Worship Service for December 24, 2022

December 24, 2022 – Christmas Eve

A livestream of this service will take place on our YouTube channel on Saturday, December 24, at 7:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. A video recording of the live stream will be available on our YouTube channel from 11:00 PM EST on Saturday, December 24.

Introit (Guildwood Choir)

Carol of the bells”. Music (1914) by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych (1877–1921). Words and arrangement (1936) by American composer and conductor Peter Wilhousky (1902–1978). Music public domain. Words and arrangement copyright © 1936 Carl Fischer; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.

Prelude – Bells of Guildwood

Angels we have heard on high”. Music (published 1862; tune: “Gloria”) from a traditional French song of unknown origin called Les Anges dans nos campagnes. Arrangement (1994) by American educator, composer and Presbyterian church handbell choir director Barbara Baltzer Kinyon (1929–2021). Music public domain. Arrangement copyright © 1994 Agape; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.

Welcome & Opening Prayer

Opening Hymn

O Little Town of Bethlehem” (Book of Praise 1997 Hymn 165) — verses 1 and 3. Words (1868) by American clergyman and author Phillips Brooks (1835–1893). Music (1868) by Brooks’ collaborator, American musician Lewis Redner (1831–1908). Words and music public domain.

Lighting the Advent Candles

Leader: First we light the candle of HOPE
People: Because Jesus is our hope.

Leader: Second we light the candle of PEACE
People: Because Jesus is our peace.

Leader: Third we light the candle of JOY
People: Because Jesus brings joy.

Leader: Fourth we light the candle of LOVE
People: Because Jesus is love.

Leader: This is the Christ candle.
People: Jesus is born. Jesus has come. Jesus is our salvation.

Anthem – Guildwood Senior Choir and Bells of Guildwood

“Breath of Heaven.” Words and music (1992) by British singer-songwriter Chris Eaton (1958–) and American singer-songwriter Amy Grant (1960–). Arrangement (2006) by American musician Lloyd Larson (1954–). Bell arrangement by former Bells of Guildwood director Matthew Szeto. Music and words copyright © 1992, arrangement copyright © 2006 Age to Age Music, Inc./Riverstone Music/ASCAP, administered by The Loving Company/BUG Music, Inc. (BMI) o/b/o SGO Music Publishing Ltd (PRS). Bell arrangement copyright © Matthew Szeto; used by permission.

LESSON The prophet Isaiah foretells of a coming messiah

Isaiah 9: 2, 6–7


O God of hope:

(Unison) You comfort us in grief; you strengthen us in weakness; you restore us when we are afraid. Help us to love others as you love us – tenderly and without restraint – so that our relationships may be a reflection of the covenant you have with us.

Guildwood Senior Choir Presents

The first Noel”. Traditional English carol first published in 1823. Arrangement by American composer Dan Forrest (1978–). Words and music public domain. Arrangement copyright © 2009 Beckenhorst Press; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.

LESSON The coming reign of peace is revealed

Isaiah 11: 1–10


O God of redemption:

You straighten the winding ways of our hearts and smooth the paths made rough by careless living. Keep our eyes alert for evidence of your reign, our hearts watchful in holiness, and bring to perfection the good you have begun in us. Make us strong, that we may join you in your holy work, as friends of strangers and victims, companions of those whom others shun, and comfort to those whose hearts are broken.

Guildwood Senior Choir presents

“Candlelight Carol”. Words and music (1965) by English composer John Rutter (1945–). Words and music copyright © 1965 Oxford University Press; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.

LESSON John the Baptism proclaims the One who is to come

Mark 1: 1–8


God of promise and covenant:

In a world parched by bitterness you are compassion. In a vague and obscure world you are a voice of clarity calling in the wilderness. By your Spirit confirm in our hearts the claim you have made upon us to speak good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives, to restore sight to the blind, and to seek the freedom of the oppressed.

Bells of Guildwood

“Mary did you know.” Music (1991) by American minister and songwriter Mark Lowry (1958–) and American singer / songwriter Buddy Greene (1953–). Arranged by American musical educator and handbell music editor Anna Laura Page (1943–). Music copyright © 1996 Word Music, Inc, part of the Lorenz Corporation, and Rufus Music, admin. by Gaither Copyright Management, Inc, part of Capitol CMG Publishing; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.

LESSON The birth of Jesus is foretold

Luke 1: 26–38


O God of possibility:

You give us the fresh air of new beginnings and unexpected opportunities, but we often turn away. Help us to see that you shine a light to guide our path, and that the light will illuminate the strange, winding roads we travel. Give us strength to embrace the changes of this world, knowing that you will lead us to a place more glorious than we could ever hope for or imagine.


In the Bleak Midwinter” (Book of Praise 1997 Hymn 145). Words (1872) by English poet Christina Rossetti (1830–1894). Music (1906; tune “Cranham”) by English composer Gustav Holst (1874–1934). Words and music public domain.

LESSON Jesus is born in Bethlehem

Luke 2: 1–14


God of love and wonder:

As you came at night in humility and vulnerability when all was still, so enter our lives this night and always strengthen us so that we may show loving care to those around us, especially those who dwell quietly on the margins where Jesus was born and lived.


What Child is This?” (Book of Praise 1997 Hymn 161). Christmas carol from 1865 with words by English hymnwriter William Chatterton Dix (1837–1898), which was set in 1871 to the traditional English tune “Greensleeves”. Words and music public domain.

LESSON The shepherds go to see this thing that has happened

Luke 2: 15–20


God of loving kindness:

you are above all, beneath all, around all, and within all; before we ever went in search of you, you were here to meet us. Give us the grace to ponder with Mary the mystery of your light come into the world and to treasure the mystery of your love in our hearts.

Bells of Guildwood

Away in a manger”. Music (1887: tune “Mueller”) by American composer James Ramsey Murray (1841–1905). Arrangement (1990) by American composer Arnold B. Sherman (1948–). Music public domain. Arrangement copyright © 1990 Lake State Publications.

LESSON John unfolds the mystery of the incarnation

John 1: 1–16


We remind everyone that we must continue to pay our bills; in the absence of being present at Sunday worship, you may sign up for pre-authorized remittance (PAR), donate online, or drop off your offering envelope in the mailbox at the church. Do not leave a cash donation unattended in the mailbox; instead, please call the office (416.261.4037) to ensure someone will be there to receive it. The building will be checked daily for mail and phone messages. If you are not comfortable leaving an envelope, you are welcome to contact the office (once again, 416.261.4037) and someone will pick up your offering. 

Piano and solo soprano musical meditation

O Holy Night”. Original French text with title “Cantique de Noël” (1843) by French poet Placide Cappeau (1808–1877). Music (1847) by French composer Adolphe Adam (1803–1856). English words and slightly adapted music by American music critic and school director John Sullivan Dwight (1813–1893). This edition and arrangement (1964) by American educator and conductor Walter Ehret (1918–2009). Words and music public domain. This edition and arrangement copyright © 1964 Boosey & Hawkes; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.

Dedication of our Gifts


“Praise God from whom all blessings flow”(Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 830) Based on the tune “Old 100th” with words by English bishop and hymnwriter Thomas Ken (1637–1711). 

Prayer of dedication 

Benediction (Candle Lighting)

Guildwood Youth Duet presents (during the candle lighting) 

Gesù Bambino”. Italian words and music (1917) by Italo-American organist and composer Pietro Yon (1886–1943). English words (1917) by American journalist and writer Frederick Herman Martens (1874–1932). Arrangement (1994) by American composer, arranger and conductor Robert “Bob” Loren Krogstad (1950–2015). Words and music public domain. Arrangement copyright © 1994 Hal Leonard Corporation; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A. 

Closing Hymn

Silent Night” (Book of Praise 1997 Hymn 154). Original German text by Austrian priest Joseph Mohr (1792–1848). English words (1859) by American Anglican priest John Freeman Young (1820–1885). Music (1818; tune: “Stille Nacht”) by Austrian teacher and composer Franz Xaver Gruber (1787–1863). Words and music public domain.

Postlude – Bells of Guildwood

Joy to the World” (Book of Praise 1997 Hymn 153). Words by English minister and hymnwriter Isaac Watts (1674–1748), based on Psalm 98. Music (1848; tune Antioch) by American music director and banker Lowell Mason (1792–1872). Arrangement (2000) by American composer Cynthia Dobrinski (1950–2021). Words and music public domain. Arrangement copyright © 2000 Agape; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.

Copyright © 2022 Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church

Last updated 2022-12-24 18:45 – Added Offering section with musical meditation; added music during Benediction; added livestream details at top.