24 December – Christmas Eve (Years A, B & C)

Here are the resources you need for Christmas Eve. Please feel free to choose what is suitable for your congregation’s needs. You will notice that the orders of service are available in different formats: choose the “pdf” format if you want something that is ready to print and photocopy, the “doc” or “rtf” format if you wish to change the formatting yourself or the “ppt” format if you use PowerPoint.

  • Advent wreath:
    Suggested prayers and responses following the lighting of the fifth (central) candle:

    (The  reader or children could read the part in normal print, and the congregation respond with the bold print).

    The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory.
    The true light, who enlightens everyone,
    was coming into the world.
    OR

    Lord Jesus, you are the light of the world, God from God, and light from light. Thank you for coming to be with us. Help us to shine with your light.
    Amen.
  • Altar colour: White
  • Bible readings:
    FIRST Reading Isaiah 9:2-7 A Son is given to us
    PSALM Psalm 96
    SECOND READING Titus 2:11-14 The grace of God has appeared
    GOSPEL Luke 2:1-14 (15-20) Today the Saviour is born
  • Sermons: Lay-readers please note: the linked sermons have not been edited for general use. As part of your preparations, keep in mind that they have been written for specific people in a specific context, and for this reason the issues they address or the examples they use may not be entirely suitable for people in your congregation. If you feel this is the case, you may need to make minor adjustments or find another sermon.
    Based on first reading: edited for lay reading sermon; Pr Stephen Pietsch
    Based on gospel: edited for lay reading sermon – luke 2 8-20 – year b – christmas eve; Pr Vince Gerhardy ; NEW Pr Peter Ghalayini ; NEW Pr David Christian
  • Orders of service:
    Vespers  pdf/ doc
    Carols and readings  pdf/ doc
    Story of the first Christmas  pdf/ doc/ ppt
  • Prayer of the Day (Collect): Choose one of the following
    Traditional
    O God, since you have made this most holy night shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that as we have known on earth the mysteries of that Light, we may also come to the fullness of his joys in heaven; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

    OR, alternative
    (Let us pray for full life through Christ. [silence])
    Loving Father, you sent your only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. May we who celebrate his birth on this most holy night come at last to full life in your heavenly kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

    OR, new (based on traditional)
    (Let us pray for true Christmas joy. [silence])
    Lord God, we thank you for making this holy night shine with the true light of your Son. As we celebrate his birth as a human child, fill us with the joy of heaven. For he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

  • Prayer after the gospel:
    This is the gospel of the Lord.
    Praise to you, O Christ, Light of the world.
    Lord Jesus, thank you for being born a baby in Bethlehem.
    Help us always to give glory and praise to God.
    Amen.

  • Song/Hymn suggestions: * =  Modernised version available (please click here to go to the Modernised hymns page) ;G3, G4 . . . =  Guitar chords available in the Music Package 3, 4 . . .; GS =  Guitar chords in the Supplement to LH
    First reading: Isaiah 9:2-7
    LHS
    21    Of the Father’s love begotten G7 (also TIS 290)
    30    The people that in darkness sat (also TIS 274)
    33    Hark! the herald angels sing G4 (also TIS 303)
    740    For unto us a child is born GS
    TIS
    274    The people that in darkness walked
    290    Of the Father’s love begotten
    293    Unto us a boy is born
    303    Hark! the herald angels sing
    308    To us a child of royal birth
    320    Never in all human story
    323    Born in the night, Mary’s child
    AT

    33    For unto us a child is born
    37    Unto us a child is born
    55    His name is Wonderful
    141    Mary’s child
    313    Christ, be our light
    315    Drawn to the light
    389    Light of the nations

    Second reading: Titus 2:11-14
    LHS

    19    Come, Thou Saviour of our race* G4 (modernised TIS 295)
    24    All my heart this night rejoices G7
    25    To shepherds as they watched by night* G4
    27    Beside Thy manger here I stand
    29    Come, your hearts and voices raising* G4 (also TIS 297)
    31    Arise, my soul, sing joyfully* G7
    32    O rejoice, ye Christians, loudly G7
    154    Amazing love that rent the heavens asunder* G4
    156    Jesus our Saviour, of true joy the giver* G3 (modernised TIS 208)
    322    Dear Christians, one and all rejoice (vv 1,4,5,6)* G3 (modernised TIS 196)
    623    Now sing we, now rejoice G4
    627    Joy to the world G7 (see TIS 268 for ‘Antioch’ tune)
    743    On Christmas night cicadas sing GS
    746    What child is this GS
    TIS
    196    Dear Christians, one and all rejoice (vv 1,4,5)
    208    Jesus has come, and brings joy as our Saviour
    268    Joy to the world
    295    Saviour of the nations, come
    297    Come, your hearts and voices raising
    313    Good Christians all, rejoice
    319    Child in the manger
    AT

    141    Mary’s child
    227    Allelu!
    244    We have seen the Word of life

    Gospel: Luke 2:1-14(15-20) From Christmas sections, especially:
    LHS
    20    O Jesus Christ, all praise to Thee* G4
    23    From heaven above to earth I come* G4 (modernised TIS 296)
    24    All my heart this night rejoices (vv 1,4-6)* G7
    25    To shepherds as they watched* G4
    29    Come, your hearts and voices raising* G4 (also TIS 297)
    33     Hark! the herald angels sing G4 (also TIS 303)
    34     O come, all ye faithful G7
    46    Angels from the realms of glory (vv 1,2) G7 (also TIS 309)
    624    While shepherds watched their flocks by night G7 (also TIS 299)
    625    Christians, awake, salute the happy morn G7 (also TIS 306)
    626    Come hither, ye children* G7
    628    The happy Christmas comes once more G4
    629    Silent night, holy night G7 (also TIS 311)
    630    O thou holiest, O thou happiest G7 (modernised TIS 330)
    632    Once in royal David’s city G7 (also TIS 312)
    633    O little town of Bethlehem G4 (also TIS 316)
    634    Away in a manger G7 (also TIS 301)
    741    Infant holy G7
    742    Jesus, tiny Jesus GS
    744    The first Nowell G7
    746    What child is this GS
    TIS
    292    Infant holy
    296    From heaven above
    297    Come, your hearts and voices raising
    299    While shepherds watched their flocks by night
    300    On Christmas night
    301    The first Nowell
    303    Hark! the herald angels sing
    304    O come, all ye faithful
    306    Christians awake, salute the happy morn
    309    Angels from the realms of glory
    311    Silent night
    312    Once in royal David’s city
    316    O little town of Bethlehem
    318    Away in a manger
    323    Born in the night
    330    O how joyfully (vv 1,2)
    773    Glory to God (Taize)
    AT
    128    I am the light of the world
    141    Born in the night
    317    Glory, glory, glory
    318    Glory to God
    338    God in human shoes (v 1 and chorus)
    371    Singing glory

    PSALM 96
    For a song version, see ATW 468, ‘Sing a new song’. Or the following paraphrase of Psalm 96 by David Schütz may be sung to the tune ‘The happy Christmas comes once more’ (LH 628) or ‘Church Triumphant’ (LH 227, TIS 98). If reproducing this version, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm.

    Come, sing a new song to the Lord,
    come, sing a new song, all the earth.
    Sing to the Lord, and bless his name,
    that all may know his saving grace.

    Let heav’n be glad, let earth rejoice;
    let sea and all its creatures roar.
    Let field exult, and all in it;
    let trees and forests sing for joy.

    Rejoice before the coming Lord,
    for he shall come to judge the earth,
    to judge the earth with righteousness –
    he judges nations with his truth.

    This second version of Psalm 96, also by David Schütz, may be sung to the alternative tune for ‘O little town of Bethlehem’, namely St Louis, which may be found in Lutheran Worship no. 60 or Gather Australia no. 296 (note: not Forest Green). If reproducing this version, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm.

    O sing a new song to the Lord,
    sing to him all the earth.
    Sing to the Lord and bless his name;
    tell of this saving birth.
    Declare his marv’llous glory,
    the works that he has done,
    for he is greatly to be praised,
    he’s given us his Son.

    We honour him who made the heav’ns,
    above all other gods,
    for they are only wood and stone,
    but he’s our living God.
    All majesty and glory,
    all beauty, strength and might
    shine from his humble manger-bed,
    his santu’ry tonight.

    O families of the nations, give
    all glory to the Lord;
    O come and bring an offering,
    and come into his courts.
    O worship him in splendour,
    and tremble, all the earth:
    and say tonight ‘The Lord is King!’
    and wonder at this birth.

    He sets the world firm in its place,
    and judges equally.
    Let heav’n be glad, let earth rejoice
    and all that fills the sea;
    let field and beast and forest
    rise up to greet with joy
    the coming of our righteous King:
    the Virgin’s baby boy.

    Music Resources Vol. 3– Psalm settings: Psalm 96 p157

    OTHER CHRISTMAS SONGS
    Sing to Jesus (not in the Lutheran Hymnal and Supplement)
    84    Angels we have heard on high (see also Together at Christmas 7)
    86    Come, dance and sing
    91    Go, tell it on the mountain (see also Together at Christmas 30)
    93    In a little stable (see also Together at Christmas 39)
    94    Jesus, tiny Jesus (see also Together at Christmas 43)
    96    Little children, can you tell (see also Together at Christmas 47)
    101    Sleep, my Saviour, sleep (see also Together at Christmas 77)
    103    When Christmas morn is dawning

    OTHER HELPFUL WEBSITES FOR CHURCH MUSIC
    While the LCA does not necessarily endorse the content of these websites, you may find them helpful in your worship planning.
    Small Church Music: You can download mp3 and midi files of popular hymn tunes from this site.
    Together to Celebrate: lectionary based song and hymn suggestions from a variety of sources.
    Singing from the Lectionary: has song and hymn suggestions based on the RCL from other hymnals.
    Song Select: you can search for more contemporary songs by theme. If your congregation has a paid subscription you can also download sheet music.
    Hymns Without Words: mp3 downloads of hymn tunes.
    Song and Hymn Index. Contains all the indexes of the LHS and AT books in one Excel file. Download the file (zip file) here.
    NEW! Metrical Psalms
    by Dale Schoening : Psalms set to well known hymn tunes.

Lord, help us to take the angel’s message to heart,
and to realise that the birth of Jesus our Saviour
is good news for us and for all people.

Lead us to give glory to you
by a life of joyful service
to you and to other people.

Amen.

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