Online Christmas Worship – Dec 24th/25th, 2020

Welcome!

When you’re ready, scroll on down to get started! Once you’ve finished with the first video, scroll on down to the next one. May God guide you through a blessed worship experience today.

Click Here for a printable order of worship, including readings, song lyrics, and more.

If you would like to watch the complete, uncut recording of our worship livestream this week, click here!

Prelude

“What Child is This?” – arr. Christina Harmon (Alyssa Kenny, Trumpet)

Carol: O Come, All Ye Faithful

Carol: O Come, All Ye Faithful sts. 1, ref, 2

1 O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant!
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold Him
Born the king of angels: Refrain

ref O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
    Christ the Lord!

2 Highest, most holy,
Light of Light eternal,
Born of a virgin, a mortal He comes;
Son of the Father
Now in flesh appearing! Refrain

Text: Public domain

Welcome and Invocation

Opening Sentences Isaiah 9:2,3,6,7
(A child to be born will rule an eternal kingdom.)

L Centuries before the birth of Jesus, Isaiah was inspired to write:
P The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
L those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
C You have multiplied the nation;
You have increased its joy;
P they rejoice before You
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
L For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
P and the government shall be upon His shoulder,
and His name shall be called
C Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

– The Christ Candle is lit –

L Of the increase of His government and of peace
there will be no end,
P on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
C The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

L This is the Word of the Lord.
C Thanks be to God.

Carol: Angels We Have Heard on High

Carol: Angels We Have Heard on High sts. 1, ref, 3

1 Angels we have heard on high,
    Sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply,
    Echoing their joyous strains. Refrain

ref Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

3 Come to Bethlehem and see
    Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee
    Christ the Lord, the newborn King. Refrain

Text: Public domain

Kyrie and Epistle Reading: Titus 2:11-14

Kyrie

A In peace let us pray to the Lord.
C Lord, have mercy.
A For peace from the Child born to us and the salvation He won for us, let us pray to the Lord.
C Lord, have mercy.
A For the peace of the whole world of which the angels sang, for the well-being of the Church of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.
C Lord, have mercy.
A For this holy house and for all who fill it with their prayers, carols, worship and praise, let us pray to the Lord.
C Lord, have mercy.
A Help, save, comfort, and defend us, gracious Lord.
C Amen.

Epistle Reading Titus 2:11–14

11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

A This is the Word of the Lord.
C Thanks be to God.

Christmas Gospel: Luke 2:1-20

Gospel Reading Luke 2:1-7

(Mary’s baby is born in Bethlehem.)                                                            

P The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the second chapter.
C Glory to You, O Lord.

P In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Hymn                                                                               “What Child Is This” 

Cantor:
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?

Congregation:
This, this is Christ the king, Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste to bring Him laud, The babe, the son of Mary!

Gospel  Reading                                                                                       Luke 2:8–12

(The baby is Christ the Lord.)

P And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 

Hymn                                                                           “What Child Is This” 

Cantor:
Why lies He in such mean estate Where ox and ass are feeding?

Congregation:
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!

Gospel Reading                                                                                          Luke 2:13–20

(The angels sing God’s glory, and the shepherds see the baby.)

P And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
     “Glory to God in the highest,
     and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

P This is the Gospel of the Lord.
C Praise to You, O Christ.

Hymn                                                                           “What Child Is This” 

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!

Sermon: The Child Who is the Lord

Creed

P What child is this, who, laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping?
C This, this is Christ the King, the Father’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 into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
—the Babe, the Son of Mary!

P What do you believe about this Child?
C I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the virgin Mary, is my Lord,
who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death,
that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness,
just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity.
This is most certainly true.

Offering

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St. James Lutheran Church
230 2nd Ave
St. James, NY 11780

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Carol: O Little Town of Bethlehem

Carol: O Little Town of Bethlehem sts. 1, 3

1 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.

3 How silently, how silently
    The wondrous gift is giv’n!
So God imparts to human hearts
    The blessings of His heav’n.
No ear may hear His coming;
    But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him, still
    The dear Christ enters in.

Text: Public domain

Confession and Absolution

P The Christ Child is both the Lord of all creation, existing from eternity, and our Savior, born within time to set us free from all sin and draw us into new life with God.  Let us therefore confess our sins to our Lord and believe His promise.

Silence for reflection on God’s Word and our sinful condition.

P Holy Child born in Bethlehem,
C we are sinful from birth, incapable of pleasing You or even ourselves without Your aid. We have not loved You above all, nor our neighbors as ourselves. We confess our loveless thoughts, misspoken words, and self-centered actions.
P Lord Jesus, one with the Father and Holy Spirit, who made all things in heaven and earth,
C forgive us and create in us new hearts that we may seek to do Your will in our thoughts, words, and actions.
P Savior from sin, death, and the power of the devil,
C strengthen our faith, increase our hope, and multiply our joy as we celebrate Your coming among us.
P The Child is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. As a called and ordained servant of His, and by His authority, I therefore forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the T Son and of the Holy Spirit.
C Amen! Glory to God in the highest!

Special Music

Noel, Noel                                                             – Linda Spevacek-Avery
(Ryan Howard, tenor, James Lundgren, bass, Emma Matz, flute)

Silent Night                                                     – setting Aaron David Miller
(Alyssa Kenny-Trumpet)

Angel Noels                                                       – Karen Lakey Buckwalter
(Chancel Chimes)

O, Holy Night                                                     – Adolphe Charles Adams
(Melanie Birnbaum, soprano)

Candle Lighting Ceremony

Scripture John 1:1-5,14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Carol: Silent Night

1 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.

2 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!

3 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.

Text: Public domain

Prayer for Christmas Eve

L O God, You make this most holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light.  Grant that as we have known the mysteries of that Light on earth we may also come to the fullness of His joys in heaven, thought the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C Amen

Christmas Blessing and Closing Hymn: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Carol: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing sts. 1, ref, 2

1 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!” Refrain

ref Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

2 Christ, by highest heav’n adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
    Late in time behold Him come,
    Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth. Refrain

Text: Public domain

Postlude

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing – Mark Harmon

Thank you so much for joining us! God bless you!

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