Advent Wreath, Narrative Lectionary

Advent Wreath Liturgies, Narrative Lectionary Year 1

Advent 1 – Hope (Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:2-4; 3:17-19)

One: People of God, prophets like Habbakuk pointed to a future hope, a Savior.
Many: No one knew when he would come.
One: They only hoped they would recognize the Messiah, the Son of God.
Many: We wait with hope for the One who has come and is coming.
One: Today we light a candle to symbolize our hope. We hope in the One who will come.
(Light the candle of Hope.)
One: People of God, a New Hope is coming.
All: We will rejoice in the Lord.

Advent 2 – Peace (Esther 4:1-17)

One: People of God, Esther was a heroic woman who took a great risk to bring peace for her people. .
Many: We want peace to overcome struggle, violence, and cruelty.
One: It can be dangerous to call for peace.
Many: This might be the job God needs us to do.
One: Today we light a candle to symbolize God’s peace. We hope in the One who will come. We pray for God’s peace to prevail.
(Light the candles of Hope and Peace.)
One: People of God, take courage.
All: We take courage from the light of God’s peace.

Advent 3 – Joy (Isaiah 42:1-9)

One: People of God, Isaiah promised a servant God who would come to save us.
Many: The Savior will be a light to the nations.
One: People everywhere are eager for the justice he will teach and the joy he will bring.
Many: We will see prison doors opened and people set free.
One: Today we light a candle to symbolize the joy we anticipate. We hope in the One who will come. We pray for God’s peace to prevail. Our joy will come with God’s servant.
(Light the candles of Hope, Peace and Joy.)
One: People of God, great change lies ahead.
Many: We wait to see it with joy!

Advent 4 – Love (Matthew 1:18-25)

One: People of God, today we hear the story of an angel appearing in a dream.
Many: Joseph was a righteous man who heard God’s messenger.
One: Because of his deep faith, he trusted in God’s steadfast love.
Many: When we know God’s love, we can extend it to others.
One: Today we light a candle to symbolize the steadfast love of God. We hope in the One who will come. We pray for God’s peace to prevail. Our joy will come with God’s servant. God’s love never ends.
(Light the candles of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.)
One: People of God, remember you are God’s beloved children.
Many: We celebrate God’s steadfast love!

Christmas Eve – Christ Candle (Luke 2:1-14, [15-20])

One: People of God, when the angels appeared, the shepherds were terrified.
Many: We will not fear, for this is the night of Good News!
One: We celebrate the good news of a baby, born in a stable.
Many: Tonight we light a candle to mark his birth.
One: We hope in the one who has come, Jesus Christ.
(Light the Candle of Hope.)
We pray for God’s peace to prevail.
(Light the Candle of Peace)
Our joy comes with God’s servant.
(Light the candle of Joy)
God’s love never ends.
(Light the candle of Love)
Born as one of us, Jesus became God’s living Word of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.
(Light the Christ Candle)
Do not be afraid! The Good News is here!
All: Glory to God in the Highest!

Looking for a carol of response? Now It’s Time to Light the Candle includes Advent themes of hope, peace, joy and love.

Liturgies (2014) and carol (2015) are copyrighted by the Rev. Martha K. Spong. You are welcome to use these liturgies, based on the Narrative Lectionary Year 1, in weekly worship at your local church. You are also free to adapt them to your circumstances (using multiple readers, for instance). Please leave a comment to let me know where they will be used. This does not constitute permission to publish the readings as a set or to claim credit for them online or in print. Thank you, as always, to Working Preacher, for inventing and refining the Narrative Lectionary.

Liturgy, Narrative Lectionary, Reflectionary

All Age Liturgy for Narrative Lectionary Year 1, Week 1 (Noah and the flood)

Noah's Ark by Edward Hicks
Noah’s Ark by Edward Hicks

Call to Worship

One: We come together to read the old stories.

Many: We are looking for God’s word to all people, long ago and today.

One: Some of the stories we remember from Sunday School.

Many: The Lord said to Noah, There’s gonna be a floody floody!

One: Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God. And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Many: Get those children out of the muddy muddy!

One: Children of the Lord, let us worship God together.

 

Prayer of Confession

Holy One, you made the Earth and all that is in it. We give thanks for the sky and the seas, the mountains and the valleys, the trees and the flowers, the birds that fly and the fish that swim and all the animals that walk or crawl or creep on the land. You called on human beings to care for Creation, to serve you and praise you by loving all you have made.

We don’t always do it well.

We remember the story of Noah, and a time when people forgot to take care of the Earth and each other. We ask forgiveness for the ways we fail to love your world with our whole hearts. Help us to do better, one step at a time, just the way Noah built the ark one cubit at a time.

Assurance of Pardon

The Lord said to Noah, “But I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.” God made a covenant with Noah, and God keeps a covenant with us. No one will ever be left behind again. Come into the ark of forgiveness, beloved Children of God!

Passing the Peace

In the Ark of this church, we are one family of faith. Sometimes it feels like close quarters! That’s all the more reason to greet one other with a sign of God’s peace. The peace of Christ be with you.

Children’s Time – Have someone lead “Rise and Shine”

First Reading Genesis 6:18-22 (including Litany of Animals)

Reader 1: Hear the words God spoke to Noah.

Reader 2: Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above; and put the door of the ark in its side; make it with lower, second, and third decks.

Reader 3: For my part, I am going to bring a flood of waters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die.

Reader 4: But I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.

Reader 5: And of every living thing, of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.

Reader 6: Of the birds according to their kinds –

Chorus of Kids: Robins! Sparrows! Flamingos! Ducks! Geese! Chickens! Eagles!

Reader 6: …and of the animals according to their kinds –

Chorus of Kids: Dogs! Cats! Cows! Bunny rabbits! Groundhogs! Deer! Giraffes! Tigers! Lions!

Reader 6: of every creeping thing of the ground according to its kind –

Chorus of Kids: Snakes and Mosquitoes and Bears and Honeybees! Elephants and Kangaroosies-roosies!

Reader 6: …two of every kind shall come in to you, to keep them alive. Also take with you every kind of food that is eaten, and store it up; and it shall serve as food for you and for them.

Reader 1: Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him. This is the word of the Lord.

Congregation: Thanks be to God.

Second Reading     Genesis 9:8-15 (consider doing some kind of display of a rainbow to accompany v. 12)


I created this liturgy in 2014 for Mechanicsburg Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in Mechanicsburg, PA. To ask for permission to use it, please leave a comment here.

Books, Liturgy, Maundy Thursday, Narrative Lectionary

Maundy Thursday litany

One: Picture him in the garden, in the fever of the moment, left with the soldiers while his friends ran away.
Many: We can picture him, surrounded but alone.
One: Did the stories cross his mind, the moments he spent with his friends, the conversations they had?
Many: Did his life flash before his eyes?

One: A woman came into the house, carrying her jar of ointment. Its rich aroma filled the room where it happened, a beautiful sign of love and care. (Remove the jar.)
Many: We remember her anointing as a gentle act of prophecy.
All: O God, make us prophets.

One: The disciples sat close, across from the Temple, and listened to all he said, the last teachings he would offer in words, a warning that all the things they counted on would come crashing down. (Remove the rock.)
Many: We remember how he told them, “Keep awake.”
All: O God, make us wakeful.

One: A widow brought her offering to the Temple, giving all she had, just as he prepared to give his all. (Remove the coins.)
Many: We remember we are to love God with all we have: heart, mind, soul and strength.
All: O God, may we be truly giving.

One: The scribes and Pharisees came to question him, and he taught them with parables, predicting his own death in the story of the vineyard workers. (Remove the grapes.)
Many: We remember the beloved son, seized and beaten.
All: O God, help us to see the truth in his stories.

One: The people shouted as he rode into Jerusalem; they laid palm branches on the road, crying “Hosanna!” (Remove palms.)
Many: We remember, yet tomorrow they will shout, “Crucify him!”
All: O God, forgive them. Forgive us.

One: James and John asked to sit by his side, one on the left and one on the right, but he reminded them of the cup they would have to drink. (Remove chalice.)
Many: We remember. How blind they were to the truth!
All: O God, give us eyes to see.

One: The young man asked his question sincerely, and he stated his faith practices with confidence, but it was not enough. (Remove paten.)
Many: We remember the camel and the eye of the needle, the fields with persecutions.
All: O God! we may not starve, but it will not be easy.

IMG_7440One: Peter rebuked him when he spoke the truth about the kind of death he would die. He struck back with words. No one can keep this from happening! Get behind me!
Many: Get behind me!
All: Get behind me, Satan! (Remove ashes.)

One: If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.

All: All of them deserted him and fled.

*****
This litany is based on the texts in the Narrative Lectionary for Year 2, moving backwards through the narrative from Holy Week to Ash Wednesday. We’ll be removing the items mentioned from the worship center during the litany, which will come after reading Mark 14:43-50. I am happy to share this litany; just leave a comment saying where you will be using it.

Mark 2:1-12, Mark 2:13-22, Narrative Lectionary, Sermons

Jesus Will Mess You Up

Just imagine it. You are an ordinary person, a resident of Capernaum, a little town on the banks of the Sea of Galilee. It’s the hometown of Simon, later known as Peter, and his brother, Andrew. It’s the hometown of James and John, the sons of Zebedee. It’s probably the hometown of lots of fishermen, salt of the Earth kind of people far away from the political dramas of Jerusalem. The center of your religious life is not the far-off Temple, but the local synagogue, which recently became more a flashpoint than a reliable place in the community, when a man from Nazareth, far to the west and away from the Sea, arrived at a service and spoke with more authority than the local scribes. Not only that, he had an encounter with a man everyone recognized but nobody wanted around, a man possessed by an evil spirit. Somehow, he healed that man.

You are an ordinary person, perhaps a woman, not known for anything much except keeping a welcoming home for your family and friends and any other stranger who might pass through and need a meal or a cup of cool water. You were too sick to be at the synagogue, but you heard the stories later. Your first glimpse of the man came from your sickbed. He reached a hand out to you and lifted you right up, when honestly, you had given up on yourself and your healthy and your life, and you are pretty sure everyone else had, too. By the end of the day, you were serving more people than you could have dreamed, all crowding around to see the one who healed you.

Jesus.

He wandered off again, giving your son-in-law, Simon, a bit of a fit, but now he’s back, and the crowds of people trying to get to him are even bigger than the last time. They heard he was “at home,” by which they meant at your house, since it’s the first place they met him, and they are standing outside your door, straining to hear what he is saying. They are looking in at the windows. They are pressed against each other until it seems there is no more room in the world.

You wonder how you can ever feed them all?

And then you hear it, the noise on the roof, and the shocking sound of digging through the thatching. You rush to the main room of the house, or to the door, anyway, because it is too full for you to come in all the way, and you see faces peering down into the room from the roof, and the next thing you know, a man on a sort of pallet is being lowered down, right onto the table where you have served Jesus his dinner.

Jesus is going to mess you up.

If you let him in, he is going to mess up your home and invade your personal space, with unexpected rearrangements and a passion for helping people who need it the most.

Are you ready?

Jesus heals paralytic

You’re an ordinary person in Capernaum, maybe a neighbor who happened by early enough to get a seat at the table that night the man suffering from paralysis got up and walked out of the house carrying his own mat. Jesus had healed him. Not only that, Jesus forgave his sins. It made the scribes furious. They were already annoyed with him. Everyone knew, they were the ones who had an education, the ones who could read the holy words and – at least in theory – explain them. They felt pretty confident about being the most knowledgeable people in town, until the day Jesus came to the synagogue and spoke, and people thought – you thought – he had more smarts than they did. He spoke with authority, people said! The scribes and Pharisees didn’t like it. Could they tell you did?

Jesus is going to mess you up.

If you go along for a talk or a meal, and you pay attention to what he’s doing, you’re going to find out that he knows what you’re thinking. And you’re going to find out that even though he does these tricks with healing, he imagines himself to be more powerful than that. He’s claiming he can forgive sins.

Are you ready for that?

You’re an ordinary person in Capernaum, maybe Levi, son of Alphaeus, a toll collector. When people bring goods into town, they have to pay a fee to the government. You are admittedly pretty low in the organization, but you’re out there in public every day, collecting money from the neighbors that goes back to the Romans. People don’t like that very much. Still, it’s a living.

That day Jesus went to the seashore, you heard about that from the people passing by. He taught, and as he was walking back he stopped by the toll booth, and the next thing you knew you were inviting him home for dinner. And since everybody was paying attention to his comings and goings, maybe it shouldn’t surprise you that people found out where Jesus was eating, and showed up to see what was going on. They wanted to know:

“Why are you sitting down with tax collectors and sinners?”

“I didn’t come for the righteous,” you hear Jesus say. “I came to call the sinners.”

(If you ask him a question, he may not give the answer you want. Now he’s saying it’s the sick who need doctors. Obviously. He’s making the religious leaders furious.)

Jesus is going to mess you up, sitting down to eat with all the wrong people, making the whole town wonder what’s next.

He picked you right up, right where you work.

Were you ready for the conversation?

Maybe you’re an ordinary person, a little better-educated than most, a scribe even, but still, normal. Maybe you think you know all the rules, and you have calculated the most effective ways to follow them, and you believe it’s clear that fasting is what good and righteous people do, while having fun and enjoying dinner is something only sinners do. So you ask him about it. At least John the Baptist’s disciples, annoying as they can be with their threats of condemnation, at least they are keeping the faith and fasting like regular mystics and hermits. This guy – you just don’t know what to think. So you ask him. You ask him.

And then he talks to you in riddles. It always gets there eventually, these phrases and stories that sound like everyday tales, but there is a message hidden in them. What’s his excuse for partying like it’s A.D. 29? The bridegroom is here. Well, okay. A wedding is an important thing, for a family and for all the neighbors, and you always do everything you can to celebrate the right way. It’s the kind of special occasion when even you, admittedly, eat and drink more than on some normal day.

But how is this day a special day? He behaves this way all the time.His disciples don’t fast. Neither does he. Somehow he’s making the things you know to be true seem less clear, less obvious, less certain.

Jesus is going to mess you up, make you wonder if you should ever have believed any of the things you felt sure of before.

If you take him on in a debate, you’d better not give him a chance to get the upper hand.

Are you ready to answer *his* questions about what you believe and how you behave and what you think is most important?

Suddenly he’s saying stranger things, something about sewing, and something about wine, what was that?

“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.” (Mark 2:21-22)

Hold on, hold on. He’s right about these things. You’re not sure what that has to do with eating dinner at Levi’s house, but it’s true about the cloth, and it’s true about the wineskins. He says he came to call the sinners – to repentance, right? But he seems to like them. He’s choosing to hang around with them. What does the man mean?

He means he’s going to mess you up.

He’s going to turn around all the things you thought before and leave you wondering and wanting to make room for what is new to you. He’s going to mess with who you know you are until you want to follow him. He’s going to mess with your spirit and make you want the new wine he is offering. Ha! It’s a joke, a play on words, yes? We can’t just patch him in somewhere on the old cloak; we need a new self! We can’t pour him into the shape we used to be; this spirit demands a person who is born anew.

It happened to him, too, you start to see it now, to see the connections between the stories. He went to the river to be baptized, and when he came up out of the water, like a newborn coming out of his mother’s womb, people say they heard a voice from heaven, calling him Son —

Hold on, hold on! This is a lot to believe! This man, this Jesus, is he really the one we’ve been waiting for?

All you know is the things you’ve seen and heard, some right on your own doorstep: demons banished, a dying woman cured and entertaining guests, a leper cleansed, the roof taken off a house, a paralyzed man walking, and a mess of sinners celebrating with him.

Are you ready to join them? He’s calling you.

Advent, Advent Wreath, Narrative Lectionary

Advent Wreath Liturgies for Narrative Lectionary Year 2

Updated to include Christmas Eve and an Advent Carol of response.

It’s time for Advent wreath liturgies again. This year I’ve done my utmost to tie the Narrative Lectionary texts to the Advent theme words (hope, peace, joy and love) by choosing short sections of Psalms to come before a responsive reading, followed by lighting the candle for the week. You’ll see the sermon title/weekly theme I’ll be using at the beginning of each week’s liturgy. The phrase repeats in the liturgy itself. I’ve included a suggested hymn to follow each week; they are all from the New Century Hymnal, in use at the UCC church I serve. I’ve also written a thematic carol to use, with weekly verses, which you can find here: Now It’s Time to Light the Candle (REGENT SQUARE or PICARDY). All texts are NRSV.

Permission is granted to use these liturgies and/or the carol; I ask that you leave a comment telling me your church name and location, because I love knowing where they are going.

Advent 1 – The Book of Hope – 2 Kings 22:1-10, [14-20]; 23:1-3

Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and shield.
Our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you. (Psalm 33:20-22)

One: Something’s coming.
Many: We’re waiting. We’re eager.
One: It’s more than presents.
Many: It’s more than lights.
One: We open the Book of Hope and read the promise.
Many: God will be with us.
One: Our hearts are glad; we trust God’s holy name.
Many: God’s never-ending love surrounds us.
One: Today we light the candle of Hope.
(Light the first candle.)
All: Our hope is in the Lord.

Suggested Hymn of response – O How Shall I Receive You

Advent 2 – The Promise of Peace – Isaiah 40:1-11

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people,
to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other. (Psalm 85:8-10)

One: Can you hear it?
Many: What is it?
One: God’s Word is coming.
Many: We’re listening. We’re eager to hear.
One: A voice cries out and declares the Promise of Peace.
Many: We stand in awe.
One: Things are going to even out in the world.
Many: All people will embrace each other.
One: Today we light the candle of Peace.
(Light the second candle.)
All: Our peace comes from God.

Suggested Hymn of response – It Came Upon the Midnight Clear

Advent 3 – The House of Joy – Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-4; 10-13

O send out your light and your truth;
let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
and to your dwelling.

Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God my exceeding joy;
and I will praise you with the harp,
O God, my God. (Psalm 43:3-4)

One: It’s getting closer.
Many: We feel it!
One: The days are shorter, but the lights burn brighter.
Many: We’re listening. We’re eager to hear good news.
One: We’ve gathered together in the House of Joy.
Many: We’re here to praise God with our voices.
One: We’re here to praise God with beautiful music.
Many: We’re here to praise God with all we have.
One: Today we light the candle of Joy.
(Light the third candle.)
All: We worship God with exceeding joy!

Suggested Hymn of response – On Christmas Night All Christians Sing

Advent 4 – The Language of Love – Luke 1:5-13, 57-80

I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever;
with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;
your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.
You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to my servant David:
‘I will establish your descendants forever,
and build your throne for all generations.’” (Psalm 89:1-4)

One: New life is coming.
Many: We can count it in days now.
One: God is breaking through.
Many: God’s Word will change the world.
One: We will all be changed by the Language of Love.
Many: The covenant has come down Advent-Wreath-Joythrough the generations.
One: The love of God is never-ending.
Many: We give thanks for God’s faithfulness.
One: Today we light the candle of Love.
(Light the fourth candle.)
All: We give thanks for God’s steadfast Love.

Suggested Hymn of response – Love Came Down at Christmas

***

Christmas Eve – The Word Incarnate – John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

One: Every year we light our candles.
Many: We watch the flames flicker with wonder.
One: God’s light is here.
Many: This light is life for all people.
One: The darkness will never overcome it.
(Light the Christ candle.)
All: The Word is with us. Thanks be to God.

Advent, Advent Wreath, Narrative Lectionary, Revised Common Lectionary

Advent Wreath Liturgies for 2014 (NL Year 1 and RCL Year B)

Advent Wreath Lighting for Year B

LOOKING FOR NARRATIVE LECTIONARY YEAR 2? CLICK HERE.

Here are two quick links to Advent Wreath liturgies tied to this year’s lectionary readings.

Narrative Lectionary Year 1

Revised Common Lectionary Year B

You are welcome to use these liturgies in weekly worship at your local church. These liturgies were created, and are copyrighted, by the Rev. Martha K. Spong, (NL 2014, RCL 2011).  You are also free to adapt them to your circumstances (using multiple or single readers, for instance). Please leave a comment to let me know where they will be used. You are also welcome to share the blog links.

This does not constitute permission to publish the readings as a set or to claim credit for them online or in print. 

Advent, Narrative Lectionary

Advent Wreath Liturgies (Narrative Lectionary Year 1)

Adventwreath
By Kittelendan (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Advent 1 – Hope (Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:2-4; 3:17-19)

One: People of God, prophets like Habbakuk pointed to a future hope, a Savior.
Many: No one knew when he would come.
One: They only hoped they would recognize the Messiah, the Son of God.
Many: We wait with hope for the One who has come and is coming.
One: Today we light a candle to symbolize our hope. We hope in the One who will come.
(Light the candle of Hope.)
One: People of God, a New Hope is coming.
All: We will rejoice in the Lord.

Advent 2 – Peace (Esther 4:1-17)

One: People of God, Esther was a heroic woman who took a great risk to bring peace for her people. .
Many: We want peace to overcome struggle, violence, and cruelty.
One: It can be dangerous to call for peace.
Many: This might be the job God needs us to do.
One: Today we light a candle to symbolize God’s peace. We hope in the One who will come. We pray for God’s peace to prevail.
(Light the candles of Hope and Peace.)
One: People of God, take courage.
All: We take courage from the light of God’s peace.

Alternate Advent 2 – Peace (Ezekiel 34:1-6, 11-16)

One: People of God, Ezekiel the prophet called for people to take better care of each other.
Many: We want peace to overcome struggle, neglect and cruelty.
One: We want the weak, the lonely, and the injured to have the care they need.
Many: God will seek out the lost and bring the flock together again.
One: Today we light a candle to symbolize God’s peace. We hope in the One who will come. We pray for
God’s peace to prevail.
(Light the candles of Hope and Peace.)
One: People of God, we are the flock of the Great Shepherd.
All: We give thanks for the light of God’s peace.

Advent 3 – Joy (Isaiah 42:1-9)

One: People of God, Isaiah promised a servant God who would come to save us.
Many: The Savior will be a light to the nations.
One: People everywhere are eager for the justice he will teach and the joy he will bring.
Many: We will see prison doors opened and people set free.
One: Today we light a candle to symbolize the joy we anticipate. We hope in the One who will come. We pray for God’s peace to prevail. Our joy will come with God’s servant.
(Light the candles of Hope, Peace and Joy.)
One: People of God, great change lies ahead.
Many: We wait to see it with joy!

Advent 4 – Love (Matthew 1:18-25)

One: People of God, today we hear the story of an angel appearing in a dream.
Many: Joseph was a righteous man who heard God’s messenger.
One: Because of his deep faith, he trusted in God’s steadfast love.
Many: When we know God’s love, we can extend it to others.
One: Today we light a candle to symbolize the steadfast love of God. We hope in the One who will come. We pray for God’s peace to prevail. Our joy will come with God’s servant. God’s love never ends.
(Light the candles of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.)
One: People of God, remember you are God’s beloved children.
Many: We celebrate God’s steadfast love!

Christmas Eve – Christ Candle (Luke 2:1-14, [15-20])

One: People of God, when the angels appeared, the shepherds were terrified.
Many: We will not fear, for this is the night of Good News!
One: We celebrate the good news of a baby, born in a stable.
Many: Tonight we light a candle to mark his birth.
One: We hope in the one who has come, Jesus Christ.
(Light the Candle of Hope.)
We pray for God’s peace to prevail.
(Light the Candle of Peace)
Our joy comes with God’s servant.
(Light the candle of Joy)
God’s love never ends.
(Light the candle of Love)
Born as one of us, Jesus became God’s living Word of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.
(Light the Christ Candle)
Do not be afraid! The Good News is here!
All: Glory to God in the Highest!

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These liturgies were created, and are copyrighted, by the Rev. Martha K. Spong, 2014. You are welcome to use these liturgies, based on the Narrative Lectionary Year 1, in weekly worship at your local church. You are also free to adapt them to your circumstances (using multiple readers, for instance). Please leave a comment to let me know where they will be used. This does not constitute permission to publish the readings as a set or to claim credit for them online or in print. Thank you, as always, to the wonderful people at Working Preacher, for inventing and refining the Narrative Lectionary.

Looking for RCL Year B? Click here.