Christmas Eve Nativity Celebration Service

Christmas Eve Nativity Celebration Service

Evening Worship at 6:45 p.m.

*Please Stand, As You Are Able

Music to Prepare Our Hearts Choir and Organist

Overture and Sleepers, Awake (Lloyd Larson)
The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy (West Indian, arr. John Barnard)
Hear The Angels Singing (Lloyd Larson)
Song of Mary and Joseph (John Purifoy)

Words of Welcome Rev. Dr. Patricia L. Sebring

Choral Introit – For Unto Us A Child Is Born (John Purifoy)                                          Choir

For unto us a Child is born,
For unto us a Son is given,
And the government will be upon His shoulder.

For unto us a Child is born,
And His name shall ever be “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”.
Of His kingdom there shall be no end. He shall uphold the throne of Israel,
and he shall rule with justice and righteousness from this time forth and forever more.

* Call to WorshipCanticle of Light and Darkness (Response 3) Hymnal 205

Response 3: O come, let us adore him, Christ, the Lord.

ALL:  We look for light but find darkness,

ALL:  For brightness, but walk in gloom.

ALL:  We grope like those who have no eyes;

ALL:  We stumble at noon as in the twilight.

Response 3: O come, let us adore him, Christ, the Lord.

ALL:  If I say, “Let only darkness cover me,

ALL:  And the light about me be night,”

ALL:  Even the darkness is not dark to you,

ALL:  The night is bright as the day,

ALL:  For darkness is as light with you.

Response 3: O come, let us adore him, Christ, the Lord.

ALL:  Blessed be your name, O God, for ever.

ALL:  You reveal deep and mysterious things;

ALL:  You are light and in you is no darkness.

ALL:  Our darkness is passing away

ALL:  And already the true light is shining.

Response 3: O come, let us adore him, Christ, the Lord.

* SongO Come All Ye Faithful (All 6 verses) Hymnal 234

1. O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem. Come and behold him, born the King of angels; O come, let us adore him, O Come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

2. True God of true God, Light from Light Eternal, lo, he shuns not the Virgin’s womb; Glory to God, Son of the Father, begotten, not created; O come, let us adore him, O Come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

3. Sing, choir of angels, sing in exultation; O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above! Glory to God, all glory in the highest; O come, let us adore him, O Come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

[4]. See how the shepherds, summoned to his cradle, leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze; we too will thither bend our joyful footsteps; O come, let us adore him, O Come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

[5]. Child, for us sinners poor and in the manger, we would embrace thee with love and awe. Who would not love thee, loving us so dearly? O come, let us adore him, O Come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

[6]. Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning, Jesus, to thee be all glory given. Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing: O come, let us adore him, O Come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

Christmas Prayer Hymnal 231

L: Eternal God,

L: By the birth of Jesus Christ you gave yourself to the world.

L: Grant that, being born in our hearts,

L:     He may save us from all our sins,

L:     And restore within us the image and likeness of our Creator,

L: To whom be everlasting praise and glory,

L:     World without end.

ALL:  Amen.

Special MusicChrist Is Born, Sing Glory to God (Larson)                                             Choir

Celebrate the promise of the King, sing and celebrate.
Christ is born, sing glory to God in the highest!
Christ is born, sing Gloria!
Sing Gloria to God on high.
There were shepherds keeping watch that night
When the sky was filled with Heaven’s light.
An Angel of the Lord appeared
And proclaimed good news for all to hear!
“There shall be a sign,” the angel said;
“You will find the Child in a manger bed
Go, worship Christ, the newborn King.
Let the heavens and earth rejoice and sing
“Gloria in Excelsis Deo”

Biblical StorytellingThe Birth of Christ Rev. Dr. Patricia L. Sebring

Special MusicMary’s Lullaby (Harlan) Choir

Sleep peacefully, Jesus, all warm in the hay.
May your waking cries come with breaking of day.
Surrounded by silence on this sacred night,
Sleep soundly, sweet Jesus,’til morning’s first night
How can it be true that in this cattle stall
Sleeps One who is born to be Savior of all?
The darkness that covers the people of earth
Will somehow be lifted because of Your birth
So sleep, Baby Jesus, and dream of the day
When Your little hands will turn sorrow away.
For you, born tonight in this dark cattle stall
Brought God’s gift of love to give light to us all.

Sermon – “Light Dispels Darkness”                                                   Rev. Dr. Patricia L. Sebring

* Song – It Came Upon the Midnight Clear Hymnal 218

1. It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old, from angels bending near the earth, to touch their harps of gold: “Peace on the earth, good will to men [all], from heaven’s all-gracious King.” The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing.

2. Still through the cloven skies they come with peaceful wings unfurled, and still their heavenly music floats o’er all the weary world; above its sad and lowly plains, they bend on hovering wing, and ever o’er its Babel sounds the blessed angels sing.

3. And ye, beneath life’s crushing load, whose forms are bending low, who toil along the climbing way with painful steps and slow, look now! for glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing. O rest beside the weary road, and hear the angels sing!

4. For lo! the days are hastening on, by prophet seen of old, when with the ever-circling years shall come the time foretold when peace shall over all the earth its ancient splendors fling, and the whole world send back the song which now the angels sing.

Celebration of Holy Communion


Great Thanksgiving

Pastor:     The Lord be with you.

People:   And also with you.

Pastor:     Lift up your hearts.

People:   We lift them up to the Lord.

Pastor:     Let us give thanks to the Lord our God

People:   It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Pastor:     It is right, and a good and joyful thing …

And so with your people on earth and all the company of heaven
we praise your name and join their unending hymn.

People:   Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!

Pastor:     Holy are you, and blessed is your Son …as we proclaim the mystery of faith.

People:   Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Pastor:     Pour out your Holy Spirit …

All honor and glory is yours Almighty God, now and for ever.

People:   Amen.

Receiving the Bread and Cup

Carols During Communion

Away in a Manger Hymnal 217

1. Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head. The stars in the sky looked down where he lay, the little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

2. The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes, but little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes; I love thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky and stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

3. Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay close by me forever, and love me, I pray; bless all the dear children in thy tender care, and fit us for heaven to live with thee there.

What Child is This Hymnal 219

1. What child is this who, laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping? Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping? This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing; haste, haste to bring him laud, the babe, the son of Mary.

2. Why lies he in such mean estate where ox and ass are feeding? Good Christians, fear, for sinners here the silent Word is pleading. This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing; haste, haste to bring him laud, the babe, the son of Mary.

3. So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh, come, peasant, king, to own him; the King of kings salvation brings, let loving hearts enthrone him. This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing; haste, haste to bring him laud, the babe, the son of Mary.

O Little Town of Bethlehem Hymnal 230

1. O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie; above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by. Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light; the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

2. For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above, while mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love. O morning stars together, proclaim the holy birth, and praises sing to God the King, and peace to all on earth!

3. How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given; so God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heaven. No ear may hear his coming, but in this world of sin, where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in.

4. O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray; cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today. We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell; O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!

Christmas Prayers

Pastor:  The Lord be with you.

People:  And also with you.

Pastor: Let us pray:

Pastoral Prayer

Lord’s Prayer(You may pray either version printed below or another that you know.)

Methodist Version
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,

thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

or thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.  Amen.
Modern Ecumenical Version
Our God in heaven:
your holy name be honored,
your kin-dom come, your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from the evil one.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory
are yours now and always.  Amen.

Glorifying God with our Gifts and Offerings

Invitation to Share in God’s Kingdom Work

Music to Receive the Offering – O Holy Night Choir

O Holy Night
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Fall on your knees,
O hear the angels’ voices!
O night divine,
O night when Christ was born
O night divine!
Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our Friend!
He knows our need; to our weakness is no stranger.
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!

Prayer After Receiving the Offering: (Unison)

Glory to God in the highest heaven!
We praise your name with our offerings.
We give these gifts in recognition of Jesus,
a tiny babe who from humble birth was created great in your light.
Thank you, Gracious God, for pure, unbounded love
wrapped in swaddling clothes laying in a manger –
a gift so great to share that it could not be contained.
Let the joy we feel in our hearts overflow in unending praise. Amen.

Presentation of the Offering – Angels We Have Heard on High Hymnal 238

1. Angels we have heard on high sweetly singing o’er the plains, and the mountains in reply echoing their joyous strains. Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

2. Shepherds, why this jubilee? Why your joyous strains prolong? What the gladsome tidings be which inspire your heavenly song? Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

3. Come to Bethlehem and see Christ whose birth the angels sing; come, adore on bended knee, Christ the Lord, the newborn King. Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

4. See him in a manger laid, whom the choirs of angels praise; Mary, Joseph, lend your aid, while our hearts in love we raise. Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Lighting of Christ Candle and Congregational Candles                     Rev. Dr. Patricia L. Sebring

* Song – Silent Night Hymnal 239

(Verse 1 sung in German as a solo followed by congregation singing Verses 1-4)

1. Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht! Alles schläft, einsam wacht nur das traute hochheilige Paar, Holder Knabe mit lockigem Haar, schlaf im himmlischer Ruh, schlaf im himmlischer Ruh.

1. Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright round yon virgin mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild, sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.

2. Silent night, holy night, shepherds quake at the sight; glories stream from heaven afar, heavenly hosts sing Alleluia! Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born!

3. Silent night, holy night, Son of God, love’s pure light; radiant beams from thy holy face with the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, Jesus, the Lord, at thy birth.

4. Silent night, holy night, wondrous star, lend thy light; with the angels let us sing, Alleluia to our King; Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born!

We light candles during the song spreading the light from the Christ candle to all.

Please remember not to tilt lit candles. Be careful to prevent wax dripping on others or furnishings.

* Going Out to Share the Good News of Christ’s Birth

Leader: A Savior has been born for us;

People:      A Son has been given to us!.

Leader:      May you share the gift of Christmas with everyone.

People:      We will share the gift of Christ dispelling darkness with the Light of the World.


* SongJoy to the World Hymnal 246

1. Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

2. Joy to the world, the Savior reigns! Let all their songs employ; while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy, repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

3. No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground; he comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found, far as, far as the curse is found.

4. He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of his righteousness, and wonders of his love, and wonders of his love, and wonders, wonders of his love.

Choral Response – Gaudete! (Trad, arr. Prior and Kemp)                                                   Choir

Rejoice! Christ is born of the Virgin Mary. Rejoice!

* Ringing of the Bicentennial Bell

* Postlude – In Dulci Jubilo (Arr. Honegger)*

Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on December 22, 2017

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