Remembering the future: service plans and sermon sketches for Advent and Christmas, page 2 of 2

Music Suggestions

Organ Music

“The King Shall Come” by Michael Burkhardt, Five Advent Hymn Improvisations (MorningStar MSM-10-004, 1991)
“The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns” by David Johnson, Preludes and Postludes, Volume 2 (Augsburg 11-9319, 1973)

Partita on “Freu dich sehr, O meine Seele” by Johann Pachelbel, Selected Organ Works, Volume 4 (Kalmus 3763, reprinted by Belwin Mills)

Prelude on “Freu dich sehr” by Raymond H. Haan, Seasonal Preludes on Five Hymn-tunes for Organ (AMSI OR-14, 1991)

Psalm and Hymn Suggestions

Psalm 25: “To You, O Lord, I Lift My Soul” SFL 50; 1994 Gather 34; RW 44, p.31

“The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns”  PsH 615; RL 607; TWC 277
“Comfort, Comfort Now My People” PsH 194; PH 3; RL 169; SFL 121; TH 197; TWC 132
“Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” PsH 329, PH 1, 2; RL 183; SFL 122; TH 196; TWC 135
“In the Lord I’ll Be Ever Thankful” (Taizé, see   p. 33)
“My Lord! What a Morning” PH 449; TH 328; TWC 279

Children’s Music (for Children’s Choirs or Congregational Singing)

“Come, Lord Jesus” SFL 138

Note: A choir may sing stanzas 1, 2, 4, 3 (in that order) with a soloist or duet of choristers singing the opening line of each stanza and the entire choir singing the refrain.

Choral Suggestions

“Advent Processional” by John Ferguson (Augsburg 11-10448)
“Come, Lord Jesus, We Are Waiting” by Dorothy Christopherson (CGA-592)

Note: Advent readings are included with this music.


Subscribers to RW may use the art throughout this article for bulletin covers. There is art for each of the plans. Shown below is one way the art could be.


Music Suggestions

Organ Music

Chorale Prelude on “Stuttgart” by Flor Peeters, Festal Voluntaries: Christmas and Epiphany (Novello 18334, 1956)

“Voluntary and Fughetta on ‘Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus’” by Charles Callahan, An Advent Suite (MorningStar MSM-10-007, 1994)
“O Come, O Come, Immanuel” by Gilbert, The Morning Star (Hinshaw HMO-157, 1989)
“Fantasy Trio and Toccata on ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’” by Austin C. Lovelace (Concordia 97-6724, 1998)

Triptych on “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” by Matthew H. Corl (MorningStar MSM-10-009, 1997)

Hymn and Canticle Suggestions

“O Come, O Come, Immanuel” PsH 328; PH 9; RL 184; SFL 123; TH 194; TWC 133
“On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry” PsH 327; PH 10; RL 187; TWC 136
“Prepare the Way of the Lord” (Taizé) SFL 124
“Toda la Tierra”/“All Earth Is Waiting” RW 49, p. 26; UMH 210;
Canadian Presbyterian Book of Praise 109; also available as an anthem (Concordia 98-32-33)
“Blest Be the God of Israel” (Song of Zechariah)  PH 601, 602; TWC 332

Children’s Music (for Children’s Choirs or Congregational Singing)

“Come, Lord Jesus” SFL 138

Choral Suggestion

“O Come, O Come, Immanuel” by Natalie Sleeth (CGA-273)


Music Suggestions

Organ Music

“Wachet auf” by Jacques Berthier, Organ Variations on Six Chorales (GIA G-3830, 1993)
“Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying” by Max Sedio, Seven Hymn Reflections for Organ (AMSI OR-20, 1995)
“Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme” by Max Reger, Choralvorspiele für Orgel, Opus 67 (Bote & Bock 16893/95, 1965)
“O Heiland, reiss die Himmel auf” by James Melby, Ten Chorale Preludes for Organ (Concordia 97-5872, 1985)
“O Heiland, reiss die Himmel auf” by Helmut Walcha, Choralvorspiele für Orgel, Volume 1 (Peters 4850, 1954)

Hymn Suggestions

“Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying” PsH 613; TH 317; TWC 131
“O Christ! Come Back and Save Your Folk” PsH 330
“Surely It Is God Who Saves Me” (The first Song of Isaiah) Renew 122; also available as an anthem by Jack Noble White (H. W. Gray)

Children’s Music (for Children’s Choirs or Congregational Singing)

“He Came Down That We May Have Love” SFL 136

Choral Suggestion

“Christ Is Coming” by Sandra J. Bostom (CGA-691)


Advent Wreaths at Home

A friend once told me how at church, during the lighting of the Advent candles, her young daughter leaned over to her and whispered, with a smile of recognition on her face, “Mom, that’s the same song we sing!”

For years they’ve used an Advent wreath as part of their evening devotions after supper in December. They light one candle each week and sing a verse of “O Come, O Come Immanuel.” Sometimes they’ll read Scripture and a devotional (see HomeLink, p. 11) and then close in prayer. The somber tone of the hymn, the quiet of the prayer, juxtaposed with the increasing light of the candles from week to week communicate the meaning of the season without wordy explanations.

When rituals at home and in church resonate with one another, we create a rich web of worship and family and faith.

For information about making an Advent wreath, and for sample prayers to use, check out the following websites: twrth.htm;


Music Suggestions

Organ Pieces

“Hark! The Glad Sound!” by David Cherwien, Interpretations based on Hymn-Tunes, Book 5 (AMSI SP-102, 1985)
“Chesterfield” by Theodore Beck, Fourteen Organ Chorale Preludes (Augsburg 11-6156, 1985)
“Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland” by Anton Heiller, Choralvorspiele alter Meister (Peters 3048, 1951)
“Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland” by Johann Sebastian Bach, Bach Orgel Werke, Volume 5 (Peters 244, 1928)
“Savior of the Nations, Come” by Paul Manz, Ten Chorale Improvisations, Set 1 (Concordia 97-4554, 1962)

Hymn Suggestions

“Hark! The Glad Sound! The Savior Comes” PsH 335; RL 251
“Savior of the Nations, Come” PsH 336; PH 14; RL 189; TWC 138
“Song of Mary” PsH 212; PH 600; SFL 125

“Tell Out, My Soul” PsH 478; RL 182; TH 26; TWC 350

Choral Suggestion

“Prepare a Way for the Lord” by Michel Bedford (with handbell accompaniment).


First Week in Advent Sunday


Read Matthew 24.I-8

We begin advent by pondering Matthew 24 and its presentation of the end of the world. The eords and images we will read over the next few days may not seem Christmas-like. Often we think of Christmas as such a great time for children-we picture them gathered around sparking trees with shining eyes as they listen to the charming Christmas story, followed by a heartfelt rendition of "Silent Night."

But notin Matthew 24. So why begin here? If nothing else, it's a great way to combat nostalgia!

How easy it is, even for Christmas , who should know better, to join the rest of societyin reducing Christmas to a season of happiness and neighborliness. But that season is only temporary. Christmas can't last.

Some of you boys and girls may remember the Sesame Street special Elmo Saves Christmas. In that story, Elmo meets Santa, who grants Elmo a wish. Elmo wishes that every day would be Christmas.

What a great-sounding wish! But it tums out to be terrible. The first few Christams days sre fun, but then people start to get sick from eating so much chocolate every day. The Christmas trees start to dry out and get all brown, but the people who sell Christmas tree run out of new trees by Valentine's Day. By July everyone is a grouchy as Oscar. Their voices are hoarse from singing "Joy from the World" for two hundred days in a row. Elmo feels terrible. Eventually he "saves" Christmas by getting it back just one day on a year-Dcember 25.

Christmas for most people comes just once a year, and that's plenty. But we Christians believe that because of what Christmas means, it does ]



Music Suggestions

Organ Music

“Three Preludes on ‘Vom Himmel hoch’” by Ernst Pepping, Kleines Orgelbuch (B. Schott’s Söhne 3735, 1968)
“Chorale Partita on ‘From Heaven Above to Earth I Come’” by Paul Manz (MorningStar MSM-10-120, 1993)
“Von Himmel hoch da komm’ ich her” by Johann Pachelbel, Church Organist’s Golden Treasury, Volume 3 (Ditson 79006-183, 1951)
“Divinium Mysterium” by Gerald Kemner, Fantasies on Nine Familiar Hymn Tunes (Augsburg 11-5919, 1990)
“Of the Father’s Love Begotten” by Wilbur Held, Six Carol Settings (Concordia 97-4985, 1970)

Hymn Suggestions

“Joy to the World, the Lord Has Come” PsH 3337; PH 40; RL 198; SFL 137; TH 195; TWC 146
“O Come, All Ye Faithful” PsH 340; PH 41, 42; RL 195; TH 208;   TWC 173
“Emmanuel” TWC 140
“Glory, Glory, Glory” RW 45, p. 32
“From Heaven Above to Earth I Come” PsH 339; PH 54
“Of the Father’s Love Begotten” PsH 342; PH 309; RL 190;   TH 162; TWC 145


Reformed Worship 57 © September 2000, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.