O Come Let us Adore Him

The Christmas season extends from December 25 through January 5 and includes at least one and sometimes two Sundays. Celebrating Christmas as a season helps us enter into the meaning of the Incarnation more fully than a single celebration. Consider some of these resources for your Christmas season this year.

—ERB

Calls to Worship

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

Jesus Christ is our life and light. In his name and in his power, let us worship God!
—from Isaiah 9:2

A text especially mindful of children
O come, let us adore him—

whose coming was announced by the prophets.

O come, let us adore him—

whose message was proclaimed by the angels.

O come, let us adore him—

whose glory was hailed by the shepherds.

O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

—Source unknown

Let us go, in heart and mind, to see what has come to pass:
Let us go with the shepherds:

Let us go to find the Savior!

Let us go with the wise ones:

Let us go to find God’s promise, born for us!

Let us go with the poor and humble:

Let us go to find our King, born in a lowly manger.

Let us go with all the world, with all the peoples of the nations:

Come, let us worship, come, let us adore him: Christ the Lord!

—Companion to the Revised Common Lectionary, vol. 3—All Age Worship Year B, (p. 11, alt.), © Judy Jarvis and Donald Pickard, 1999. Used by permission.

Prayers of Adoration

A text especially mindful of children
Jesus, Son of the living God, splendor of the Father,
eternal light.

Lord, we praise you!

Jesus, King of glory, Sun of justice, Son of the Virgin

Mary.

Lord, we praise you!

Jesus, Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Lord, Prince

of Peace.

Lord, we praise you!

Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, our help and our

refuge.

Lord, we praise you!

Jesus, God of peace, friend of all, source of life and of

holiness.

Lord, we praise you!

Jesus, brother of the poor, goodness without measure, unending

wisdom.

Lord, we praise you!

Jesus, good shepherd, true light, our way and our life.

Lord, we praise you! Amen.

—Prayer for Each Day, Taizé (pp. 46-47), © 1998, 1997 Atelier et Presses de Taizé. Used by permission of GIA Publications, Inc., Chicago, exclusive agent. All rights reserved. 1-800-442-1358, www.giamusic.com

When all things in silence lay,
and the night was in the midst of her course,
your Word leaped down from your royal throne, O God.
So we rejoice and give you praise,
that your Word may live in us,
and that we may glorify you forever. Amen.<>

—based on Wisdom of Solomon 18:14

Almighty God,
you wonderfully created
and yet more wonderfully restored
the dignity of human nature.
In your mercy, by the power of the Holy Spirit,
grant that we may share the divine life of Jesus Christ,
who humbled himself to share our humanity,
and who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.

—The Book of Common Prayer (1979) of the Episcopal Church, USA (p. 214, alt.)

All glory to you, great God,
for the gift of your Son,
light in darkness and hope of the world,
whom you sent to save us.
With singing angels,
let us praise your name,
and tell the earth his story,
that all may believe, rejoice, and bow down,
acknowledging your love
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

—The Worship Book (p. 137, alt.), © 1970 The Westminster Press. Used by permission of Westminster John Knox Press.

Glory be to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, goodwill toward those he favors.
For unto us is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
We praise you, we bless you, we glorify you,
we give thanks to you for this greatest of your mercies,
O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father almighty.
O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
who was made human to take away the sins of
the world,
have mercy upon us and turn us from our iniquities.
You, who were made manifest to destroy the works of
the devil,
have mercy upon us and enable us to renounce and forsake
them.
You who are the great advocate with the Father, receive
our prayer. Amen.

—Thomas Ken (1637-1711), The Complete Book of Christian Prayer, (p. 378, alt.), © 2000, Continuum. Reprinted by permission of The Continuum International Publishing Group, Inc.

Prayers of Confession

O God, we need Christ to renew our commitment.

We confess our lack of faith has made us fearful.

May your angels sing again to us of peace for body and
soul.

We acknowledge we have let our desires foolishly

lead us astray.

May your star once more set our course in a firm direc-
tion.

We have turned our faith into a lifeless ritual.

May your manger call us again to expressions of love
and devotion.

We have carefully kept our gifts and have not freely

given our goods and our hearts to you.
May the wise men show us the spirit of giving.
Lord, may your Spirit linger in our hearts, and be
born anew in our lives. Amen.

—Pray to the Lord: Prayers for Corporate Worship (alt.), © 1988, Reformed Church Press. Used by permission.

When we allow darkness to overcome the Light,

forgive us, Lord.

When we reduce Christmas to plastic and tinsel,

have mercy on us, Father

When hardness of heart keeps us from seeing and hear-
ing and touching,
let your grace consume us, O God.
When the wars around us are of no concern,

Forgive us, Lord, and move us to compassion for

those who suffer.

When our caring is not extended to action,

move us to seek justice for our brothers and sisters.

We come to confess our sinfulness before you and before each other. We are but dust without your love. Remove all barriers that divide us, and let there be no obstacle to our love for you and for one another. Amen.

—Liturgy as Life-Journey, (p. 26, alt.), William B. Oden, © 1976, Acton House, Inc.
Used by permission of author.

Almighty God, who inhabits eternity
but dwells with those who are of a humble and contrite
spirit:
before you and our Lord Jesus Christ we confess our
sins.
We have ignored the presence of your Spirit.
We have failed to look for the return of our Savior and
Judge.
We have been blind to your coming
in the suffering of the hungry, the exiled,
the destitute, the sick, and the imprisoned.
In your great goodness, put away our offenses
and cleanse us from our sin, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
—Church of the Servant (Grand Rapids, Mich.) Christmas Season Liturgy

Assurance of Pardon

Break forth together into singing, you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed
Jerusalem.
The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all
the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of
our God.
—from Isaiah 52:9-10

The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. (1 Timothy 1:15)

In Christ we are forgiven! Thanks be to God!

The Lord’s grace is sure.
God has looked with favor upon his people
and has redeemed them.
God has raised up a mighty Savior from the house of
David.
God spoke through the prophets of old
so that we would be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us.
God has shown mercy and has remembered
his promises.

—adapted from the Benedictus, Luke 1:68-72; David Vroege, from A Child Shall Lead (p. 87),
© 1999 Choristers Guild; published in cooperation with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.

Offering Prayers

A text especially mindful of children
What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.
If I were a wise man, I would do my part.
Yet what I can, I give him, give him my heart.

—Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

God of wonder, we offer you these humble gifts,
signs of your goodness and mercy.
Receive them with our gratitude, that through us,
all people may know the riches of your love in the Word-made-flesh. Amen.

—Reprinted by permission from Sundays and Seasons, Cycle B, © 1996 Augsburg Fortress (www.augsburgfortress.org).

Call to Service

Go in peace and joy to love and serve the Lord.
We are sent in the name of the Christ Child.
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God! Alleluia!

—Source unknown

Go now into the world, carrying Christmas with you into everyday life. Open the inn within you and make room for that Gift of gifts, even our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

—from Reaching for Rainbows by Ann Weems (p. 90), © 1980 Ann Barr Weems. Used by permission of Westminster John Knox Press.

Closing Prayers

Almighty God, you have poured upon us
the new light of your incarnate Word:
Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts,
may shine forth in our lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

—The Book of Common Prayer (1979) of the Episcopal Church, USA (p. 213)

O God, who makes us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of your only Son, Jesus Christ:
Grant that as we joyfully receive him for our Redeemer,
so we may, with sure confidence, behold him when he shall come to be our Judge; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

—The Book of Common Prayer (1979) of the Episcopal Church, USA (p. 160)

Blessings

The joy of the angels,
the eagerness of the shepherds,
the perseverance of the wise men,
the obedience of Joseph and Mary,
and the peace of the Christ child be yours this Christmas.
And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always.

—The Promise of His Glory: Services and Prayers for the Season from All Saints to Candlemas (p. 189), © 1991, Continuum. Reprinted by permission of The Continuum International Publishing Group, Inc.

May Jesus Christ, who by his incarnation gathered into one things earthly and heavenly, fill you with the sweetness of inward peace and goodwill; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and  the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.

—Carols for Choirs 1 (p. 184, alt.), ©1961, Oxford University Press. Used by permission.