Christmas Eve Service at Trinity United Church of Christ

December 24, 2020

Sentences                                           Pastor Nathan King
On this Christmas Eve we are gathered here and in many places as God’s people to celebrate again what Christ’s coming means to the world. We join with Christians all over the world who are celebrating tonight.

Centering Music         Once In Royal David’s City             John Gauntlet 1848              Annie Rhodes, Cello

Greeting                                               Pastor Nathan King
Good evening! And welcome to the Trinity UCC Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. Our worship this evening includes 12 pieces of music including solos, instrumentals, a duet and hymns and carols. We invite you to sing along on the hymns and carols! You can find the lyrics on our website under the worship tab and click on Christmas Eve Hymns. Get your candles ready for the lighting of candles near the end of our service signifying the light of God coming into the world through Christ. You will also have the opportunity for giving your offering supporting the important ministries of this open and loving congregation. Enjoy your Christmas Eve Worship experience!

Reading of Isaiah 9:2-7                                      Rev. Jim Staunton
2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined.
3 You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest,
as people exult when dividing plunder.
4 For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.
5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire.
6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with
justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forever more.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Reading of Luke 1:26-35                                       Mary Barbara Staunton
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”[b] 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”[c] 35 The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[d] will be holy; he will be called Son of God.

Duet                      Mary, Did You Know?                                Rose Edwards, Annie Rhodes, duet

Reading of Luke 2:1-7                                           Pastor Nathan King
1In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Hymn                   Gentle Joseph, Joseph Dear              NCH 105               #12921

Lighting of the Advent Candles
One: Because God so loves the world,  This beautiful and broken world,
One: This divided and distanced world,  This warming and burning world,
One: This difficult, pandemic world,
This diseased and wounded world
One: This lost and hurting world,
In this bleak and embattled world,
One: For such a time as this,
God’s love is made flesh, A child is born unto us.
One: For such a time as this,
The light of Christ shines upon us.
One: In a stinky stable turned birthing room,
New visions of family and community are born.
One: By the surprising subversion of God’s in-breaking love,
The burden of injustice is thrown off.
One: Through the ages-old song of angels and shepherds,
God’s glory is proclaimed.
One: On this holy night, the one we’ve been watching for is here.
On this holy night, the time we’ve been waiting for is now.
One: Let us rejoice together!
Glory to God in the highest, and peace and goodwill to all!

Candles are lit, silence is kept.

Hymn with Solo Cello Introduction         O Come, O Come, Emmanuel           vs. 1, 2, 6      Annie Rhodes, cello

All: For such a time as this, the Christ Child comes to us. For such a time as this, God’s love is born in us. Christ Candle is lit.

Solo                     O Holy Night                         Adolphe Adam 1847

Reading of Luke 2:8-16                   Rev. Jim Staunton                                                                                                                                   8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with them a multitude of heavenly host, praising God and saying,14“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and favors!”15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.

Solo Piano                      Infant Holy, Infant Lowly                           Theresa Woody, piano

Reading of Luke 2:17-20                      Mary Barbara Staunton                                                                                                                      17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Call to Offering                                      Rev. Nathan King

Offertory                      What Child Is This?                 Tom Lipe, guitar

Offertory Response                 Angels We Have Heard On High                  NCH 125

Prayer of Dedication
Christ comes! Our hearts are full, our joy is boundless.
May this offering be a living message of hope, peace, joy, and love to this church, to this community, to this nation, and this world.

Anthem                  Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella

Candle Lighting Service for Christmas Eve

Guitar Solo               Silent Night, Holy Night                  Tom Lipe, guitar

Closing Words and Benediction                   Rev. Nathan King

Benediction (After Isaiah 9:6)
A Child is born to us, named Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Ruler of Peace!
Christ is born! Merry Christmas to all!
People: Christ is born! Merry Christmas to all!

Postlude                  Joy to the World!                             NCH 132

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