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Epiphany 3A

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

1-22

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

Scripture  (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):

 

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources for each individual pericope:

Isaiah 9:1-4 Psalm 27:1, 4-9 1 Corinthians 1:10-18  Matthew 4:12-23

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

272-The Church’s one foundation

342-Lord, you have come to the lakeshore

453-Called as partners in Christ’s service

395 – Seed, Scattered and Sown

393 – One bread, one body

 

The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates).  Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available.  Visit the Oremus Hymnal.

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 1 Corinthians 1:10-18

 

We hear the message of the cross;

there is no other sign.

Though folly rings in falling ears,

to us God’s power shows.

 

The singular, exalted cross

impales dissenting earth

and registers the single flair

uniting every heart.

 

Now are we one for evermore

in Jesus, crucified.

And in his passion are we borne

to share God’s saving love.

 

CM              Suggested tune: Oxford New

 

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:  Psalm 27 in part is on page 736.  Or see Call to Worship below.

 

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.

 

Call to Worship  (adapted by the editor from Psalm 27)

L: Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage.

P:  The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?

L: Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage.

P:  The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

L: Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage.

P:  We come in hope of seeing God’s goodness in the land of the living.  We will wait for the Lord.

 

OR

L: The God of all creation makes us one in the flesh.

P: Let us join hearts and voices in praise.

L: In Jesus Christ, we are made one in the Spirit.

P: Let us be united in truth through the same one Spirit.

L: We practice our faith in many different ways.

P: Yet we confess one Lord Jesus Christ.

L: We render different forms of ministry.

P: Yet our calling is one because Christ is undivided.

L: Rejoice, people of God: The Risen Christ is among us, calling us together at his one Table.

P: Praise the Lord!  

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

We wait for you, O God, as in the silent watches of the night.  Come and make your presence known here among us, we pray, as we offer you our praise and, indeed, our very lives; for we pray in the name of Jesus the Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR  (by Editor for Scott Lectures worship at Bethany Memorial Church, 2009)

God whose very nature is wholeness and life, we give you thanks that in this holy assembly today you have called together people from different places, of many gifts, and with a multitude of ways of serving and loving. Make us one, Lord, even as you and your Christ are one, as we hear his clarion call to gather in the one body to feast on the word and receive from your hand the blessed gifts of bread and cup. Make us ready, Lord – ready to listen, ready to hear, ready to go and do your will, that we all may be one in essence, in intent, and in constitution, so that the world may know you in and among us. This we pray in the strong name of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Prayers for Christian Unity  (misc. and unknown sources)

O Lord Jesus Christ, you prayed for your disciples that they might be one.  Look in pity upon the many divisions among those who profess your name, and heal the many wounds which the passions and pride of mortals have inflicted upon your church.  Shed abroad in the hearts of your people the spirit of love, which will break down the walls of separation.  Help us to realize that, as there is in heaven only one holy company abiding in love, so on earth there may be only one holy fellowship of your people abiding in the unity of love and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We give you thanks, O Lord, for the life and ministry of Jesus, your Child, and for the life and ministry you have opened to us through him.  As this broken bread was scattered on the mountain, but was brought together and became one, so let your church be gathered together into one, that your reign may be known throughout the earth.

Great God, you are One, and you bring together what is scattered and mend what is broken.  Unite us with the scattered peoples of earth, that we may become one family of your children.  Bind up our wounds and heal us in spirit, that we may be renewed as disciples of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Friend.

MORE:  See the World Council of Churches page

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

In these quieter times, God of peace, as in the busyness of our hectic days, you hear the true prayers of not just what we say, but also what we do and who we are.  Hear us as we join our hearts in unity to pray for your church.  May we be united in your truth, committed in your love, and sanctified by your grace, that with one heart and one voice we might proclaim your gospel., in word and deed, praising you for your abiding presence in our midst as a community of faith.

 

We pray for our fellow creatures, this world which you lovingly made, and the people of earth with all their diversity and commonality.  We lift to you those in our world who weep, and those who cause their weeping; those without food, clothing, shelter or a means of sustaining life with the dignity of one whom you have created.  We pray for those who distort the good news of the gospel, who make gods out of things, out of themselves, out of their systems, institutions or structures…and who find it all so hollow and empty.

 

We pray for those who live without meaning and hope, who live as objects of the whims of others, and those who live in broken families, broken communities, and a broken world.  Lead your church, we pray, toward a new vision of our mission to them in Christ—the vision of shalom—both those who are afar off in other lands, but also here, where each of us may encounter them personally.

 

Tender and compassionate friend, give us the assurance that you are here among your people, and the gifts of quiet and rest in this celebration of your word and table.  Enable us with your guidance to be your church and to do your will in our  common life together.  Pour out your Spirit on those who are suffering, especially as we lift to you our own needs and the needs of those whose lives are closely linked with our own:__________, and those we name in the silence of our hearts.

 

Bless us to follow in the paths of those saints who have gone before us in faith, whose steps were taken in the sure and certain comfort of your presence, that we may faithfully glorify you now, in your church and your world, forever.  For these prayers we offer in the name and spirit of Jesus, your Christ, our Lord.

 

Prayers from Common Worship* Collect Almighty God, whose Son revealed in signs and miracles the wonder of your saving presence: renew your people with your heavenly grace, and in all our weakness sustain us by your mighty power; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Post Communion Almighty Father, whose Son our Saviour Jesus Christ is the light of the world: may your people, illumined by your word and sacraments, shine with the radiance of his glory, that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed    to the ends of the earth; for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever. Additional Collect God of all mercy, your Son proclaimed good news to the poor, release to the captives, and freedom to the oppressed: anoint us with your Holy Spirit and set all your people free to praise you in Christ our Lord.

 

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth thy right hand to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Matthew 4:12-23

 

Where time arrives, the word supplies.

You bring fulfillment to the brink of hope

and satisfy reluctant haunts and fears.

Begin in this beginning

by calling to our hearts

that we in sheer surprise

may rise, abandon all,

and follow at your joy.

 

Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

The apostle writes: “My sisters and brothers, I implore you by God’s mercy to offer your very selves to God; a living sacrifice, dedicated and fit for God’s acceptance, the worship offered by mind and heart.  Adapt yourselves no longer to the pattern of this present world, but let your minds be remade and your whole nature be transformed.  Then you will be able to discern the will of God, and know what is good, acceptable and perfect.

 

Offertory Prayer

O God, through the offering of these gifts, we become a more open people—open-minded in hearing your word and wisdom, open-hearted in healing a broken world, open-handed in heeding your call to charity and enacted love.  With thanks for all good gifts, we present a portion of our substance and the whole of ourselves.  Amen.

 

Invitation to the Table

At this table, the church remembers and celebrates the love of God.  The act of sharing bread and wine is a statement of faith and an expression of assurance.  Communion happens in many different ways in different churches throughout the world, and in each place brings a new meaning of life in the Spirit of God that is right for that community.

But above all, here believers join themselves to the Lord of life.  Death, which shows itself in sins, injustice, oppression and despair, yields to concrete demonstrations of life which produce peace, justice, hope, liberation and salvation.

This meal is an act of expectation.  We, in the midst of our daily lives, proclaim the imminent manifestation of the kingdom of God.  Hope replaces sorrow; joy surpasses tears; the power of life triumphs over the reign of death.  As an act of faith surpassing the limits of time and place, we sing along with John in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ: “Now God’s home is with mortals!  He will live with them and they shall be his people.  God will personally be with them, and will be their God.  God will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there will be an end to death.  There will be no more grief nor crying nor pain, for the old order has passed away.”

 

Eucharist for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (from William Flewelling)

Lord God,

that one Bread of Heaven was broken

and scattered to feed the multitudes

upon the earth.

 

As we come to partake the One Holy Loaf,

feed us and draw us to unity of heart

in Jesus Christ.

Create in us the oneness which embraces

your people in full measured Christian love

and weeps

over our proud division,

stopping us from calling anyone

our brother, our sister.

 

Feed us and make of us your people, Lord God,

gathered in the bread Jesus took for us

and blessed, broke, gave to us:

This is my body.

 

Refresh us and make to flow in our veins

your peace,

as we are set together in the one cup

Jesus gave to us:

This is my blood of the new covenant.

 

By the grace of the Holy Spirit,

fill our lives with the passion of Christ,

a longing to include in our communion

all the peoples loving you,

that our joy may be complete

in Jesus Christ our one Lord.

Amen.

 

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)

  1. Lord, as your servant Jesus took notice of those fishermen long ago, and called to them to follow, we who gather at your table today hear his voice again.  Give us, we pray, a heart of thankfulness for this bread which you have given for that journey, and as we receive it, give us strength to journey on with him into the tomorrows which lie ahead.
  2. Bless, O God, this cup, which is for us the wine of salvation.  Pour forth your Spirit upon it, and upon us as we receive it, that we might be empowered to live faithfully as disciples of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

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…’

 

MORE…

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.

 

NOTE:  We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday.  We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary.  Send your comments or content here.

 

Epiphany 2A

Epiphany 2A

 

Jan. 15

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

Scripture  (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):

 

Isaiah 49:1-7  Psalm 40:1-11  1 Corinthians 1:1-9 John 1:29-42

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

277 – Christians, We Have Met to Worship

344 – I have decided to follow Jesus

425 – Let us break bread together

426- The Voice of Jesus Calls His People

439 – God, Dismiss Us with Your Blessing

 

The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates).  Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available.  Visit the Oremus Hymnal.

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 Isaiah 49:1-7

 

Too light it is, this witness borne

in closest straits of anxious life.

The breadth and width of all delight

is in the light we bear for you.

 

In shadow moment lost to view,

discouragement dismays the soul.

In vain, in vain is our lament;

yet God observes us otherwise.

 

For this our God has formed us well:

to savor honor, mercy, life;

and in the strength of God’s delight

to answer challenge with lithe praise.

 

Intent upon the God who calls,

upon the holy, eager fare,

we echo how our Holy One

has chosen light in hearts to shine.

 

LM          Suggested tune: Fulda

 

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:  Psalm 40 is on page 740.

 

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.

 

Call to Worship  

L: Come with me on a journey in faith.  Bring your hopes and visions of a new possibility, for God’s work among us is just beginning.

P: We are called into a future yet unnamed.  We hear the call of Jesus and venture forward, leaving behind our comfort zones and certainties.

L: But as we travel light, in the spirit of faith and expectation, we are led by the One who brings to light God’s dreams for us and for the world.

P: May we be witnesses to God’s new tomorrow, and go with confidence, knowing that we never travel alone.

 

OR

L: Sisters and brothers, we are called to follow Jesus.

P: What a challenge! What an opportunity!

L: Called to move, as he did, among the people, to feel with them, to care with them, to touch them and be touched by them.

P: Called to discern those gifts of life which God has hidden deep within each of us, and to share freely those gifts of our hearts, our hands, our whole selves.

L: Called to place our gifts into God’s holy hands, and to follow with hope.

P: We will hear the call to follow Jesus and listen for his voice to lead us, calling us God’s children, calling us each by name.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

O God, source of all beauty and goodness, your grace comes fresh every morning. In each new day you give us light. We praise your for your 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…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

 How vast and deep is your love O God, for us and for all the world.  As we give you thanks for the beauty of creation and for the gift of life, we turn to you for strength and guidance to help those of our world in need of care and healing.

 

We pray for our community, our nation and world that peace and justice might be made known.  We pray for our families and friends, especially those who are hurting, sick, grieving or alone.  We pray for our own burdens and needs, both spoken and unspoken…

 

We yield our lives to you as we offer our prayers in the strong and saving name of Jesus.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect Almighty God, in Christ you make all things new: transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace, and in the renewal of our lives make known your heavenly glory; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Post Communion God of glory, you nourish us with your Word who is the bread of life: fill us with your Holy Spirit that through us the light of your glory may shine in all the world. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Additional Collect Eternal Lord, our beginning and our end: bring us with the whole creation to your glory, hidden through past ages and made known in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

Almighty and everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth; Mercifully hear the supplications of thy people, and grant us thy peace all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

John 1:29-42

 

O Lamb of God, attend this moment

where life begins its exploration

in freedom and capacity to own

the fire and Spirit of our God.

In this, invite us by your face

to follow and behold your grace.

 

Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

Every good and perfect gift comes from God, the Lord and Giver of all.  How we manage the gifts we have been given, however, is a matter of the choices we make.  We have been given the good sense to use God’s provisions for the purposes God has called us to.  And in Christ, we are given the Spirit’s guidance to make those choices well.  May we bring forth the best we can offer, the best we can choose, for the blessing of the world, and for the carrying forth of Christ’s mission.

 

Offertory Prayer

We give thanks to you, God of love, for the abundance of life in your presence.  As we offer to you our tithes and gifts, may we also offer the very best of ourselves.  Bless and use them and use us for your purposes in the world, so that Christ may be known and heard and followed by others whose lives we touch.

 

Invitation to the Table

The Holy One says: “Why spend money on that which does not satisfy?  Why spend your wages and still be hungry?  Listen to me, and do what I say, and you will enjoy the best food of all.  Listen now my people, and come to me; come to me and you will live.”  Christ invites to this table all who confess him as Lord and seek to follow in his way.  Come to this sacred table, not because you must, but because you may.  Come not because you are fulfilled, but because in your emptiness you stand in need of God’s mercy and assurance.  Come not to express an opinion, but to seek a presence and to pray for a spirit.  Come, then, sisters and brothers, as you are.  Partake and share.  It is spread for you and me that we might again know that God has come to us, shared our common lot, and invited us to join the people of God’s new age.

 

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)

  1. O God, your very nearness to us makes us at once uneasy and filled with great comfort.  In the breaking of this bread, we pray that you will bring confidence where we would waver, and that you will stir us when complacency would keep us from living fully the life of mission to which Christ has called us.
  2. Pour out your Spirit upon us, O God, and upon this bread and cup.  May we know in the receiving of it the lifegiving presence of the resurrected Christ, and be empowered to live as your people in this and every day.

 

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…’

 

MORE…

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.

 

NOTE:  We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday.  We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary.  Send your comments or content here.

 

Epiphany Sunday

Baptism of Our Lord – A

 

Jan. 8

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

Note:  Prior Epiphany postings may be of help:  From 2013,  from 2012 and from 2011

 

Scripture  (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):

 

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources for each individual pericope:

Epiphany Texts

Isaiah 60:1-6

Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14

Ephesians 3:1-12

Matthew 2:1-12

 

Baptism of Jesus Texts

Isaiah 42:1-9

Psalm 29 Acts 10:34-43 Matthew 3:13-17

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

97-Fairest Lord Jesus

171-God’s love made visible

173-As with gladness

172-We three kings

174-Brightest and best

151 The First Noel

426-The voice of Jesus calls his people

 

Baptism of Jesus:

177-What was your vow and vision

176-Sing of God made manifest

104-Of the Father’s love begotten

651-God who stretched the spangled heavens

183-We meet you, O Christ

365-Wash, O God, your sons and daughters

357-We call ourselves disciples

411-For the bread, which you have broken

 

The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates).  Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available.  Visit the Oremus Hymnal.

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 Matthew 3:13-17

 

That now we fulfill righteousness

does Jesus come to John.

Out by the Jordan’s open flow

comes Jesus to the wash.

 

At recognition John protests;

yet Jesus stays to know,

know how the water bathes the soul

and washes free delight.

 

In rising form the flashing tide

with water draining free,

the Lord by Sprit is addressed,

by dove that comes to rest.

 

And in this moment too sublime

the heavens roar in joy:

this is the son, beloved well,

and pleasing in God’s sight.

 

CM       Suggested tune: Wiltshire

 

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:  Psalm 29 Chalice Hymnal p. 737; also see Call to Worship below for Psalm 29 or Psalm 72

 

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.

 

Call to Worship  (adapted by the editor from Psalm 72)

L: Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel;

P:  For God alone does wondrous things.

L: Blessed be God’s glorious name forever!

P:  May God’s glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.

 

OR  (adapted by the editor from Psalm 29)

L: Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

P:  Ascribe to the LORD the glory of his name; worship the LORD in holy splendor.

L: The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over mighty waters.

P:  The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.

L: May the LORD give strength to his people!

P:  May the LORD bless his people with peace!

 

OR

L: We gather in the name of the living Christ to worship God.

P: Surely, God is in this place and calls us to worship in spirit and in truth.

L: God’s love is for you and for all people everywhere.

P: That we may share God’s love and life, may we be renewed in the refreshing Spirit of the living Christ.

L: The living Christ is with us.

P: Praise the Lord!

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

O Lord of all things bright and beautiful, may we begin this day in your name.  Light of all light, our dayspring of hope, may we find warm reflections of your countenance in the face of each brother, sister, stranger and friend.  As we work for your world this day, may our hunger be for justice and our thirst for peace.  Feed us with your presence.  Strengthen our hearts and steady our hands for the business of loving your creation.  As children of the light, may we walk in your radiance this day. (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

Eternal and Almighty God, we praise you that you cause the sun to rise to bring us the light of this new day and that you raised Christ form the dead to bring us new life. May our lives always face his brightness so we may go wherever he leads, serving in gladness and peace (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

uMighty God, as your Spirit moving over the waters brought life from chaos in creation, the coming of Jesus Christ to this world has brought life to all who believe.  Receive the praise and love of we who seek to live as his disciples, following him into the waters of new life.  Give us now a fresh awareness of your presence here among us and in every place where Jesus walks today, for we pray in his name  (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

Eternal God, you have shown your glory to the nations in the coming of Christ. Guide the church that you have gathered on earth, preserve it in faith, that it may grow in witness and service to the world. Strengthen and uphold our pastors and leaders that they may faithfully strengthen and uphold the church, and help us all to faithfully join in partnership with you to do your work according to your will and example in Jesus.

 

Increase our faithfulness to you and bless us with new friends in our midst to share in the joy of discipleship. Increase the faith and understanding of those whose faith in you is new. Give to all in baptism a new birth as your children, and give us grace to nurture them in faith and in the communion of your saints.

 

Lord, you created humanity with a longing to know you, to be in fellowship with you and to have peace in you. Grant that, in spite of hurtful things that stand in their way, they may find in the unity of fellowship in Christ the tokens of your love and mercy, and grow to acknowledge you as God and Savior.

 

You, O Lord, are the champion of the poor, the oppressed, the lost and the lonely. Guide those in leadership toward the commonwealth of your justice, that in peace and freedom all may share in the goodness of your creation, and work with you in caring for it and for your creatures. You are the one who gives strength to the weary and new courage to the disheartened. Hear the prayers of all who call on you that they may have joy in finding you ever present to help…

 

Hear the prayers of your people, O God, for we lift them all to you in the name and Spirit of your Christ.

 

OR

O gracious and loving God, we come to you recognizing the wonders of life that you have given us. As winter falls around us, we pray that you will warm our hearts to your will and guidance in all of life, that we may truly live as your baptized people, continually working for the reign of your kingdom on earth.

 

Hear our prayers, O God, this day for all who are absent from us. Hear our concerns and hopes for them and all your people. Touch their lives with your grace that they may find healing, and peace, and love. May your Spirit touch us to ever reach out to them and to those around us that all may feel your generous love in their lives.

 

Hear our prayers for your world. May we see the beauty of creation and work for your peace throughout the world. These and all our prayers we lift to you in the name and Spirit of our life-giving Lord, Jesus Christ.

 

OR  (from Oremus.org)

Lover of souls, you seal us by your Holy Spirit in baptism and claim us as your own forever: May our offering of beautiful worship be acceptable in your sight.

Lord, give strength to your people; bless us with peace.

Lover of souls, you sit enthroned as King for evermore: May the leaders of the nations do justice and govern with mercy.

Lord, give strength to your people; bless us with peace.

Lover of souls, you created the heavens and the earth: We praise you that you make holy such basic things of earth—water for baptism, grapes and grain to sustain our souls.

Lord, give strength to your people; bless us with peace.

Lover of souls, you forgive the sins of the penitent and care for the injured: Be with all victims of gun violence; heal and convert the hearts of the violent. May our city know peace.

Lord, give strength to your people; bless us with peace.

Lover of souls, your voice is a voice of splendor: speak healing and comfort to all the heartbroken and needy.

Lord, give strength to your people; bless us with peace.

Lover of souls, you called the light into being: Let light perpetual shine on those who have died. May we all rest in the hope of life eternal.

Lord, give strength to your people; bless us with peace.

God, your voice moves over the waters.  Immerse us in your grace, mark us with your image, and raise us to live our baptismal vows empowered by the Holy Spirit and the example of Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray. Amen.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Baptism of Christ

Collect Eternal Father, who at the baptism of Jesus revealed him to be your Son, anointing him with the Holy Spirit: grant to us, who are born again by water and the Spirit, that we may be faithful to our calling as your adopted children; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Post Communion Lord of all time and eternity, you opened the heavens and revealed yourself as Father in the baptism of Jesus your beloved Son: by the power of your Spirit complete the heavenly work of our rebirth through the waters of the new creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Additional Collect Heavenly Father, at the Jordan you revealed Jesus as your Son: may we recognize him as our Lord and know ourselves to be your beloved children; through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

 

Epiphany Sunday

Collect O God, who by the leading of a star manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: mercifully grant that we, who know you now by faith, may at last behold your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Post Communion Lord God, the bright splendour whom the nations seek: may we who with the wise men have been drawn by your light discern the glory of your presence in your Son, the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ our Lord. Additional Collect Creator of the heavens, who led the Magi by a star to worship the Christ-child: guide and sustain us, that we may find our journey’s end in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

Epiphany

O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son

to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by

faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to

face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

 

Baptism of Our Lord

Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River

Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him

with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his

Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly

confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy

Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Matthew 3:13-17

 

Displaced to find the Baptist’s hand,

Lord Jesus, come to fill all righteousness.

Submit as we to hands that cleanse

and rise to find the Spirit bathe

the measure of this life,

that we in grace abandon all

unto your calling touch, O God.

 

Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

The giving and receiving of gifts at Christmas time is born of the ancient Church’s celebration of this very day.  At Epiphany, the story is told again of those who come before the young Christchild, seeking to give, eager to present the very best to this young king.  In the process, they proclaimed what the religious world could not conceive:  that this one Child, of humble birth and stature, has come to bring God’s saving love to all.  May we consider well how our giving proclaims God’s love for all as we present our tithes and offerings.

 

Offertory Prayer

Thank you, God of Love, for the promise of this season. We are grateful for the generosity aroused in us by Christ’s coming into the world. May these gifts represent a new spirit of joyous sharing among us, for the sake of all your children everywhere. Amen.

 

Invitation to the Table

Friends, this is the joyful feast of the people of God. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit at the table in the kingdom of God. This is the Lord’s table. Jesus invites all who seek to trust him to share in the feast which he has prepared. Let us come to his table now with hope and confidence as God’s children.

 

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)

Holy One, you speak to us in silence, yet all languages interpret you.  Because you call us into this community, we are able to become a gift to one another.  We pray for your Holy Spirit to descend upon us and upon this bread and cup, that in sharing them we may discern your presence which becomes our life.  Together, we celebrate Christ’s gifts, even as we bring our own, rejoicing in your presence, loving God, now and always.

 

OR

Gracious, life-giving God, as we who follow Jesus remember his baptism long ago, may our lives be renewed and our baptisms confirmed afresh. And as we gather at his Table, may we receive from your hands the gifts of earth and heaven. May this bread be for us his Body, and this cup his Blood, so that we who seek to live as his body in this world might be empowered by your Holy Spirit to follow him faithfully – from the water and into the world. 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.

 

OR

  1. Loving and life-giving Lord, in remembrance of all your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we take this bread and give you thanks and praise.  Pour out your Spirit upon us, that it may be for us the body of Christ, and that we, and all who share this feast, may be one with Christ and he with us.
  2. Fill us with eternal life, mighty God, as we receive the gift of this cup with hope and gratitude.  May it be for us Christ’s blood, refreshing our spirits, that with joy we may be your faithful people until we feast with him in glory.

 

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…’

 

MORE…

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.

 

NOTE:  We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday.  We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary.  Send your comments or content here.

 

Christmas 1A

New Year’s Day

 

Jan. 1

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

Scripture  (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):

 

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study resources from

CHRISTMAS 1A:

Isaiah 63:7-9  Psalm 148 Hebrews 2:10-18 Matthew 2:13-23

New Year’s Day:

Ecclesiastes 3:1-13

Psalm 8

Revelation 21:1-6a

Matthew 25:31-46

 

Holy Name of Jesus:

Numbers 6:22-27

Psalm 8

Galatians 4:4-7 / Philippians 2:5-11

Luke 2:15-21

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

151-The First Noel

149-Angels from the Realms of Glory

144-O Little Town of Bethlehem

167-Go, Tell it on the Mountain

The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates).  Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available.  Visit the Oremus Hymnal.

More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.   

 

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:  Psalm 148: Hymns #21 & 22 are both appropriate

 

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.

 

Call to Worship  (based on Isa. 63) from Ministry Matters

L: Make a list of God’s gracious dealings, all the things God has done that need praising: P: The generous bounties of God, and God’s great goodness to all the families of the earth!  Compassion lavished, love extravagant. L: The most wondrous thing God ever did was to come to us, to help us in person. Out of God’s own love, God redeemed us. P: God rescued us and carried us for a longtime.  Let us worship and praise our Redeemer this Christmas time!

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

Loving God, creator of all that is, and lover of all that you have created; we gather us as a new people this day.  Fill us with thankfulness for the year which has passed, and with encouragement as we enter a new one.  As Christ’s glory was made manifest so long ago as child who drew the honor of nations, let the fullness of his glory be seen in us, his body, the church.  May the new covenants we make in your name be blessed and made fruitful through the days of ministry which lie before us as your people of faith.  And may this time of worship empower us to live in communion with you, now and always.  This we pray in the name of Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray saying,… “Our Father…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

In peace with God and with one another, let us offer to God our hearts desires and our concerns for our world and ourselves.  Let us pray.

To you, O giver of joy, we praise you that in the fullness of time you came to be with us and to give us hope, peace and the joy of eternal life.  We thank you that in Mary you found one who would willingly give over control of her life, trusting in you, for the sake of your love of us.  We rejoice that we have received grace upon grace in the giving of your Son Jesus Christ to be our Savior.  Forgive us for our frequent unwillingness to let your joy spring to life in our midst, and the self-centeredness that has kept us from revealing in the fullness of your  joy.  Refashion us that we might recognize the greatness of your gift, and to release the joy that you have planted deeply within us in creation and in our baptism.

Because you have made us for joy, Lord, we are burdened  to see a world that is limp and joyless.  As trouble, oppression, grief and sorrow pervades our world, the joy of life seems to fade from our sight.  Yet, we have been called by you to entrust our world’s needs, and our own, to your safekeeping, trusting that you, in your right time, will bring to fruition your promise of redemption.  Inspire us to trust you more, and to joyfully bring to our world the news of your presence in our midst.

We pray for all your children in their need.  To those who are fearful and oppressed, give freedom; to those who are hungry and homeless, give help;  to those who are lonely and grieving, give your peace; and to those who are sick, give healing and hope.  As we give thanks for the life of _________, and for all your saints who rest in peace with you, we offer to you our lives afresh.  Make us to walk in your paths of righteousness and peace, and fill us with joy, as we pray in Christ’s name, [even as he taught us…]

Prayers from Common Worship*

Christmas 1

Collect Almighty God, who wonderfully created us in your own image and yet more wonderfully restored us through your Son Jesus Christ: grant that, as he came to share in our humanity, so we may share the life of his divinity; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Post Communion Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son shared at Nazareth the life of an earthly home: help your Church to live as one family, united in love and obedience, and bring us all at last to our home in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Additional Collect God in Trinity, eternal unity of perfect love: gather the nations to be one family, and draw us into your holy life through the birth of Emmanuel, our Lord Jesus Christ.
 

Naming and Circumcision of Jesus

Collect Almighty God, whose blessed Son was circumcised in obedience to the law for our sake and given the Name that is above every name: give us grace faithfully to bear his Name, to worship him in the freedom of the Spirit, and to proclaim him as the Saviour of the world; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Post Communion Eternal God, whose incarnate Son was given the Name of Saviour: grant that we who have shared    in this sacrament of our salvation may live out our years in the power    of the Name above all other names, Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

First Sunday after Christmas Day

 

Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of

your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our

hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our

Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy

Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

The Holy Name

 

Eternal Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the holy name

of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart,

we pray, the love of him who is the Savior of the world, our

Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy

Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting.  Amen.

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Watch site for posting at a later date.

Luke 2:15-21

 

Announced and settled in the covenant, O God,

young Jesus names the saving touch.

Become in us the shepherd’s gaze,

the angels’ echo chamber of desire,

that in this moment whence awe springs afresh

we find our wariness exposed

to your impetuous, exulting show.

 

Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

By the goodness of God, we are called into the family of the church. By God’s grace, we rejoice to share in the church’s life of mission and ministry. Let us offer our tithes and gifts to God’s glory as a token of the offering of our very lives.

 

Offertory Prayer

O God, through the offering of these gifts, we become a more open people—open-minded in hearing your word and wisdom, open-hearted in healing a broken world, open-handed in heeding your call to charity and enacted love. With thanks for all good gifts, we present a portion of our substance and the whole of ourselves. Amen.

 

Invitation to the Table

The same Christ presented in the Temple as an infant is the one who would be called into the life of Israel as a doorway into God’s presence for the non-Jewish world.  In him, all of God’s children are called to gather at a feast of equity, justice, love, and common heritage.  Let us receive from the hand of God who gives life to the whole world the bread and wine of Christ, the hope of our redemption, the light to lighten the nations, and the glory of God’s people Israel.

 

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)

Holy One, you speak to us in silence, yet all languages interpret you. Because you call us into this community, we are able to become a gift to one another. We pray for your Holy Spirit to descend upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that in sharing them we may discern your presence which becomes our life. We thank you for your anointed one, Jesus, who through his life, crucifixion, death and resurrection lived fully the promise of redemptive wholeness that is available to all who would obey your creating will. We celebrate his gifts, we rejoice in your presence, loving God, now and always. 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.

 

OR

  1. We praise you, O God, for Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection, and for calling forth your church to continue his mission in the world.  Gifted by the presence of your Holy Spirit, we offer ourselves to you as one with the entire family of your faithful people, and give you thanks for this bread.  May it be for us the body of Christ, that we may be remade as his body in the world.
  2. Come, Holy Spirit, come.  Bless this fruit of the vine.  Bless all of us in our receiving at this table, that our eyes may be opened, and we may recognize the living Christ in our midst, in each other, and in all for whom Christ died.

 

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…’

 

MORE…

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.

 

NOTE:  We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday.  We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary.  Send your comments or content here.

 

Christmas Day

Christmas Day

Scripture (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):

You may wish to use alternate texts from those used Christmas Eve.  Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources for each individual periscope:

Isaiah 9:2-7 / Isaiah 62:6-12 / Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 96 / Psalm 97 / Psalm 98

Titus 2:11-14 / Titus 3:4-7 / Hebrews 1:1-4, (5-12)

Luke 2:1-20 / John 1:1-14

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

Hymns of Praise:

165 Once in Royal David’s City,

142 People, Look East,

148 O Come, All Ye Faithful,

155 Angels We Have Heard on High,

150 Hark! the Herald Angels Sing,

143 Joy to the World,

138 Awake! Awake!…,

159 There’s a Song in the Air,

169 O Thou Joyful

Communion Hymns:

147 Away in a Manger,

145 Silent Night, Holy Night,

160 Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,

161 I Wonder as I Wander,

162 What Child Is This,

163 Infant Holy, Infant Lowly

Dismissal/Missional Hymns: 

171 God’s Love Made Visible,

167 Go, Tell It on the Mountain

 

More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.

The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates). Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available. Visit the Oremus Hymnal.

Call to Prayer  ©2007 David T. Chafin (tune: Hyfrydol)

Come, O God, commune here with us, as we lift to you our cares.

You, our hope and our deliv’rance, promise to receive our prayers.

God of love and understanding, you alone know heart and soul.

Listen to our intercessions, recreate us, make us whole.

 

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). You may also want to visit http://www.modernpsalter.com/ or http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week: Psalms 96-97-98 begin on Page 748

 

Note: 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.

 

RESPONSIVE GREETING (adapted by the Editor)                               

L: Tonight old dreams die and new dreams come to life. The promise is fulfilled.

 

Prayer of Approach

L: The Lord be with you.

P: And also with you.

L: Let us pray.

For we pray in his name (as he taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

Intercessions (from the Editor)

                O God, you are never revealed so completely as in the face of the child of Bethlehem.  Hear us as we give you thanks for those who today reveal your love in our world in his spirit.

                We pray for those who give you hands by doing their best toward their brothers and sisters; for those who give you a mouth by speaking words of justice and peace for the broken and oppressed; for those who give your poverty the look of hope for your reign, revealing you simply by being your children, reflecting your beauty as did your only Son Jesus.

                We hold up in prayer the lonely and hurting, the hungry and homeless, the sick and dispossessed, knowing that your heart has always been nearest those who are poor in spirit and least likely to be thought of as people touched by the hand of divinity.

                As we remember how you came to live among us in the flesh, and as we celebrate that moment long ago which lives forever in the hearts of those who believe, and as we long for your fullness in our lives that we too might enflesh the goodness and love of Christ in our day, we ask that you would bless us, your church, to be food for the hungry and hope for those who are lost and alone—a living testament of Christ’s faithfulness to you.  May all who drink of your one spirit receive new life to give to those in our world who are thirsty for meaning and belonging.

                Pour out your Spirit upon us, your people.  Continue in our lives the mystery of Christmas.  Let your Son become flesh in us, so that we may reveal you to our world all the days of our lives.  Holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray.  Cast out our sin and enter in.  Be born in us today. 

or

From Common Worship: (“R” = Hear our prayer, O Lord. Another response may be substituted)

To us a child is born, to us a son is given; let us pray for the people he came to save.

Wonderful Counsellor, you order all things with your wisdom: help the Church to reveal the mystery of your love and fill her with the Spirit of truth: R

Mighty God, the government is on your shoulders: guide the leaders of the nations and bring in your kingdom of justice and righteousness: R

Everlasting Father, you call us to live together in unity: protect by your mercy all your children, bless our families and renew our communities: R

Prince of Peace, you bring reconciliation through the cross: by your healing power give to all who suffer your gift of wholeness and peace: R

Let us commend the world, to which Christ came, 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*

 Collect

Almighty God,

you have given us your only-begotten Son

to take our nature upon him

and as at this time to be born of a pure virgin:

grant that we, who have been born again

and made your children by adoption and grace,

may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

God our Father,

in this night you have made known to us again

the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

confirm our faith and fix our eyes on him

until the day dawns

and Christ the Morning Star rises in our hearts.

To him be glory both now and for ever.God our Father,

whose Word has come among us

in the Holy Child of Bethlehem:

may the light of faith illumine our hearts

and shine in our words and deeds;

through him who is Christ the Lord.

Alternative Collect

Lord Jesus Christ,

your birth at Bethlehem

draws us to kneel in wonder at heaven touching earth:

accept our heartfelt praise

as we worship you,

our Saviour and our eternal God.

 

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

O God, you make us glad by the yearly festival of the birth

of your only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that we, who joyfully

receive him as our Redeemer, may with sure confidence

behold him when he comes to be our Judge; who lives and

reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and

for ever. Amen.

OR

Almighty God, you have given your only‑begotten Son to

take our nature upon him, and to be born this day of a

virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made

your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed

by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom

with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and

for ever. Amen.

 

Intercessions

In peace with God and with one another, let us offer to God our hearts desires and our concerns for our world and ourselves.  Let us pray.

To you, O giver of joy, we praise you that in the fullness of time you came to be with us and to give us hope, peace and the joy of eternal life.  We thank you that in Mary you found one who would willingly give over control of her life, trusting in you, for the sake of your love of us.  We rejoice that we have received grace upon grace in the giving of your Son Jesus Christ to be our Savior.  Forgive us for our frequent unwillingness to let your joy spring to life in our midst, and the self-centeredness that has kept us from revealing in the fullness of your  joy.  Refashion us that we might recognize the greatness of your gift, and to release the joy that you have planted deeply within us in creation and in our baptism.

Because you have made us for joy, Lord, we are burdened to see a world that is limp and joyless.  As trouble, oppression, grief and sorrow pervades our world, the joy of life seems to fade from our sight.  Yet, we have been called by you to entrust our world’s needs, and our own, to your safekeeping, trusting that you, in your right time, will bring to fruition your promise of redemption.  Inspire us to trust you more, and to joyfully bring to our world the news of your presence in our midst.

We pray for all your children in their need.  To those who are fearful and oppressed, give freedom; to those who are hungry and homeless, give help; to those who are lonely and grieving, give your peace; and to those who are sick, give healing and hope.  As we give thanks for the life of _________, and for all your saints who rest in peace with you, we offer to you our lives afresh.  Make us to walk in your paths of righteousness and peace, and fill us with joy, as we pray in Christ’s name, [even as he taught us…]

OR

O God, who comes to us in Jesus Christ of Bethlehem, in these wonderfully busy days, may we not crowd you out of our minds, as he was crowded out of the inn on that first Christmas. Forbid that we should spend all for passing pleasures and fail to find the deeper, richer joys that do not pass away with the close of the day. Even as the tinsel and lights of the season begin to fade, time and again we pray that you would draw us back to his manger-bed. Rekindle our sense of wonder and worship, and grant that, as we find you in the likeness of a little child, we may experience a new reverence for childhood, and a more sincere longing for those qualities of the heart which childhood incarnates. Forgive our cynicism and pride, banish our doubts, and restore our faith in the things we cannot see or hear: the star that shines in human souls, and the song of peace that lingers over a world so troubled with war. Like the shepherds, may we return to our humble lives knowing that heaven is not some distant place, but is ever near because of the coming of the Christchild, and that in him you have revealed yourself here, among even people like us. Hear our prayers for those in need today, for healing and peace, reconciliation and joy. We pray especially for __________________ and others we name in our hearts.

Bless us, O God, one and all as this Christmas season continues. We lift our hearts in praise, and would seek to serve you as a follower of your beloved Son, assured that in following him is perfect freedom and peace. Now we pray as he has taught us saying, Our Father…

Service of Table

Prayer of Thanksgiving

(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)

Loving God, giver of life and bringer of peace, as we gather at the table Christ has spread for us, we pray that you would make your presence known anew in our lives. Send your Spirit now, we pray, that as we break the bread and drink from his cup, we might know afresh the joy of life eternal in your family, as we offer ourselves to you in praise and thanksgiving. All praise and glory be to you, O God, now and forever, in Christ’s name. Amen.

[if not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’”]

Advent Hymns

From William Flewelling, (c)2016

On James 5:7-10
 
               Be patient for the coming day,
               the day awaited in the Lord,
               the day when all creation will
               arise in unison with joy.
               In all the urgency of life,
               restrain until the dawn of time.
 
               As waiting ever for the fruit
               while rain attends the nurtured ground
               and ever  longer comes the rise
               into the harvest – so behold,
               it is the coming of the Lord
               that lures thy generosity.
 
               It is in patience evermore
               we come to dally for the Lord;
               as prophets who endure allow,
               the weight of glory urges love.
               The judge awaits before the door:
               in joy attend this common zeal.
 
8.8.8.8.8.8.               Suggested tune: Melita
 
 
On Matthew 1:18-25
 
               Run against the grain of longing,
               finishing all too soon the test.
               Mary, his betrothed is pregnant:
               what is he to do with this?
               Certainly the anguish lingers,
               twists and writhes within the heart
               till the satisfaction withers
               and a quiet ebb is found.
 
               Certainly the message echoes
               in the carefulness of heart,
               echoes in the honor urging
               his decisive will to love.
               Never fearing life’s disaster,
               at the dreamt announcement’s theme:
               take her constantly and savor:
               this, the child, is of the Lord.
 
               Remembering long echoes ring,
               of how the woman answers,
               how conception echoes promise
               to endow the coming hour.
               There, in satisfaction sated,
               wakes the witness to the word
               that in honor’s equal stature
               life is certain in repose.
 
8.7.8.7.D           Suggested tune: Rustington
 
 
On Isaiah 9:2-7
 
               The darkness lay upon the eyes:
               now brightly shines this light,
               Deep darkness shrouded all desire:
               now God’s light dawns as joy.
 
               In multiplies, exultant joys
               we come in full delight,
               to sate our moment on the Lord
               who lifts the weighted yoke.
 
               Within this bated hour we prize
               the turn of life aspires
               to find in yearning all release
               into the coming day.
 
               For now is born to us this day
               the child, the son desired.
               To govern in full peace is his
               to hear and to provide.
 
               O zeal of God Most High, attend!
               This is the working day,
               the new surpassing day of joy
               that wreathes the kingdom come.
 
CM        Suggested tune: Irish
 
 
On Hebrews 2:10-18
 
                        Our Pioneer has come
                        to clear the path of love.
                        In his appearance, we
                        attend the promised care.
 
                        In cure of this delight,
                        as Jesus answers life,
                        we learn, O God, thy rich
                        elixir answers strife.
 
                         Become like us, he lends
                        our strides into delight
                        that by this currency
                        of hope we must alight.
 
                        As tempted in the throes
                        of suffering that writhes,
                        we find our faithful Lord
                        our own atoning joy.
 
6.6.6.6.          Suggested tune: St. Cecilia
 

On Matthew 24:36-44

 

               An unexpected hour arrives

               to find the readied heart.

               Expected by adoring lives,

               thy presence sifts this hour.

 

               Imagining the awesome time,

               the swift division comes,

               begins the awed, attentive hour

               wherein the hopeful lend.

 

               For all is as it always is,

               the daily run of toil.

               Yet in the lengthened run of heart

               is found a woven joy.

 

               For all unknowing comes: arise!

               Attend afresh to God.

               For readiness lives in the eyes

               that find life’s bliss sublime.

 

CM           Suggested tune: This Endris Nyght

 

On Isaiah 11:1-10

 

               In the coming of the Savior,

               in the dawn that comes so near,

               rises sheer delight and wonder

               for the measure of your day.

               God, our Savior, bring your Spirit,

               lay it as a mantle here

               that indeed the fresh rejoinder

               of your gracious day appear.

 

               Gone the wary eyes of blindness,

               come the true discernment’s edge;

               gone the rasp of anguished urges,

               come the grace of righteousness.

               All the missing tones of mercy

               seem arisen in his face,

               as the faithful bear the binding

               of the way the wayward come.

 

               With a sudden understanding

               in the realm of startled peace,

               come and find the safe appearing

               of the root of Jesse’s bloom.

               As the scourge of agitation

               and aggression on the move

               finds the dawn of new creation,

               thy mercy, care and favor.

8.7.8.7.D            Suggested tune: Corvedale

 

 

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

2 Christmas Eve services from parish use a decade ago are offered, including one that has detailed texts for the presider(s) at the service. Hymn numbers are omitted, as are titles of anthems used.

Scripture (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources for each individual periscope:

Isaiah 9:2-7 / Isaiah 62:6-12 / Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 96 / Psalm 97 / Psalm 98

Titus 2:11-14 / Titus 3:4-7 / Hebrews 1:1-4, (5-12)

Luke 2:1-14, (15-20) / Luke 2:(1-7), 8-20 / John 1:1-14 (John 1 text may be reserved for Christmas Day or read at both services)

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

Hymns of Praise:

165 Once in Royal David’s City,

142 People, Look East,

148 O Come, All Ye Faithful,

155 Angels We Have Heard on High,

150 Hark! the Herald Angels Sing,

143 Joy to the World,

138 Awake! Awake!…,

159 There’s a Song in the Air,

169 O Thou Joyful

Communion Hymns:

147 Away in a Manger,

145 Silent Night, Holy Night,

160 Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,

161 I Wonder as I Wander,

162 What Child Is This,

163 Infant Holy, Infant Lowly

Dismissal/Missional Hymns: 

171 God’s Love Made Visible,

167 Go, Tell It on the Mountain

More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.

The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates). Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available. Visit the Oremus Hymnal.

Call to Prayer  ©2007 David T. Chafin (tune: Hyfrydol)

Come, O God, commune here with us, as we lift to you our cares.

You, our hope and our deliv’rance, promise to receive our prayers.

God of love and understanding, you alone know heart and soul.

Listen to our intercessions, recreate us, make us whole.

Another Advent Hymn is offered by the editor for your use.

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). You may also want to visit http://www.modernpsalter.com/ or http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week: Psalms 96-97-98 begin on Page 748

Note: 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 Greeting/Call to Prayer

The Christ Child is born! All you who would find him, prepare for a journey, as determined as the Magi. All you who would praise him, come with the faith to follow but a star. All you who would worship him , come with humility to the child who shows forth the immeasurable riches of God!

OR (from the Anglican tradition)

Beloved in Christ, with delight we prepare ourselves to hear again the message of the angels, and go in heart and mind to Bethlehem to see Mary and Joseph with Jesus in a manger. Let us listen to the story of God’s saving acts and celebrate the birth of this Holy Child. And let us make these hallowed walls reverberate with the glad tidings of great joy which is to all the people.

 

RESPONSIVE GREETING (adapted by the Editor)                               

L: Tonight old dreams die and new dreams come to life. The promise is fulfilled.

   P: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.

L: Hope gives way to joy and prayer to proclamation.

   P: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.

L: The candles tell the story. Dawn invades midnight.

The Light of the world has come.

   P: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.

L: This light is a light for all, warming us from within, radiating love,

lighting our lives with the presence of God in human flesh,

within us and among us now and always.

  P: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace. Goodwill to all.

 

Prayer of Approach

L: The Lord be with you.

P: And also with you.

L: Let us pray. Reigning God, whose rule extends to the farthest stars, come to rule within us on this glorious day when the Word becomes flesh once more to dwell among us.  We open ourselves to the light and long to offer our lives as a dwelling place for your truth.  Speak to us again through the Child of Bethlehem.  Reach out to the child in each of us, and hold us in the warmth of love’s embrace.  For we pray in his name (as he taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

Intercessions (from the Editor)

                O God, you are never revealed so completely as in the face of the child of Bethlehem.  Hear us as we give you thanks for those who today reveal your love in our world in his spirit.

                We pray for those who give you hands by doing their best toward their brothers and sisters; for those who give you a mouth by speaking words of justice and peace for the broken and oppressed; for those who give your poverty the look of hope for your reign, revealing you simply by being your children, reflecting your beauty as did your only Son Jesus.

                We hold up in prayer the lonely and hurting, the hungry and homeless, the sick and dispossessed, knowing that your heart has always been nearest those who are poor in spirit and least likely to be thought of as people touched by the hand of divinity.

                As we remember how you came to live among us in the flesh, and as we celebrate that moment long ago which lives forever in the hearts of those who believe, and as we long for your fullness in our lives that we too might enflesh the goodness and love of Christ in our day, we ask that you would bless us, your church, to be food for the hungry and hope for those who are lost and alone—a living testament of Christ’s faithfulness to you.  May all who drink of your one spirit receive new life to give to those in our world who are thirsty for meaning and belonging.

                Pour out your Spirit upon us, your people.  Continue in our lives the mystery of Christmas.  Let your Son become flesh in us, so that we may reveal you to our world all the days of our lives.  Holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray.  Cast out our sin and enter in.  Be born in us today. 

or

O God, who comes to us in Jesus Christ of Bethlehem, in our busy preparations and our joyous celebrations, may we not crowd you out of our minds, as he was crowded out of the inn on that first Christmas.  Forbid that we should spend all for passing pleasures and fail to find the deeper, richer joys that do not pass away with the close of the day.  Draw us back to his manger-bed.  Rekindle our sense of wonder and worship, and grant that, as we find you in the likeness of a little child, we may experience a new reverence for childhood, and a more sincere longing for those qualities of the heart which childhood incarnates.  Forgive our cynicism and pride, banish our doubts, and restore our faith in the things we cannot see or hear: the star that shines in human souls, and the song of peace that lingers over a world so troubled with war.  Like the shepherds, may we return to our humble lives knowing that heaven is not some distant place, but is ever near because of the coming of the Christchild, and that in him you have revealed yourself here, among even people like us.  Bless us, O God, one and all on this Christmas Day.  We lift our hearts in praise, and would seek to serve you as a follower of your beloved Son, assured that in following him is perfect freedom and peace.

or

From Common Worship: (“R” = Hear our prayer, O Lord. Another response may be substituted)

To us a child is born, to us a son is given; let us pray for the people he came to save.

Wonderful Counsellor, you order all things with your wisdom: help the Church to reveal the mystery of your love and fill her with the Spirit of truth: R

Mighty God, the government is on your shoulders: guide the leaders of the nations and bring in your kingdom of justice and righteousness: R

Everlasting Father, you call us to live together in unity: protect by your mercy all your children, bless our families and renew our communities: R

Prince of Peace, you bring reconciliation through the cross: by your healing power give to all who suffer your gift of wholeness and peace: R

Let us commend the world, to which Christ came, 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*

CHRISTMAS EVE:

Collect

Almighty God,

you make us glad with the yearly remembrance

of the birth of your Son Jesus Christ:

grant that, as we joyfully receive him as our redeemer,

so we may with sure confidence behold him

when he shall come to be our judge;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

Eternal God, for whom we wait,

you have fed us with the bread of eternal life:

keep us ever watchful,

that we may be ready to stand before the Son of man,

Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Alternative Collect

Almighty God,

as we prepare with joy

to celebrate the gift of the Christ-child,

embrace the earth with your glory

and be for us a living hope

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Service of Table

Preparation (Invitation)

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Upon those who have lived in the shadow of death the light has shined. With the prophet’s words, let us joyfully participate in sharing the life-giving work of God in our world today as we prepare the Table of Christ with the offerings of our lives and our labors.

or

We come to this table as a people unprepared. Our world is as unready for the coming of Emmanuel as was the crowded town of Bethlehem. We are as un-attuned to the eternal as the sleeping shepherds in the field. Our expectations are as unclear as those of the travelers from the East. Though we are unprepared, though our lives are unworthy offerings, God has forgiven our sins and offered us newness of life through Jesus Christ. This is the grace of God in which we participate at this table. Come, share the feast.

or

Out of the darkness of our world, we have seen a great light.  The birth of the Christ Child calls us to something special.  God comes to us now in this busy season to make all things new.  God makes room for us, even when there is no room at the inn.  Where we are too busy, God brings peace.  Where we are lost, salvation.  Where we are sad, joy.  Where we are bitter, God gives us the courage to love again.  Rejoice!  Christ has come to us bringing all these gifts of God.  Let us join with the whole church to eat and drink with him.  May the bread we eat bet to us the very bread of life.  May the cup we share be God’s wine of salvation.  Let us celebrate Emmanuel – God is with us – as we come to his table in faith.  You are welcome here – all of you.  It is he who invites you, and it is he who gives you life.

Offertory Prayer

Thank you, God of Love, for the promise of this season. We are grateful for the generosity aroused in us by Christ’s coming into the world. May these gifts represent a new spirit of joyous sharing among us, for the sake of all your children everywhere. Amen.

Great Thanksgiving (if one is offered)

Holy God, creator of heaven and earth, we joyfully thank you and praise your name. You formed the universe in your wisdom, and created all things by your power. You set us in families on the earth to live with you in faith. We praise you for good gifts of bread and wine, and for the table you spread in the world as a sign of your love for all people. You alone are God, and we join ourselves with all your faithful beyond all time and space, and join in praising your holy name (and join their unending hymn: Holy, holy, holy Lord,..)

We praise you, Lord, for sending your only Son Jesus to live among us, full of grace and truth. He made you known to all who receive him. Sharing our joy and sorrow, he healed the sick, befriended sinners, and showed us the way to fulfillment in partnership with other people. Two by two he sent his disciples to extend your promise of friendship and love, and two by two he calls us still to work in your spirit of love. We trust him to overcome every power that can hurt or divide us, and believe that when he comes again in glory, we will celebrate victory with him throughout eternity at his heavenly table. (INSTITUTION)

And so, in remembrance of all your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we take this bread and cup and give you thanks and praise. Pour out your Spirit upon us, that this bread and cup may be for us the body and blood of Christ, and that we, and all who share this feast, may be one with Christ and he with us. Fill us with eternal life, that with joy we may be his faithful people until we feast with him in glory. Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours, Almighty God, now and forever. (Our father…) 

or (from William Flewelling)

Holy God

who has chosen to be known to us

through the Incarnate Lord Jesus,

we raise our souls in praise and thanksgiving

for your thorough gift of self,

even into our flesh and blood.

For in your stirring among us, Lord,

you fostered in us your own gifts of life.

You have opened in us the hope

of Jesus Christ.

You have borne in us the living Word.

You have drawn us to your own life in joy.

And so we come in awe,

rejoicing in your coming to us.

We come breaking bread

with which Jesus associated himself, saying:

This is my body.

We come sharing a cup of wine

with which Jesus gave the new covenant

in his blood.

Send forth your Spirit upon us

that in this feast we may be united in you,

that we may be fed and

that we may learn the tender gift of Christmas

in our flesh.

We pray in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Elders’ Prayers/Prayer of Thanksgiving

(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)

Holy God, you have created all and love all which you have created, we give you thanks for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ who came to live among us, full of grace and truth. As we receive from his Table, we ask that you would send the power of your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that they would be for us the body and blood of Christ, and that as his one body we might go forth from this celebration to proclaim in word and deed the new life that is ours through the mysteries we receive. 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.

or

            Holy God, we praise and bless you for creation and the gift of life; and for your abiding love which brings us close to you, the source of all blessing.  We thank you for revealing your will for us in the giving of the law and the teaching of the prophets.

             We thank you especially that in the fullness of time you sent your only Jesus, born of Mary, to live in our midst, to embody your grace and truth in this world.  In this mystery of the word made flesh, you came to share in our struggles, and to cause the light of life to shine in our hearts.  We rejoice that when he had suffered death and the grave, you raised him from death with power to become king of kings and lord of lords.

            You have gathered your Church at your table to strengthen us to share the gift of eternal life.  Now send the power of your Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that they may be for us Christ’s body and blood, and that we might be for the world Christ’s body, until at last we feast with him and all your people at the table of unending joy.

[if not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’”]

MORE…

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.

Liturgies created by Moira Laidlaw (Uniting Church in Australia) as a part of her doctoral dissertation are often helpful. Read more here.

 

Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2015. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2015 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2015; 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.

 

NOTE: We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday. We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary. Send your comments or content here.