St. Paul's to Hold Christmas Eve Service in Church - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

St. Paul's to Hold Christmas Eve Service in Church

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OCEAN CITY, Md.- Thirteen months after tragedy struck St. Paul's By the Sea Episcopal Church in Ocean City, the congregation will be returning to the church just in time for Christmas.

The announcement was made to the church's congregation that the Christmas Eve service at 5 p.m. would be held inside the church.

"Oh everybody is just thrilled. Everybody is thrilled," said Father Mark Cyr.

Father Cyr said the church has gone through a lot to make sure it is ready for services once again.

"We've got carpet in the church as well as pews which weren't here the last time we spoke, and the alter guild has been busy putting stuff up on the alter," said Cyr.

Services have not been held in the church since last November because of the tragic fire that damaged the building. Ocean City Police said John Sterner intentionally set himself on fire and entered the church's rectory building.  He, along with Rev. David Dingwall, were killed in the fire.  In the church, the pews and stain glass has been cleaned and a sprinkler system has been installed. The church is looking just about ready for Christmas.

"Emotionally and spiritually it's such a great lift for the congregation to come back into the church and celebrate what is one of the most important feasts of the church year, right back in our spiritual headquarters," said Cyr.

After the Christmas Eve service, there are still a few more weeks of construction needed at St. Paul's. But right now, the plan is to get back into the church full time beginning on January 11th.


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