In a wonderful mystery the Gospel affirms that the divine Word became flesh and actually dwelt among us human beings. John proclaimed that his matchless glory has been seen by witnesses on earth, the very same glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. With the birth of Jesus into the world, the Son of the living God has come to earth, incarnate as a human being, displaying the very likeness and glory of the Father God himself. No one has ever beheld God, and yet this child, our Lord Jesus, reveals the Father’s glory to the world.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Make us glad, O God, in recounting your mercies and adoring your holiness, and let it be our chief joy to glorify your holy name. Almighty and everlasting God, the brightness of faithful souls, who brought the Gentiles to your light and made known to them him who is the true Light, and the bright and morning Star: fill, we ask you, the world with your glory, and show yourself by the radiance of your light to all nations.
~ The Gregorian Sacramentary, in James Ferguson and Charles L. Wallis, eds.
Prayers for Public Worship: A Service Book of Morning and Evening Prayers Following
the Course of the Christian Year. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958. p. 49.
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
O Almighty God, Who by the Birth of Thy holy Child Jesus hast given us a great Light to dawn upon our darkness, grant, we pray Thee, that in His light we may see light to the end of our days; and bestow upon us, we beseech Thee, that most excellent Christmas gift of charity to all men, that so, the likeness of Thy Son may be formed in us, and that we may have the ever-brightening hope of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~ Professor Knight, Nineteenth Century, in Selina Fitzherbert Fox,
A Chain of Prayer Across the Ages: Forty Centuries of Prayer, 2000 B.C.-A.D. 1916.
New York: E. P. Dutton, 1943. p 214.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Thank you, O living Word, that you have come to the world and dwelt among us.
Weekly Reflection on the Priesthood of all Believers
While not every church celebrates the whole calendar today, we all share at least the most basic celebrations of the Church Year, Christmas and Easter. Billions of Christians throughout history and across the world today walk this same journey with Christ every year.
~ Ryan Carter. Guard the Good Deposit: The Great Tradition for the Whole Church.
Wichita: TUMI Press, 2019. p. 48.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
To the Praise of His Glorious Grace, Ephesians 1.3-14
Carter, Guard the Good Deposit