A Service of Worship for
December 24, 2020
Move over the face of
my endless restless chaos,
stir me up,
and calm me,
but do not cease
your Spirit into
my wakening soul.
Jan L. Richardson
Full Christmas Eve service video:
Gathering Time on Zoom
We will begin as a large group and discuss the elements of worship we find particularly meaningful.
Log in details on the Online Gatherings page.
Worship notes are included at the bottom of this page and in the Worship Order located at the link below.
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"In Quiet Joy" by Marcel Dupré; Patrick Parker, organ.
Call to Worship
Lighting the Christ Candle
Van and Lynda Wheeler light the Christ Candle for Christmas Eve 2020.
God calls us now in this Christian season to become new,
To make room in our own nativity, even where there is no room in the inn.
Where we are busy--Peace.
Where we are lost--Salvation.
Where we are sad--Joy.
Where we are bitter--Love.
Let this cease to be a time to hope for all these gifts of God. Amen.
"What Child Is This"; The Covenant Singers, Mauricio Cuellar, guitar.
The Christmas Story Part 1
"Away In a Manager" by Kirkpatrick/Murray/Lee; Sterling Alexander, clarinet, Patrick Parker, piano.
The Christmas Story Part 2
Time for Children
"Gesù Bambino" by Pietro Yon/Lee; Jacy Grannis, viola, Susan Wegner, cello, Patrick Parker, organ.
The Christmas Story Part 3
As the flame of the Christ candle burns in our congregation spread across Houston and North Carolina and England and Egypt, and Ohio and in every place your people draw near, even when we must stay apart. As the flame of the Christ candle burns and the angels sing, and the shepherds gather, as the Magi prepare to offer their gifts, we prepare to meet you, Holy one, born anew this day: a prince born among the animals, a messiah welcomed by the outcasts of society, a savior saved from the threats of the ruler of the day.
Christmas reminds us that you, God, are found in the unexpected, in surprise; that you know of hard times, of hunger, of prejudice, of longing. You came, not as we expected or longed for, but as exactly what we needed. Emmanuel: God-with-us. And so we pray, come again. We need you now.
We pray this day for the more than 300,000 families who are grieving for those who have died from covid in our country, we pray for the others grieving around the world. We pray for those who are sick, and we pray for those working beyond exhaustion to care for them.
We pray for our country and our world, we pray for leadership, we pray for the Christmas spirit of caring for others to inspire everyone to stay home when they possibly can and to wear masks when they must go out. We pray for our world that during this pandemic we will be brought together rather than being divided even further. Come again, this Christmas. Come again Prince of Peace. We need you now.
God who creates, in these moments of worship, we call you again Emmanuel, and we long for you to join us. Shine your star upon us, and in its revealing light, give us courage to face with truth the realities of human longing in our day and give us the courage of your presence that we may live out your love, your justice, your peace and your joy to our world.
Christmas reminds us each year that love is stronger than hate, peace is more enduring than war, hope more powerful than despair, and the light of your love will extinguish forever the shadows of shame cast by violence, suffering, sorrow, and hate.
We pray this night come and be among us once again, Emmanuel: God-with-us. Amen
- Laura Mayo
Passing of the Peace
"O Holy Night"; Eric Avera, Tenor, Patrick Parker, organ.
The Christmas Story Part 4
The prelude is played by Patrick Parker, organ.
Our worship leaders are: Sebastian Alexander, Nora Bennett, Emma Bond, Hank Bond, Jeannie Gambill, Genie Joslin, Moses Mason, Ken Parker, Jason Stark and Brook Ward.
The Call to Worship is from Gifts of Many Cultures: Worship Resources for the Global Community edited by Maren Tirabassi and Kathy Eddy.
The Christ candle is lit by Lynda and Van Wheeler.
The Opening Sentences are from Flames of the Spirit edited by Ruth Duck.
“What Child Is This” is sung by The Covenant Singers, Mauricio Cuellar, guitar.
“Away In a Manger” arr. David Lee; Sterling Alexander, clarinet; Patrick Parker, piano.
“Gesu Bambino” arr. David Lee; Jacy Grannis, viola; Susan Wegner, cello; Patrick Parker, organ.
“O Holy Night” Eric Avera, tenor; Patrick Parker, organ.
Copyright (c) 2020, Covenant Church