Worship: December 24, 2017 p.m.

Zion United Church Of Christ

Arendtsville, Pennsylvania

“Embodying the Love of God in Word and Action”

Christmas Eve, December 24, 2017


Introit:   “Glory Be To God”……………Martin/Colson

 Advent Candle Lighting

Reader One:    The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.

Reader Two:   On those living in a pitch-dark land, light has dawned.

Reader One:    O God, you have made the nation great; you have increased its joy.

Reader Two:   For a child is born to us, a son is given to us, and authority will be on his shoulders.

Reader One:    And he will be called

All:                  Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.    

We Gather To Worship

*Opening Hymn: “O Come, All Ye Faithful”………………..#133

*Opening Prayer

Leader:   We pray, O Lord, purify our hearts, that they may be worthy to become your dwelling place.  Let us never fail to find room for you, but come and abide in us, that we also may abide in you, who were born into the world for us, you, who live and reign, King of kings and Lord of lords, now and for evermore.  Amen.

 Prayer Of Confession

Leader:   Holy God, you sent a star to guide the Magi to the child Jesus.

All:         We confess that we have not followed the light of your Word. We have not searched for signs of your love in the world or trusted your good news to be good.

Leader:   We have failed to praise your Son’s birth and refused his peace on earth.  We have expected little and hoped for less.

All:         Forgive our doubt and renew in us our hope, that we may watch and wait and once more hear the glad story of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lord.  Amen.

Assurance Of Pardon

Leader:   The Lord’s grace is sure.  God has looked with favor upon his people and has redeemed them.  God has raised up a mighty savior from the house of David.  God spoke through the prophets of old so that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.  God has shown mercy and has remembered his promises.

We Interpret Scripture Through Song

             Scripture: Isaiah 62: 6-12 (O.T. pg. 651)

“Christ is Born”…………Handel, Arr. Paige

“O Little Town”..…………Herms, Myron, Redman

*Hymn:   “What Child Is This”………………………#145      

                        Scripture:  Psalm 97 (O.T, pg. 521)

                                   “Swing Down Angels”…….……Graham/Nix

String Bass Player: Benjamin 

                                     “Children, Go Tell It on the Mountain”..…..Martin

                   Scripture: Luke 2: 1-20 (We are reading the King James Version)

 We Respond To God’s Good News

 A Brief Meditation

 Hymn: “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice”…………………………#132

 Profession Of Our Faith (from the Nicene Creed)

All:         I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.  Who, for us and our salvation, came down from heaven, and became incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made truly human.  He will come again in glory and his kingdom will have no end.

 Prayers Of The People And the Lord’s Prayer

(Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.  Amen.)

 Offering: This evening’s offering will benefit our local partner in mission, The Adams County Homeless Shelter.

 Offertory:   Unto Us”…………..……..Sorenson

 Prayer Of Dedication

All:…….. God of wonder, we offer you these humble gifts, signs of your goodness and mercy.  Receive them with our gratitude that through us all people may know the riches of your love in the Word-made-flesh.  Amen.

Lighting Of The Candles

 Note: The choir will be singing “Sleeping Adonai” (by Sorenson) with Heather as soloist while the acolytes light the worshiper’s candles at the end of each pew.  Worshipers should then share the light with others. At the conclusion of the choir anthem, we will all sing Silent Night.  At the end of “Silent Night,” please extinguish your candles. 

“Silent Night! Holy Night!

                        Verse 1 (Congregation)

                        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.

                         Verse 2 (Congregation)

                        Silent night! Holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight,

                   glories stream from heaven afar, heavenly hosts sing

                   Allelulia; Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born.

                     Verse 3 (Congregation)

Silent night! Holy night!  Son of God, love’s pure light,

                   Radiant beams from thy holy face, with the dawn of

                   redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, Jesus, Lord,

                   at thy birth.

 *Commission and Blessing

*Recessional Hymn:   “Joy to the World”……………….#134