Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship – 7:00 p.m. & 11:00 p.m.

Bulletin, worship service audio, and sermon text for this Sunday.

St. Paul United Church of Christ

24158 Goddard Road, Taylor, Michigan 48180-0190
Rev. Dr. Geoffrey G. Drutchas - Senior Pastor
Pastor Cheryl Schalm - Minister of Christian Education
Mr. Tracy Hoffman - Director of Music
Mrs. Sally Sigman - Organist
Ms. Cindy Romas - Administrative Assistant for Member Services


Christmas Eve  December 24,  2019

Celebration of Worship 7:00 p.m. & 11:00 p.m.

 

 SILENT PRAYER (Silent reverence is invited)

 PRELUDE “Carols of the Star,” Sally Sigman, Organist

 RINGING OF THE GREAT BELL

 CALL TO WORSHIP “Adeste Fideles”  Tracy Hoffman, Music Director

 CHRISTMAS INVOCATION  Reverend Dr. Geoffrey G. Drutchas

*CAROL No. 153 “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” (Verses 1, 4)

 WELCOME/ PASSING OF PEACE/ ANNOUNCMENTS

 CAROL No. 144  “O Little Town of Bethlehem” (Verses 1-2)

 THE CHRISTMAS STORY Luke 2:1-20  Lector:  Aaron Johnson

 CHIMES  “Christmas Night”  Sally Sigman

 MESSAGE  “Five Snap Chats for Christmas,”  Pastors Drutchas and Schalm

 UNISON PRAYER  Pastors and Congregation

 O God, as we listen to your word tonight and the sacred music which affirms its good news, may we be inspired and strengthened to be—more completely than ever—the faithful, loving, peaceable people that you always meant us to be and which Jesus in the fullness of time sacrificed his own life to make possible.  Amen.

 CAROL No. 150  “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

 SNAP CHAT “The Angels” (Reconciliation of Heaven & Earth)

 LIGHTING OF FIRST CANDLE (Hope)

 SHARING OF GIFTS/OFFERTORY “The First Noel”

 SNAP CHAT “The Shepherds” (Reconciliation of Rich & Poor)

 LIGHTING OF SECOND CANDLE (Peace)

 ANTHEM  (11) “Sweet Little Jesus Boy”  Chancel Choir

 SNAP CHAT  “The Holy Family” (Reconciliation in Family Life)

LIGHTING OF THIRD CANDLE (Love)

 ANTHEM  (7) “Away in a Manger”  Christmas Ensemble

 CAROL (11)  No. 165  “Once in Royal David’s City” (Verses 1-2)

 SNAP CHAT/CHILDREN’S TIME  “The Animals” (Reconciliation of All

   God’s Creatures)  Pastor Cheryl Schalm

 LIGHTING OF FOURTH CANDLE (Joy)

 CAROL (7) No. 172 “We Three Kings” (Verses 1, 5)

 ANTHEM (11)  “As Some People Tell It”  Chancel Choir

 SNAP CHAT “The Wise Men” (Reconciliation of Nations)

 LIGHTING OF THE CHRIST CANDLE

 UNISON PRAYER FOR RECONCILIATION

 O God, we thank you that you have brought together tonight to worship Jesus Christ, just as you called so many to his manger side on that first starlit Christmas long ago.  Open our hearts anew to the way of life that your son came to proclaim.  Help us to live as loving, forgiving people with compassion and respect for others.  Strengthen us to be those men and women who in your time and in anticipation of Christ’s ultimate reign further reconciliation between God and humankind; between the rich and poor of the earth; between husbands and wives, parents and children; between humankind and the animal kingdom; between nations, as well as between science and faith. Keep this vision of unity in our hearts and, along with it, a faith and determination to help accomplish it.  Amen.

 SOLO  “Christmas is a Time for Love”  Mark Ennis, Soloist

 SACRAMENT OF THE LORD’S SUPPER  Pastors Drutchas and Schalm

   Prayers of Confession and Consecration (Found in pew racks)

   Ave Verum Corpus (7) – Tricia Nault, Soloist

   Distribution of Elements

   Heaven’s Bread – Sally Sigman, Organist

   Prayer of Thanksgiving

*DOXOLOGY

 Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him all creatures here below;

 Praise Him above ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Amen.

 SHARING THE LIGHT OF CHRIST (Congregation seated)

 CANDELIGHT HYMN “Silent Night, Holy Night” (See insert)

 LORD’S PRAYER IN ACAPELLA VOICE  Choir and Congregation

 BENEDICTION/ POSTLUDE  “Gloria in Excelsis Deo”  Sally Sigman


ASSISTING WITH THE SERVICE TODAY

Council: Church Council Members

Deacons:  Jim Nault (7), Kristi Caruso (11)

Printed copies of most sermons are available in the front vestibule

*Please stand in body and/or spirit as you are able when indicated


OPPORTUNITIES FOR MINISTRY AND FELLOWSHIP

Calendar Week  December 24 – January 3

Tuesday       Worship Service 7:00 & 11:00 pm– Rev. Geoffrey Drutchas-Communion

Wednesday  Merry Christmas!  Office Closed

Thursday     Office Closed

Saturday      Young Adult Hurricane Relief Departs-Florida

Sunday         Worship Service 10:00 a.m. – Rev. Geoffrey Drutchas – Sunday School

                     10:00 a.m./ Coffee Hour 11:00 a.m.

 

ABOUT THE ‘SHARIAs you arrive this evening, wax candles are available with the Christmas

                                      Eve Order of Service for all adults and youth over the age of twelve.

                                      Hazard-free battery-operated candles are provided for children, along

                                     with their special activity packet.  The candle-lighting comes towards the

                                      close of the Christmas Eve Service before our final carol.  At that time     

                                      our pastor will ignite his candle from the Christ Candle with the

                                      declaration: “Jesus, You are the light of the world—the light which

                                      brings us hope, peace, love, and joy!”

  The ushers’ candles will then be lit.  Stepping down from the chancel they will move through the center and side aisles and extend their candles to worshipers seated at the end of each pew.  In turn, these worshipers will extend their candle to the person sitting next to them, sharing the flame.  Those with newly-lit candles will do likewise with their pew neighbor.  Please note: Do not tip any lit candle—to protect from dripping wax only unlit candles should be tipped into a flame.

   As pew candles are ignited, spreading the Light of Christ across the sanctuary, electric lights will be dimmed.  The seated congregation, holdings their candles in front of them, are invited to join in singing “Silent Night, Holy Night.”

   As singing concludes, the pastors and ushers will extinguish their candles and all worshipers are asked to do so as well.  Beware of dripping wax!  As you depart the sanctuary, all used candles can be deposited in baskets provided in the narthex.

 

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR CHRISTMAS EVE

Tonight, we welcome children and youth to our Christmas Eve Services…

♥ Holy Communion is open to all guests and visitors.  At St. Paul United Church of Christ, we observe and practice “open communion,” which means that adult and confirmed guests and visitors gathering with us for Christmas Eve worship can freely share in the sacrament without regard to personal church affiliation.

♥ Our congregation encourages everyone receiving the communion wafer and cup tonight to silently commit themselves anew to walk more closely with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

♥ The Usher’s Room and our new “Family Room” off the Narthex is available for parents with crying or fussy children.  Please feel free to rejoin your fellow worshippers in the pews after calming or quieting your child.  A handicap accessible restroom with changing table is available at the rear of the sanctuary just before the entrance to our “Family Room.”

The location of rest rooms…

♥ Restrooms are available near the east and west lobbies of the church.

ASSISTANCE TO THOSE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

♥ Those with wheelchairs are encouraged to make use of the special area reserved for you at the rear of the sanctuary with easy exit access to the front door and the wheelchair ramp.  In case of a fire emergency, an usher will assist you in exiting from the sanctuary and building.

♥ Worshippers using oxygen are asked to briefly retire to the usher’s room off the narthex at the end of service as the sharing of the Light of Christ begins to avoid all hazardous contact between a lit flame and an oxygen container.

♥ Large print orders of service are provided for the convenience of worshippers.  Request one from the greeters and ushers before the start of the Christmas Ever service.

♥ Assistive listening devices are available from the ushers for your use.  Turn to channel 105.5.  Please return the assistive listening devices to the ushers at the end of the service.

♥ Cell phones and pagers should be turned off or set to vibrate.

♥ Christmas Offering received – The Christmas Fund Offering, one of the four special UCC mission offerings will be received anytime during the month of December.  Gifts to the Christmas Fund help provide pension and health premium supplementation to low-income retired ministers.  Special red offering envelopes marked ‘Christmas Fund Offering’ are available in the pew racks for your donation use.