Merry Christmas! (I’m okay!)

Some of you have reached out to me to make sure I’m ok since I haven’t updated in a while. Thank you for your concern! What an age we live in that lack of blog posts can lead to such concerns! All is well in our neck of the woods (apart from the usual Christmas stresses).

I have not posted resource suggestions/prayers mainly because there is a plethora of resources available for the Christmas season and a great deal of variety in how churches celebrate the season. My context, for instance, always has two candlelight services on Christmas Eve; a fairly normal service on Christ day; and a service of lessons and carols on Christmas 1. A neighboring church  does a carol-based worship service on Christmas Eve…you get the idea. So I decided I’d simply do my own thing and avoid the extra work of providing worship resources that I may not actually use and since there are already plenty available on these readings/the season.

I am sorry I didn’t forewarn you though. If you were looking for resources from me, I let you down and will try to be better about communicating my future intentions to you who use this site so as to avoid that disappointment! Have a blessed Christ’s Mass and a joyous New Year! I will resume crafting worship resources and prayers for January 8th.

NL Worship Resources: December 18, 2016

Advent 4 (NL Year 3)

Color: Blue
Closest RCL Sunday: Advent 4B
Readings: Psalm: Psalm 113 | Sermon Text: Luke 1:26-49 (Jesus’ Birth
OT Suggestion: Isaiah 35:1-10
Prayer of the Day (WorkingPreacher): Father God, There is no miracle as grand as birth. As we prepare for the coming of your son, Jesus, create in us new life. Transform us so that we may reflect the light of your son, and become beacons of goodness, kindness, compassion, generosity, honesty, patience, and peace, for the sake of the one whose name brings deliverance and life to all the world, Jesus Christ, infant king. Amen.

You can find words of Confession and Absolution along with a Call to Worship here. I also have an Advent Wreath Lighting Litany here.

Suggested hymns based on the Sermon text:

ELW #265 The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came*
ELW #416 At the Name of Jesus
ELW #723 Canticle of the Turning
ELW #283 O Come, All Ye Faithful*
ELW #254 Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus*
ELW #419 For All the Faithful Women
ELW #288 Good Christian Friends, Rejoice*
ELW #270 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing*
ELW #434 Jesus Shall Reign
ELW #297 Jesus, What a Wonderful Child*
ELW #267 Joy to the World*
ELW #272 Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming*
ELW #236 Magnificat
ELW #573 My Soul Now Magnifies the Lord
ELW #251 My Soul Proclaims Your Greatness*
ELW #234/235 My Soul Proclaims the Greatness of the Lord
ELW #295 Of the Father’s Love Begotten*
ELW #269 Once in Royal David’s City*
ELW #430 Rejoice, for Christ is King!
ELW #263 Savior of the Nations, Come*
ELW #672 Signs and Wonders
ELW #281 Silent Night, Holy Night!*
ELW #293 That Boy-Child of Mary*
ELW #424 Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones
LBW #64 From East to West*
WOV #634 Sing of Mary, Pure and Lowly*
WOV #646 We Three Kings of Orient Are*
Various Hymnals Song of Mary
Various Hymnals Tell Out, My Soul
(ELW=Evangelical Lutheran Worship; LBW=Lutheran Book of Worship; WOV=With One Voice)
*Indicates Advent/Christmas Hymns

Suggested hymns based on the Psalm:

ELW #846 Amen, We Praise Your Name
ELW #569 The Day You Gave Us, Lord, Has Ended
ELW #434 Jesus Shall Reign
ELW #620 How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds
ELW #563 O Light Whose Splendor Thrills
ELW #460 Now the Silence
ELW #844 Praise to the Lord (Louez l’Eterne)
ELW #858/859 Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
ELW #824 This Is My Father’s World
(ELW=Evangelical Lutheran Worship)
*Indicates Advent/Christmas Hymns

Other options based on both:

Blessed Be Your Name” By Matt Redman, Beth Redman.
Born That We May Have Life” By Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, et al.
Immanuel” By Michael Card.
More contemporary suggestions here.

Prayers of Intercession:

In expectation of the coming of our Lord, who is Emmanuel, God-with-us; we pray for the needs of the world, the church, and each other.

A brief silence.

We pray for the church, O Lord; that we might boldly proclaim your presence in the world. God of mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for creation, Mighty One; that your amazing, abundant, and sometimes surprising life bring wholeness to the world. God of mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the nations, God; that all might know you as above all kings and presidents and that your justice and peace may prevail wherever there is oppression or violence. God of mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the lowly, O Savior; that your favor may be showered upon them and that unfair and unjust systems may be dismantled. God of mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all in need of healing, Emmanuel; that they may know the peace and comfort found in your presence with them. God of mercy, hear our prayer.

Here other intercessions may be offered.

We pray for all the faithful women who have gone before us, O Lord; that the example of Elizabeth, Mary, and countless others may strengthen and deepen our faith in you. God of mercy, hear our prayer.

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