Christmas Eve 11:00 pm
Traditional Worship

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There is no room for Mary and Joseph in the inn. They are displaced from their home, journeying to fulfill their civic requirements to be counted in the census. And yet, the time comes to give birth where they are, and so a humble home is found. A place is made—among the feeding trough, in a cramped room abounding with chaos. In many ways, Jesus is born without an invitation, and yet, he devotes his life to inviting people who are cast out. In the same way, we might imagine the story of Christmas as God’s invitation to be welcomed home despite all barriers. How will we respond?

Order of Worship for Christmas Eve
Friday, December 24, 2021

Click here for a printable version of the Order of Worship

Rev Hannah Hwa-Young Chong, Lead Pastor
Rev Hong-kien Jeremiah Lee, Associate Pastor

Music provided by
Chris DiMarco, baritone
Mary Elliott, soprano
Marty Matutis, tenor
Minji Will, soprano
Eric Pidluski, violin I
Christine Chon, violin II
Lerryn Donatelle, viola
Andrew Molina, cello
Chris Garofalo, Director of Music Ministry, harpsichord, piano & organ

Brandenburg Concerto No. 3: Allegro Moderato
by Johann Sebastian Bach

Public Domain

with Pastor Hannah

Call to Worship
with Pastor Jeremiah

An unmarried teenage girl was invited—
to carry Christ into this world.
An ordinary carpenter was invited—
to be a father to a child unlike any other.
The shepherds were invited—
outcast and isolated, included at the manger.
The Magi were invited—
foreigners and seekers, included at the manger.
And if she was invited,
and he was invited, and they were invited—
then we can trust that we too are invited.
This story is for us.
This love is for us.
Family of faith, this is our invitation.
Welcome home.

Opening Hymn 
O Come, All Ye Faithful
United Methodist Hymnal #234
verses1, 2, 3, & 4

Verse 1
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;

O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

Verse 2
True God of true God, Light from Light Eternal,
lo, he shuns not the Virgin’s womb;
Son of the Father, begotten, not created;


Verse 3
Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation;
O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God, all glory in the highest;


Verse 4
See how the shepherds, summoned to his cradle,
leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze;
we too will thither bend our joyful footsteps;


Christmas Prayer
with Pastor Jeremiah

Ding Dong! Merrily on High
by George Ratcliffe Woodward & Jehan Tabourot
arranged by Martynas Matutis

arrangement © 2021 Martynas Matutis

Candle Lighting 
with Toby Elliott & Fran Rice

In God’s house, there is hope—
For God loves us too much to leave us just as we are.
Light the candle of hope.
In God’s house, there is peace—
For all that separates us from God falls away.
Light the candle of peace.
In God’s house, there is joy—
Because God created music, and coffee, and dance floors,
and laughter that is contagious,
and endless rounds of peek-a-boos with babies;
and if those things have
God’s fingerprints,
then God’s house surely exudes joy.
Light the candle of joy.
In God’s house, there is love—
Because God is love, from start to finish,
and that love exists for us all.
Light the candle of love.
And in the center of our hope,
In the center of our peace,
In the center of our joy,
In the center of our love, is God—
who came to this earth to dwell among us.
So tonight we light the Christ candle,
for God’s love just could not stay away.
Welcome home. Amen.

Christmas Poem
with Bruce Richmond

I’ve been thinking about a universal truth—
the way we all want to be invited in. 

We want the door to
be opened with cheers of
 “You’re here!” 

We want the clerk at the store 
to ask how we’re doing, 
and the waiter to wink at us 
and whisper, “Good choice.” 
We want the barista to learn our names, 
which people call being “a regular,” 
but it feels more like being known. 
We want the stranger to help us 
pick up our sodas when the case breaks, 
and the woman to put her bag
in her lap on the subway, 
which is to mean, “Come, you can sit by me.” 

We cherish every open palm wave 
from the child in the grocery store
and every city church with open doors 
when the organist plays.

At the end of the day we are all 
just a collection of heart and bones
walking through this world, 
exchanging invitations, 
saying to one another in a million little ways—
come matter here. 
Come make a difference here. 
Come be you, here.

Jesus didn’t receive much of an invitation.
No one moved their bag to their lap, 
or opened the door to the inn and said, “You’re here!”
Still, he came.

What a gift it is
to have a God
who does not wait on my invitation.
What a gift it is
to have a God
who can’t imagine
being anywhere but here.

Ave Maria
by Franz Schubert

Public Domain

with reader
Luke 2:1-7

2:1 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.

O Little Town of Bethlehem
United Methodist Hymnal #230, verses 1 & 2

Verse 1
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.

Verse 2
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 all on earth.

with Pastor Jeremiah
Luke 2:8-14

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!”

Alleluia from Exultate Jubilate
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 

Public Domain 

with Pastor Hannah
Luke 2:15-20

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.

Angels We Have Heard on High
United Methodist Hymnal #238, verses 1 & 3

Verse 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.

Verse 3
Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ whose birth the angels sing;
come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.


Invited Home
with Pastor Hannah

Hymn of Response
Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
United Methodist Hymnal 240, verses 1 & 3

Verse 1
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 th’angelic hosts proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”

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

Verse 3
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.


Pastoral Prayer & Lord’s Prayer
with Pastor Jeremiah

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 sins, as we forgive those who sin 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. Amen.

Offering Invitation
with Pastor Jeremiah

by Carole Bayer Sager & David Foster

© 2007 Fozbeats Music, Carole Bayer Sager Music & Little Dume Music

Lighting of Congregational Christmas Candles
with Pastor Hannah

Silent Night, Holy Night
United Methodist Hymnal #239, verses 1-4

Verse 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.

Verse 2
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!

Verse 3
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.

Verse 4
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!

Christmas Blessing
with Pastor Hannah

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