridgewood
When: Sat. Dec. 24, 4 p.m. and 10 p.m and Sun. Dec. 25 at 10 a.m
Where: ,722 East Ridgewood Ave., Ridgewood
When: Sat. Dec. 24, 6 p.m.
Where: , 100 Dayton St., Ridgewood
When: Sat. Dec. 24, 10:30 p.m.
Where: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Palisades, 443 Van Nostrand Ave., Englewood
When: Sat. Dec. 24, 5 p.m.
Where: , 300 Elm St., Oradell
When: Sat. Dec. 24, 5 p.m. and Sun. Dec. 25, 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 12 noon
Where: , 109 Continental Ave., River Edge
When: Sat. Dec. 24, 7:30 p.m., Sun. Dec. 25, 7:30 a.m.
Where: , 118 Chadwick Rd., Teaneck
When: Sat. Dec. 24, 7 p.m.. Sun. Dec. 25,10 a.m. (Christmas Day Mass)
Where: , 1200 River Rd., Teaneck
When: Sun. Dec. 25, 11 a.m.
Where: Maranatha Grace Fort Lee, 360 Sylvan Ave., Englewood Cliffs
When: Sun. Dec. 25, 10 a.m.