Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve

Pre-Service Music (see insert)

Holy Night (Larson)
Celebrate the Promise (Martin)
Coventry Carol (Trad, arr. BSM)
This Holy Christmas Night (Larson)

Organ Prelude

Welcome Rev. Debbie Scott

Choral IntroitCalm and Bright (see insert, McFee and Bell)

* Call to Worship

L: Once in Bethlehem, a tiny voice sounded an infant cry. Small hands clutched at manger hay. Tired eyes closed to the stable’s dimness. A fragile life lighted upon the world.
P: We rejoice this day in the Bethlehem birth, the coming of Jesus our Christ, for as he grew, his voice gained in strength of wisdom.
L: His hands reached out to all humankind. His eyes pierced to the heart of truth. His life conveyed a boundless love.
P: Through him we know that God is with us. Welcome to worship, and glory be to God!

* Opening CarolO Come, All Ye Faithful (vs. 1, 3 ,4, & 6)                                                             UMH 234

Opening Prayer (Unison)

O God of the Baby of Bethlehem, we come into your presence with praise and thanksgiving. We hear the glad tidings of the angel voices, we come to experience this good news of great joy for all the people. As the shepherds traveled to Bethlehem we have traveled here – excited, expectant, hopeful; a bit skeptical. Let the words of sacred scripture seep into our hearts to be treasured and pondered anew. We are here; we are ready, O God! Let the light of your love break forth! Amen.

Lighting the Christ Candle

L: Today we remember the birth of the baby named Jesus – a tiny, fragile child.
P: God chose to come to us wrapped in a diaper and asleep in a trough.
L: This tiny child comes to us as a symbol of promise –
P: That God chooses to be with us.
L: As a symbol of courage –
P: That God’s strength takes the form of vulnerability.
L: As a symbol of trust –
P: That God protects us in our fragility.
L: As a symbol of comfort –
P: That God comforts us as Mary comforted Jesus.
L: On this Christmas Eve, we light the candle that represents Christ. May we open our hearts to the light of God’s Spirit which comforts and protects and heals. Come, Lord Jesus, into our world, and fill us with your love. Amen.

AnthemO Holy Night (see insert, vs. 1, Adam)                                                            Scott Nunn, Soloist

Children’s Moment

AnthemA Miracle This Holy Night (see insert, Larsen)

A Reading from the Old Testament – Isaiah 9:2-7

* CarolO Little Town of Bethlehem UMH 230

A Reading from the Gospel – Luke 2:1-20

Christmas Meditation Rev. Debbie Scott

AnthemJoseph’s Song (see insert, Strathdee)

A Christmas Prayer

L: Let us affirm the love that God has for us – a love that was not, and cannot, be hindered.
P: We thank God for coming unto us; we praise him for Christ’s birth into our world.
L: It was cold and Mary and Joseph were fearful.
P: But that did not stop the birth.
L: They were poor and had no place fitting for their child.
P: But that did not stop the birth.
L: They were uncertain about what God wanted from them.
P: But that did not stop the birth.
L: And today we are still sometimes cold and fearful, certainly poor in many ways.
P: We often feel that we have no place and are unclear about what God wants of us.

L: But these things did not stop the birth of Jesus then, nor will they do it now. To all who are open to God’s leading, He comes.
P: Lord Jesus be born in us tonight.

Invitation to Christmas Offering

Offertory Christmas Bells Are Gladly Ringing (see insert, Martin)

* Presentation of Offerings with Response (Tune -Tallis Canon)

Praise God for gifts of hope and peace, Praise God for gifts of joy and love,
Praise God for sending Christ to dwell, On earth for us – Emmanuel.

* Offering Prayer

Thank you, God, for coming to us in a human life so expressive of love that two thousand years have not extinguished the flame. May that love burn so brightly in our lives that it fires will spread. Use our offerings to ignite in the world such caring and compassion that all your children may know joy and peace, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Service of Candle Lighting (Remain Seated)

Carol Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht (vs.1, German)                                                                                Choir
A Brief Word

CarolSilent Night, Holy Night

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, 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!

Prayer of Dedication (Unison)

O Christ, we ask, as we hold our candles, that you would dwell within us that we may go forth with the light of hope in our eyes, the fire of inspiration on our lips, your Word on our tongues, and your love in our hearts. Amen.

* Closing HymnJoy to the World UMH 246

* Benediction

L: Walk no more in gloom and shadows.
The light of Christ will shine within and among us.
P: We will look to that light on life’s journey.
The one called Wonderful Counselor walks with us.
L: Lift one another’s burdens and sing together for joy.
The grace of God has appeared to save us.
P: We will center our lives on Jesus Christ.
God calls us to faithfulness and good deeds.
L: Carry the peace of Christ into the world.
Glorify and praise God in all you do.
P: We will tell of what we have seen and heard.
The good news of great joy is for all people. Amen.

* Congregational ResponseWe Wish You A Merry Christmas

We wish you a Merry Christmas, We wish you a Merry Christmas,
We wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Good tidings we bring for you and your kin;
We wish you a merry Christmas

And a Happy New Year!

PostludeAllegro Festivo (Thomson)

Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on December 23, 2018

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