Living in God's Presence: A candlelight service of celebration and praise.

Piano Prelude

Choir Processional:"Surely the Presence of the Lord"
(L. Wolfe)

God's Greeting

Word of Welcome: Welcome to___Church. Tonight we are going to celebrate and praise God for staying close to us throughout another year. God's presence among us is symbolized by the light of the Christ candle.

Songs of Praise [congregation and choir]

"Arise, Shine" [refrain only; sing twice]
(PsH 198)

"The King of Glory"
(PH 370,TH 240,WC 134)

"King of Kings" [sing twice]
(WC 110)

Presence of God in Creation and the Incarnation

Leader: God, you spoke, and by your word the heavens and earth were formed.

Choir: Your presence fills all of creation, and we glory in it.

Hymn [choir]: "Thou Art Worthy" [sing twice]
(PsH 232, WC 116)

Leader: God, your presence in our world was felt in a new way in the coming of Jesus. They called his name Immanuel—God with us.

Choir: Your presence was the Word becoming flesh dwelling among us, and we beheld his glory.

Song [choir]: "Immanuel"
(WC 139)

Solo: "How Great Thou Art"
(PH 467, PsH 483, TH 44)

Presence of God in the World

Leader: God, our souls are singing how great you are as we feel your presence now in our world controlling, sustaining, and providing. There is turmoil and strife, there are rumors of war and struggles for power.

Choir: Yet your presence fills our world. You are the ruler over all, and your faithfulness reaches higher than the heavens. We glory in it!

Hymn: "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" [stanza 1, choir; stanza 2, solo; stanza 3, congregation]
(PH 276, PsH 556, RL 155, TH 32, WC 60)

Presence of God in Our Worship

Leader: God, we have felt your presence in our worship this year, in baptisms, in professions of faith, in communion, in children's worship, and in prayer and song.

Choir: Your presence fills our church and our worship, and we glory in it.

Hymn [choir]: "In the Presence of Your People" [sing twice]
(PsH 160, WC 19)

Presence of God in Our Personal Lives

Leader: God, as the psalmist says, you dwell within us by your Spirit. "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?" From the heights of our joys to the depths of our sorrows, from hearty laughter to stinging tears, you have been there.

Choir: Your presence within us and around us upholds, comforts, sustains, and inspires us, and we glory in it.

Hymn: "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" [stanza 1, choir; stanzas 2-3, congregation]
(PH 404, PsH 493)

Solo: "There is Strength in the Name of the Lord"
(WC 113)


Hymn: "Be Still and Know" [children first time, with congregation second time]
(WC 516)

Scripture: Exodus 33:14

Message: His Presence

Solo: "When Peace Like a River"
(PsH 489, TH 691, WC 519)

Presence of God in Our Witness and Service

Leader: It is well, it is well with my soul! Rejoice in the peace that comes from knowing Christ, the light of the world. At the close of another year, we too are reminded to shine as lights in this dark world. As the choir sings and spreads the light from the Christ candle to each of your lights, feel the presence of the Lord. Be still and meditate on God's love.

Choir Recessional: "The Light of the World Is Jesus" [The choir will move down the aisles to light the candles of those on the ends of the pews. Each person is asked to light the candle of the person next to him or her. The lighted candles should always remain upright. When all candles have been lit, please join on the chorus.]
(TH 476)

Leader: Hold your lights up high. As your light symbolizes the presence of God in you and around you, be true to that light. Shine in this world of darkness at all times and in all places.

Hymn: "Lead Me, Guide Me" [stanza 1, choir; stanzas 2-3, all]
(PsH 544)


Recessional: "The Light Still Shines"
(N. Sleeth)

This 1990 New Year's Eve service was planned by Jackie Timmer, the director of education, evangelism, and youth at Shawnee Park Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Each year the New Year's Eve service is led by a choir of young adults (high school and college students), who meet for fust two rehearsals during Christmas break and then lead the congregation in worship.

The hymns in this service were selected from the latest editions of the following hymnals: The Presbyterian Hymnal (PH), Psalter Hymnal (PsH), Rejoice in the Lord (RL), Trinity Hymnal (TH), and The Worshiping Church (WC).

Reformed Worship 21 © September 1991, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.