All are given candles at entry.
Room starts in relative darkness and silence.
Christmas tree lights turn on.
Choir/praise team and clergy carrying candles process in, lighting candles, singing “Silent Night” (UMH 239, stanzas 1 and 3; sing 1 again if needed).
When all are in front, all lights go on, and all sing “Joy to the World” (UMH 246)
Prayer for Illumination
Glorious is your righteousness,
wondrous is your love,
Savior, Lord and Sovereign
who was, and is, and is to come.
Pour out your Spirit
that we may hear your word,
see your way,
and follow where you lead us. Amen.
WORD AND RESPONSE
Gospel Hymn “Open My Eyes That I May See” (Tune: VENI EMMANUEL, UMH 211),
stanzas 1-2 (Sing the “Rejoice” refrain from “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”)
Reading Matthew 11:2-11
Gospel Hymn “Open My Eyes”/”Veni Emmanuel,” stanza 3 (with refrain)
Lighting the Advent Wreath (No words — Accompaniment: Chord progression for opening of “Give Me Your Eyes”)
Prayers of the People
Give Me Your Eyes (Brandon Heath, CCLI Song Select # 5359222; Solo first stanza and chorus, repeat chorus all, solo on second stanza, all third stanza, then riff a different bridge with the spoken, “Give Me Your Eyes” as response, as follows:
For everyone in prison, everyone oppressed, for everyone who’s hurting … Give me your eyes
For everyone who’s waiting, everyone who’s poor, for all who need your healing … Give me your eyes
For all who live as beggars, for all who are outcast, for justice in all nations … Give me your eyes
For prophets now among us, for truth you give to tell, for all to know salvation … Give me your eyes
As Christ himself has taught us, now open up our hearts, and give us voice to pray now …
The Lord’s Prayer
Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. (in place of “Yeah” at end of song)
THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION
You’ve opened our eyes, Lord.
We see our sin.
We see the brokenness of our relationships.
Before we can offer ourselves to you fully,
We must confess, and make amends.
Confession of Sin
With John’s disciples, we see now who you are,
and we see who we are, and what we’ve done.
We have left the blind among the blind,
and the deaf among the deaf.
We have made life harder for those with difficulty moving.
We have created more lepers, and cleansed but few.
We have consigned more and more to certain death.
And the poor hear bad news from our lips.
Then free us to see, hear, move, embody, and announce
the way your kingdom is making in this world. Amen.
Pardoning and Peace
Jesus sent the doubting and dispirited as evangelists.
You are more than forgiven.
You are restored and given the word of Shalom
to offer one and all.
The peace of Christ is with us. Share it!
Music during Peace/Offering
Acts of Testimony and Thanksgiving
See worship planning notes for details and specific suggestions.
Pastor and people begin by singing “Jesus, We Are Here” (TFWS 2273), all standing (as possible) and hands at the orans position of prayer (palms up, hands extended to sides, elbows slightly bent).
The people continue singing quietly, while the pastor prays:
Jesus, we are here,
here for you,
here to give ourselves in thanks and praise,
for all you, with the Father and the Spirit,
have done, and are doing,
to save us
and make all things new.
From time immemorial,
you are God,
Holy and Triune,
delighting in creation,
rejoicing in all creatures,
and pouring forth life
inexhaustible and free.
Though we have destroyed your creation,
abused your creatures,
and profited from death, disease, and decay,
you chose to make a people for yourself in Israel,
and a new people among those who were no people in Jesus Christ.
(The people stop singing).
And so, with your people on earth,
and all the company of heaven,
we join our voices in the eternal hymn of praise:
Holy, holy, holy (Tune: MATSIKENYIRI, TFWS 2273).
Lord God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full
of your glory.
in the highest.
Blessed is Christ who comes
in the name of the Lord.
in the highest.
Blessed are you, Lord Jesus Christ,
who has shown us the way of salvation,
the ones we blinded are our visionaries,
the ones we paralyzed move freely,
the ones we marginalized are the center of community,
the ones we shouted down until they could not hear or be heard
rejoice to find their words fulfilled,
the ones we consigned to death broke death’s bonds,
and the ones we called poor are source of life for all.
Blessed be your name forever.
Blessed are you, offering yourself to us
as to your first disciples
in bread and wine over which you gave thanks to the Father,
bread, your body,
wine, new covenant in your blood,
and bid us remember you, and do likewise.
We remember your death.
We proclaim your resurrection.
We await your coming in glory.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Heavenly Father, pour out your Holy Spirit,
as we your children ask you.
Come, Holy Spirit, come.
Come, Holy Spirit, come.
Come on us, and on these gifts.
Pastor touches the bread:
Make this bread Christ’s body,
and us his body renewed.
Pastor touches the cup:
Make this cup Christ’s blood,
and us living witnesses of his reign.
Unite us with Christ,
with each other,
and with all creation
now, and on that day
when we gather at the marriage supper of the Lamb,
when all shall proclaim:
Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving,
and honor and power and strength,
be to our Triune God,
forever and ever. Amen.
Breaking and Sharing
Music During Communion
Thanksgiving after Communion
“Now Thank We All Our God” (Stanza 1) UMH 102
“Thank You, Lord” (Refrain only) CCLI SongSelect #4220833
“Joy to the World the Lord Has Come” CCLI SongSelect #3040186
Chorus ff. (Skip verse 1)
Words of Sending (during bridge 2, no lyrics)
You have seen the Savior.
Doubt no more.
Go forth, rejoice, and await the day of his coming!
“Joy to the World the Lord Has Come” (Outro)
Other recommended hymns for Advent III:
“The King of Glory Comes” TFWS 2091
“Make Way” W&S 3044
God Almighty, We Are Waiting W&S 3047
“Until Jesus Comes” W&S 3050
“Look Toward Christmas” Songs between Friends, 24
“Hail to the Lord’s Anointed” UMH 203