Those who use the Julian calendar such as Greek, Ukrainian, Eritrean, Russian, and Ethiopian Orthodox churches are celebrating Christmas Day on Friday.

In the William Whyte neighbourhood, Russian Greek Orthodox Holy Trinity Cathedral Warden Elly Kampen says most people celebrate both Christmas dates as they cannot escape the festive December season.

"You can't get through December the 24th and 25th without doing some celebrating," Kampen says. "A lot of our friends are celebrating, so we celebrate then too but this one is very special."

For Kampen, the reason for the season lies entirely in the birth of Jesus. She enjoys celebrating at her Manitoba Avenue church knowing she will be surrounded by icons and can see an altar and an icon of Jesus, Mary and the other people from the nativity.

"The best part, for me, is that part of the faith that gives us Christ incarnate. He comes down; it is God right there in front of us in the most humble of places. Who wants to be in a barn or stable? But it is warm, there is love, and it is that incredible humility."

The warden is expecting it to be a quiet celebration for most people, saying most services will be live-streamed with at-home viewers.

Music continues to be a pivotal part of Christmas worship for Kampen.

"For me, it is very different because the songs are in Russian. They are wonderful, beautiful, beautiful, heartrending songs."

She is glad to be able to sing hymns without sweating in the pews as she did throughout her Paraguayan childhood.

"We would sin these songs about 'the sweater the bells never ring than at this beautiful Christmas time when everything is full of snow.' And we were sitting there on the benches just sweating."

All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral, and St. Micheal Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church are also holding services.