Worship: Christmas Eve December 24, 2019

ZION UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
22 Gettysburg Street Box 538
Arendtsville, Pennsylvania
Christmas Eve
December 24, 2019

Welcome to Zion and a special welcome to our visitors. Please sign the guest book! If you do not have a church home, we pray that you will find one with us. We have large-print bulletins available, as well as hearing assistance devices. Please ask an usher if you require either of these. Restrooms are located in the church school building. Go through the door next to the choir and straight ahead. We also have restrooms downstairs in Fellowship Hall. Again, exit through the door next to the choir, turn left down the hall, and go down the steps.
*Where noted, please stand if able.
Congregational response is in bold print.
PRELUDE

CHOIR ANTHEM: “A Song of Christmas” . . .Williams/Martin

Tonight, old dreams die and new dreams come to life.
The Promise is fulfilled!
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.
Hope gives way to joy
and prayer to proclaiming the birth of the One who was promised.
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.
Our candles illuminate our story. Dawn invades midnight.
The Light of the World has come.
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.
And this light is a light for all;
igniting a flame within the soul, warming us from within,
radiating love, lighting our lives
with the presence of God-to-come in human flesh
within us and among us now and always.

*CAROL # 133 “O Come, All Ye Faithful”

LIGHTING OF THE CHRIST CANDLE

O God of all creation,
we pace the waiting room, filled with hope and fear –
hoping that your coming will truly bring the peace we hunger for;
fearing that we hope for more than you are ready to share with us.
The dawning brightness all around us reaches for a sense of hope
hidden deeper than the pain, and we give thanks.
Our chosen family of faith is gathering – and scattering –
to celebrate this time of new beginnings, and we give thanks.
Your promised light is coming once again, and we give thanks.
Fill us with a child’s love we pray,
so we can fill this room with prayers of praise and thanks,
for all your gifts of life and hope!
Sing to the Lord a new song, for God has done marvelous things;
God’s right hand and holy arm have worked salvation.
Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you.
The Lord has made salvation known
and revealed righteousness to the nations.
Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you.
God has remembered his love and faithfulness to the people;
all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of God.
Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing.
Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you.
Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the Lord, for God comes to judge the earth.
The Lord will judge the world with righteousness
and the people with equity.
Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you.
We light the four outer candles of the Advent Wreath one last time.
The first candle reminds us of our hope in God’s promises.
The second candle is the candle of peace.
The third candle represents our joy.
The fourth candle is for love and God’s love for us.
We now light the center candle, the Christ candle.
Jesus Christ is our Hope. Jesus Christ gives us Peace.
We can have Joy because Jesus has come to us.
Jesus is God’s greatest gift of Love.
And because of God’s loving gift of Jesus Christ,
We can have life now and forever.
Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you.
Let us pray.
Loving God, we are thankful that the waiting of Advent is over.
We rejoice that today in the city of David a Savior is born.
We rejoice that our hope is fulfilled, And God’s peace has come to earth.
We rejoice that we can fully know God’s love in Jesus Christ.
Help us to celebrate today and always
That a Savior has been born to us. Amen

A LESSON FOR ALL AGES

CAROL # 115 “Away in a Manger”

CHOIR ANTHEM: “Ding Dong! Merrily on High/He is Born”. . arr. Page

RECEPTION OF TITHES AND OFFERINGS
During this season of giving and receiving,
Let us consider how much we have received from God
And also consider how we should respond by sharing with others.

OFFERTORY: “Prayer at the Manger”. . . Price/Besig

*OFFERTORY RESPONSE # 132 “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice” v. 1
Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice;
Give ye heed to what we say; Jesus Christ is born today;
Ox and ass before him bow, and he is in the manger now.
Christ is born today! Christ is born today!

*OFFERTORY PRAYER
Loving God, like Mary and Joseph,
Who trusted in your grace despite their fear,
Their poverty and their lack of certainty,
We offer ourselves and our tithes and offerings to you.
Bless them and hallow our every thought and action,
That Christ may be born in us and through us
And be revealed to those who yet walk in darkness.

READING OF THE GOSPEL
St. Luke 2: 1-20, p. 54 (NT)

*CAROL # 113 “Angels, We Have Heard on High”

A HOMILY

VOCAL SOLO: “At This Table”. . . Idena Menzel
Soloist: Heather B.

THE LITURGY OF THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION
(We celebrate an open communion, inviting all to participate in receiving the Body and Blood of our Savior. The outer ring of the communion trays is wine, while the inner rings are grape juice.)
May God be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to our God.
Let us give thanks to God Almighty.
It is right to give God thanks and praise.
It is indeed proper, good and right, O God our Creator, that in this evening our hearts should be raised in highest praise, and our thoughts be lifted to the wonder of your gracious mercy. You alone are God, living and true. Through all time you have been the source of life and blessing, filling all your creation with goodness and leading your people by your light.
All your actions show your wisdom and love for us. You formed us in your own likeness and set us over the whole world. Even when we rebelled against your will, you did not abandon us, but sought to reach out in love to us. You loved us so much that you sent your only Child into the world. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, born in a humble manger of the Blessed Mary, lived on earth in obedience to you, and was like us in all things except he resisted the power of evil at work in the world. He proclaimed the Good News of your saving grace. In order to fulfill your will, he gave himself up to death; the cruel death on the cross. Yet death could not hold him, and your mighty power raised Jesus to be our Savior. By rising from death, death itself was destroyed and eternal life assured.
Jesus always loved those in the world. When the time came for him to be glorified by you, he showed the depth of that love. While he and the disciples were at supper, Jesus took bread, broke it, gave thanks to you, and then, giving it to the disciples, said, “Take this, all of you, and eat it; this is my body which is given for you.” In the same way, after supper, Jesus took the cup and giving it to the disciples, said, “Take this, all of you, and drink from it; this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all people, so that sin may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.”
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith:
Christ’s death, O God, we proclaim.
Christ’s resurrection, O God, we declare.
Christ’s coming, O God, we await.
Glory be to you, O God.
Dying you destroyed our death.
Rising, you restored our life.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.
Send your Holy Spirit upon this bread and this cup and upon us. Strengthen your universal church that it might be your instrument in the world. Restore the earth with your grace that makes all things new. Keep us faithful to the vision of the day when sharing by all will mean scarcity for none. May we remain your people of love and hope until we feast at the perfect feast prepared in your realm with our Savior.
By whom, with whom, in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
All honor and glory be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.

BREAKING OF THE BREAD AND POURING OF WINE

This is the feast of the people of God. Give thanks and praise to the One who sent us the Christ Child in Bethlehem, the Child who grew to be our Savior.
In humble and joyous thanksgiving, we will receive the body and blood of our Savior.

THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION

*SACRAMENTAL BLESSING

*THE PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
We give you thanks, O God, that you have come to us both in the midst of time and
history in the city of Bethlehem and in the timeless presence of Christ’s Body and Blood made present with us now. Send us out into the world rejoicing, ready to share your love with the people we meet, for we ask it in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

*CANDLELIGHTING SERVICE
(The choir will sing their final anthem at this time, during which the acolytes will come down the center aisle to light the individual candles at the end of each pew. Please pass your light to the person next to you. After singing “Silent Night”, let us repeat the first verse raising your candles.)

CHOIR ANTHEM: “On a Night of Wonder”. . .Althouse

*CAROL # 122 “Silent Night”
Silent night! Holy night! All is calm, all is bright
‘round yon Virgin Mother and Child, holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night! Holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight;
Glories stream from heaven afar, heavenly hosts sing “Alleluia”;
Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born!

Silent night! Holy night! Son of God, love’s pure light,
Radiant beams from the holy face, with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at thy birth; Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

(please raise your candles as we repeat the singing of the first verse)

*BENEDICTION

*CAROL # 134 “Joy to the World”

POSTLUDE

THE CHRISTMAS EVE BULLETINS are placed in memory of Bob C. by Shirley and family.

THANKS TO EVERYONE who helped plan and participated in our Christmas Eve service.