Worship Order

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

   Gathering music

   Welcome/Opening remarks

   Prelude/Lighting of Candles                                                  (the Roberts family)

   Call to Worship

   a Prayer

   Procession Hymn               "O come, all ye faithful" (all - vs. 1, 3, 4)

   Anthem:                        "O come, O come Emmanuel"
                                                        from “Love Incarnate” (choir)

   Hymn                         "Come, thou long-expected Jesus" (all - vs.1)

   Scripture                                    Isaiah 9: 1-7

   Hymn                         "The first Noel, the angel did say"
                                    (all vs. 1, choir vv. 2-4 w/o refrain between, all vs 5)

   Scripture                                    Luke 1:26-38

   Hymn                                    "The angel Gabriel"
                                                                      (choir – vs. 1)

   Children’s story            "An Angel Came to Nazareth"

   Hymn                           "Hark! the herald angels sing"
                                                                      (all - vs. 1, 3)

   Hymn                           "Angels we have heard on high"
                                                               (choir - vs.1, all vs. 2-4)

   Bringing our offerings

   Offertory                          "Grown up Christmas list"                            (a duet)

   Scripture                                Matthew 1: 18-25

   Hymn                              "O little town of Bethlehem" (vs. 1, 4)

   Scripture                                     Luke 2:4-7

           Choir response - "The virgin Mary had a baby boy" (vs. 1)

   Scripture                                    Luke 2:8-14

           Choir response - "The virgin Mary had a baby boy" (vs. 2)

   Scripture                                  Matthew 2:1-11

           Choir response - "The virgin Mary had a baby boy" (vs. 3)

   Hymn                                    "What child is this"
                                                                      (all - vs. 1, 3)

   Hymn                                    "Away in a manger"
                                                                (vs. 1 solo, vs 2-3 all)

   Hymn                                "Infant holy, infant lowly"

  Nativity Video                     (candle lighting begins, guitars softly play in background)

   Hymn                                 "Silent night, holy night"

   Unison Prayer                      "A Christmas Prayer"

   Song                                    "Go light your world"

   Words of Devotion

   Video Benediction

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines


Prelude/Lighting of Candles

            During the Prelude, a young couple with their 4-month-old child will come forward with a lit candle and light the candles on the Advent wreath in the following order:
                                       - front
                                       - left
                                       - right
                                       - back
                                       - center
             They then will proceed to to microphones where, once the Prelude is completed, they will read both the Call to Worship ("We Gather) and Prayer ("In the quiet of the night").

Call to Worship
“We Gather”

1 -     We gather -
          people of faith
          and no faith,
          people of hope
          and no hope,
          people of peace
          and no peace.
          We gather with the longing
          to be made whole again
          if just for this time, here
          and now.

2 -     We gather with a prayer,
          however vague and tenuous,
          that in spite of the absence
          of virgins and angels,
          wise men
          and shepherds,
          we might still be a witness
          to the birth of all love.

Both - We gather
           as ready as we’ll ever be
           for this story of faith to unfold.

written by Cheryl Lawrie,
Director for Spirituality, Culture and Context
in the Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania
from her blog [hold this space]

“In the quiet of the night” - a prayer

A woman gives birth:

A personal act of faith;

Accepting God's charge upon her.

In the quiet of the night

A husband becomes a father:

A personal act of faith;

Accepting God's charge upon him.

In the quiet of the night

A baby breathes the air:

A personal act of sacrifice;

God steps out of the divine into the mundane

for us. Amen.

written by Lisa Frenz
from Lisa’s Liturgies
Copyright ©2002 Lisa Frenz
All Rights Reserved.
Used with permission

Isaiah 9: 1-7


1 - Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—


2 - The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;


3 - on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.


4 - You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy;


1 - they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest,


2 - as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.


3 - For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,


4 - you have shattered the yoke that burdens them,


1 - the bar across their shoulders,


2 - the rod of their oppressor.


3 - Every warrior’s boot used in battle  and every garment rolled in blood


4 - will be destined for burning,


1 - will be fuel for the fire.


2 - For to us a child is born,


3 - to us a son is given,


4 - and the government will be on his shoulders.


1 - And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,


2 - Mighty God,


3 - Everlasting Father,


4 - Prince of Peace.


1 - Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.


2 - He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom,


3 - establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.


4 - The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

from the New International Version,
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Luke 1:26-38


1 - One month later God sent the angel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth in Galilee with a message for a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to Joseph from the family of King David.  The angel greeted Mary and said,


2 - “You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you.”


1 - Mary was confused by the angel’s words and wondered what they meant. Then the angel told Mary,


2 - “Don’t be afraid! God is pleased with you, and you will have a son. His name will be Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of God Most High. The Lord God will make him king, as his ancestor David was. He will rule the people of Israel forever, and his kingdom will never end.”


1 - Mary asked the angel,


3 - “How can this happen? I am not married!”


1 - The angel answered,


2 - “The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God’s power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God. Your relative Elizabeth is also going to have a son, even though she is old. No one thought she could ever have a baby, but in three months she will have a son. Nothing is impossible for God!”


1 - Mary said,


3 - “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.” And the angel left her.


from the Contemporary English Version
Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

Children’s story
An Angel Came to Nazareth
by Anthony Knott


            One of the grandparents in our congregation will gather the children around her rocking chair and read them this story.


Summary: As the first Christmas draws near, four travelers must make their way from Nazareth to Bethlehem. An angel asks four animals to choose which traveler they would like to carry. The horse chooses the brave soldier; the camel, the wise king; the ox, the good Samaritan. But the donkey, who chooses the poor woman with child, discovers that his humble-looking passenger is the one carrying the greatest of them all. With its simple rhymes, lavish illustrations and eye-catching foil throughout, this book conveys the very special spirit of the Christmas season.

Bringing our offerings

            Like those shepherds from long ago, we have been drawn toward something we don’t fully comprehend.
                                             “Angels … heard on high” …
                                               “Gloria in excelsis Deo” …
                                       “Christ, the Lord, the newborn king.”
            And yet, we have “come to Bethlehem” once again. Well, not literally, but you catch my drift. Now, there are many ways of responding to all of this. We can add our voices to the angels’ song of Glory. We can also “adore on bended knee” by treating all God’s children with kindness, seeing the light of Christ shining – no matter how dimly – in all people, every day.
            Just now, we open the opportunity for you to give a special Christmas offering toward the ministry of this congregation. As the ushers pass the plates, ponder your own wish list. Beyond what awaits in stockings or under a tree, bring to mind your deeper prayers, and offer them, also.

Offertory - "Grown up Christmas list" (a duet)

Matthew 1:18-25

1 - These are the facts concerning the birth of Jesus Christ: His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph, her fiancé, being a man of stern principle, decided to break the engagement but to do it quietly, as he didn’t want to publicly disgrace her. As he lay awake considering this, he fell into a dream, and saw an angel standing beside him.

2 - “Joseph, son of David,”

1 - the angel said,

2 - “don’t hesitate to take Mary as your wife! For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a Son, and you shall name him Jesus

1 - (meaning ‘Savior’),

2 - for he will save his people from their sins. This will fulfill God’s message through his prophets— ‘Listen! The virgin shall conceive a child! She shall give birth to a Son, and he shall be called “Emmanuel”

1 - (meaning “God is with us”).’” … When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel commanded and brought Mary home to be his wife, but she remained a virgin until her Son was born; and Joseph named him “Jesus.”

from The Living Bible
copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation.
Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc.,
Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Luke 2:4-7 

1 - So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.

2 - He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

1 - While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.

2 - She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Choir response - "The virgin Mary had a baby boy" (vs. 1)

from the New International Version,
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Luke 2:8-14 

1 - And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them,

2 - “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah,the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

1 - Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

2 - “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Choir response - "The virgin Mary had a baby boy" (vs. 2)

from the New International Version,
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Matthew 2:1-11 

1 - Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea, during the time when Herod was king. Soon afterward, some men who studied the stars came from the East to Jerusalem and asked,

2 - “Where is the baby born to be the king of the Jews? We saw his star when it came up in the east, and we have come to worship him.”

1 - When King Herod heard about this, he was very upset, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem. He called together all the chief priests and the teachers of the Law and asked them,

3 - “Where will the Messiah be born?”

2 - “In the town of Bethlehem in Judea,”

1 - they answered.

2 - “For this is what the prophet wrote: ‘Bethlehem in the land of Judah, you are by no means the least of the leading cities of Judah; for from you will come a leader who will guide my people Israel.’”

1 - So Herod called the visitors from the East to a secret meeting and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem with these instructions:

3 - “Go and make a careful search for the child; and when you find him, let me know, so that I too may go and worship him.”

1 - And so they left, and on their way they saw the same star they had seen in the East. When they saw it, how happy they were, what joy was theirs! It went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.

2 - They went into the house, and when they saw the child with his mother Mary, they knelt down and worshiped him.

3 - They brought out their gifts of gold,

1 - frankincense,

2 - and myrrh,

1 - and presented them to him.

 Choir response - "The virgin Mary had a baby boy" (vs. 3)

from the Good News Translation
Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Nativity Video
(candle lighting begins, guitar softly plays in background)

(video above played without sound, ending at the 1:36 minute mark, omitting last 15 seconds)


Unison Prayer
“A Christmas Prayer”
by Robert Louis Stevenson

            Jesus, the Light of the World, as we celebrate your birth . . . . may we begin to see the world in the light of the understanding you give us.  As you chose the lowly, the outcasts, and the poor to receive the greatest news the world had ever known, so may we worship you in meekness of heart.  May we also remember our brothers and sisters less fortunate than ourselves in this season of giving.  Amen.

Words of Devotion

            I AM KING OF KINGS and Lord of lords, dwelling in dazzlingly bright Light! I am also your Shepherd, Companion, and Friend—the One who never lets go of your hand. Worship Me in My holy Majesty; come close to Me, and rest in My Presence. You need Me both as God and as Man. Only My Incarnation on that first, long-ago Christmas could fulfill your neediness. Since I went to such extreme measures to save you from your sins, you can be assured that I will graciously give you all you need.
Nurture well your trust in Me as Savior, Lord, and Friend. I have held back nothing in My provision for you. I have even deigned to live within you! Rejoice in all that I have done for you, and My Light will shine through you into the world.

from “Jesus is Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence” by Sarah Young

Video Benediction
“Birth Giver” by Kelly Ann Hall, music by The Brilliance




arrangement ©2013 Meghan Knight 


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