Opening Medley of Christmas hymns (three to five) including procession to the crèche by children (costumed or otherwise) bringing figurines of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, angel and shepherds, while singing “Away in the Manger” or another well-known children’s Christmas hymn as accompaniment.
Call to Worship (Adapted from Latin antiphon, Hodie Christus natus est)
On this night, Christ is born!
Now the Savior has appeared!
On this night, the heavenly chorus resounds!
All creation rejoices!
On this night, the church throughout the world joins their cry:
Glory to God in the highest! Alleluia!
Songs (one or more of the Christmas hymns that include “Gloria in excelsis” — UMH 236, 238, 240, 244, 248)
Prayer of Illumination (adapted from Lessons and Carols)
Open us, O God, to hear again the message of the angels,
and to go in heart and mind with the shepherds to Bethlehem
to see the glorious redemption you have brought to pass
through the Newborn lying in a manger. Amen.
WORD AND RESPONSE
Reader 1: Luke 2: 1-3
Choir or Band Song about the difficult context of the birth
“In the Bleak Midwinter” UMH 221
“’Twas in the Moon of Wintertime” UMH 244
"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"
Reader 2: Luke 2: 4-7
Congregational Song: “Once in Royal David’s City” UMH 250, stanzas 1-2
Reader 3: Luke 2: 8-14
Choir or Band song on the angel’s appearance to the shepherds
Glory to God in the Highest (Canticle of God’s Glory) (UMH 82)
Glory to God in the Highest (TFWS 2276 — Refrain by congregation, stanzas by choir/ensemble)
Reader 4: Luke 2: 15-20
Congregational Hymn: “Sing We Now of Christmas,” UMH 237, stanzas 1-3 or other arrangement
Choral Response “Still, Still, Still” W&S 3066
THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION
Word and Table II UMH 12 (for invitation, confession, pardon, offering)
Great Thanksgiving for Christmas Eve, Day or Season BOW 56-57
Music During Communion
“Night of Silence/Silent Night” (Choir or Ensemble or Solo/Congregation.
Score available through OneLicense.net
Thanksgiving after Communion UMH 11
Congregational Song “Joy to the World” and/or “Go Tell It on the Mountain”
Pastor: Christ the Savior is born.
Go and spread the good news everywhere!
People: Thanks be to God.
Choral or Band or Instrumental Postlude
Other recommended hymns for Christmas Eve:
“Some Children See Him” W&S 3065
“Welcome to Our World” W&S 3067
“The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy” TFWS 2098
“Mary Had a Baby” W&S 3058