Christmas Eve OOS 12-24-22 7:00 PM

Order of Service
Christmas Eve 2022 7:00 p.m. service
Led by Rev. Eric Cherry and Rev. DL Helfer

Choir Prelude: Everywhere Christmas Tonight words by Philip Brooks and Paul Williams  Music by J. m. Martin    

Carol: O Come All Ye Faithful by John Francis Wade

1.  O Come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphantO, come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.Come and behold him, born the King of AngelsChorus : Venite Adoremus (3x) Dominum 2.  Lo, humble shepherds, hasting to his cradle,Lea-ving their flo-cks in fie-lds, draw near.We, too, with gladness, thither bend our footstepsChorus
3.  Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation;O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!Glory to God, all glory in the highest.Chorus

Call to Worship

Lighting of the Chalice

Carols and Lessons

Reading:  Christmas Comes Whether You’re Ready or Not by Rev. Cynthia Frado

Choir/Carol:  Light a Candle on This Silent Night words and music by G. E. Franklin 

Reading from The Gospel According to Luke

*Carol: O Little Town of Bethlehem by Phillips Brooks

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. 
2.  For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above,while mortals sleep,  the angels keep their watch of wondering love.O morning stars, together proclaim the holy birth.Let praises ring:  from God they bring goodwill to all on earth.
3.  How silently, how silently, the wonder is made known,when God imparts to human hearts the gift that is our own.No ear may hear that coming, but in the worldly dinWhen souls are truly humble, then the dear babe rests within

Reading from The Gospel According to Matthew 

Carol:  The First Noel English Carol by William Sandy 

1.  The first Noel, the angel did say 

was to certain poor shepherds in fields where they lay. 

In fields where they lay keeping their sheep, 

on a cold winter’s night that was so deep.  

Noel (x4) born is the king of Israel.

2.  They looked up and saw a star,shining in the east beyond them far, and to the earth it gave great light, and so it continued both day and night.Noel (x4) born is the king of Israel.

Reading    A Buddhist at Christmas (adapted) by Rev. Waldemar Argow           

Carol: Angels we have Heard on High by Earl Marlatt

1.  Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.
Chorus:  Gloria, in Excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
3.  Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.
2.  Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song?
4.  See Him in a manger laid,
Whom the choirs of angels praise;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While our hearts in love we raise.

Call for the Offering:  The offering tonight will support the congregation’s Minister’s Discretionary Fund, used primarily to provide financial assistance to those in need within Westminster and the surrounding community. Please include “MDF” in the memo field, if you are writing a check to the fund. Or go to:

Offertory:  Angels, From The Realms of Glory by Henry Smart arranged by M. Kogut

A Christmas Homily:  “An Honest Christmas”

Carol:  It Came upon the Midnight Clear by Edmund Hamilton Sears

1.  It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold;
“Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From Heaven’s all gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.
3.  Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife
And hear the angels sing.
2.  Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains,
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever over its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.
4.  For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophet-bards foretold,
When with the ever circling years
Comes round the age of gold;
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

Reading: Christmas Poem by Mary Oliver

* Carol: Silent Night by Joseph Mohr (1792-1848)

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,
Heavenly 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.

Benediction by Howard Thurman

Singing Together: We Wish you a Merry Christmas

1.  We wish you a Merry Christmas, (3 times)and a Happy New Year 2. Good tidings we bring to you and your kinA Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
3. We wish you a Merry Christmas, (3 times)and a Happy New Year