Here is the order of worship for our Christmas Eve service this year. This is basically a “Lessons and Carols” service–though not with all of the traditional readings. We will be using a variety of translations for the scripture readings, because sometimes you just need to hear King James English. (And sometimes you don’t.)
Christmas Eve Service for Peace Mennonite Church, 2011
Welcome & Announcements
(Turn off lights.)
Call to Worship (Reading from Cloth for the Cradle by the Iona Community)
Hymn: O come, O come, Immanuel (v. 1, 3, 6)
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 9: 2, 6-7 (KJV)
Lighting of Advent Candles
(Turn on enough light for people to see the hymn.)
Hymn: To us a Child of hope is born
Advent Bidding Prayer
Holy One, be the light in our darkness tonight.
As we have lit the candle of hope, we pray for those who feel hopeless . . .
As we have lit the candle of peace, we pray for all victims of violence . . .
As we have lit the candle of joy, we pray for those whose hearts are weighed down by sorrow . .
As we have lit the candle of love, we pray for those who do not feel loved, for those who struggle to love others . . .
Holy One, be the light in our darkness tonight, that we might reflect your light into the dark corners of our world. Amen.
Scripture Reading: John 1: 1-5 (NRSV)
Lighting of the Christ Candle
(Turn on full lights.)
Hymn: Jesus the light of the world
Scripture Reading: Luke 1:26-38 (Message)
Hymn: No wind at the window
Scripture Reading: Luke 1: 39-56 (Cotton Patch Version-adapted)
Hymn: My soul is filled with joy
Scripture Reading: Matthew 1:18-21 (CEV)
Hymn: Oh, how joyfully (v. 1, 2)
Scripture Reading: Luke 2:1-5 (KJV)
Hymn: O little town of Bethlehem
Scripture Reading: Luke 2:6-7 (KJV)
Hymn: Infant holy, infant lowly
Scripture Reading: Luke 2: 8-14 (NRSV)
Hymn: Angels we have heard on high
Scripture Reading: Luke 2:15-18 (Message)
Hymn: Go, tell it on the mountain
Scripture Reading: Luke 2:19-20 (KJV)
Hymn: Holy Child within the manger
(Lights off again in preparation for lighting of candles.)
Prayer of Thanksgiving
God of light, God of love, we thank you for the gift of Jesus, Emmanuel; for your presence with us fully, completely, intimately, through the baby born so long ago in Bethlehem. During these days of celebration, may we live out the peace that Jesus proclaimed; may we work toward the justice he enacted; may we rest in the promise of your loving presence in our lives. Amen.
Closing Hymn: Silent night, holy night (verse 1 in German, then verses 1, 2, 3)
*~During the singing of this hymn, you are invited to pass the light from candle to candle.
Now, as you depart from this place and go out into the night,may
you carry with you the promises of God,
the blessing of the Christ Child,
and the song of the Spirit:
“Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth, peace, good will to all.”