Dec. 24 – Morning
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Scripture (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):
Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal
142-People, look east
138-Awake, awake, and greet the new morn
130 – My soul gives glory to my God
386-We come as guests invited
124 – Let all mortal flesh keep silence
171 God’s Love Made Visible
More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.
Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
Surely now is time to savor,
plan the things that we might do,
order up the new construction,
building majesty for God.
Ah, the answer echoes boldly:
God moves freely in the world.
Always in a tent God wandered,
close among the people’s sway.
Find in mercy how to honor,
how to rectify desire.
In the commonplace of worship
gather into God’s embrace.
So begun in adoration,
in the will to fulfill love,
find the hand impelling ever
from this hour the house of grace.
184.108.40.206. Suggested tune: Halton Holgate
Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:
Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent). A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin. Where practical, these may be offered here as well. You may also want to visit http://lectionarypsalms.org/
This week: The Magnificat should be considered the primary Psalm of the day (see #131 or 130 for a metrical version).
Concerning the Following Items: Except where otherwise noted, items are created or adapted by the editor. If you are aware of source notations which are missing, please bring them to his attention. No copyright infringement is intended, but is sure to happen.
Words of Welcome
God’s love is coming fully into the world. Revealed in the life of Jesus, raised in a loving home and offering himself to the world which finds in his fellowship true home, we see love made in human flesh. Are we ready to receive him? Are we ready for such a perfect love?
Call to Worship
L: Christ our Lord united his followers together in Christian love.
P: His presence makes our fellowship a happy experience.
L: When Christ is our life, our fellowship takes on the nature of Christ, we experience unity, love and humility toward one another.
P: May Christ live in us, that we may love like him.
L: Long ago the people were given a sign of God’s presence.
P: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God with us.”
L: God’s promise to us remains sure and true: God’s anointed Son will soon walk among us, to lighten our darkness, to restore the joy of our salvation, to save us from sin.
P: God—the God of all love—is with us. Praise the Lord!
Invocation or Prayer of Approach
God of all love, our hearts await your coming. Make your way within us, we pray, as we offer to you our prayers and songs and promises. Draw us to your divine banquet, and feed us with your true food. We offer ourselves to you in hope and expectation through Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
O God, source of all beauty and goodness, your grace comes fresh every morning. In each new day you love us supremely and give us light. We praise you for that never-failing love that satisfies our needs and shows us the way to follow. We rejoice in your constant care, for you are faithful in love for all people, offering the world salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
We come, O God, with adoration and praise, as well as thanksgiving, to you. Our anticipation grows as we come nearer to the day of great celebration of the birth of your Christ. Open our hearts that we may truly receive the gift of your Son, and know that the joy of life with you. This we pray through our Lord Jesus Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
God of all love, our hearts are moved by your gracious promises fulfilled for us in Jesus Christ. Give us the grace we need to live lovingly in all of life, and empower us to make your love known through the deeds of our lives; for we gather and offer ourselves to you in his name (praying as he taught us, saying, “Our Father…”)
Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions
(from Common Worship)
Watchful at all times, let us pray for strength to stand with confidence before our Maker and Redeemer.
That God may bring in his kingdom with justice and mercy, let us pray to the Lord: R
That God may establish among the nations his sceptre of righteousness, let us pray to the Lord: R
That we may seek Christ in the scriptures and recognize him in the breaking of the bread, let us pray to the Lord: R
That God may bind up the brokenhearted, restore the sick and raise up all who have fallen, let us pray to the Lord: R
That the light of God’s coming may dawn on all who live in darkness and the shadow of death, let us pray to the Lord: R
That, with all the saints in light, we may shine forth as lights for the world, let us pray to the Lord: R
Let us commend the world, which Christ will judge, to the mercy and protection of God.
Open prayer may be offered and silence is kept. The Collect and Lord’s Prayer follow.
Prayers from Common Worship*
God our redeemer,
who prepared the Blessed Virgin Mary
to be the mother of your Son:
grant that, as she looked for his coming as our saviour,
so we may be ready to greet him
when he comes again as our judge;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
who chose the Blessed Virgin Mary
to be the mother of the promised saviour:
fill us your servants with your grace,
that in all things we may embrace your holy will
and with her rejoice in your salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
as Mary waited for the birth of your Son,
so we wait for his coming in glory;
bring us through the birth pangs of this present age
to see, with her, our great salvation
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation,
that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a
mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
Precisely into our uncertainty, O God,
you press your presence and your call.
At invitation past our comfort,
you intervene upon awareness,
enticing us to your surprise.
Grant us the mercy to be prepared
for your audacious call to love and life.
Service of Table
Offertory / Invitation to Give
Christ our Lord has shown the greatest love of all, in offering himself to us in the flesh, and providing us with a meal which celebrates his eternally abiding love with us. He invites you to meet him here, to receive his gifts, and to give of yourself.
We celebrate your love, God of life, in these gifts and in the daily lives we lead that allows us to bring them. We would give you all, indeed, and ask that you bless these tokens of our very selves, so that the world may receive your ultimate gift of love in Jesus Christ, our coming Lord. Amen.
Invitation to the Table
God, the Creator of love and the Lover of all creation, has revealed ultimate love in the coming of Jesus Christ to our world. In the bread that we break at Christ’s invitation, and in the drinking of the cup of salvation, we are remade as his body in our day, the incarnate love of God, a living sacrament of love in this world. May we draw near in faith to the One who love us, who is closer to us than the very air we breathe, and be renewed in our love for God and for one another.
Prayer of Thanksgiving (Prayers for Bread and Cup)
(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)
O God, you love all of your creation, and we gather at your Table in expectation of the ultimate expression of your love made known to us in Jesus Christ. As we feast upon the broken bread and wine poured out for us, may we be remade as his body – a living sacrament of love in this world – ready to heal the brokenhearted, eager to open our lives to those who are alone, ready to move at the bidding of your Spirit which you freely pour out upon us in this meal. Accept our sacrifice of praise, we pray, in the name of him who is all love, Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Almighty God, creator of love and lover of all whom you have made, we offer to you this bread. Bless it now, even as you bless us with the will to receive it, and the power to share it with all who hunger for you.
- O God of Love, you are ever closer than the air we breathe. Send now your Spirit into our midst to bless this cup which we offer in thanksgiving for Christ’s offering for us. May we who drink of it be enlivened with your love and readied to do your will made known to us in Jesus Christ.
Conclusion: Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.
If not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’”
Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service. Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ to learn more.
Rev. Tim Graves offers Liturgy Bits with valuable, culturally sensitive and creatively contemplative works, well worth your time.
You may also want to visit Worship Connection at MinistryMatters.com, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.
Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University.
Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2016. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2016; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010. The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992. The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010. http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary
Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.
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