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

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

Lectionary Readings

Isaiah 52:7–10
How beautiful is the messenger who brings good news and peace.

Psalm 98
Make a joyful noise to the Lord; give thanks for God’s victory.

Hebrews 1:1–4 (5–12)
Now God has spoken to us by a Son, the reflection of God’s glory.

John 1:1–14
The Word of God became flesh and lived among us.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

O sing to the Lord a new song,
For the true light has come into the world!
Break forth into singing,
For in Christ is life!
The Word has become flesh and lives among us,
And we have seen God’s glory,
full of grace and truth!

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:
God has come to us,
but too often we do not accept God.
We do not allow ourselves to be changed by God’s presence,
continuing in our old ways.

O Christ, reflection of God’s glory,
let this be a day that changes us.
Let this be a day that challenges us
to live as those you have blessed.
Let this be a day that we find not only forgiveness,
but a new way forward.
Renew your call to us.
Save us, forgive us, and inspire us
to allow our lives to be imbued with your presence.

Lifting water from the font:
We celebrate God’s steadfast love this day.
No matter what we do,
no matter what we neglect to do,
that love never changes, and we are forgiven!
Thank God for peace!
Thank God for good news!
Thank God for redemption!

— 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

“Birth of Christ”

Bernardo Daddi, 1325–1350

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (OEG) MENDELSSOHN GTG 119, PH 31/32
  • Jesus, Jesus, O What a Wonderful Child (EG) WONDERFUL CHILD GTG 126
  • ’Twas in the Moon of Wintertime (OG) UNE JEUNE PUCELLE GTG 142, PH 61
  • God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen (OEG) GOD REST YOU MERRY EH 105


  • From Heaven Above (OG) VOM HIMMEL HOCH GTG 111, PH 54
  • The Snow Lay on the Ground (OG) VENITE ADOREMUS GTG 116, PH 57
  • That Boy-Child of Mary (EG) BLANTYRE GTG 139, PH 55
  • Like a Child (EG) LIKE A CHILD STF 2092


  • Away in a Manger (OG) CRADLE SONG, MUELLER GTG 114, 115; PH 24, 25
  • Where Shepherds Lately Knelt (OE) MANGER SONG GTG 120
  • The Trumpets Sound, the Angels Sing (OG) THE FEAST IS READY GTG 505
  • Peace Came to Earth (OG) HUFSTETLER, Rejoice in God, K. Lee Scott, MSM


  • Good Christian Friends, Rejoice (E) IN DULCI JUBILO GTG 132, PH 28
  • Go, Tell It on the Mountain (EG) GO TELL IT GTG 136, PH 29
  • Lord, Bid Your Servant Go in Peace (OE) LAND OF REST GTG 545
  • The Peace of the Earth (OE) LA PAZ DE LA TIERRA CH4 798

Psalms and Canticles


  • Joy to the World [ANTIOCH]; GTG 134, PH 40, LUYH 92, PAS 98D, SSS 95
  • Sing a New Song to Our Savior [ D]; SGP 145
  • To God Compose a Song of Joy [RICHMOND, KEDDY]; NCH 36, PH 219
  • New Songs of Celebration Render [RENDEZ À DIEU]; GTG 371, PH 218, SSS 442


  • Sing to the Lord a New Song; PAS 98A
  • Sing a New Song unto the Lord [SING A NEW SONG]; GTG 276
  • All the Ends of the Earth [ANTIOCH]; HTP1 100

Organ Music

  • “Now Sing We, Now Rejoice,” IN DULCI JUBILO, 3 Christmas Chorales for Organ, Paul Kickstat, MSM (E)
  • “Lo, How a Rose Is Growing,” Augsburg Organ Library: Christmas, John Leavitt, AF (E)
  • “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice,” Augsburg Organ Library: Christmas, Marcel Dupre, AF (E)
  • “Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich,” Orgelbuchlein, J. S. Bach, public domain (ME)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “Christmas Angel,” Corlynn Hanney, Cypress Music, SATB, solo, acap (ME)
  • “Keresemesi Odun de O,” arr. Wendell Whalum, ALF, SATB, div, acap, perc (M)
  • “Blessed Be the Maid Marie,” arr. Susan LaBarr, WAL, SATB, div, acap (M)
  • “The Word Was God,” Rosephanye Powell, Gentry Publications, SATB, div, acap (MA)
  • “The Glory of the Father,” Egil Hovland, WAL, SATB, acap (M)
  • “A Child Is Born in Bethlehem,” Richard Proulx, GIA, SAB, hb (M)

Handbell Music

  • “’Twas in the Moon at Wintertime,” Cathy Moklebust, 2–3 oct or 3–5 oct, opt perc, CGA,
    CGB155 or CGB402, Level 2
  • “Away in a Manger,” Anna Laura Page, 3–5 oct, BP, HB430, Level 2+
  • “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” Andrew Duncan, 3–6 oct, AGEHR, AG35310, Level 2


  • Birth of Christ, Greco, 1600 (VDL)
  • Nativity, John August Swanson (EYE)
  • Birth of Christ, Bernardo Daddi, c. 1325 (VDL)
  • Christmas Angel, James Fissel (EYE)
  • John 1:14, Timothy Botts (EYE)
  • African Nativity, Nuremberg, Germany (VDL)