Use this as a resource to guide you through the Christmas Eve Classic worship service.

Today’s service begins quietly with the lighting of the Christ Candle and then moves quickly into celebration. It progresses into a quieter and contemplative space, but then at the end quickly returns to the celebratory feel from early in the service. This journey follows the arc of the shepherds’ journey on that first Christmas: a quiet night, the joyous announcement from the angels, quiet reverence at the manger, and then a return to their fields “glorifying and praising God” in celebration. As you worship this Christmas Eve, remember the journey of the shepherds, and let that be your guide to worship this day.

Near the end of the Classic service, we will sing Silent Night. To welcome the baby Jesus, the Light of the World, you might want to have your own candles ready to light.

Piano Prelude

William Phemister, guest pianist

Away in a Manger and Ding Dong Merrily on High | arr. William Phemister

Spoken Word Video

It Wasn’t Supposed to Be This Way.

Call to Worship

Jonathan Hancock, Associate Pastor for Congregational Care

Prayer of Invitation

Joy to the World | by G.F. Handel and I. Watts
Joy to the world, the Lord is come:
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns:
Let us our songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Scripture Reading

Phyllis Kidd

Luke 2:1-20 (NRSV)
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph 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. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And 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.

8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 And 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!”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

O Come, All Ye Faithful | by J.F. Wade
O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem!
Come, and behold Him,
Born the King of angels!

Refrain: O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord!

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
Jesus, to Thee be all glory given;
Word of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing! (Refrain)

Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation!
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God, all
Glory in the highest! (Refrain)

Prayers of Intercession and the Lord's Prayer

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.

The First Noel | arr. J.W. Krug
Bell Choir quartet directed by Emily Puntuzs

O Little Town Of Bethlehem | by P. Brooks
O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary,
And gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth!
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to men on earth!

How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in,
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel!

Invitation to First Presbyterian Church

Chris Griggs, Senior Pastor


Give to First Pres by mail or online

Christmas Eve offerings designated “Christmas Eve Missions” will be used to purchase textbooks for Kamwenge school (KSVS) in Uganda and computers for Kids Alive in Constanza, DR.

All Praise to Thee Eternal Lord | by G.R. Woodward and M. Luther
Virtual Choir directed by Joshua Strickler

All praise to thee, eternal Lord, clothed in a garb of flesh and blood;
who chose a manger for thy throne while worlds on worlds are thine alone.

A little child, thou art our guest that weary ones in thee may rest;
forlorn and lowly is thy birth, that we may rise from heav’n to earth.

Thou comest in the darksome night, to make us children of the light;
to make us, in the realms divine, like thine own angels round thee, shine

All this for us thy love hath done; by this to thee our love is won:
for this, our songs and hymns we raise and shout our thanks, and shout our thanks
and shout our thanks with ceaseless praise.

Proclaiming the Word

Wishing You Love

Scripture Reading | Matthew 1:18-25 (NIV)
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us.”)

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Peace on Earth Tonight | by A. Turner and M. Farren
Sing we now of peace on earth, all is well and all is right.
Falling now like midnight snow, peace on earth tonight.

Sing we now of peace on earth, anthems of goodwill to men.
Good news for our troubled souls, salvation now begins.
The hope, the joy our hearts are longing for is here, is now, in the presence of the Lord.

Sing we now of peace on earth, all is calm and all is bright.
Love here lies beneath the star, lowly, meek and mild.
The hope, the joy, the need in all of us fulfilled at last. Emmanuel has come.
The hope, the joy, the need in all of us fulfilled at last. Emmanuel has come.

Come you weary, come you weak, bring your burdens bring your strife,
Find your freedom, leave your fear. Peace on earth tonight. Peace on earth tonight.

Candle Lighting

Silent Night | by J. Mohr and F.X. Gruber
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.

Silent night, holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight,
Glories stream from heaven afar, heavenly hosts sing “Alleluia;
Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born!”

Silent night, holy night! Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face, with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

Silent night, holy night! Wondrous star, lend thy light;
With the angels let us sing, Alleluia to our King;
Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born!


Hark! The Herald Angels Sing | by C. Wesley
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King.
Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies;
With the angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!”

Refrain: Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time, behold Him come, offspring of the virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased in flesh with us to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel. (Refrain)

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings, risen with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by, born that we no more may die.
Born to raise us from the earth, born to give us second birth. (Refrain)

Thank you

Over 50 people contributed their time to the many videos recorded for Christmas Eve services. Thank you!

Faith in Finance

2020 Annual Budget: $1,701,100
Budgeted: $1,635,650thru December 13
Actual: $1,492,035 thru December 13

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