December 27 Worship

First Sunday of Christmas

 

Download the Worship Bulletin Here

 

We Gather

 

CENTERING WORDS

Even as an old man, Simeon was able to see, in the child Jesus, the promise of God’s salvation. What do we see?

 

PRELUDE  

 

LIGHTING OF THE CHRIST CANDLE               

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.

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 forever more.

                                   

CALL TO WORSHIP

Praise the Lord from the highest heaven.

The sun and moon and all the stars in the sky sing praises to our God.

Praise the Lord from the deepest valley.

The mountains and hills and all the trees in the forest worship the Lord on high.

Praise the Lord from hearts filled with song.

The old and young and all the saints of God sing with songs of joy.

Come! Let us worship the ruler of heaven and earth.

 

HYMN  No. 143

Angels from the Realms of Glory  

 

(Because the singing of hymns is discouraged during this period of pandemic, you are invited to meditate on verses 1 & 4 below.)

 

Angels, from the realms of glory,

wing your flight o’er all the earth;

you, who sang creation’s story,

now proclaim Messiah’s birth:

come and worship, come and worship,

worship Christ, the newborn king!

 

All creation, join in praising

God the Father, Spirit, Son,

evermore your voices raising

to the eternal Three in One:

come and worship, come and worship,

worship Christ, the newborn king!

 

CALL TO PRAYERS

The life of the infant Christ encircles us with surprising gifts. Look outwards and see an everlasting hope for good. Look inward and find each new possibility. Look beyond and see the light of the star which beckons us on. Look beside and welcome the company of love. Look closely and touch the life of the divine within your own heart. Let us pray.

 

PRAYERS OF APPROACH AND CONFESSION

Light of the world, shine in our lives this day. As we gather to worship you, 

give us the eyes of Simeon and the faith of Anna, 

that we may see the promise of our salvation.

As we come before you with hope and expectation, 

give us the Spirit of your Son, that we too may grow in strength and increase in wisdom. 

Father of mercy, Mother of holy love, we yearn to turn to you as we seek to grow in your wisdom and increase in your grace.

We long to crawl into your loving arms, and your never-failing acceptance.

Strengthen the roots of our hope and faith, that we may be heirs of your promise all the days of our lives.

 

Silence

 

ASSURANCE OF GOD WITH US

Sisters and brothers, Christ has covered us with the robes of righteousness and the garb of holy love. As children of the living God, adopted into Christ’s family of faith, let us rejoice in our glorious inheritance.

 

SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST

As God’s children, we share a bond deeper than the sea. Let us celebrate our inheritance and share signs of peace with one another as the family of God. The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

And also with you.

 

We Reflect

 

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE

 

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

Holy One, speak to us in the word read and proclaimed. Hearing, may we dream your dreams and faithfully follow wherever you lead. Amen. 

 

SCRIPTURE LESSON

Isaiah 61:10 - 62:3

 

GOSPEL LESSON

Luke 2:22-40

 

SERMON  Nunc dimittis

Rev. Kathryn R. Mustaro

THE WORD IN SONG  

(Because the singing of hymns is discouraged during the pandemic, you are invited to hum or meditate on the hymn verses below.)

 

Of the Father’s Love Begotten

Of the Father's love begotten,

ere the worlds began to be,

he is Alpha and Omega;

he the source, the ending he,

of the things that are, that have been,

and that future years shall see,

evermore and evermore!

 

Christ, to thee with God the Father,

and, O Holy Ghost, to thee,

hymn and chant and high thanksgiving

and unwearied praises be.

Honor, glory, and dominion,

and eternal victory,

evermore and evermore! Amen.

O Little Town of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem,

how still we see thee lie!

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep

the silent stars go by.

Yet in thy dark streets shineth

the everlasting light;

the hopes and fears of all the years

are met in thee tonight.

 

O holy child of Bethlehem,

descend to us, we pray;

cast out our sin and enter in;

be born in us today.

We hear the Christmas angels

the great glad tidings tell;

O come to us; abide with us,

our Lord Emmanuel!

 

Good 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 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!

 

In the Bleak Midwinter

In the bleak midwinter,

frosty wind made moan;

earth stood hard as iron,

water like a stone;

snow had fallen, snow on snow,

snow on snow,

in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

worshiped the beloved with a kiss.

 

What can I give him,

poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd,

I would bring a lamb;

if I were a wise man,

I would do my part;

yet what I can I give him: give my heart.

 

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!

 

So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh;

come, one and all, 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!

 

Hark 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 ye nations, rise;

join the triumph of the skies;

with the angelic host proclaim,

“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”

Hark! The herald angels sing,

“Glory to the newborn king!”

 

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!

Hail the sun of righteousness!

Light and life to all he brings,

risen with healing in his wings.

Mild he lays his glory by,

born that we no more may die,

born to raise us from the earth,

born to give us second birth.

Hark! The herald angels sing,

“Glory to the newborn king!”

 

We Respond

 

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Call:  Lord in your mercy/in thanksgiving,

Response:  Hear our prayer.

 

LORD’S PRAYER

 

OUR GIFTS OF SACRIFICE and THANKSGIVING  

Invitation

When the time came to dedicate their son to the Lord, Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple in thanksgiving and praise. In honor of that ancient tradition, we come this day to dedicate our lives and these, our humble gifts, to God in thanksgiving and praise.

 

Thank you for sending your offerings. They make a great difference to our church’s work in the world.  

 

Musical Meditation 

 

Prayer of Dedication 

Gracious God, thank you for the gifts of Christmas that bless us throughout the year. As we offer you our offering in gratitude and praise, we dedicate our labor, our industry, and our very lives to the building of your kingdom. May our gifts go forth to a world in need, as signs of your redemption and your hope. May we shine with your glory, that others may discover your saving love. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.

 

We Are Sent 

 

HYMN  No. 140

Once in Royal David’s City  

 

(Because the singing of hymns is discouraged during this period of pandemic, you are invited to meditate on the hymn below.)

 

Once in royal David’s city

stood a lowly cattle shed,

where a mother laid her baby

in a manger for his bed:

Mary was that mother mild;

Jesus Christ, her little child.

 

And our eyes at last shall see him,

through his own redeeming love;

for that child so dear and gentle

is our Lord in heaven above;

and he leads his children on

to the place where he is gone.

 

BENEDICTION

 

POSTLUDE        

 

All songs not in the public domain are used by permission of CCLI #1124594.

ABOUT US

We believe all persons are MINISTERS: EACH AND EVERY ONE. With God's grace, we seek to be an open and affirming congregation - one that includes all persons.

ADDRESS

57 Sand Hills Road

Kendall Park, NJ 08824

732-297-9182

office@gracepcsb.org