Order of Worship


Something that moves people into a feeling of a dream state.
Subdued, if any lighting, maybe just a single candle.
Perhaps ambient music/soundscape as prelude.
Almost whispered reading of the O Antiphons (2 and 5) and singing of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”, stanzas 2 and 5 by choir, processing slowly, and congregation, seated, a cappella or with very minimal accompaniment.


Prayer of Illumination (sung by soloist, or choir, quietly)
“Send Your Word,” stanza 1 UMH 195

Reader Matthew 1:18-19


Choir or ensemble or soloist sings “Send Your Word,” stanza 2

Reader Matthew 1:20-23


Instrumental on “Send Your Word”

Lighting of Fourth Advent Candle (in silence)

Reader Matthew 1:24-25

All Sing “Send Your Word,” stanza 3 UMH 195


Sermon “Dream”

Response Song Rain Down SongSelect CCLI #4243542

At conclusion of song, segue to Prayers of the People (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcJfl8cGAzY), chord progressions, light, slow ambient background for the worship leader, who says:

Prayers of the People

It’s time to dream again.

Not because we think we are or can make the dream,
God’s dream,

But because we know we can’t.

We’re like Joseph,
stuck with situations in our lives and the life of the world God loves
that promise us and those we love nothing but pain.
We long for solutions that will reduce everyone’s pain, and our own.
We may even decide we have found some
and try to ask God to bless us as we pursue it.

But if we’re honest,
we know even our best solutions
fall short, far short.

So we pray,
not telling God what to do,
but trusting God to show us what we can do.

We pray,
not to control the world, or any outcome,
but, as Joseph did,
to open ourselves,
to let go,
to release ourselves and the world God loves into God’s loving hands,
to let the dreams come,
and follow where God leads.

So let us open up our hearts,
let’s open up our hearts to our Lord,
as we pray…

Prayers of the People (The Brilliance) SongSelect CCLI #7039048
Add your own intercessions, modeled on these as a base. Have several different voices older, younger, male, female, different accents, different cultures, even different languages, if possible, to lift them up as solo intercessors. All sing, “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy” … etc. Include a petition acknowledging our sin and need of forgiveness at the conclusion of the intercessions. Fade instruments to silence.


Pastor announces: In the name of Christ, you are forgiven. Let Christ’s forgiving and healing peace flow among us all.

The people exchange the peace of Christ.

An offering is received.

Offering Music

“In the Bleak Midwinter” UMH 221

Great Thanksgiving

We have listened.
We have prayed.
We have been forgiven.
We have been reconciled.
Now we’re ready to offer our whole selves to God
in praise and thanksgiving,
for all God has done, is doing, and will do,
among us, through us, and beyond us.

So lift up your hearts.
We lift them as one to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the One who restores us.
What else can we do?

What else can we do, gracious God,
for the richness of your mercy
toward us,
but thank you,
and bless you,
and praise your name.

For the abundance of your creation,
we thank you, and bless you, and praise your name.

For the calling of your people, Israel,
we thank you, and bless you, and praise your name.

For the truth of your law, and the mercy of your heart,
we thank you, and bless you, and praise your name.

For the gift of prophets, the faithfulness of martyrs,
and the wisdom of all who fear you,
we thank you, and bless you, and praise your name.

We thank you, and bless you, and praise your name,
in our own tongues and voices,
and in the ancient words of saints and angels:

Holy, Holy, Holy,
Lord God of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Glory to you, O God most high!

Blessed is the Christ who comes in your name.
Hosanna! Save us! Hosanna in the highest!

If Communion is not celebrated, skip to sending forth.

Blessed are you, O Christ,
Way, Truth and Life.

And blessed is your reign,
forever and ever.

You have shown us the way
and brought us the truth
that leads to eternal life.

We bless you, Jesus!

You love the little ones.
You touch the lepers.
You feed the hungry.
You deliver the oppressed.

We bless you, Jesus!

You love enemies.
You touch the ones who seek holiness.
You satisfy those who hunger and thirst
for righteousness and justice.
You forgive the oppressor.

We bless you, Jesus!

Your life was announced
through prophets, dreams
and angels.
You stopped and prayed.
You show us the way
to love, let go, and let God.

We bless you, Lord!

And as for your disciples long ago,
you offer to set yourself before us,
in bread and wine,
your body and your blood,
and called them and us to remember you.

What else can we do,
in remembrance of you,
but thank you,
and bless you,
and praise your name,
proclaiming your resurrection,
and awaiting your coming in glory.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Lord God, Holy, Almighty,
send your Holy Spirit upon us
regathered into one,
and upon these gifts
of bread and wine.

Come, Holy Spirit.

As we receive your body and blood
into our bodies, Lord Jesus,
come dwell in us.
Let your dream live in us,
that we may be made one body in you,
as you are one with the Father,
that all the world may know through us
here and now
the power of your redeeming love,
as we and all creation wait
with all who long for the day
when we feast with you
in the age to come.

By Christ,
and with Christ,
and in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honor and glory be yours,
Lord God of Hosts,
now and forever.

Breaking and Giving

Songs during Communion

Choral/Band anthem “A Strange Way to Save the World” (SongSelect #1170127)
“Come Let Us Dream” W&S 3157
“I Have a Dream” W&S 3127
“What Feast of Love” W&S 3170
“Open the Eyes of My Heart” W&S 3008

Thanksgiving after Communion
“I Thank You, Jesus” W&S 3037


Sung to “I Thank You, Jesus”

Now send us, Jesus,
Now send us, Jesus,
Now send us, Jesus,
Now send us, Lord.

O, for you’ve brought us,
Yes, you’ve brought us,
You’ve brought us a mighty long way,
A mighty long way!

And keep us dreaming,
Yes, keep us dreaming,
O, keep us dreaming
Your holy dream, Lord!

O, and keep us moving
keep us moving
In your mighty,
your mighty good way!

Deacon, Worship Leader, or Pastor:
Go in peace to love and serve our coming Lord!
Thanks be to God!

Other recommended hymns for Advent IV:

“Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine” TFWS 2099
“One Holy Night in Bethlehem” TFWS 2097
“If I Could Visit Bethlehem” W&S 3063
“Like a Child” TFWS 2092