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The Nativity of our Lord 

Christmas Eve

December 24, 2023




We stand.

ENTRANCE HYMN # 283    O Come, All Ye Faithful



The grace and truth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love and favor of God, and the light and life of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

And also with you.


Almighty God, you made this holy night shine with the brightness of the true Light. Grant that here on earth we may walk in the light of Jesus' presence and in the last day wake to the brightness of his glory; through your only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.


We sit.


Young children are invited forward to the chancel steps at this time.
Children will receive bells at the end of the Children’s Sermon.

They are invited to ring these during the parts of worship marked with a BELL

FIRST READING       Isaiah 9:2–7

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness — on them light has shined. 3You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. 4For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. 5For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire.

       6For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.  The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.


The word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

We remain seated.

HYMN # 272         Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming


SECOND READING              Titus 2:11–14

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, 12training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, 13while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.


The word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

We stand.
SEQUENCE HYMN                                  Angels We Have Heard on High

1.  Angels we have heard on high, Sweetly singing o'er the plains,

and the mountains in reply, echoing their joyous strains.
Gloria in excelsis Deo; Gloria in excelsis Deo.


2.  Shepherds, why this jubilee? Why your joyous strains prolong?

What the gladsome tidings be, which inspire your heav'nly song?

Gloria in excelsis Deo; Gloria in excelsis Deo.

GOSPEL READING                 Luke 2:1-14

The Holy Gospel according to Luke, the second chapter.  Glory to you, O Lord!!!

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.  6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.  7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

       8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:  11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.  12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger."  13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!"

The gospel of the Lord.  Praise to you, O Christ!!!

SEQUENCE HYMN                                     Angels We Have Heard on High

3.  Come to Bethlehem and see, him whose birth the angels sing;

come, adore on bended knee, Christ the Lord, the newborn king. 
Gloria in excelsis Deo; Gloria in excelsis Deo.


We sit.
SERMON      Pastor Kathleen Miko

We stand.
HYMN OF THE DAY # 282    It Came Upon the Midnight Clear



Living together in trust and hope, let us confess our faith.

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.


We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.


We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.


Each petition ends: Merciful God, receive our prayer.


The peace of the Lord be with you always.  And also with you.


We share a sign of Christ’s peace with one another.

We sit.


Offering plates are placed around the sanctuary for you to share your gifts

for those in need and for the church’s mission.


We stand.

OFFERTORY HYMN        What Child Is This 

1. What child is this, who, laid to rest, on Mary's lap is sleeping?

Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the king, whom shepherds guard and angels sing;

haste, haste to bring him laud, the babe, the son of Mary!


2. Why lies he in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding?

Good Christian, fear; for sinners here, the silent Word is pleading.

Nails, spear shall pierce him through, the cross be borne for me, for you;

hail, hail the Word made flesh, the babe, the son of Mary!


3. So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh; come, peasant, king, to own him.

The King of kings salvation brings; let loving hearts enthrone him.

Raise, raise the song on high, the virgin sings her lullaby;

joy, joy, for Christ is born, the babe, the son of Mary!



Let us pray.  Good and loving God, we rejoice in the birth of Jesus, who came among the poor to bring the riches of your grace. As you have blessed us with your gifts, let them be a blessing for others. With the trees of the field, with all earth and heaven, we shout for joy at the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.


It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, that we should at all times and in all places give you thanks and praise . . . we praise your name and join their unending hymn:


SANCTUS (tune: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing)

Ho  -  ly,    ho  -  ly,    ho - ly  Lord,  God of pow’r and might a - dored;

you   reign o -  ver  heav’n and earth. You bring forth Mes-si-ah’s birth.

Bless - ed    is   the  one who comes, Christ our Sav-ior, God’s own Son.

Born  with all   the   world to dwell,   Je - sus, our    Em-man-u - el.

Ho   -   ly, ho - ly, Lord we sing,     sweet ho - san - nas  to   our   king.


Holy God, Creator of all and Source of life, at the birth of time your word brought light into the world. In the fullness of time, you sent your Word, born of Mary, to shine in our darkness and to make us your daughters and sons.


In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.


Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.


Remembering, therefore, his birth and life among us, his death and resurrection, we await his coming again when all things will be restored in him. By your Spirit bless us and this bread and cup, that, held and nourished by you, we may live as your children, shining with the light of your Son.


Through him all glory and honor is yours, Almighty Father, with the Holy Spirit, in your holy Church, both now and forever. Amen


Jesus, as you taught us, we are bold to pray.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.


The bread of life comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. Come and receive into the manger of your hands this gift of God.  Amen.

We sit.


Christ welcomes you to this feast of the baptized!  


We receive communion at the head of the center aisle

Come forward to receive the bread and wine packet from a minister

and then return to your seat to eat and drink. 

As the minister says, “The Body and blood of Christ given for you,”

you may respond “Amen.”


Joy of Every Longing Heart       Bach, Plainsong, 13th century, arr. Larson

Caroline Beck, clarinet

We stand.


May the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.  Amen.


Let us pray.  Great and saving God, you have gathered your scattered people around gifts of bread and wine, the body and blood of our Savior Christ.  As we, like the shepherds, return on our way, may we proclaim all we have heard and seen, praising you in word and deed for the gift of Jesus, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.


The sanctuary lights are dimmed.  The Presiding Minister lights the candles of

assisting ministers and ushers who then light the candles of the congregation. 

As the light is passed, we hear the Christmas versicles.

When all candles are lighted, we sing the Candlelight Hymn (below).

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Those who dwelt in the land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.
We have beheld Christ’s glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.
In him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

CANDLELIGHT HYMN               Silent Night, Holy Night!

1.  Silent night, holy night! All is calm, all is bright

Round yon virgin mother and child. Holy Infant, so tender and mild,

Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace.


2.  Silent night, holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight;

Glories stream from heaven afar, Heav’nly hosts sing, alleluia!

Christ, the Savior, is born! Christ, the Savior, is born!


3.  Silent night, holy night! Son of God, love’s pure light

Radiant beams from your holy face, with the dawn of redeeming grace,

Jesus, Lord, at your birth, Jesus, Lord, at your birth.



May Christ, born in time to bring endless peace, guide your days and years in righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord’s face shine on you with grace and mercy. The Lord look upon you with favor and + give you peace. Amen.

You may extinguish your candle at this time.

Return them to the baskets in the back as you exit.

SENDING HYMN # 267            Joy to the World


On this day God gave us Christ, his Son, to save us.

Let our gladness have no end, Hallelujah!

Go in peace.  Share the good news.

Thanks be to God!!!

POSTLUDE         Joy to the World

Handel, arr. Ritter

THE ALTAR ARRANGEMENT is placed to the glory of God and in loving memory of her parents Ray and Frances Rikard by Edith Clark.

Portions printed from Sundays and Copyright 2023 Augsburg Fortress.

All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #29104.


New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989. Division of Christian Education of the

National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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