The Season of Christmas – 57.1

These liturgical texts and music suggestions are appropriate for use throughout the Season of Christmas and may be repeated from week to week.

Confession and Lament Sequence

A new neighbor has arrived,
but we are too insulated to greet them.
A new neighbor has come to our door,
but we are too sequestered to receive them.
God became flesh to live among us,
but we are too arrogant to recognize it.
We segregate ourselves as if we have the power to withhold God’s grace,
but our members-only policies have failed us time and time again.
Have we accepted inaccessibility, seclusion, and quarantine as best practices for living in community?
When will we learn that we are interdependent?

Forgive us, God our neighbor.
Forgive us, God our savior.
Forgive us, we pray . . .
Remind us who you really are
and who we really are,
so that, with Simeon, we might rejoice when we recognize you at last. Amen.

When will we learn that God’s grace
is not something to be withheld?
When will we finally hear the good news
and believe it:
in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Invitation to Discipleship

Christ is born!
Hallelujah, Amen.

How can we receive this good news,
this new birth?
By accepting God’s grace in Jesus Christ,
our Lord and Savior.
Christ is born!
Hallelujah, Amen.

How can we receive this good news,
this new birth?
By answering the invitation to follow,
to work alongside Christ
to transform the world.
Christ is born!
Hallelujah, Amen.

Congregational Song in Advent

A change in liturgical seasons creates opportunities for congregational responses unique to the season as well as experiences of ongoing liturgical moments and responses set to new and different music. Following are suggestions for use during the Season of Christmas.

Lighting the Christ Candle on the Advent Wreath (Christmas Eve)

  • Come Now, O Prince of Peace GTG 103
  • Love Has Come (all stanzas) GTG 110
  • Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light GTG 130
  • Go, Tell It on the Mountain GTG 136, UMH 251, AAHH 202
  • From Heaven Above, stanza 5 GTG 111
  • Heaven Is Singing for Joy GTG 382, SSS 13
  • Jesus, Jesus, O What a Wonderful Child GTG 126
  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing/Jesus, the Light of the World GTG 127, AAHH 217
  • Angels, from the Realms of Glory GTG 143 (mix-match stanzas for Christmas/Epiphany, stanza 4 regardless)
  • Vamos todos a Belén/Let Us Go to Bethlehem (refrain only or with some stanzas) SSS 84
  • Wonderful Counselor AAHH 210


    • Angels We Have Heard on High, refrain GTG 113
    • Glory to God, Whose Goodness Shines on Me GTG 582
    • Glory to God/Gloria, gloria GTG 583
    • Glory, Glory, Glory GTG 584
    • Glory to God/Gloria a Dios GTG 585
    • Sing Out, My Soul/Magnificat GTG 646

    Doxology Alternatives

    • Love Has Come, stanza 3 GTG 110
    • Angels from the Realms of Glory, stanza 4 GTG 143
    • What Child Is This, stanza 3/stanza 1 GTG 145
    • Sing, Praise, and Bless the Lord GTG 635
    • Give Thanks GTG 647


    Anthems for Children’s Choirs for Christmas and Epiphany


    • “An Echo Carol,” Michael Bedford, CGA, 2 pt, pno, opt fl (ME)
    • “Child of the Stable’s Secret Birth,” Thomas Hewitt Jones, OUP, 2 pt, org (A)
    • “Ding, Dong! Merrily on High,” Ken Berg, CGA, uni, pno or hp (ME)
    • “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” Wayne Bisbee, CGA, uni, pno (E)
    • “O Come, All You Children,” Kevin Riehle, OUP, 2 pt, pno (A)
    • “Pat-a-Pan Noel,” Ruth Elaine Schram, CGA, 2 pt, pno, opt fl (M)
    • “Puer Natus Est,” Andrea Ramsey, CGA, uni/ 2 pt, hb or hc (ME)
    • “Song of Peace,” John Ferguson, AF, uni/2 pt, pno (E)
    • “Unto Us a Child Is Born,” Laura Farnell, CGA, uni/ 2 pt, pno, opt C inst (ME)


    • “Arise, Shine!” Thomas Keesecker, CGA, 2 pt echo, pno (ME)
    • “Christmas Light,” Kris Crunk, CGA, 2 pt, pno (M)
    • “Follow the Star,” Helen Kemp, CGA, uni, pno, opt perc (E)
    • “The Heavens Declare the Glory of God,” James Brighton, CGA, uni, pno (E)
    • “This Little Light of Mine,” Mark Patterson, CGA, uni/2 pt, pno, opt tamb (ME)

    Anthems for Youth Choirs for Christmas and Epiphany

    • “Gloria,” Michael John Trotta, BRI, 3 pt, pno, fl (E)
    • “Away in a Manger,” Adam and Matt Podd, Podd Brothers Music, SAB, pno (ME)
    • “Walk in the Light,” Karen Marrolli, MSM, SAB, vln, pno (M)
    • “A Star, a Manger, and a Boy,” Andrew Huish, HIN, SAB, pno (ME)
    • “Go Tell It!” Victor Johnson, ALF, 3 pt, pno (ME)

    Piano Music for Christmas and Epiphany

    • “Away in a Manger,” MUELLER/ CRADLE SONG, Christmas Expressions, Joel Raney, HOPE (MA)
    • “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” GO TELL IT, Christmas at the Keyboard, Mark Hayes, LOR (MA)
    • “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” GOD REST YOU MERRY, Christmas Memories, Book 3, Melody Bober, ALF (ME)
    • “The Huron Carol,” JESOUS AHATONHIA, Christmas Illuminations, Dan Forrest, BP (A)
    • “Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head,” REST YOUR HEAD, Sing We Now of Christmas, Dan Wyrtzen, FJH (M)
    • “Joy to the World,” ANTIOCH, Extol the Lord! Andy Muskrat, LOR (MA)
    • “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” ADESTE FIDELES, Gospel Greats, vol. 2, Joel Raney, HOPE (MA)
    • “On Christmas Night All Christians Sing,” SUSSEX CAROL, Sunday Morning Holiday Companion, Victor Labenske, ALF (M)
    • “Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow,” RISE UP SHEPHERD, Carols A to Z, Faye López, LOR (M)
    • “We Three Kings,” KINGS OF ORIENT, Visions of Noel, Vicki Collinsworth, LOR (A)
    • “What Sweeter Music,” The Christmas Piano Album, John Rutter, OUP (MA)
    • “While by the Sheep We Watched at Night,” JÜNGST, The Essential Collection for Christmas, Emily Lund, HOPE (M)

    Vocals Solos for Christmas and Epiphany

    • “Sweet Was the Song the Virgin Sang,” Sacred Songs for the Soloist, John Attey, BH (MA)
    • “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” The Story of the Spirituals, Edward Boatner, BMP (M)
    • “The Birds,” Benjamin Britten, BH (MA)
    • “Behold That Star,” The Spirituals of Harry T. Burleigh, H. T. Burleigh, BMP (M)
    • “O My Deir Hert,” Herbert Howells Songs, Herbert Howells, BH (M)
    • “The Virgin’s Slumber Song,” Sing Solo Christmas, Max Reger, OUP (M)
    • “Wexford Carol,” The Christmas Collection, Richard Walters, HAL (M)
    • “A Christmas Carol,” The Christmas Collection, Norman Dello Joio, HAL (MA)
    • “Glory Hallelujah to the Newborn King,” Hall Johnson: 30 Spirituals, Hall Johnson, GSH (ME)
    • “In the Bleak Midwinter, from A Christmas Triptych,” Christmas Solos for All Ages, Mary E. Caldwell, HAL (MA)
    • “Home by Another Way,”, James Taylor (E)