December 25, 2022 – Nativity of the Lord / Christmas Day (Dawn)

Lectionary Readings   -   Gathering   -  Word  -   Eucharist   -   Sending   -   Music and Art

Lectionary Readings

Isaiah 62:6–12
Salvation comes; Jerusalem is restored; the people are redeemed.

Psalm 97
The Lord reigns over all the earth; light dawns for the righteous.

Titus 3:4–7
We are justified by the grace of God, reborn in the Holy Spirit.

Luke 2:(1–7) 8–20
To you is born this day a Savior, the Messiah, the Lord.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

Glory to God in the highest!
A child has been born for us!
See, our salvation comes!
We rejoice in what God has made known to us!
Let us journey to the manger together.

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Thanksgiving For Baptism

At the baptismal font:
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
O Lord our God, we give you thanks
for the wonder and love you offer us
through the gift of our baptism—
your Word made flesh among us,
a child and Savior born to us,
good news of great joy for all.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
poured out upon us in baptism,
let us be born anew from above
so that we may give glory to you
and live as your beloved children;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Confession and Pardon​

At the baptismal font:
It is tempting to stay in the joy of Christmas morning,
to ignore all that makes us uncomfortable.
But it is right for us to greet this day
by acknowledging how much we need salvation to be born.

We confess, Holy Creator,
that we care more for ourselves
than this world you made.
We confess, Newborn Savior,
that we focus on our own wants
at the expense of the needs of others.
We confess, Abundant Spirit,
that we push you aside,
scoffing at the idea that you are actually at work.
Forgive us and guide us
as we celebrate your birth,
and shape us to be more like you.

Lifting water from the font:
In Jesus Christ, God saves us,
not because of any works of righteousness
we have done,
but according to God’s mercy.
Gloria in excelsis deo!

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:
Gracious God, by the gift of your Holy Spirit
show us the Word made flesh—
good news of great joy for all—
so that we may sing with the angels:
glory in the highest and peace on earth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Before the readings:
Treasure these words
and ponder them in your heart.
Luke 2:19

After the readings:
And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
Thanks be to God.
John 1:14


Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
Glory to God in the highest
and peace to God’s people on earth! Amen.
Luke 2:14

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Affirmation of Faith

The one sufficient revelation of God
is Jesus Christ,
the Word of God incarnate,
to whom the Holy Spirit
bears unique and authoritative witness
through the Holy Scriptures,
which are received and obeyed
as the word of God written.
Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.27

Prayers of Intercession

Remember God’s message: Do not be afraid!
Therefore we pray with hope and joy.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With hope and joy, we pray for the church . . .
Make us messengers of your peace,
announcing the beauty of your reign
and the good news of salvation to all.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With hope and joy, we pray for the earth . . .
Let all the earth make a joyful noise to you.
Let the waves of the sea clap their hands
and the mountains and hills sing with delight.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With hope and joy, we pray for all nations . . .
Send your word of justice and peace
to all the peoples and nations of the earth,
so that all may know your saving power.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With hope and joy, we pray for this community . . .
As you have come to live among us
through Christ, your Word made flesh,
let us be bearers of your grace and truth to all.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With hope and joy, we pray for loved ones . . .
Shine with your healing, liberating light
on all who struggle to overcome the darkness
and live in the shadow of death.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We ask these things with joy, O God,
confident in the knowledge of your goodness;
and we ask these things with hope,
knowing that our redeemer is here—
for to us is born a Savior, the Messiah, the Lord,
Jesus Christ, in whose holy name we pray. Amen.
Luke 2:10–11

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
From the fullness of God
we have all received grace upon grace.
Let us offer our lives to the Lord.
John 1:16

Prayer of Dedication

At the communion table:
For gifts abundant and for grace abounding,
we give you thanks, generous God.
Bless the gifts we bring today.
Use these gifts and our lives
to be your gift of grace to others. Amen.

Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God:
All the ends of the earth have seen your saving power, O Lord.
From the ruined cities to the highest mountains, we sing your praise:
How beautiful is the messenger of your peace, who brings salvation!

Therefore we praise you, joining the song
of the universal church and the heavenly choir:
A Sanctus (“Holy, holy, holy”) is sung.

Blessed is Jesus Christ, our Savior:
Jesus was with you in the beginning; through him all things came to be.
Now he has come to live among us—your Word made flesh—
and we have seen his glory, full of grace and truth.
The words of institution are included here.

Remembering your goodness and grace,
we offer ourselves to you with gratitude
as we share this joyful feast.
A Memorial Acclamation (e.g., “Christ has died”) is sung.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and upon this bread and cup;
make us one in the body and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord.

As you have spoken to us through the prophets and apostles,
continue to speak to us through your Son, Jesus Christ.
Sustain us by your powerful Word, until we worship you in glory.

Through the Lord Jesus Christ,
in the unity of the Spirit,
we bless you, God of glory,
now and forever.
An Amen is sung.

Lord’s Prayer


Breaking the Bread


Communion of the People


Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Prayer after Communion

God of shepherds and sheep,
we give you thanks
that you have gathered us here,
revealed to us your glory,
and fed us with your mercy.
Now send us out
with good news for all—
for us a child is born:
Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church:
The loving kindness of the Lord our God,
the grace of Jesus Christ our Savior,
and the renewing power of the Holy Spirit
be with you all. Alleluia!
Titus 3:4–7

Go and tell this good news of great joy:
to us a Savior is born. Amen.
Luke 2:10–11


John August Swanson, 1985

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn (G) REJOICE, REJOICE GTG 107
  • Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light (G) ERMUNTRE DICH GTG 130, PH 26
  • Heaven Is Singing for Joy / El cielo canta alegría (G) ALGERÍA GTG 382
  • This Is the Day of Joy and Peace (OG) NAAMPHAI STB 303


  • Blest Be the God of Israel (G) MERLE’S TUNE GTG 109
  • It Came Upon the Midnight Clear (G) CAROL GTG 123, PH 38
  • Who Would Think That What Was Needed (OEG) WHITE ROSETTES GTG 138
  • Weary Travelers, Cease Your Roaming (OEG) INNKEEPER Sing No Empty Alleluias, Chris Shelton, GIA


  • Of the Father’s Love Begotten (OEG) DIVINUM MYSTERIUM GTG 108, PH 309
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem (G) ST. LOUIS, FOREST GREEN GTG 121, PH 44, 43
  • Infant Holy, Infant Lowly (G) W ŻŁOBIE LEŻY GTG 128, PH 37
  • God’s Love Is for Everybody (OE) Kathy Wonson Eddy CH4 765


  • Joy to the World (OG) ANTIOCH GTG 134, PH 40
  • There’s a Star in the East (G) FOLLOW GTG 135
  • O Day of Peace (E) JERUSALEM GTG 373, PH 450
  • Messiah Now Has Come (OG) MESSIAH AAHH 203

Psalms and Canticles


  • God Reigns! Let Earth Rejoice! [MARION, NOËL NOUVELET]; GTG 365, PAS 97A, LUYH 91
  • God Reigns: Let Earth Rejoice! [GENEVAN 97]; PAS 97B


  • Light Dawns for the Righteous [George A. Black]; PAS 97C, or with A Christmas Prayer of Praise, 97D
  • The Lord Reigns; UMH 816

Organ Music

  • “Divinum mysterium, ‘Of the Father’s Love Begotten,’” Five Liturgical Pieces for Organ,
    Lynn Trapp, MSM (E)
  • “Chorale Prelude on ‘Joy to the World,’” ANTIOCH, Christmas Presents, John S. Dixon, LOR (E)
  • “Let Our Gladness Have No End,” Bethlehem’s Light, Benjamin M. Culli, CON (E)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “Glory to God,” Messiah, G. F. Handel, CPDL, SATB, keybd, orch (opt) (M)
  • “All on a Christmas Morning,” Alfred Burt, SHAW, SATB, keybd (E)
  • “Choral Fanfare for Christmas,” Ronald A. Nelson, BH, SATB, org or brass (MA)
  • “A Child is Born,” Leo Nester, ECS, SATB, org (M)
  • “Xicochi,” Gaspar Fernandes, BorderCrossSing, SATB, keybd, perc (M)
  • “Gaudete,” arr. Robert J. Batastini, GIA, SATB, hb, fc, perc (ME)
  • “Ogo Ni Fun Oluwa,” Rosephanye Powell, HAL, SATB, div, acap, perc (M)

Handbell Music

  • “Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light,” Linda R. Lamb, 3–5 octave hb, opt 3 oct hc, opt C inst, CON, 97-7283, Level 3
  • “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” Michael Helman, 3–5 oct hb, opt 3–4 oct hc, LOR, 20/1400L, Level 3
  • “Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow,” Michael Mazzatenta, 3–5 oct hb, SFP, 20/1922SF, Level 2+


  • Shepherds, John August Swanson (VDL)
  • Go Tell It on the Mountain, Timothy Botts (EYE)
  • Birth of Christ, Chinese painting (VDL)
  • Madonna and Child 1, Laura James (EYE)
  • The Lord Is My Light, Mike Moyers (VDL)