When we all begin to sing “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” and the procession begins to move at the very outset of the Christmas Eve Festival Eucharistic Service, we are at absolutely my second favorite worship moment of the entire Church Year! I wish I could just make time stand still for this entire Christmas Eve worship service so we could all spend the rest of our lives praising God surrounded by all this beauty! Of course, I can’t. But, thanks to YouTube, everyone who shares my sentiments, can repeat most of this service at home. Just bring home a service bulletin and “crank up your computer.” Then worship along and remember. (For those of you who are subscribers to my blog, just click on the title of the blog to be taken to the website itself, where you can see and hear the YouTube videos of the hymns.)
Those who prefer a “Low Church” or “Praise” worship experience for Christmas Eve, can find that there are plenty of Low-Church or Praise worship experiences all over town. But you won’t find many worship services as gorgeous as the sacramental and liturgical one we have at Holy Trinity at the 7:30 pm worship service. It’s the most beautiful gift we can put together to give to God to thank Him for His huge gift to us of Christmas Himself. We are giving the best we can to God to thank and praise Him, “not as we ought, but as we are able.” And after all, worship is “the people’s gift” TO the God who has given us so much. (Worship is not FOR us, it’s FROM us.)
“Hodie Christus natus est! Venite adoremus!” cries the pastor. (Today, Christ is born. Come let us adore Him.)
The choir replies, “Puer natus in Bethlehem, alleluia. Unde gaudet Jerusalem, alleluia, alleluia! In cordis jubilo Christum natum adoremus, cum novum cantico.” (A Child is born in Bethlehem, alleluia. Exult for joy, Jerusalem, alleluia, alleluia! With an exultant heart, let us adore the new-born Christ, with a new song.)
And then the processional begins and Christmas Eve Festival Worship begins to move!
Processional: “Oh Come All Ye Faithful”
The Proclamation of the Birth of Christ:
Kyrie on Christe Redemptor:
Gloria on Lobt Gott, Ihr Christen:
We “collect our hearts” with the Prayer of the Day: “O God, You have made this most holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light. Grant that as we have known on earth the mysteries of that Light, we may also come to the fullness of Christ’s joys in heaven, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Hebrews 1:1-6 (7-12)
John 1:1-14 (15-18)
Hymn of the Day: Hark the Herald Angels Sing:
Distribution Hymns: What Child is This”
The lyrics for the distribution hymn “What Tidings Shepherds, Did you Hear?”, were written by our own Pastor Mike and set to the tune CONDITOR ALME SIDERUM (Creator of the Start of Night).
Post-Communion Hymn: Joy to the World:
Candle-Lighting Music: Silent Night, Holy Night:
Recessional Hymn: Good Christian Friends, Rejoice: