Christmas Day B – December 25
December 25, 2023
Christmas Day Year A
Worship Notes: This Christmas service uses the words of Psalm 97 CEB throughout the movement of the service. Unless otherwise suggested, they may be spoken by a worship leader or with a chorus of readers (ideally multi-generational).
Prelude. “Silent Night”
The Lord rules! Let the earth rejoice!
Let all the islands celebrate!
Words of Welcome
● Use words faithful to the practice of your faith community. Be particularly attentive to welcome non-frequent worshippers as enthusiastically as regular attenders. When worshipping in a hybrid environment, using the words “online” and “on site” versus “in-person” offers a more hospital approach.
Song “Come All Ye Faithful”
Call to Worship and Lighting of the Christ Candle
One: Clouds and thick darkness surround God.
His throne is built
on righteousness and justice.
Many: Fire proceeds before him,
burning up his enemies on every side.
(Light the Christ candle from the flame of the hope, peace, joy, and love candles of the Advent wreath. A small taper candle may be used to facilitate the joining of flames.)
One: His lightning lights up the world;
the earth sees it and trembles!
One: The mountains melt like wax
before the Lord,
before the Lord of the whole world!
Many: Heaven has proclaimed
and all nations have seen his glory.
Song “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”
All those who worship images,
those who are proud of idols,
are put to shame.
All gods bow down to the Lord!
Emmanuel, we bow in adoration and wonder that you, the Most High, Everlasting Counselor, Prince of Peace, choose to dwell among us. You have come in the cloud, in flesh, and in Spirit. May your Holy Love descend upon us anew as we remember Christ Jesus, both Savior and Friend, has joined us in the journey. Encourage us to be faithful witnesses of your hope, peace, joy, and love in the world. Amen.
Song “Come All Ye Faithful”
Prayer for Illumination
Word Made Flesh, may we receive your message with clarity and insight, wonder and mystery, consideration and action so that we too may embody Christmas for all creation in spirit and in truth.
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 62:6–12
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 62:6–20
One: The Word is still speaking.
Many: We are listening. Thanks be to God!
Song: “Angels We Have Heard on High”
Message. “Salvation” (See Sermon Seeds in mid-December for a brief reflection.)
Zion has heard and celebrates,
the towns of Judah rejoice,
because of your acts of justice, Lord,
because you, Lord, are the Most High
over all the earth,
because you are so superior
to all other gods.
Those of you who love the Lord,
God guards the lives of his faithful ones,
delivering them from
the power of the wicked.
Song. “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”
Prayers for Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love
Invitation to Generosity
Titus 3:4-8 reminds us,
4 But “when God our savior’s kindness and love appeared, 5 he saved us because of his mercy, not because of righteous things we had done. He did it through the washing of new birth and the renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 which God poured out upon us generously through Jesus Christ our savior. 7 So, since we have been made righteous by his grace, we can inherit the hope for eternal life.” 8 This saying is reliable. And I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have come to believe in God might give careful attention to doing good. These things are good and useful for everyone.
May we pour out our thanksgiving for the gift of Christ among us with generous giving to continue to put flesh on joy, peace, hope, and love.
Prayer of Dedication and Thanksgiving
Generous God, receive these gifts. We pray that you magnify them for your glory and the needs of your creation. Through our generosity, may no one have to search for compassion or care, may all know the abiding hope of community, and may our world be re-birthed in your kindom. Amen.
Song “Joy to the World”
Christmas Blessing and Charge
One: Light is planted like seed
for the righteous person;
joy too for those whose heart is right.
Many: Rejoice in the Lord, righteous ones!
Give thanks to his holy name!
Sharing the Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love of Christ as you go….
● Invite the gathered to share their blessings upon one another, both onsite and online as they depart worship.
Postlude. “Joy to the World” (reprise)
Salvation: Service Prayers for Christmas Day was written by The Rev. Dr. Cheryl A. Lindsay, Minister for Worship and Theology, United Church of Christ.