Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Worship Guide

December 24, 2021

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Creating Disciples of Jesus who Transform the World

 

ENTRANCE WITH PRAISE

 

Lighting the Advent Candle:

 

Christmas Music: “Here With Us” Stefanie

 

The Bidding Prayer

 

Beloved in Christ,

This Christmas Eve, it is our duty and delight to prepare ourselves to hear again the message of the angels, and to go in heart and mind to Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, and the Babe lying in a manger.

 

Therefore let us hear again from Holy Scripture the tale of the loving purposes of God from the first days of our sin until the glorious redemption brought us by this holy Child; and let us make this house of prayer glad with our carols of praise.

 

But first, because this of all things would rejoice Jesus’ heart, let us pray to him from the needs of the whole world, and all his people; for peace upon the earth he came to save; for love and unity within the one Church he did build; for goodwill among all peoples.

 

And particularly at this time let us remember the poor, the cold, the hungry, the oppressed; the sick and them that mourn; the lonely and the unloved; the aged and the little children; and all who know not the Lord Jesus, or who love him not, or who by sin have grieved his heart of love.

 

Lastly let us remember all those who rejoice with us, but upon another shore and in a greater light, that multitude which no one can number, whose hope was in the Word made flesh, and with whom, in this Lord Jesus, we for evermore are one.

 

These prayers and praises let us humbly offer up to the throne of heaven, in the words that Christ himself taught us.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

The Telling of the Story

 

Mary:  Luke 1:26-38

 

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." 34 Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a    virgin?" 35 The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God." 38 Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.

 

Joseph: Matthew 1:18-25

 

18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." 22 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

23 "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and they shall name him Emmanuel,"

which means, "God is with us."

24 When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, 25 but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

 

Christmas Music: “O Little Town of Bethlehem”

 

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.

 

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!

 

Jesus: Luke 2:1-7

 

1 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

 

Christmas Music:  “Hark the Herald Angel Sings ”

 

Hark! the herald angels sing,

“Glory to the newborn King;

peace on earth and mercy mild,

God and sinners reconciled.”

Joyful, all ye nations rise,

join the triumph of the skies,

with th’angelic host proclaim,

“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”

Hark! the herald angels sing,

“Glory to the newborn King!”

 

Christ, by highest heaven adored;

Christ, the everlasting Lord;

late in time behold him come,

offspring of a virgin's womb.

Veiled in flesh the God-head see,

hail th'incarnate Deity,

pleased with us in flesh to dwell,

Jesus, our Emmanuel.

Hark! the herald angels sing,

“Glory to the newborn King!”

 

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!

Hail the Son of Righteousness!

Light and life to all he brings,

risen with healing in his wings.

Mild he lays his glory by,

born that we no more may die,

born to raise us from the earth,

born to give us second birth.

Hark! the herald angels sing,

“Glory to the newborn King!”

 

Shepherds: Luke 2:8-20

 

8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger." 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

14 "Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and on earth peace among those whom he favors!"

 

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us." 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

 

Wise Men: Matthew 2:1-11

 

1 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage." 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

6 'And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.'"

7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage." 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

 

Christmas Music:  “The First Noel ”

 

The first Noel the angel did say

was to certain poor shepherds

in fields as they lay;

in fields where they lay keeping their sheep,

on a cold winter's night that was so deep.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,

Born is the King of Israel.

 

They looked up and saw a star

shining in the east, beyond them far;

and to the earth it gave great light,

and so it continued both day and night.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,

Born is the King of Israel.

 

And by the light of that same star

three Wise Men came from country far;

to seek for a king was their intent,

and to follow the star wherever it went.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,

Born is the King of Israel.

 

This star drew nigh to the northwest,

over Bethlehem it took its rest;

and there it did both stop and stay,

right over the place where Jesus lay.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,

Born is the King of Israel.

 

Then entered in those Wise Men three,

full reverently upon the knee,

and offered there, in his presence,

their gold and myrrh and frankincense.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,

Born is the King of Israel.

 

Prayer for Christmas:

 

Loving God,
help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.

 

Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

 

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

 

Candlelight and Music: “Silent Night”

 

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.

 

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!

 

The Blessing

 

The almighty God bless us with divine grace, Christ give us the joys of everlasting life, and unto the fellowship of the citizens above may the King of Angels bring us all. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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