December 25, 2022 – Christmas Day
A livestream of this service will take place on our YouTube channel on Sunday, December 25, at 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time. A video recording of the live stream will be available on our YouTube channel from 6:00 PM EST on Sunday, December 25.
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Call to Worship
Reader 1: We are Christmas people.
Reader 2: We have heard the good news that a child has been born for us, a Son has been given to us, and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
People: We have seen God kindle hope, peace, joy and love in our lives and in our world.
Reader 1: The centre candle in our Advent wreath is the Christ candle. From this light, all good gifts come.
Reader 2: We light this candle remembering the One who is the Light of the world.
(Light the Christ candle.)
Reader 1: Let us pray:
People: Holy One, you sent your son as a baby born in Bethlehem. Give us a strong sense of his birth among us, so that our lives reflect the warmth and wonder of this Christmas flame. Make your church a place that shines with the wonder of your love. Amen.
“Hark the Herald Angels Sing” (Book of Praise 1997 Hymn 139). Words by English Methodist founder and hymnwriter Charles Wesley (1707–1788) first published in 1739; adapted in 1754 by Methodist founder George Whitefield (1714–1770); and further adapted in a 1782 edition of the Tate and Brady psalms. Music by English organist William Hayman Cummings (1831–1915), adapted by him in 1855 from the composition “Festgesang” (1840) by German composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847). Words and music public domain.
Prayers of Approach and Confession, & Lord’s Prayer (sins)
God of wisdom and wonder, you stir in our hearts and bring us joy; you stir in our minds and bring us insight; you stir in the world and bring hope to lives who welcome you. In Jesus, you came as a little child, stirring up our love, so now we come to adore you with the angels; to bow in welcome with the shepherds; to kneel in wonder with the magi; to ponder your mystery with Joseph; to love and cherish you with Mary. We come to you with humble hearts full of joy because you came to us first, and stay with us always, Wise and wonderful God.
God of the highest heaven and the humble manger, we gather on Christmas day with glad hearts. Familiar carols lift our spirits; familiar faces bring a smile to our lips. Yet we confess our Christmas joy often doesn’t last. Worries cast a shadow over the manger. Business as usual waits outside the stable door. Forgive us when we rush through Christmas and miss the gift of peace you offer us in the Christ Child.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever.
Declaration of Pardon
The very name ‘Jesus’ declares that God saves us. So hear the Good News. In Jesus, God comes to us to free us from all that harms us. May the peace of Christ, born at Christmas, be with you this day and throughout the coming year. Thanks be to God!
The Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Guildwood Senior Choir presents
Fun with the young at heart (children’s story)
The Life and Work of the Church (Announcements)
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.
Dedication of our Gifts
Prayer of dedication
God, our Judge and our Joy, receive our gifts as seeds of gratitude for your gift to us in Christ Jesus. Bless these seeds with growth so that joy will blossom for people depleted by challenges, and places overwhelmed by scarce resources. Be their justice and their joy, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayers of Thanksgiving and Hope
God of beginnings and endings, God of the eternal Word made flesh in Jesus Christ, We give you thanks for the gifts that Christmas renews in us each year: The hope that as another year ends, something new will yet be born in us and for us; The trust that even in the longest nights, stars promise your Light will continue to shine; The truth that even what grows old can be made new, when love is born again in us and for us. As you came to us in love as the Christ child in Bethlehem, so we come to you with love and concern for the world.
In this time of prayerful expectation, we remember families who are living close to the edge of survival in these challenging times, worrying about how to feed their children and what to expect in the year ahead…
We remember those who will spend this Christmas alone, in hospital, in grief or loneliness…
We remember those who work today while we can celebrate or relax…
We remember those who have lost their sense of joy and wonder, filled with cynicism or despair;
We remember those who face the year ahead with fear and anxiety, because their lives are filled with violence, upheaval or unwelcome changes…
We remember those who celebrate the birth of a new life, a new love, or a new way of being…
And we remember those whom we have loved and who loved us, who now dwell in the eternal joy of your presence, giving thanks for all they mean to us still…
With both joy and concern in our hearts, we gather our prayers. Amen.
“O come, all ye faithful” (Book of Praise 1997 Hymn 159). Words and music attributed to many sources. Follow the linked title to the Wikipedia article on the hymn for more information. Words and music public domain.
Changing the Light
Now, it is time to change the light. The light that was in one place can now be in every place and every time going with you wherever you go.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
- Go Now in Peace”. Words by American educator, lyricist and composer Don Besig (1936–) and American lyricist Nancy Price (1958–). Music by Don Besig. Words and music copyright © 1988 Harold Flammer Music, a division of Shawnee Press; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.
- Performed by Rachelle Risling (keyboard) and the GCPC Senior Choir. Audio and video production by Rachelle Risling.
Copyright © 2022 Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church
Last updated 2022-12-23 23:45 – First version.