Christmas -- Days Of -- Service Prayers - 2nd Sunday

A Great Company
Service Prayers for the Second Sunday after Christmas

Jeremiah 31:7-14 ~ Psalm 147:12-20
or
 (Sirach 24: 1-12 ~ Wisdom of Solomon 10: 15-21)  

Ephesians 1:3-14 ~ John 1: (1-9), 10-18 

Call to Worship

Leader:             The prophet announces:

People:            All of you will return to God,

a great company of saints processing!

 

The people reply:

We praise the Lord, for we are God’s people!

 

God restores what has been broken:

Communities destroyed by conflict,

Trust betrayed by broken promises,

Families torn apart by war.

The prophet has spoken, and the people respond:

We praise the Lord, for we are God’s people!

 

Invocation

Weeping and yet consoled,

we have been gathered

by your strong, tender arms, O God.

You have ransomed us from terrors

too strong to overcome, and

you have freed us to flow

like living waters upon the earth.

Let your Spirit flow through this place,

that every spiritual blessing might be ours

for the receiving and the sharing.                                                Amen.

 

Confession

God, your true light has come into the world,

blessing all upon whom it shines.

Hope, peace, joy and love are ours through the Incarnate Word.

And yet we languish, O God.

We do not dance your praises;

we do not join in merry laughter or holy pleasures.

Our mourning is like ash in our mouths,

and sorrow chokes the words of delight we wish to profess.

There is no peace in our hearts.

We do not see the promises of the prophets fulfilled.

Open us to the blessings that surround us,

that we may again be moved to praise you,

God of blinding light and gentle power.

 

Assurance of Pardon

God’s might is inscrutably contained in the vessel of a human baby,

and God’s grace is unleashed upon a weary, broken world.

You, too, are vessels of God’s spirit,

recipients of God’s grace and partners in Christ’s reconciling work.

Be at peace; in Christ you are made whole once more.

Alleluia and Amen!

 

Call to Offering

Blessings abound!

Just as God holds nothing back in giving us

the fullness of God’s own self,

let us offer all of our lives in these our gifts and tithes.

In this way, we join in the great company of God’s beloved people.

 

Dedication

 

Bless these gifts, offered in hope

for the fulfilling of all your promises, gracious God.

May they draw all your children together in peace and joy,

in order that the world may be filled with Christ’s love.             Amen.

 

Benediction 

 

The true light has come into the world to light the way home.

Go forth from this place reflecting the brightness of Christ’s

presence in your hearts.

Go forth from this place warmed by the promises of God’s eternal care.

Go forth from this place joyous, for you are a part

of God’s “great company.”

Above all,

go forth from this place sharing the glory and grace of God,

who creates, redeems and sustains.                                                   Amen.

 

 

Communion Prayer

Leader:             God be with you.

People:            And also with you.

                        Lift up your hearts.

                        We lift them up to God.

                        Let us give thanks to God,  Restorer of Promises!

                        It is right to give God thanks and praise.

 

We give you thanks, Holy Wisdom,

Creator of heaven and earth,

for from your endless stores of creativity you have shaped the universe--

sun and moon and stars

planets spinning in exquisite rotation

galaxies ever-moving and ever-alive.

 

You have created this planet and all that is needed to sustain life

rivers and oceans, mountains and plains,

trees and plants and flowers,

fire and oxygen and water.

 

You have given us all that we need to be full

joy and hope and food and drink,

your word and your love,

creative powers and

wisdom and insight to choose the good.

 

When we have fallen short of your intentions,

gracious God, you have sent women and men

to bring us back to the life to which you call us.

 

In the fullness of time, you sent your very own Son,

Jesus of Nazareth,

child of your heart,  

child of your spirit,  

child of your Divine Presence,

to dwell in our midst, and

to be for us what we could not be for ourselves.

In Christ’s ministry we see the great company gathering in your midst.

The sick, the broken, the lost are all your children,

and we long to join them in the festival.

 

Through Christ’s Spirit, the world is renewed as the prophets foretold,

your church becomes a place from which your justice and peace flows,

and we are made new in love.

 

Therefore, with all the saints in every time and place,

we join in praising you, singing:

 

Sanctus           Santo, Santo Santo

(Spanish and English, or English only, or Spanish only)      TNCH 793

 

We remember that on the night of his betrayal,

Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples.

He said to them, “Take and eat, for this is my body, broken for you.”

Again after supper he took the cup,

blessed it and shared it with the disciples, likewise saying,

“Take and drink, this is my blood,

which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.

As often as you drink this, remember me.”

 

Bless now, redeeming God, these gifts of your abundant earth.

As we share these gifts among your children here gathered,

may this bread and the fruit of this vine nourish us --body and soul –

to be a part of the “great company” of your reconciliation.

In Christ we pray,                                                                     Amen.

 

 


A Great Company: Service Prayers for the Second Sunday after Christmas was written by the Rev. Elizabeth Dilley, pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Red Oak, Iowa.

Copyright 2011 Local Church Ministries, Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved. 

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Rev. Susan A. Blain
Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3869
blains@ucc.org