December 25, 2024 – 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

In the midst of our despair,
Christ, our light, has come.
Into a world torn apart by war and violence,
Christ, our peace, has come.
Close to our loneliness and our longings,
Christ, our good shepherd, has come.
Holding broken bodies and broken hearts,
Christ, our healer, has come.
To the hungry and orphaned,
the oppressed and displaced,
Christ, our liberator, has come.
To the long-suffering,
to generations who have waited,
Christ, the promised one, has come.
We celebrate this mystery together:
Christ has come and dwells among us.
A new world is being born. Hallelujah!

Prayer of the Day

Jesus Christ, word made flesh,
your birth reminds us that God is always speaking.
You are near to the humble and brokenhearted.
You are close to the exile and refugee.
You receive all who journey to seek you.
Draw near to us as we worship you this day,
our God, born among us. Amen.

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.
Everlasting God,
your mercy rains down on us in Jesus Christ.
We thank you for our new life through baptism.
We are renewed like watered gardens
and our lives bloom with your incarnate love.
Through Christ, we pray. Amen.

Confession and Pardon

At the baptismal font:
Though the world came into being through Jesus,
we, his people, do not accept him.
Let us, therefore, confess
how we have turned from Christ,
trusting that by his grace,
he will guide us back to his way.

God of wonder,
your Word becomes flesh to share our life,
yet we do not proclaim
the marvel of your presence with us.
We wield words of criticism and complaint
and withhold words of truth or healing.
Pardon our failure to be messengers
of good news and peace.
Give us words to point toward your Word
that we might be witnesses to your good news
and proclaim your extravagant love;
through Jesus Christ our Savior.

Lifting water from the font:
The Word is now flesh and lives among us,
full of grace and truth.
For all who receive him and believe in his name,
he gives power to become children of God.
Believe the good news!
In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:
O God,
through your mighty acts
we receive grace upon grace.
From your fullness,
feed us with your life-giving Word,
that our lives, like bread,
may feed a hungry world. Amen.


Before the readings:
Listen for the mystery of God’s grace. 
Ephesians 3:2–3

After the readings: 
The mystery of the ages 
revealed to the people of God. 
Thanks be to God.
Ephesians 3:9–10


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

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,

let us pray for the life of the world,

saying: O Christ, our light, hear our prayer.  


We pray for the church . . .

Let us be a light in the darkness,

bearing witness to your light

and to your way of grace and truth.

O Christ, our light, hear our prayer.    


We pray for the world . . .

Establish your long-awaited realm

of righteousness, justice, and equity.

Let the whole creation sing your praise.

O Christ, our light, hear our prayer.  


We pray for this community . . .

Make us messengers of your peace,

proclaiming good news to all

and building up our ruined cities.

O Christ, our light, hear our prayer.  


We pray for loved ones . . .

Speak your life-giving word

to all who are suffering this day.

Lead them to a new beginning in you.

O Christ, our light, hear our prayer.  


Lord Jesus Christ, hope of the world,

help us to bear witness to your light

so that all may believe and have life in you;

in your holy name we pray. Amen.

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
Rejoicing in the birth
of Christ our Savior,
we give to God
what we first received from God,
the gifts of our lives.

Prayer of Dedication

At the communion table:
God Most High, receive the gifts of our lives
as an offering of gratitude for your grace.
Overshadow us with your Holy Spirit
and let it be with us according to your word,
for nothing is impossible with you. Amen.
Luke 1:35–38; 1 Corinthians 1:4

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

At the communion table:
We sing a new song to you, Lord.
Through this bread and wine
we receive your joy.
All of creation praises you,
joining with glad voices
to share the good news
of Christ’s saving birth.
We give thanks
for the Word you first sang,
Jesus, our Lord. Amen.

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church:
May the God of glory, 
the Word of life, 
and the Spirit of truth 
bless you all, 
now and forever. Alleluia!
John 1:14

Whatever you do, in word or deed, 
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, 
giving thanks to God. Amen.
Colossians 3:17

The Genesis Cycle

Moutier-Grandval Bible

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • Good Christian Friends, Rejoice (OG) IN DULCI JUBILO GTG 132, PH 28

  • O Come, All Ye Faithful (G) ADESTE FIDELIS GTG 133, PH 41

  • On This Day Earth Shall Ring (G) PERSONENT HODIE GTG 141, PH 46


  • Fairest Lord Jesus (E) CRUSADERS’ HYMN GTG 630, PH 306

  • In the Bleak Midwinter (G) CRANHAM GTG 144, PH 36

  • Of the Father’s Love Begotten (G) DIVINUM MYSTERIUM GTG 108, PH 309


  • Holy God, We Praise Your Name (E) GROSSER GOTT, WIR LOBEN DICH GTG 4, PH 460

  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (G) WE’LL WALK IN THE LIGHT GTG 127


  • Go, Tell It on the Mountain (OG) GO TELL IT GTG 136, PH 29

  • Joy to the World (OG) ANTIOCH GTG 134, PH 40

  • Jesus, Jesus, O What a Wonderful Child (G) WONDERFUL CHILD GTG 126

Psalms and Canticles

Psalm 98

  • Joy to the World [ANTIOCH]; GTG 134, LUYH 92; PAS 98D

  • Sing a New Song to Our Savior [ D]; SGP 145

  • To God Compose a Song of Joy [RICHMOND, KEDDY]; NCH 36, PH 219


  • 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

  • “Pavane” (O Come, All Ye Faithful), ADESTE FIDELES, A Time to Dance: Settings for Organ, David Evan Thomas, AF (ME)

  • “Christmas Day Is Come,” IRISH CAROL, The Holly and the Ivy, James Biery, MSM (ME)

  • “Gentle Mary Laid Her Child,” TEMPUS ADEST FLORIDUM, The Holly and the Ivy, James Biery, MSM (ME)

  • “In the Bleak Midwinter,” CRANHAM, Gladsome Tidings: Organ Settings for Christmas, Aaron Shows, AF (ME)

Piano Music

  • “Joy to the World!” ANTIOCH, Let Heaven and Nature Sing, Sandra Eithun, LOR (M)

  • “What Child Is This?” GREENSLEEVES, What Child Is This? Michael Ware, MusicWare Press (M)

  • “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly,” W ZLOBIE LEZY, The Essential Collection for Christmas, Heather Sorenson, HOPE (MA)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “Joy to the World,” Dan Forrest, BP, SATB, piano 4-hand, opt insts (M)

  • “When Mercy Was Born,” Victoria Schwarz, SATB, pno, opt hp, opt fl (ME)

  • “Christmas Bells Are Ringing,” Patti Drennan, SHAW, uni or 2 pt, pno, opt hb, opt perc (E)

  • “Ring Out, Wild Bells,” Emma Lou Diemer, CV, SSAATTBB, acap (A)

  • “Christ Is Born,” Mark A. Miller, HIN, SA(T)B, pno (E)


  • Isaiah 52:7, Timothy R. Botts, 2016 (EYE)

  • The Genesis Cycle, from the Moutier-Grandval Bible, unknown French artist, 830–40 (VCS)

  • Nativity, Jean Charlot, 1941 (MET)

  • John 1:14-A, Timothy R. Botts, 2016 (EYE)

  • The Nativity, Mary Jane Miller, 2008 (VDL)

  • Choir, Annette Gandy Fortt (VDL)