Home Worship Planning Seasons & Holidays Christmas Eve Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Christmas Eve Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

This service takes the form of the "Lessons and Carols" found in The United Methodist Book of Worship, pages 284-288. The prayers listed may be taken from that book, or others may be substituted — including several from The United Methodist Hymnal. Although it is possible to sing exclusively from The Faith We Sing for this service using the selections below, please note that not all selections from that book closely match the theme of the Scripture immediately associated with it. Also many of these selections from The Faith We Sing will be new or unfamiliar to most congregations. It is recommended that The Faith We Sing and The United Methodist Hymnal be used together in selecting the carols. Musical selections recommended here are suggestions only, and only one title should be sung with each Scripture.

The service below may be freely copied, adapted, and used without further permission.

• • • •

A Christmas Eve Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
(Using songs and carols from The Faith We Sing and The United Methodist Hymnal)

TFWS=The Faith We Sing
UMH=United Methodist Hymnal



2093 (TFWS) The Snow Lay on the Ground
250 (UMH) Once in Royal David's City




FIRST LESSON Genesis 3:8-15, 17-19
God announces in the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve's punishment for their rebellion and that the seed of woman shall bruise the serpent's head.


2095 (TFWS) Star-Child
196 (UMH) Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

SECOND LESSON Genesis 22:15-18
God promises to Abraham that by his descendants all the nations of the earth will obtain blessings.


2099 (TFWS) Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine
211 (UMH) O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (stanzas 1,2,4,7)
116 (UMH) The God of Abraham Praise (stanzas 1-3)

THIRD LESSON Isaiah 9:2,6-7
The prophet announces the birth of a king to a people in darkness.


2089 (TFWS) Wild and Lone the Prophets Voice
205 (UMH) Canticle of Light and Darkness
216 (UMH) Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming (stanzas 1,2)
210 (UMH) Toda La Tierra (All Earth Is Waiting, stanzas 1,4)

FOURTH LESSON Isaiah 11:1-4a,6-9 or Micah 5:2-5a
The king is coming and will usher in a reign of justice for the poor and peace for all God's creation.


2091 (TFWS) The King of Glory Comes
216(UMH) Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming
230 (UMH) O Little Town of Bethlehem
210 (UMH) Toda La Tierra (All Earth Is Waiting)

FIFTH LESSON Luke 1:26-35,38
The angel Gabriel announces to the virgin Mary that she will give birth to Gods promised Son, whose kingdom will never end.


2097 (TFWS) One Holy Night in Bethlehem
199 (UMH) Canticle of Mary
198 (UMH) My Soul Gives Glory to My God
200 (UMH) Tell Out, My Soul
215 (UMH) To a Maid Engaged to Joseph
197 (UMH) Ye Who Claim the Faith of Jesus

Against a backdrop of emperors and taxes, Jesus is born.


2098 (TFWS) The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy
228 (UMH) He Is Born
235 (UMH) Rock-A-Bye, My Dear Little Boy
241 (UMH) That Boy-Child of Mary
245 (UMH) The First Noel (stanza 1)

The shepherds go to see the Savior of the world and find him lying in a manger.


2096 (TFWS) Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow
72 (UMH) Gloria, Gloria
229 (UMH) Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
221 (UMH) In the Bleak Midwinter (stanzas 1, 2)
245 (UMH) The First Noel (stanzas 1, 2)

EIGHTH LESSON Matthew 2:1-11
The wise men follow a star to find the child Jesus, the King of the Jews.


2094 (TFWS) Carol of the Epiphany
243 (UMH) De Tierra Lejana Venimos (From a Distant Home)
248 (UMH) On This Day Earth Shall Ring
254 (UMH) We Three Kings
221 (UMH) In the Bleak Midwinter

NINTH LESSON John 1:1-14
John unfolds the great mystery of the Incarnation.


2100 (TFWS) Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne
234 (UMH) O Come, All Ye Faithful
239 (UMH) Silent Night, Holy Night


(It is appropriate to include a congregational candle lighting service to conclude the Lessons and Carols, either before or after the Dismissal.)

• • • •

+ Please stand as you are able.

Contact Us for Help

View staff by program area to ask for additional assistance.



* indicates required

This is a bi-monthly email where you’ll receive the highest quality resources to support your disciple-making process. Everything from Helpful Articles, New Webinar Series and Podcasts, Discounted Teaching Series, and so much more!

Please confirm that you want to receive email from us.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please read our Privacy Policy page.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.