Christmas 1C–December 26

Love has no Bounds

Service Prayers for the First Sunday after Christmas C

December 26, 2021

1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26  •  Psalm 148  •  Colossians 3:12-17  •  Luke 2:41-52

Call to Worship

Children are precious to God.

The child Samuel grew in God’s favor

and the child Jesus grew likewise.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all!

Older adults and elders are precious to God.

Young and old together praise God’s name.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all!

Creation is precious to God:

cedars, mountains, snow & frost, shining stars.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all!

Invocation  (Psalm 148)

Creator God, you are worthy to be praised. 

You have created

“Rulers of the earth and all peoples, 

Young men and women alike, 

old and young together!” 

You made them to be together

in a good creation that provides for them, 

a world covered in 

“Mountains and all hills, 

fruit trees and all cedars! 

Wild animals and all cattle, 

creeping things and flying birds!” 

All of life is connected by your design. 

We give you thanks for creating all of us, invaluable. Amen.  

Prayer of Confession  Colossians 3:12; 14 

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

O God, clothe us anew,

for we confess we do not clothe our spirits as you require.

The compassion we clothe ourselves with is conditional.

The love we clothe ourselves with is limited.

Forgiveness and gratitude:

these are the  garments we need to live in community,

yet we rend them and fail to fit them,

over and over again.

Weave us new garments which do not need mending,

clothes that protect us like suits or armor

and that we can delight in like cozy sweaters.

May we outwardly show what we inwardly know:

Your love has no bounds.

Assurance of Pardon

The Word of Christ indeed dwells within you richly and shines through you brightly.

It dwells and shines also in your neighbor, near and far.

We need only let our lights mingle to know first-hand the connective power

of Incarnate Love. Amen.

Call to Offering

Where are you searching for Christ Jesus?

Don’t you know Christ is attending to our Holy Parent’s interests:

those old and young ones suffering malnourishment & maltreatment,

the Creation itself, which is suffering the same?

Align, siblings in Christ, with our Redeemer.

Give of your plenty that the desperate may know hope.

Prayer of Dedication

Just as you, Holy God, crossed every conceivable barrier

by taking on flesh and teaching on behalf of the outcast and poor,

we are called to respond in kind by your grace.

May the gifts offered today

aid truly your work of reconciliation and peace in our world.



Go forth and whatever you do, do it according to the heart of Jesus, our Sovereign.

Teach children, and let children teach you, cultivate wisdom and gratitude,

and mend the earth in the name of the Triune God. Amen.

Love has no Bounds: Prayers for the First Sunday after Christmas was written by Stephanie Dorsey, chaplain resident at York Hospital in York, PA

Copyright 2021 Faith INFO 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. 

Christmas 1 C–December 26