Christmas Eve Order of Worship

Christmas Eve, December 24th

INTROIT
                                               
WELCOME 

*CALL TO WORSHIP
Let us all gather around to hear again the story we love,
The story of a baby born in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes.
It is the story of a man, the story of a God,
The story of a God who is with all of humanity. 
Did you hear that? God didn’t just create us and leave us on our own. God is not far off. 
We celebrate today the miracle that God is with us as one of us. 
Thanks be to Jesus Christ, our Emmanuel! 

OPENING  UNISON PRAYER 
God of love, your love broke the boundary between the divine and the human so that you could truly be with us. Help us today to open our hearts to the gift you have given us, the gift of yourself. Help us to see you and to seek you in the ordinariness of our lives. Strengthen us with the knowledge that you have been here too. Help us to stand in compassion and solidarity with all those you came to save, with all the world. Amen. 

ANTHEM                         Peace, Peace                              Fred Bock

LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLE
There is a big difference between God for us and God with us. The birth story is a perfect example of that. A bunch of shepherds and a couple poor kids gather at a barn in some backwater Roman province. Yes, God was with us there and any other “last place on earth” you might find yourself. God is with us there, too.

Reader 1: 
On this holy night, we light the Christ candle, 
a reminder of the light of the world come to dwell with us and within us. 
Christ is the mystery of God taking on a human body to reveal God’s wisdom.
Christ is our ultimate hope, 
our reason for joy, 
our source of peace, 
and our evidence that love reigns. 

Light Candle

Sung Response:                 Emmanuel, Emmanuel                     No. 204
Emmanuel, Emmanuel,
his name is called Emmanuel.
God with us, revealed in us,
his name is called Emmanuel.

Reader 2: 
May we embrace the mystery of your birth among us this night.
May we let you be embodied in us, too, through our presence with others, through our willingness to be born anew, and through our awe at this sacred story that reminds us who we are and whose we are.
May we notice you truly with us, here and now. Amen.

*SCRIPTURE READING                                                       Luke 2:1-20

THE MESSAGE       Christmas Eve: God with Us       Rev. Dr. Ralph Wooten

INVITATION TO COMMUNION

A SERVICE OF WORD AND TABLE II                                       No. 12

THE LORD’S PRAYER 
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, for thine is the kingdom, 
and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.
 

BREAKING THE BREAD

GIVING THE BREAD AND CUP

PRAYER

CANDLE LIGHTING                                     Silent Night, Holy Night

DISMISSAL WITH BLESSING

PROCESSIONAL HYMN                                   Joy to the World


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