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Looking Ahead: Christmas is on Sunday!

Many of us don’t regularly have Christmas Day worship, after the marathon of Christmas Eve. Some of us have worship on Christmas no matter what day it’s on. But this year, December 25 falls on Sunday, which means most of us have to plan some kind of worship service. So: what are you thinking about? We’ve heard of churches where you come in your pajamas, where you bring one unopened present to open during the service, where you simply sing Christmas carols by request…what ideas do you have? What thoughts are swirling around? What do you “usually” do? Are you going to write liturgy for Christmas Day, and if so, what’s the focus? Let’s brainstorm and write and plan together!

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  1. We’re having a service at 4 p.m., because that’s what the church I serve did the last time Christmas was on a Sunday. I cannot imagine who will bother to come at that hour! Because we’re sharing worship with another church for that Sunday and January 1, and they are doing something off lectionary, I’m actually jumping ahead and using Psalm 148, because by 4 p.m., it feels like the day is over. (Which will be sort of the point of my sermon, that even though Christmas Day is about over, the season is just beginning.)
    I guess I’m grateful for the afternoon slot, because we have an 11 p.m. service, and it’s hard to picture getting home around 1 (I have a drive) and then having to be out my door the next morning at 8 for a 9:30 service.
    Lastly, I’m grateful that Leap Year means we won’t have Christmas Eve on Sunday next year. 🙂

  2. We are having a Presbyterian-ified Moravian Love Feast. We are gathering around tables in Fellowship Hall at 11 a.m. and singing carols as we share a simple meal of sweetened breads and coffee/tea/cocoa. We will also hear a story that is geared towards the kids, but has a lesson for everyone. The room will be decorated with balloons and party stuff to signify that it is, indeed, Jesus’s “birthday”. I know for sure that AT LEAST the worship committee members will be there. 😀

  3. ooh….having Jesus’ Birthday Party on Christmas Day has so much potential. I wonder if I can pull that off??
    The current plan is a carol sing with a story. There may or may not be actual liturgy…I’ll probably have to write some kind of Christmas litany, maybe about the wreath being all lit? I don’t know…

  4. We have been invited to worship with a neighbouring UCCan congregation on the 25th and they have been invited to come here on Jan 1st. I am told this is a repeat of what happened in 2005.

    The musician and I are planning that the Jan 1 service will be very informal, no set bulletin, hymns by request, conversation (about a topic yet to be determined by me who has to lead teh convo, something “New Yearsy” in lieu of meditation…

  5. I’m in charge of Christmas day worship this year. Christmas eve we have a 5pm “family” service led by the children’s choirs, 7:30 & 11 candlelight and communion with sermon, etc. Our usual Sunday AM schedule is worship at 8:30, 9 and 11, Sunday school at 9:50. For Christmas day we’ll only have worship at 11. Last time Christmas fell on a Sunday we did a modified lessons and carols service.

    This year we have 2 baptisms in addition to anything else. I didn’t feel like we needed a traditional service with a full sermon and what not. The L&C model we used last time seemed a little light.

    What I did feel strongly about is that people want to sing the songs we didn’t let them sing during Advent (well we might have let a couple slip through) and hear “the Christmas story”.
    My idea, after talking with the other pastors, DCE and music staff is to do a service in 3 parts: birth/baby, shepherds/angels, kings. Each part would be scripture and a hymn medley.
    I haven’t gotten very far in planning but so far I’m thinking:
    Baby: Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 2:-7; Baptism; time with children; hymn medley: away in a manger, o little town of bethlehem, what child is this.
    Shepherds/angels: Luke 2:8-20; hymn medley: angels we have heard on high, hark the herald angels, it came upon a midnight clear, O come all ye faithful
    Kings: Matthew 2:1-11; Here’s where I get tripped up. We may or may not really celebrate epiphany later. It just feels strange to do too much with the kings on Christmas day.

    The other thing is that I want to do a brief homily/meditation on John 1 and also use a reading on the incarnation from Iona’s “Cloth for the Cradle”.

    Clearly I have a lot of work still to do on this. Anyone else have experience or ideas of structuring the worship around these 3 themes/parts of the story?

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