Special services

Christmas Eve Worship

Merry Christmas! And thank you for joining us for worship! Wherever you are, we invite you to create space for worship, both in your physical space and in your heart — light your Advent wreath or grab a bible or hymnal, or do whatever helps you most to feel worshipful.
We will be singing Silent Night by candlelight, and we encourage you to light candles also and sing with us.

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Friday, December 24, 2021 • Christmas Eve
Ministers: the people
Pastor: Day Hefner
Organist: Chrissi Bywater
Lector: Jon Knutson
Usher:
PowerPoint:

GATHERING
The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God.

CHRISTMAS DIALOGUE
Jesus Christ is the Light of the world!
He is the Light no darkness can overcome.

At darkest night we gather to celebrate the great light of our salvation.
With the heavenly host we sing, “Glory to God in the highest heaven.”

In Christ, God’s Word is made flesh and lives among us.
With the shepherds, we will tell of the wonders we have seen and heard.

GREETING & PRAYER

May the grace and truth of Christ be with you.
And also with you.

Let us pray.

Almighty God, you made this holy night shine with the brightness of the true Light. Grant that here on earth we may walk in the light of Jesus’ presence and in the last day wake to the brightness of his glory; through your only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

WORD
God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song.

FIRST READING: Isaiah 9:2-7

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined.  You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder.  For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.  For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire.  For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom.  He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.  The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God!

HYMN (ELW 296) What Child Is This

What child is this, who, laid to rest,
on Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
while shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the king,
whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
haste, haste to bring him laud,
the babe, the son of Mary!

Why lies he in such mean estate
where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear; for sinners here
the silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce him through,
the cross be borne for me, for you;
hail, hail the Word made flesh,
the babe, the son of Mary!

So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh;
come, peasant, king, to own him.
The King of kings salvation brings;
let loving hearts enthrone him.
Raise, raise the song on high,
the virgin sings her lullaby;
joy, joy, for Christ is born,
the babe, the son of Mary!

SECOND READING: Titus 2:11-14

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God!

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (ELW p.205)
Alleluia!  Lord and Savior: open now your saving word. Let it burn like fire within us; speak until our hearts are stirred. Alleluia!  Lord, we sing for the good news that you bring.

GOSPEL: Luke 2:1-20

The holy gospel according to Luke.
Glory to you, O Lord.

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom God favors!”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

SERMON

HYMN OF THE DAY (ELW 270Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn king;
peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled."
Joyful, all you nations, rise;
join the triumph of the skies;
with angelic hosts proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem!"
Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn king!"

Christ, by highest heav'n adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
late in time behold him come,
offspring of a virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see!
Hail, incarnate deity!
Pleased as man with us to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn king!"

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of peace!
Hail the Sun of righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
ris'n with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
born that we no more may die,
born to raise each child of earth,
born to give us second birth.
Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn king!"

APOSTLES CREED

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

As heaven and earth rejoice, let us pray for the needs of the church and all the world.
A brief silence.

Your great compassion, O God, has increased our joy. Give us gratitude each day for your light and the bread of life. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Because of your generosity, the trees clap their hands, the deep waters teem with varied creatures, and the stars burn with distant fire. Make us grateful for all that you call us to nurture and protect. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Because you know our need for order, you give us nations, cities, and neighborhoods. Help us to welcome the expertise of leaders, to uphold their good direction, and to oppose what harms the vulnerable. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Because you are a God of healing and renewal, you make whole what is broken. We beg your mercy on all who find this time of year a burden. Strengthen the grieving and comfort those who struggle with addictions. We pray especially for… and for all those whom we hold silently in our hearts. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

By the power of the Holy Spirit, you have given us to each other to encourage and challenge. Give us hearts that remember your Christmas gifts beyond this night. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

We give thanks for those before us who witnessed to your presence, taught us to pray, and strengthened us in the truth, and all with whom we share the feast of eternal life. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Into your hands we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through Christ, our Lord.
Amen.

PEACE
The peace of Christ be with you always.  
And also with you.

MEAL
God feeds us with the presence of Jesus Christ.

OFFERING
There are many ways to make your offering:

  • Checks may be mailed or dropped off at the church
  • Ask your bank about setting up automatic giving
  • Make a secure offering online by clicking on the button below (opens up our Tithe.ly giving page in a new window)

OFFERING PRAYER
God of abundance, we bring before you the precious fruits of your creation, and with them our very lives. Teach us patience and hope as we care for all those in need until the coming of your Son, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

GREAT THANKSGIVING

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

PREFACE

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy… we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, Heav’n and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest, Hosanna in the highest.

THANKSGIVING AT THE TABLE
Holy one, the beginning and the end… Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

With this bread and cup, we remember… We look with hope for his coming.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Holy God, we long for your Spirit… Bring the gift of peace on earth.
Come, Holy Spirit.

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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

INVITATION TO COMMUNION
Today, a savior is born to us! Come and feast at his table.

COMMUNION
All are welcome at the Lord’s table, whether Lutheran or not.  Ushers will invite you up by household to take communion at the table. Wine and juice are available.

COMMUNION SONG (ELW 288Good Christian Friends, Rejoice!

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!

Good Christian friends, rejoice
with heart and soul and voice;
now ye hear of endless bliss:
Jesus Christ was born for this!
He has opened heaven's door,
and we are blest forevermore.
Christ was born for this!
Christ was born for this!

Good Christian friends, rejoice
with heart and soul and voice;
now ye need not fear the grave;
Jesus Christ was born to save!
Calls you one and calls you all
to gain the everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save!
Christ was born to save!

POST-COMMUNION BLESSING

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Let us pray.

Radiant God, with our eyes we have seen your salvation, and in this meal we have feasted on your grace. May your Word take flesh in us, that we may be your holy people, revealing your glory made known to us in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

SENDING
God blesses us and sends us in mission to the world.

SENDING SONG (ELW 281Silent Night, Holy 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,
heav’nly 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 your holy face,
with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at your birth,
Jesus, Lord, at your birth.

BLESSING
May the Lord God, who has called you out of darkness to be servants of light, grant you the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds, and the peace of the Christ Child. In the name of Almighty God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Amen.

DISMISSAL 
Go in peace. Share the good news of great joy!
Thanks be to God.

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