BULLETIN – CHRISTMAS EVE

This service  will also be posted on our You Tube channel.  
See the link below:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3seuGnFEX6x1lyl0rfj6Rw

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Wappinger Falls, New York
Christmas Eve – December 24, 2020

 

GATHERING

WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
PRELUDE      Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring               Carol Cornish, guitar; Andrzej Lisiecki, piano

*CALL TO WORSHIP
Once we walked in darkness.
Now we have seen a great light.
Glory to God in the highest!
Peace to all people on earth.
Come, let us worship
 our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

HYMN #41     O Come, All Ye Faithful

LIGHTING OF THE CHRIST CANDLE & ADVENT WREATH                                    1 Corinthians 1:2b-3, The Voice

As people who are united with Jesus, the Anointed One, you have been set apart for service.
You are all called into community to live as saints
 with all who invoke the name of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed.
I pray that God our Creator and the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, will shower you with grace and peace.

We have watched and waited for Christ’s coming!We light candles this night, remembering the promises of God with prayer:
… in hope.                                                   (The first candle is lit.)
… for peace.                                                 (The second candle is lit.)
… in joy.                                                       (The third candle is lit.)
… with love.                                                            (The fourth candle is lit.)
Now our redemption draws near!         (The Christ candle is lit.)                     Luke 2:10-11, The Voice
Don’t be afraid! Listen! I bring good news, news of great joy,
 news that will affect all people everywhere.
Today, in the city of David, a Liberator has been born for you!
He is the promised Anointed One, the Supreme Authority! 

Glory to God in the highest!  Alleluia!  Amen!
HYMN            O Come, O Come Emmanuel – alternate lyrics – sing all verses

CALL TO CONFESSION                 Titus 2:11, 14
The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all,
 through Jesus Christ, who gave himself to redeem us.
Let us confess before God and one another
 the darkness that lies within our hearts
 and open ourselves to the light of Christ.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
God-with-us, we confess that we have not embraced your love.
Christ has come into the world, and yet we do not know him.
He has called us to be his own, and yet we do not accept him.
Forgive us, God of grace.
Show us your mercy and truth until we know in fullness
your good news of great joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

SILENT PRAYER

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS                                                Titus 3:6–7
God has poured out the Holy Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.
By Christ’s grace we have become children of God and heirs to the hope of eternal life.
In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!  Thanks be to God.

SHARING OF THE PEACE
The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.  And also with you.
GLORIA        Bells – Angels We have heard on High

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Gracious God, by the gift of your Holy Spirit
show us the Word made flesh—
good news of great joy for all—
so that we may sing with the angels:
glory in the highest and peace on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lessons & Carols
Readers:  Margery Rossi & Laurie Spencer

Our story is foretold in Isaiah 9:2-7
The people walking in darkness are seeing a brilliant light –
 upon those who dwell in a land of deep shadows
 light is shining!
God, you have made the nation greater –
 You have brought them abundant joy!
They celebrate in your presence as with the harvest celebrations,
 or as warriors celebrate when dividing spoils. …

For the yoke that burdened them,
 the weight on their shoulders,
 the rod of their oppressors –
 You have shattered it,
 as you did at the defeat of Midian.
For every boot that tramped in battle,
 every cloak that was dragged through blood,
 is now used as fuel for the fire.
For a child is born to us,
 an heir is given us,
 upon whose shoulders
 dominion will rest.
This One shall be called
 Wonderful Counselor, the Strength of God,
 Eternal Protector, Champion of Peace.
This dominion, and this peace,
 will grow without end,
 with David’s throne and realm
 sustained with justice and fairness,
 now and forever.
The zeal of God Omnipotent will accomplish it!
HYMN GtG #86        The People who Walked in Darkness

Luke 2:1–5
Our story unfolds in the gospel of Luke, 2:1-20
In those days, Caesar Augustus published a decree ordering a census of the whole Roman world.  This first census took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.  All the people were instructed to go back to the towns of their birth to register.  And so Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to “the city of David” – Bethlehem, in Judea, because Joseph was of the house and lineage of David; he went to register with Mary, his espoused wife, who was pregnant.
HYMN PH #48          Once in Royal David’s City (vs. 1-2)

Luke 2:6–7
While they were there, the time came for her delivery.  She gave birth to her firstborn, a son; she put him in a simple cloth wrapped like a receiving blanket, and laid him in a feeding trough for cattle, because there was no room for them in the upper room.
HYMN PH #53:         What Child Is This (vs. 1-2)

Luke 2:8–14
There were shepherds in the area living in the fields and keeping night watch by turns over their flock.  The angel of God appeared to them, and the glory of God shone around them; they were very much afraid.

The angel said to them, “You have nothing to fear!  I come to proclaim good news to you – news of a great joy to be shared by the whole people.”  Today in David’s city, a savior – the Messiah – has been born to you.  Let this be a sign to you:  you’ll find an infant wrapped in a simple cloth, lying in a manger.”
Suddenly, there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying,
 “Glory to God in the highest!  And on earth, peace to those on whom God’s favor rests.”
HYMN #38                 It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, vs 1-2

Luke 2:15–18
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem and see this event that God has made known to us.”  They hurried and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger; once they saw this, they reported what they had been told concerning the child. 
All who heard about it were astonished at the report given by the shepherds.

Luke 2:19–20
Mary treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart.  The shepherds went away glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as they had been told.
HYMN #27                 “Gentle Mary Laid Her Child”

John 1:1-5, 14
In the beginning
 there was the Word; the Word was in God’s presence, and the Word was God.
The Word was present to God from the beginning.
Through the Word all things came into being,
 and apart from the Word nothing came into being that has come into being.
In the Word was life and that life was humanity’s light
 – a Light that shines in the darkness,
 a Light that the darkness has never overtaken.
And the Word became flesh and stayed for a little while among us;
 we saw the Word’s glory – the favor and position a parent gives an only child –
 filled with grace,
 filled with truth.

Distribution of the Light:     We invite you at this time to light a candle and sing with us.

HYMN:  #60   Silent Night                 Carol Cornish, guitar; Andrzej Lisiecki, piano

SERMON  “Let Us Light Candles”

RESPONDING IN GREAT JOY

OFFERING OF OUR GIFTS AND OURSELVES
            Offertory                                                         (John 1:16)
From the fullness of God we have all received grace upon grace.  Let us offer our lives to the Lord.
Musical Offering: Bells – Away In a Manger

Doxology        (traditional tune #592 with Christmas praise)
                        Praise God whose dawn transfigures night,
  whose Daystar shines for us on high,
  whose Spirit brings into our sight
  the hope which to our world draws nigh.  Amen.
            *Prayer of Dedication  (unison)
For gifts abundant and for grace abounding, we give you thanks, generous God.
Bless the gifts we bring today.
Use these gifts and our lives to be your gift of grace to others. Amen.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, let us pray for the life of the world, saying,
O Christ, our light, hear our prayer.
We pray for the church.  (speak prayers here)
With Mary, help us to treasure and ponder the gift that has been given to us,
 a gift of good news and great joy for all.
O Christ, our light, hear our prayer.
We pray for the world.  (speak prayers here)
With the prophets, help us to proclaim the promise of your peace for all nations
 and your justice for all people.
O Christ, our light, hear our prayer.
We pray for this community.  (speak prayers here)
With the shepherds, help us to keep watch over those entrusted to our care
 and all who need protection this night.
O Christ, our light, hear our prayer.
We pray for loved ones.  (speak prayers here)
With the angels, help us to offer signs of hope, comfort and joy for all who live in fear.
O Christ, our light, hear our prayer.
Lord, Jesus Christ, hope of the world, help us to bear witness to your light
 so that all may believe and have life in you; in your holy name we pray.  Amen.

*HYMN #40   Joy to the World

*CHARGE AND BENEDICTION                           Titus 3:4–7 & Luke 2:10–11
The loving kindness of the Lord our God,
 the grace of Jesus Christ our Savior,
 and the renewing power of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Alleluia!
Go and tell this good news of great joy:
 to us a Savior is born.
Now let the people of God say, Amen!

POSTLUDE