Home Christmas Eve Call to Worship

Christmas Eve Call to Worship

The following would take place after any prelude music is presented. The church would then be plunged into total darkness. (I know, I know, there's the safety issue, but you'll probably do it again for the candlelight portion of the service.)

From various places in the congregation, voices will speak out the lines. Since they are short Scripture passages from the Advent Scriptures, they should be memorized.

Voice 1: "From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him." (Isaiah 64:4, NRSV)

Voice 2: "Because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus . . . you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ." (I Corinthians 1:4b,7, NRSV)

Voice 3: "Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together." (Isaiah 40:5, NRSV)

Voice 4: "Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation." (II Peter 3:14-15, NRSV)

Voice 5: "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.' " (Mark 1:3, NRSV)

Voice 6: "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness." (Isaiah 61:10, NRSV)

Voice 7: "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (I Thessalonians 5:16-18, NRSV)

Voice 8: "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word. My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior." (Luke 1:38,46, NRSV)

Voice 9: "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." (Isaiah 9:2, NRSV)

Immediately following Voice 9, the lights would come up full, and the introduction for the congregational hymn would begin.

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"Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light," No. 223, United Methodist Hymnal (or for a more contemporary service, "Shine, Jesus Shine," No. 2173, The Faith We Sing)

The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U. S. A. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 1999 by Dr. Jeffrey N. Cartwright. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Dr. Jeffrey N. Cartwright is the pastor of Union Deposit United Methodist Church in Hershey, Pennsylvania.