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Advent Wreath 2018

Posted by on Nov 13, 2018 in Advent, Arts, By Season, Call to Worship, Christmas, Slideshow | 0 comments

Advent Wreath 2018

“Silent Night, Holy Night” was first performed on 12/24 1818 at St. Nicholas church of Oberndorf.  It was performed by Franz Xaver Gruber (composed tune) and Joseph Mohr (wrote lyrics).  That means that the hymn celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2018!!  To commemorate this anniversary, here  is an Advent Wreath lighting liturgy for all four Sundays in Advent and for Christmas Eve. Advent 1: Hope Word of Hope: Psalm 25:1-10 One: Lift up our souls. MANY: As your beloved, we ask: do not remember our failings. One: But lead us in...

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Convo w/Incarnation

Posted by on Dec 7, 2017 in Advent, Christmas, Scripture/Readings, Slideshow, Special Sundays/Services | 0 comments

Convo w/Incarnation

Christmas Eve 2017 is a Sunday which means that many of our churches will have a morning service, and an evening service or two.  It is a busy day and  in some churches, the morning service will be sparsely attended as people wait for the evening services.  If you won’t have time to prepare a sermon, or you want to shorten and simplify the morning service, below is a reading for 2 voices based on John 1:1-14 that could be used in place of a sermon, or elsewhere in the service (it  could be adapted for use  on other occasions).  It is a...

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Light the Candle!!!

Posted by on Dec 6, 2016 in Advent, Arts, Children's Message, Christmas, Prayers/Litanies, Slideshow, Special Sundays/Services | 0 comments

Light the Candle!!!

Below is an Advent wreath liturgy written for a Christmas Eve family/early service using Isaiah 9:2-7.  It gives children and adults alike a chance to shout in church and celebrate the birth of the Christ-child.  Fun, simple and meaningful. One: The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. RESPONSE: [SHOUT] Light the candle!! One: [LIGHT PURPLE CANDLE #1] A light has shined on those living in deep darkness. RESPONSE: Light the candle!! One: [LIGHT PURPLE CANDLE #2] You have made the nation great; you have increased its joy....

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Nativity: Look Again

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in Advent, Arts, Christmas, Epiphany, Sermons, Slideshow | 0 comments

Nativity: Look Again

Most of us have 1 or 5 or 10 of them.   You know crèches…nativity sets…little wooden houses with painted shepherds, magi, doting parents, and the baby Jesus in a manger.  They are an ancient and effective tool that the church uses to tell the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.  We also see them so often during Advent and Christmas that well…maybe…we don’t see really see them at all.  Here are some ways you might use nativity sets in the worshiping life of your church to reclaim them as a tool for telling the...

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Christmas Eve: Drama of the Light (for 4 Voices)

Posted by on Oct 8, 2016 in Advent, Arts, Call to Worship, Christmas, Scripture/Readings, Slideshow, Special Sundays/Services | 0 comments

Christmas Eve: Drama of the Light (for 4 Voices)

Below is a dramatic reading for 4 voices that was written for Christmas Eve, 2014.  We used it as a call to worship but you could use it anywhere in the service. If your setting allows it, you may consider scattering the four readers around the sanctuary.  You can also have them grouped, perhaps in the back of the sanctuary.  Whatever you decide, make sure the readers speak loudly or have microphones so that all can hear!  Narrator:         In Bethlehem that night there were many lights.  The moon was out.  The stars were twinkling.  And...

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Light of the World

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in Advent, Arts, Christmas, Slideshow, Special Sundays/Services, Transitions | 0 comments

Light of the World

A Christmas Eve tradition that some in our congregation have observed involves bringing lanterns to worship.  During the singing of “Silent Night,” they light their lanterns and then bring the “light of the world” with them as they leave the sanctuary and travel home.  Over the years this tradition was carried on by fewer and fewer. SAD.  Valuing the tradition and desiring to carry it on, we revitalized it by doing the following: We advertised and announced this tradition (bulletins, newsletters, email updates, worship...

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“Xmas Eve on Fire”

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in Advent, Arts, Christmas, Music, Non-Church settings, Slideshow, Special Sundays/Services | 0 comments

“Xmas Eve on Fire”

Imagine this: Christmas Eve Snow blanketing the ground Early/family service begins at 5:00 p.m. and the time is now 4:30 p.m. Portable firepit on the front lawn of the church with logs blazing Hot chocolate in vacuum pots on a table nearby Small Christmas tree with a box full of ornaments Families, individuals, couples, whoever, arriving, grabbing a cup of cocoa, hanging an ornament, warming themselves by the fire, giggling with Christmas excitement At 5:05 p.m. booklets with Christmas carols are handed out and people sing their favorites At...

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Through the Church Year

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in Advent, Benediction, Children's Message, Christmas, Easter, Epiphany, Lent, Pentecost, Prayers/Litanies, Slideshow, Special Sundays/Services | 0 comments

Through the Church Year

Below is a detailed liturgy for a single Sunday morning service that walks a congregation through the entire Church calendar from Advent through Reign of Christ.  Through Word, explanation, and song, this service is a worshipful way to educate and to help a multi-generational congregation to participate in the rhythms and patterns of the liturgical year.  It was originally used in 2006 for a United Church of Christ congregation in Massachusetts. (Note: *= Stand as you are able)  Order of Worship  Prelude & Meditation Time Greetings,...

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Invocation for Advent Festival of Choirs

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in Advent, Christmas, Non-Church settings, Prayers/Litanies, Slideshow | 0 comments

Invocation for Advent Festival of Choirs

A few years ago I was invited to deliver a prayer of invocation to begin a local festival of choirs on the first Saturday of Advent.  This annual festival is now a little over ten years old and includes ~7 choirs (sacred and secular) from around our area.  It is well attended and brings in a wide cross section of our community members. Writing a prayer of invocation for such an occasion is not as simple as it might seem as there is much to do in a short time!  Below is a sample prayer which acknowledges the nature of the gathering, gives...

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Painted Worship

Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 in Advent, Arts, Christmas, Slideshow | 0 comments

Painted Worship

We are fortunate to have an artist in our congregation named Mary Hill who is generous with her time (see her website here).  As Advent 2014 approached, we were looking for: 1) new banners to line our walls, and 2) a way to engage the congregation through visual art in worship.  After conversations with our worship team and with Mary, we did the following: We chose one Sunday during Advent to have Mary paint a banner during our morning worship service.  (She had prepped the banner ahead of time and sketched out her design.  She then...

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