Sunday 31 December, 2017 – First Sunday after Christmas, Year B

Here are the resources you need for this Sunday. 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.

Altar colour: White

Bible readings:
FIRST READING Isaiah 61:10- 62:3 The Lord will save his people
PSALM Psalm 148 *For musical settings of this Psalm, please see the song suggestions below*
SECOND READING Galatians 4:4-7 God sent his Son to free us
GOSPEL  Luke 2:22-40 Simeon and Anna see Jesus

Notes on the readings:
ISAIAH 61:10 – 62:3: Today’s reading from Isaiah assures the promise of release and restoration made to despondent Jews in Babylonian slavery, and to depressed Jews still living around the demolition and ruins of Jerusalem. The prophet firstly tells of spiritual restoration. What greater exultation can there be than to be dressed by God’s hand in salvation and righteousness? Great reason for God’s praise being seen by the nations! Jerusalem, another name for God’s people, will be seen to be acquitted. This exoneration from requited sins shines like a bright light when God says it!

GALATIANS 4:4-7:  God’s son, being born of a woman, is fully human and therefore under God’s law. God, who gave the law, being completely holy, doesn’t need it for himself. His Son, also being fully God, could therefore keep that law perfectly as no human ever did or can do. Having satisfied his Father’s requirements for perfection, Mary’s Son could die as a substitute for the whole guilty world. The infinite unpayable price for sin is thereby paid. We are redeemed – bought back and freed from slavery. Indeed we cry, ‘Dear Father’.

LUKE 2:22-40: Jesus is seen to be ‘under the law’ right from the start. His presentation, however, is more noteworthy because of an old man’s prophetic recognition of Messiahship in the shape of a helpless infant in the arms of a humble working couple. Simeon was ready to die now that he had seen the arrival of God’s salvation. Note the remarkable knowledge that this salvation would go out to all the non-Jewish nations also! Anna’s prophecy also clearly details the infant’s future role as redeemer of God’s people. God’s Spirit always draws people to what God wills for their eternal life with him.

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 gospel reading:  Pr Vince Gerhardy ; Pr Tim Stringer ; edited for lay reading sermon – luke 2 22-40 – year b – Christmas 1 ; Pr Vince Gerhardy ; edited for lay reading sermon – luke 2v22-40 – year b – christmas 1

Opening sentences:
When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son,
born of a woman, under the law,
in order to redeem those who were under the law,
so that we might receive adoption as children.  (Gal 4:4-7 NRSV)

This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be spoken against,
so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.
And a sword will pierce your own soul too.  (Luke 2:34,35 NIV)

Orders of service:
Christmas Sunday Word and Prayer (pdf/ doc/ ppt)
Service of the Word (pdf / rtf / ppt)
Morning Praise (pdf / rtf / ppt)
Service without communion (pdf / doc / ppt)
Service orders with holy communion
Service with communion (page 6) (pdf / doc / ppt )
Alternative form A (page 58) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Sing the Feast (Chataway) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Simplified Spoken (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Service with Five Songs of Faith (pdf / rtf/ ppt)

Prayer of the Day (Collect): Choose one of the following
Almighty and eternal God,
direct our actions according to your good pleasure,
that in the name of your beloved Son
we may be made to abound in good works;
through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, modernised traditional
Almighty and eternal God,
direct our actions according to your good pleasure.
Make us rich in good works,
in the name of your dear Son,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, alternative
(Let us pray that we may love one another as God has loved us. [silence])
Lord, help us,
in all our dealings with one another,
to be subject to you, the Father of all.
May we follow the pattern of your Son, Jesus Christ,
who was obedient to your will,
and gave up his life for us.
For he lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, new
(Let us pray that through Jesus we share in God’s nature. [silence])
Almighty and merciful God,
we thank you for sending your Son
to become human like us,
so that we might become your children.
Make us who trust in Jesus
to be more and more like him.
For he lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, one of the collects for Christmas Day

ALLELUIA VERSE (after the second reading)
Alleluia, alleluia.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favour of God was upon him. (Alleluia.) (Luke 2:40 NRSV)

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 coming
as the Messiah that God had promised.
Help us to acknowledge you as our Saviour.

Children’s Address Christmas 1B

Offering Prayer:
Thank you, Lord,
for sending your Son Jesus Christ to save us
and to set us free from sin
and the condemnation of the law.
Lead us to live as people who are truly free to serve you.
May your Spirit live in our hearts
and guide us to do your will.

Prayer of the Church/ General Prayer: Prayer of the Church- Christmas 1B

Resources for services with Holy Communion

It is indeed right and good,
Lord God, holy Father,
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
You have revealed your glorious presence to us
in a new way
through the mystery of the Word made flesh,
so that as we see you in your Son,
we are drawn to love you
whom we cannot see.
And so, with angels and archangels,
and with all the company of heaven,
we adore and praise your glorious name:

Jesus says: ‘I am the living bread
that came down from heaven.
The bread that I will give you is my flesh,
which I give so that the world may live.’
(Thanks be to God.)
Come, everything is ready.

See the service order for a standard post-communion prayer. Alternatively, use the third prayer of the day (as listed above) at this point. It may be modified as follows.
Lord, as we have received
the body and blood of your Son
in this sacrament,
help us to be subject to you,
the Father of all,
and follow the pattern of Christ,
who, in obedience to your will,
gave up his life for us,
yet lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

This seasonal blessing is used together with (ie before) the usual blessing in the order of service.

Christ the Son of God give you joy and peace by his presence with you; . . .

Go in peace, living as people the Lord has saved.
Thanks be to God. 
OR  In the name of Christ. Amen.

Visual images for the day: His Word in Pictures

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 61:10 – 62:3
67    And can it be, that I should gain (tune: TIS 209)
215    Arise, O God, and shine*
327    Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness* G3
209    And can it be
675    Shine, Jesus, shine / Lord the light of your love
130    I am covered over
217    Shine, Jesus, shine / Lord the light of your love

Second reading: Galatians 4:4-7
25    To shepherds as they watched* G4
26    Praise God the Lord, ye sons of men G4 (mod – TIS 298)
32    O rejoice, ye Christians, loudly G7
33    Hark, the herald angels sing G4
323    Blessed are the sons of God* G4
805    We are heirs of the Father GS
901    Our Father, you from heaven above G5
298    Let all together praise our God
303    Hark, the herald angels sing
12    We are heirs of the Father
251    God sends us his Spirit
448   Loving spirit

Gospel: Luke 2:22-40
21    Of the Father’s love begotten G7 (mod – TIS 290)
38    In peace and joy I now depart* G4
44    Thou Light of gentile nations* G4
898    Now, Lord, you let your servant go GS
900    O Lord, now let your servant G6
290    Of the Father’s love begotten
319    Child in the manger
324    Lord, bid your servant
733   Lord God, you now have set your servant free
104    Now, Lord, you let your servant go

FAMILY HYMNS AND SONGS- 1st Sunday after Christmas
As today is sometimes celebrated as a day of special emphasis on families, the following hymns and songs are also appropriate.
82    Jesus, loving to the end (Pt III)
467     For the beauty of the earth (esp. v 3)
587     O happy home, where thou art loved the dearest
588     O blest the house, whate’er befall*
589     O blessed home where man and wife
802     One family
805     We are heirs of the Father
893     Our Father, by whose name
12     We are heirs of the Father
62     One family
242     Son of the Father (offering song)
284     Come in, come in and sit down (opening song)
137    For the beauty of the earth
288    Not the powerful
530     Now let us from this table rise
581    Happy the home that welcomes you, Lord Jesus

The medieval Coventry Carol (‘Lullay, thou little tiny child’) is well suited for singing on this day. The text is as follows, and the tune may be found in Together at Christmas (LPH 1987), the Oxford Book of Carols, or a similar Christmas carol book.

Chorus:    Lullay, thou little tiny child,
by by, lully, lullay.
Lullay, thou little tiny child,
by by, lully, lullay.

Women:    O sisters, too, how may we do,
for to preserve this day –
this poor youngling, for whom we sing,
by by, lully, lullay.

Men:    Herod the king, in his raging,
charged he hath this day
his men of might, in his own sight,
all children young to slay.

All:    Then woe is me, poor child, for thee!
And ever morn and day,
for thy parting nor say nor sing
by by, lully, lullay.

A paraphrased version of Psalm 148 from the Iona Community may be found in John L Bell, Psalms of patience, protest and praise on page 57 (also available in TIS 94). Another song version is ‘Great in power’, ATW 426.

There are also two hymns based partly on this psalm: ‘O praise ye the Lord’, LH 468 / ‘Sing praise to the Lord’, TIS 96; and ‘Praise the Lord, ye/you heavens adore him’, sung to Austria (LH 458, TIS 93). However, the second verse of the latter is not a paraphrase of the psalm. The Psalter (1912) gives two extra verses that are true paraphrases of the psalm, which are provided here in a modernised form. The first verse below is the modernised text from TIS.

Praise the Lord, you heavens adore him;
praise him, angels in the height;
sun and moon, rejoice before him,
praise him, all you stars and light.
Praise the Lord, for he has spoken,
worlds his mighty voice obeyed:
laws, that never shall be broken,
for their guidance he has made.

On the earth let all things praise him:
seas and all that they contain,
stormy winds that do his bidding,
hail and lightning, snow and rain.
Hills and mountains, praise your Maker;
praise him, all you flocks and herds.
Fields and orchards, sing his glory;
praise him, creeping things and birds.

All you nations, come before him:
earthly rulers and all kings,
men and women, parents, children,
join with all created things.
Praise the God of our salvation,
who restores from sin and shame.
Heaven and earth and all creation,
praise and glorify his name.

Music Resources Vol 3– Psalm settings- Psalm 148 p247Psalm 148 p248

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.
Metrical Psalms by Dale Schoening : Psalms set to well known hymn tunes.
Keyboard Accompaniments for Together in Song – CDs are available for purchase through ACR. CD 1 & 2 ; CD 3 & 4.

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