While 9 in 10 pastors plan for their churches to host Christmas Day services this year, there may be plenty of space in the pews for those who actually attend.

A recently released LifeWay Research study of 1,000 Protestant pastors conducted in May shows 91 percent of them plan to have services on Christmas Day while 69 percent said they plan to host Christmas Eve services.

“Having church on Christmas Day when it falls on a Sunday seems as if it would be as much of a given as having Thanksgiving on a Thursday, but this has been an issue of discussion and contention in recent years,” said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research. “Also, just because an overwhelming majority of pastors think that way doesn’t mean those in their congregations necessarily share their perspective.”

Pastors were asked, “Christmas and New Year’s Day both fall on Sunday this year. As a result, does your church plan to have services on the following days: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day?”

Six percent of Protestant churches plan to have a Christmas Eve service but no service on Christmas Day. Twenty-eight percent plan to have a Christmas Day service but no service on Christmas Eve. Almost two-thirds (63 percent) plan to host both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services.