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25 Dec

Christmas

INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTMAS SEASON

Article

Christmas is a season of praise and thanksgiving for the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, which begins with Christmas Eve (December 24 after sundown) or Day and continues through the Day of Epiphany.

INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTMAS SEASON »

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING FOR CHRISTMAS EVE, DAY, OR SEASON

Liturgy

This text is used by the pastor while the congregation uses A Service of Word and Table II (UMH 13–15) or III (UMH 15–16) or one of the musical settings (UMH 17–25).

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING FOR CHRISTMAS EVE, DAY, OR SEASON »

Soft Winds

Music Download

SATB Choral Anthem
by Ken Morrison
This is a beautiful Christmas choral anthem that portrays Mary and Joseph caring for Jesus.

Soft Winds »

Away in a Manger (Smith)

Music Download

Composer Rhonda Smith has arranged this familiar carol for piano. It may be used as a hymn introduction or accompaniment to singing. 

Away in a Manger (Smith) »

Children’s Christmas Eve Service

Liturgy

The Rev. Kathie Wilkinson, Pastor of Worship Life at Mt. Sylvan UMC in Durham, NC, offers the Children's Christmas Eve Service they have included the past few years as part of the congregation's Christmas Eve worship. They change it a little each year and offer it for others to adapt and use. The Rev. Wilkinson writes, "We added this service to our regular 5:00 and 11:00 traditional Christmas Eve services to meet the needs of the children of our church and community. We send a special invitation to each family of our preschool, and many of them have attended."  

Children’s Christmas Eve Service »

When You MUST Cancel Christmas

Article

If you've lived in the "snowbelts" of the U.S. for any length of time, you know there are times when it is simply not safe even to try to gather for worship, even if it is Christmas Eve. . . . So what do you do when safety issues mean you simply must cancel Christmas? Have a back-up plan ready to go!  

When You MUST Cancel Christmas »

Litany for Christmas Communion

Article

This act of prayer and adoration weds past and present, Mary then and us and all Christians tonight (today), her communion with the newly born Son of God and our communion with him in the Eucharist. She and the apostles were "near" and we are the "distant" ones.   

Litany for Christmas Communion »

Christmas CD Recorded in Estonian Church

Article

A symphonic collection of a dozen classic Christmas songs, titled "What If Mozart Wrote White Christmas," was recorded in the Tallinn United Methodist church in Estonia.  

Christmas CD Recorded in Estonian Church »

Xmas

Article

Xmas -- is it an abbreviation for Christmas or part of a conspiracy to take Christ out of Christmas? 

Xmas »

Messiah’s Grand Entry

Article

Hear me, my friends and relatives,
Hear me, all you people. 

Messiah’s Grand Entry »

A Child’s Memory of Christmas

Article

Today when I think of Christmas I know that I am celebrating the birth of Jesus. I think of Christmas trees, lights, singing, presents, food, and visiting family. However my childhood memory of Christmas is quite different.  

A Child’s Memory of Christmas »

Review of Christmas Night CD

Article

The nearly 100-voice Chancel Choir is legendary for its performances, world tours, concerts all over the USA with great artists and orchestras, and -- of course - its excellence of ministry within its home church. The  Christmas Night CD is a blend of classical, traditional, hymns, carols, Christmas favorites, solos, and organ numbers -- a total of twenty-one selections on the CD, all recorded in the fall of 2005 in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church.  

Review of Christmas Night CD »

Layaway Offering for Christ

Article

Consider establishing a churchwide layaway plan for a special ministry gift that will honor Christ. 

Layaway Offering for Christ »

Blue X-mas

Liturgy

This year will be nothing like
Those that came before.
There won't be carols
A banquet or gifts
Just vacant space
Where we once talked
Where we once laughed 

Blue X-mas »

Christmas in the Heart

Article

Weeks of looking at the Sears Christmas Wish Book and making gift lists were approaching an end. The letters to Santa had been sent, and it was time for the annual Christmas shopping expedition to the "city." For the family living in rural Iowa, the little town with the square at its center seemed a bustling city. The decorations on each corner street lamp seemed lavish as they flashed on and off in a blaze of orange, blue, green and red. 

Christmas in the Heart »

One Small Light: An Original Christmas Story

Article

The soft light of the kerosene lamp and the fading gray daylight made reading the framed cross-stitched sampler easy enough, "Every season has its gift for living. The seeds of the present season hold growth and harvest yet to come. May gratitude become a season in us." 

One Small Light: An Original Christmas Story »

Christmas Story Quiz Answers

Article

Answers to the Christmas Story Quiz. 

Christmas Story Quiz Answers »

Christmas Story Quiz

Article

Answer the following questions without opening your Bible. 

Christmas Story Quiz »

Christmas Carol Quiz Answers

Article

Answers to the Christmas Carol Quiz. 

Christmas Carol Quiz Answers »

Christmas Carol Quiz

Article

This quiz lists thirty phrases from Advent and Christmas carols, hymns, and songs. Name the song from which each phrase comes. Use this as a group activity at choir, Sunday school, or staff parties, youth activities, other gatherings, or insert it in your church newsletter. 

Christmas Carol Quiz »

Service of Las Posadas (Shelter) for the Holy Family

Article

A service of las posadas (shelter) draws upon Mexican custom and practice. A dramatic highly communal and participatory liturgy for the latter days of Advent, it reenacts Luke's Christmas story. The dialogue uses biblical texts as a way of rehearsing the need for repentance and faith, and the journey represented connects with the spiritual search in contemporary life. 

Service of Las Posadas (Shelter) for the Holy Family »

Remembering Christmas

Article

A Christmas drama by Sandy Bracken with suggested hymns and music.  

Remembering Christmas »

Worship on Christmas?

Article

The stories have hit the media big time this year. CNN, NPR, the nightly news, and even the blogosphere are filled with folks talking about how some megachurches have chosen not to offer services on Christmas Day this year.  

Worship on Christmas? »

Un-Christmas Carols

Article

The preacher last week referred to "Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light" as"one of his favorite Christmas carols. It is also one of my favorites of the season, but it is not a carol. Technically, it is a chorale, although we might also get by with calling it a hymn. Some might say it doesn't really matter what you call it; but I believe we musicians, as keepers and stewards of the church's music, ought to treat our treasure with care; and understanding and calling things by their proper names is one way to do that. 

Un-Christmas Carols »

A Traditional Christmas

Article

Christmas has almost come and gone for another year. We've had four Sundays of Advent and six or eight weeks of Christmas music in the malls and on television and radio. I've attended, played for, or led singing at a variety of parties and programs in the past couple of weeks. Once again, I can only marvel at the variety of music that makes up our musical Christmas celebrations year after year: 

A Traditional Christmas »

History of Hymns: “Sing We Now of Christmas”

Article

"Sing We Now of Christmas, "Traditional French Carol,  The United Methodist Hymnal, No. 237.

History of Hymns: “Sing We Now of Christmas” »