I was talking with a friend of mine who’s a music director at a mainline Protestant church (no, not at a Unitarian Universalist congregation). “So do you have to work Christmas day?” I asked.
“Nope,” he said. “They’re not having services on Christmas day.”
“You’re kidding,” I said.
He was not kidding. “We’re not have services on January first either,” he said.
“I don’t understand churches that don’t have services when Christmas falls on a Sunday,” I said. “It’s the sabbath day, of course you have services.”
He nodded tolerantly at my ranting.
“You know,” I continued, “shutting down a church on Christmas day usually has nothing to do with theology, or with the liturgical calendar. It mostly has to do with the senior pastor’s convenience.”
He just grinned. “Maybe, but I’m just as glad,” he said. “It means I get to have two Sundays off in a row.”
“There is that,” I said. Though for my part, I like working when Christmas falls on a Sunday — the people who come to services really want to be there, and it’s always fun. (And yes, we are having services in Palo Alto at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. on Christmas day, with the Forum at 9:00 and brunch at 10:30. Stop by if you’re in the area.)