United Church of Christ

Christmas Eve/Day - December 24/25

God Slips In
Service Prayers for Christmas Eve/Day
December 24 and 25, 2019

Call to Worship

Sing to God a new song, for the good news has come! 
The birth of a child! 
The Christ Child! 
Let us sing and dance for joy.
Congregation rings Jingle bells, shakes shakers, noisemakers, tambourines to make a joyful noise

Move us O God, 
the Holy One in our midst!
The Christ light shines!
The Christ Child is born!
We open our days to the presence of Christ in our lives.
Let us sing and dance for joy.
Congregation rings Jingle bells, shakes shakers, noisemakers, tambourines to make a joyful noise

Let us praise the birth of Jesus with joy-filled dancing,
making melody to God with tambourine and lyre.
New hope the Christ Child brings!
Let us celebrate with Mary and join the angels’ song!
Let us sing and dance for joy.
Congregation rings Jingle bells, shakes shakers, noisemakers, tambourines to make a joyful noise

Recommendation of a hymn or songJesus, Jesus, Oh, What a Wonderful Child        New Century Hymnal 136

Invocation [May be accompanied with simple movement]

O God, we are poised, anticipating the coming of this child—The Christ Child.
Like a dancer waiting to make the next movement,
we center ourselves in attention.
We extend our arms to the heavens,
reaching out toward your light in the darkness.
We turn all around us and see our neighbors,
their faces shining with your joy.
We open our hands to the world,
ready to receive you wherever you are to be found
—among those like the shepherds--poor, curious, hopeful—
all who show up to see the Christ Child, with their need and their dreams.
Interrupt us with this simple birth,
let us know that in Jesus Christ you have shown up in our world. 
Let us pay open-hearted attention to the signs of your presence.
Let us rest in the love you so abundantly give us,
that we may celebrate Christ’s birth
and meet the challenge of God-with-us in our world.

Prayer of Confession

We so easily fall into the anxiety of busyness and preparation.
Slow us down O God
so that we might feel the revolution
of a love that has slipped into the world
in your son Jesus Christ during this Holy Season.

Silence; gently inhale and exhale

[maybe add the ringing of a Buddhist singing bowl, or other chime that resonates for a few seconds]

We have been actively waiting, preparing and getting ready
for a love that is making all things new. 
In Jesus Christ, God has slipped into the world to be with us,
providing hope that does justice,
peace that forgives and
joy that is merciful and comes in the morning.

 Silence; gently inhale and exhale  

[maybe add the ringing of a Buddhist singing bowl, or other chime that resonates for a few seconds]

Your Child is born tonight in a stable under the night sky,
slipping in among the poor and outcast,
revealing your transforming grace and love.
From the depths of this hidden place, 
we need courage to sing with Mary a song of a love
that lifts up the lowly and feeds the hungry.

Silence; gently inhale and exhale 

[maybe add the ringing of a Buddhist singing bowl, or other chime that resonates for a few seconds]

Assurance of Grace

Loving God, giver of all good gifts
you have created us for life together.

You have come to live among us,
to remind us that the true riches of faith
are generosity, compassion
and service to one another in love.

Strengthen us in this Holy Season
as we await your will to done on earth.

We thank you for the grace to know
the life that is really life, your eternal love in Christ Jesus.

Passing of the Peace

May we celebrate the gentle gift of God-with-us
as we offer to one another peace as a sign of Christ’s love for each of us.

Call to Offering

Jesus, Emmanuel, God-with-us, has come into the world. 
Let us respond by giving our truest selves,
and sharing the gifts we have been given
with glad and generous hearts.

Prayer of Dedication

God who gives life to all things,
and richly provides us with everything,
use these our offerings to spread your light
of wonder and peace in the world.

Benediction

Usher us forward into the world O God
taking the light, the joy and the music.
Lead us to share with one another
– not just in this season but every day. 
Let us sing and dance for joy.
Congregation rings Jingle bells, shakes shakers, noisemakers, tambourines to make a joyful noise

Help us, move us and open our hearts
so that we might do a new thing in the world.
Let us sing and dance for joy.
Congregation rings Jingle bells, shakes shakers, noisemakers, tambourines to make a joyful noise

You slip your love and grace into the world
in ways that constantly surprise us!
We step into the world paying attention
to signs of your presence and love all around!
Let us sing and dance for joy.
Congregation rings Jingle bells, shakes shakers, noisemakers, tambourines to make a joyful noise

God Slips In, Service Prayers for Christmas was written by Melody Ruffin-Ward, Member in Discernment, Living Water ONE Association, Heartland Province.

Copyright 2019 Justice Local Church Ministries, Faith INFO 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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