Westport Presbyterian Church Order of Worship Service, January 2, 2021 11:00 am Days of Christmas Tide
PRELUDE: Go Tell a Wonderful Child – Bradley Sowash (based on two African American spirituals)
A CALL TO BE PRESENT AT THE MANGER
(Pastor) Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, the flying cloud, the frosty light;
(People) Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let it go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true!
Ring out the grief that saps the mind, for those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all humankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause, and ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life, with sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin, the faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out false pride in place and blood, The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right, Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease, Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old, Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant one and free, the larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
—adapted from a Christmas poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson
HYMN: The First Nowell (stanzas 1-3) GTG#147
UNISON CONFESSION AND COMMITMENT
Led by a star, a golden star The youngest star, an olden star Here the kings and the shepherds are, a kneeling on the ground.What did they come to the inn to see? God in the Highest, and this is He. A baby asleep on His mother’s kneeand with her kisses crowned. Now is our earth a dreary place, a troubled place, a weary place. Peace has hidden her lovely face and turned in tears away. Yet the sun, through the war cloud, sees babies asleep on their mothers‘ knees, while there are love and home and these, there shall be Christmas day. — Alfred Joyce Kilmer
Sung Response: The First Nowell (stanza 4) GTG#147
SCRIPTURE: John 1: 1-9
SERMON: Christmas: The Sequel
HYMN: Good Christians Friends, Rejoice GTG#132
CHORAL ANTHEM: Where Is This Stupendous Stranger?—Thomas Gibbs
Christmas Matthew 25 Prayer, Lord’s Prayer
OFFERTORY: O Sing a Song of Bethlehem – arr. John Purifoy; Emily Davidson, piano
RESPONSIVE PRAYER OF DEDICATION
We come believing in our emptiness,
believing that we will never have enough.
We come fearful of sharing,
fearful of losing our tenuous grip on security,
fearful of touching and knowing the pain of others.
We come overwhelmed by the pandemic,
overwhelmed by the suffering of people near and far,
overwhelmed by the endless tales of senseless violence, racism greed, death.
We come aching from the weight of the responsibility,
aching from the chilling challenge of knowing our abundance,
aching from the gnawing awareness that we have much to share.
We come clinging to our meager money;
bless it, and us; break it and us; share it, and us. Amen.
(Additional stanza in this spiritual’s original “folk song”)
There’s a star in the sky shining crystal clear.
Rise up , shepherd and follow
There’s a band of angels singing to my fears. Rise up, shepherd and follow.
Follow, follow, rise up shepherd and follow. Follow the star of Bethlehem, rise up shepherd and follow.
POSTLUDE: The Snow Lay on the Ground (VENITE ADOREMUS)-Mary McDonald
EPIPHANY SUNDAY NEXT SUNDAY, 11 AM