Christmas Eve 2020

This worship tells the story of the birth of Jesus Christ fairly chronologically with John 3:16-17 towards the beginning as a focal point, offering included right after the reading of the magi from Mathew (should that fit your context) a moment for a sermon or reflection, and closing with the magnificat. As always feel free to adapt as needed. Should you find my work helpful you can support my work here.

Here is a Link with all of the Scripture Readings in Order

A Christmas Prayer

First Lesson Luke 1:26-31, 2:1-5

Carol O Come All Ye Faithful v. 1


Second Lesson John 3:16-17

Reflective Music

Jesus is Born!

Third Lesson Luke 2:5-7

Carol #25 Away in a Manger v. 1, 2

Lighting of the Christ Candle: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love & Christ (All Children are invited forward to assist with the lighting) 

Fourth Lesson Luke 2:8-12

Carol #31 Hark the Harold Angels Sing v. 1

Fifth Lesson Luke 2:16-20

Carol #23 Angels We Have Heard on High v. 1, 2, 3 (all)

Holy Communion

God be with you

And also with you

Lift up your hearts

We life our hearts to the Lord

Give thanks to the Lord our God

It is right to giver our thanks and praise…(prayer continues)

…and praying as his son taught us 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 debts as we forgive our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. 

Carol God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen v. 1 & 4


Sixth Lesson Matthew 2:13,7-12

Offering & Carol #53   What Child is This? v. 1, 2, 3 (all)

Seventh Lesson Luke 2:13-14 

Carol #40 Joy to the World v. 1, 4

Eighth Lesson Luke 1:46-55

Candles are Lit

Carol Silent Night*

Christmas Carols Annotated!


I like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & Winter Wonderland.

But…..I prefer Christmas Carols, possibly because they are so seldom played that they are not on the radio and retail venues everywhere…

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen: This is not in my Presbyterian hymnal–it is also seriously undersung (ie its considered a carol but never included Christmas Eve  and is only occasionally on the pop albums). Although the sexist words (ugh) the TAKE HEART lyrics make me super, super happy….

Away in the Manger: The other lullaby (you know not Silent Night), the second verse is my favorite…where I tend to change lowing to Mooing and “no crying” to lotsa crying (because that’s what makes sense, Jesus was fully human after all).

Hark the Herald Angels Sing: reconciliation and healing in his wings…..maybe my favorite carol…….maybe


The First Noel: I love, love, love the melody of this

What Child Is This?: um…a carol that asks a million questions—feels genuine to me!

Good King Wenceslas: I don’t actually know all the words to this, yet when people are caroling in movies this is what they sing (perhaps because it feels all medieval)

Ding Dong Merrily On High: played somewhat on the radio (must not be too Christian), it sounds like bells. I’m kind of Meh about it….the tune is fun, but I guess it isn’t ingrained in my bones the way other carols are.

O Come All Ye Faithful: Love the invitational message of this song (always sing it during Advent, notice that this can also totally be an advent song?)

O Little Town of Bethlehem: A great tune sung by pop artists because of its beauty…..not so singable for congregations although well known enough we can fake it 🙂

Carol of the Bells: Perhaps the replacement for Ding, Dong Merrily on High?, the words are mood are similar. I definitely like the tune of this better….

Good Christian Men Rejoice: Very similar to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, a little sexist, but deep lyrics “need not fear the grave” and lots of rejoicing.

Wassail: Simple, repetitive, yet really full of Christmas caroling spirit

O Come, O Come Emmanuel: Yay! Advent mysteriousness!

O Holy Night: BEAUTIFUL, wish we didn’t confine this to soloists….everyone has a right to belt this out, off key and all!

Silent Night: Candlelight, love the 2nd verse…I always raise my candle for the “love’s true light” verse…there’s a mysterious, random fourth verse that no one sings (and I actually do feel its useless)

Joy to the World: YAY! The other alternative for ending the Christmas Eve Service….not that we ever do…but it totally could and of course….its not necessarily just a Christmas song

Christmastime is Here: Wish we adopted this as a carol we sing in church…the message is sound, and maybe if church’s sang newer beautiful songs, then….well we wouldn’t have saved the church, but our Christmas Eve will be richer for it (yes Charlie Brown)

Welcome Christmas: Ditto, “Fahoo Fores Dahoo Dores” words so carol sounding, people tried to translate it……….(yes its Grinch)

I Need a Silent Night: The very new Amy Grant Song……self-references carols, def. worth checking it out.