Christmas Eve: The Nativity of Jesus
He Qi © 2013 All Rights Reserved
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST COLUMBUS, OHIO
Welcome to First Church Glory to God in the Highest! Christ is Born! What child is this, who, laid to rest, On Mary’s lap is sleeping? Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, While shepherds watch are keeping? This, this is Christ the King, Whom shepherds guard and angels sing: Haste, haste to bring Him laud, The Babe, the son of Mary. - William Chatterton Dix “What Child is This?” was written by 29 year-old English poet William Chatterton Dix during the lowest point of his life. He had been struck with a sudden near-fatal illness and confined to bed rest for several months, during which he went into a deep depression. Out of his near-death experience, in the depths of despair, Dix wrote a poem entitled, “The Manger Throne.” Set to the English tune Greensleeves, the world has been blessed by Dix’s lyrical vision of the newborn Christ since 1865. We never know the seeds of hope and faith which are being planted by God in us every single day. We never know how deeply God in Jesus Christ is touching us and reflecting Christ’s light in us, on us, and through us to others. We simply walk in faith, trusting God will reveal Godself to us one more time. Every Christmas the most beautiful sight to me in our glorious Cathedral of Grace is a broken down feed trough with hay sticking out. We place it in the center of the chancel right in front of the Communion Table. It reminds us how humble our roots are in the birth of “God with us.” We can relate to the broken down, simple wooden feed trough. I ask you, “Would we place your newborn child in such a manger?” Probably not. But, our God would do that for us! That is how low God bends to touch our hearts tonight and every single day. Make haste to welcome the newborn Christ, “…the Babe, the son of Mary.” The love of God and the love of First Church is yours tonight. We are glad that you are here. No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here. Let us “bring Him laud, the Babe, the son of Mary….” Our Christmas love and welcome extends to you and all your loved ones!
The Reverend Tim Ahrens, Senior Minister If you are visiting today and looking for a church home, welcome! For 161 years our Covenant has been: We covenant with the Lord Jesus Christ and one another, and bind ourselves in the presence of God to live together in all God’s ways as revealed to us by the Holy Spirit and holy scripture. The church acknowledges that all members have the right of individual interpretation of the principles of the Christian faith and respects them in their honest convictions. In accordance with the teaching of our Lord, the church recognizes two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion. Please turn off pagers and cell phones. Bookmarks welcoming children to worship are found in the pew racks. Hearing assistance devices are available at the sanctuary doors. Deacons wearing white carnations or ushers wearing blue carnations can assist you. Cards requesting prayer are in the pew racks. (*) Indicates the congregation should stand as they are able.
Table of Contents
3:00 p.m. Family Service.........................................................................................Page 3 7:30 p.m. Drama of the Nativity Service.................................................................Page 7 10:30 p.m. Nativity Concert...................................................................................Page 10 11:00 p.m. Candlelight Service...............................................................................Page 12 Christmas Dedications............................................................................................Page 21
Worship at 3 p.m. Prelude A Christmas Triptych Partita on “Lo, How a Rose” Welcome
John Ferguson Max Drischner
The Rev. Dr. Janine Wilson
* Call to Worship Rev. Wilson Leader: Give thanks for the Lord is good. People: God’s love endures forever. * All stand Leader: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. People: Those who lived in a land of deep darkness - on them light has shined. Leader: To us a child is born. To us a son is given. People: And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting God, Prince of Peace. * Opening Carol 31 “Hark! the herald angels sing” 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 angelic host proclaim Christ is born in Bethlehem! Hark! The herald angels sing glory to the newborn King!
Christ, by highest heav’n adored; Christ, the everlasting Lord; late in time behold him come, off-spring of the virgin’s womb. Veiled in flesh the God-head see; hail the incarnate Deity. Pleased in flesh with us to dwell; Jesus, our Emmanuel. Hark! The herald angels sing glory to the newborn King! * Invocation Mark S. Williams Leader: Let us pray. All: O God, you make us glad by the yearly festival of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that we,who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen. * Carol 38 “It came upon the midnight clear” It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old, from angels bending near the earth, to touch their harps of gold: “Peace on the earth, good will to all, from heaven’s all-gracious King.” The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come, with peaceful wings unfurled, And still their heavenly music floats o’er all the weary world: Above its sad and lowly plains they end on hovering wing, And ever o’er its Babel sounds the blessed angels sing. * Passing the Christmas Peace Leader: The Peace of Christ be with you all. People: And also with you. Leader: Let us greet one another with the sign of Christ’s peace.
Rev. Wilson Page 3
* Carol 29 “Go, tell it on the mountain” Go, tell it on the mountain over the hills and everywhere; Go, tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.
Go, tell it on the mountain
While shepherds kept their watching o’er silent flocks by night, behold throughout the heavens there shone a holy light. Go, tell it on the mountain over the hills and everywhere; Go, tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born. The shepherds feared and trembled when lo! above the earth, rang out the angel chorus that hailed our Savior’s birth. Go, tell it on the mountain over the hills and everywhere; Go, tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born. The Congregation may be seated. Lighting the Christmas Candle Carol 25
Jason Holton, Christen Coyle Audrey, William and Jacob Holton
“Away in a manger”
Away in a manger, no crib for his bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head. The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay. The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes, but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes. I love thee, Lord Jesus! Look down from the sky, and stay by my side until morning is nigh. Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay close by me forever, and love me I pray. Bless all the dear children in thy tender care, and fit us for heaven to live with thee there. Children’s Time
Mark S. Williams
The Christmas Story The First Reading: Luke 2:1-7 Carol 44 “O little town of Bethlehem” 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! Page 4 And praises sing to God the King, and peace to all on earth.
Todd Cunningham St. Louis
The Second Reading: Luke 2:8-14 Carol 23
“Angels we have heard on high”
Melissa Kulwicki Gloria
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. Shepherds, why this jubilee? Why these songs of happy cheer? What great brightness did you see? What glad tidings did you hear? Gloria in excelsis Deo; Gloria in excelsis Deo. Come to Bethlehem and see him whose birth the angels sing; come, adore on bended knee Christ the Lord, the newborn King. Gloria in excelsis Deo; Gloria in excelsis Deo. The Third Reading: Luke 2:15-20
“O come, all ye faithful”
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. Sing choirs of angels, sing in exultation! Sing all ye citizens of heav’n above! Glory to God, glory in the highest! O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, Christ, the Lord. A Christmas Poem
Mark S. Williams
A Christmas Prayer Rev. Wilson The Lord’s Prayer Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen. Offertory Invitation Mr. Williams Cash and designated checks go to the United Church of Christ Christmas Fund. Gifts to the fund help provide pension and health premium supplementation to low-income retired clergy and emergency assistance to the families of clergy and lay employees. A $30,000 challenge grant from anonymous donors will match dollar for dollar any gift you give this year.
Noël sur les flutes
Louis Claude Daquin
* Presentation Hymn 53
“What child is this”
What child is this, who, laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping? Whom angels greet with anthems sweet while shepherds watch are keeping? This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing; haste, haste to bring Him laud, the Babe, the son of Mary. Why lies he in such mean estate where ox and ass are feeding? Good Christians, fear: for sinners here the silent Word is pleading. This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing; haste, haste to bring Him laud, the Babe, the son of Mary.
* Benediction Rev. Wilson Leader: Holy God, you came to earth to show us how to live. Bless us in this holy season and brighten our hearts with the light of Christ. People: Glory to God in the highest! Leader: Holy God, you sent your angels to proclaim your birth, fill us with joy and make us heralds of the Gospel. People: Glory to God in the highest! Leader: Holy God, in the Word made flesh you joined heaven to earthand earth to heaven, grant us your peace. People: Glory to God in the highest! Leader: Jesus is born! God is with us! Let us go forth rejoicing in the love of God and the peace of Christ. People: Glory to God in the highest! * Closing Carol 40 “Joy to the world!” Joy to the world! the Lord is come: let earth receive her King: let every heart prepare him room, and heav’n and nature sing, and heav’n and nature sing, and heav’n, and heav’n 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. 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. Postlude Noël Suisse It is our custom to be seated for the postlude.
Participants in the Service The Reverend Dr. Janine Wilson Mr. Mark S. Williams Todd Cunningham, First Reader Melissa Kulwicki, Second Reader Kevin Jones, Third Reader & Organist Page 6
Louis Claude Daquin
Worship at 7:30 p.m. The Drama of the Nativity
Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella Chorale Prelude on “Silent Night” James E. Bobb, organist “Ding Dong! Merrily on High” The Teen Choir Welcome * Call to Worship Leader: Give thanks for the Lord is good. People: God’s love endures forever. * All stand L: The Light shines in the darkness, P: and the darkness has not overcome it. L: The Word became flesh and lived among us P: and we have beheld Christ’s glory. L: To us a child is born. To us a Son is given. All: In the Word is life, and the life is the light of all people. * Processional Carol 41
“O come, all ye faithful”
arr. Keith Chapman Samuel Barber arr. Gerald Near The Rev. Timothy C. Ahrens The Rev. Dr. Janine Wilson
* Invocation Rev. Ahrens L: Let us pray. P: O God, you have made this holy night shine with the brightness of the true light of your incarnate Word. Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives now and forever. Amen. * Song of Praise 23
“Angels we have heard on high”
* Passing the Peace of the Newborn Christ Leader: The Peace of Christ be with you all. People: And also with you. Leader: Let us greet one another with the sign of Christ’s peace.
Gloria Rev. Wilson
Lighting the Christ Candle Carol 22 “Angels from the realms of glory” (verse 1) Regent Square The Lighting Todd, Mary Anne and Ian Jacobson Carol 22 “Angels from the realms of glory” (verse 4)
The Christmas Story
The First Reading: Luke 2:1-7 Anthem “Lullaby” The Teen Choir
Mark S. Williams John Ness Beck
A child, a holy child, fast asleep beneath a winter sky is warm at rest at his mother’s breast as she sings her lullaby. The lambs, the cattle too are sleeping in a bed of hay, and all around there’s no other sound than lullaby, lullay. Sleep, lullaby, sleep well, lullaby, my precious one; lullay, my love, my only son; New life has now begun. So the story goes: once upon a winter morn a tiny boy bringing love and joy, the Prince of Peace was born. —John Ness Beck
The Second Reading: Luke 2:8-20
“The Salvation of the Lord”
* Meditation Carol 44
“O little town of Bethlehem”
Rev. Ahrens St. Louis
A Christmas Prayer Rev. Wilson The Lord’s Prayer (debts, debtors) 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. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen. Offertory Invitation Rev. Ahrens Cash and designated checks go to the United Church of Christ Christmas Fund. Gifts to the fund help provide pension and health premium supplementation to low-income retired clergy and emergency assistance to the families of clergy and lay employees. A $30,000 challenge grant from anonymous donors will match dollar for dollar any gift you give this year. Anthem “On Christmas Night” The Treble Choir, Pam Welsh-Huggins, director
Robert J. Powell
On Christmas night all Christians sing To hear the news the angels bring. News of great joy, news of great mirth. News of our merciful King’s birth. Then why should we on earth be so sad, Since our Redeemer made us glad? When from our sing He set us free, All for to gain our liberty? All out of darkness we have light, Which made the angels sing this night. “Glory to God and peace to all Now and forevermore. Amen.”
* Presentation Carol 53 Page 8
“What child is this” (stanzas 1 & 3)
The Drama of the Nativity
On this Holy Eve, the Angels appear bearing lighted tapers. By the Angels’ light come the Shepherds, who gather around the Holy Family. Wise Men, eastern Magi, also come to honor the newborn One. All kneel in adoration of the One before whom “every knee in heaven and on earth and below the earth shall bend, and before whom every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” —Philippians 2:10-11 * Carol 60
“Silent night, holy night”
* Benediction Rev. Ahrens Leader: Jesus is born! God is with us! Let us go forth rejoicing in the love of God and the peace of Christ. People: Glory to God in the highest! * Closing Carol 31
“Hark! The herald angels sing”
Postlude Toccata-Gigue on “The Sussex Carol” It is our custom to be seated for the postlude.
Participants in the Service The Reverend Timothy C. Ahrens The Reverend Dr. Janine Wilson Mr. Mark S. Williams The Cast of the Drama of the Nativity Mary – Emma Gonzales Joseph – Joe Spofforth Angels Carly Kutschbach Betsy Trace Julie Trace Katie Trace Anna Rhoads Meg Rhoads Archangels Sarah Ahrens Allison Lange
Shepherds Alfred Fields Adam Wade Dylan Hopcraft Nina Zimmerman Erin Murray Thomas Trace Luke Zimmerman Will Zimmerman Magi Steven Deliman Cameron Wade Carl Jacobson
Technical Crew Peter Murray, lead Joseph Bellissimo Bill Rhoads Sam Spofforth Drew Wade Missy Zimmerman Costumes/Make-up Pam Welsh-Huggins Thomas Welsh-Huggins Emma Welsh-Huggins
The Treble Choir Pam Welsh-Huggins, Director The Teen Choir Kevin Jones, Minister of Music James E. Bobb, Assisting Organist Page 9
10:30 p.m. - A Concert in Honor of the Nativity Christmas Music for Choir, Oboe and Harp
Music of Stephen Paulus (b. 1949) Three Nativity Carols The Holly and the Ivy (Traditional)
The holly and the ivy, When they are both full grown Of all the trees that are in the wood The holly bears the crown The rising of the sun And the running of the deer The playing of the merry organ Sweet singing in the choir. The holly bears a blossom As white as the lily flower And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ To be our sweet Saviour. The rising of the sun…
The holly bears a prickle As sharp as any thorn; And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ On Christmas Day in the morn. The holly bears a bark As bitter as any gall; And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ For to redeem us all. The rising of the sun…
This Endris Night (15th Century) This endris night1 I saw a sight A star as bright as day; And ever among a maiden sung, “Lullay, by by, lullay.”
“Now, sweet Son, since Thou art a king, Why art Thou laid in stall? Then why dost not order thy bedding In some great kingès hall?
This lovely lady sat and sung, And to her Child did say: “My Son, my Brother, Father, dear, Why liest Thou thus in hay?”
“Mary mother, I am thy Child, Though I be laid in stall; For lords and dukes shall worship Me, And so shall kingès all.
The Child then spake in His talking, And to his mother said: “Yea, I am known as Heaven-King, In crib though I be laid.
“And in thy arm thou hold Me warm, And keep Me night and day, And if I weep, and may not sleep, Thou sing, By by, lullay.”
Wonder Tidings (15th Century) What tidings bringest thou, messenger, Of Christes birth this jolly day? A babe is born of high nature. The Prince of peace that ever shall be; Of heav’n and earth he hath the cure: His lordship is eternity: Such wonder tidings ye may hear, That man is made now Goddes peer, Whom sin had made but fiendes prey.
The holly bears a berry As red as any blood And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ To do poor sinners good. The rising of the sun…
What tidings bringest thou, messenger, Of Christes birth this jolly day? A wonder thing is now befall; That King that formed star and sun, Heaven and earth and angels all,
Now in mankind is new begun: Such wonder tidings ye may hear, An infant now of but one year, That hath been ever and shall be ay. What tidings bringest thou, messenger, Of Christes birth this jolly day? That lovliest gan greet her child, “Hail, son! Hail, brother! Hail, father dear! Hail daughter! Hail, sister! Hail, mother mild!” This hailing was of quaint mannere: Such wonder tidings ye may hear, That hailing was of such good cheer. That mannes pain is turned to play. A babe is born. Alleluia!
Remaining seated, please join in singing the
Congregational Carol 57
“The snow lay on the ground”
“A Savior from on High”
Lissa Wade, soloist
O sweet was the song the Virgin sang When she to Bethl’em Judah came, And was delivered of a son, And Jesus was his name. Lullee, lully, lullo, lullaby. “O sweet babe,” sang she, “my son.” And so a Savior is born, Who was given from on high To visit us that were forlorn. Lullee, lully, lullo, lullaby. —William Ballet, 17th century
Remaining seated, please join in singing the
Congregational Carol 61
“‘Twas in the moon of wintertime”
“How Far is it to Bethlehem?”
Janet Axt & Leo Welsh, soloists
How far is it to Bethlehem? Not very far. Shall we find the stable room Lit by a star?
Great kings have precious gifts, And we have naught, Little smiles and little tears Are all we have brought.
Can we see the little child, Is he within? If we lift the wooden latch May we go in?
For all weary children Mary must weep. Here, on his bed of straw Sleep, children, sleep.
May we stroke the creatures there, Ox, ass, or sheep? May we peep like them and see Jesus asleep?
God in his mother’s arms, Babes in the byre, Sleep, as they sleep who find Their heart’s desire.
If we touch his tiny hand Will he awake? Will he know we’ve come so far Just for his sake?
—Frances Chesterton (1875-1938)
Une Jeune Pucelle Stephen Paulus
The First Church Choir Stephen Secan, oboe Jane Zopff, harp Kevin Jones, conductor Page 11
Worship at 11 p.m. Candlelight Communion
Welcome * Call to Worship Leader: Give thanks for the Lord is good. People: God’s love endures forever. * All stand L: The Light shines in the darkness, P: and the darkness has not overcome it. L: The Word became flesh and lived among us P: and we have beheld Christ’s glory. L: To us a child is born. To us a Son is given. All: In the Word is life, and the life is the light of all people. * Processional Carol
“O come, all ye faithful”
The Rev. Timothy C. Ahrens The Rev. Dr. Janine Wilson
Adeste Fideles, descant David Willcocks
* Invocation The Rev. Sarah Reed L: Let us pray. P: O God, you have made this holy night shine with the brightness of the true light of your incarnate Word. Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives now and forever. Amen. * Song of Praise 23
“Angels we have heard on high”
* Passing the Peace of the Newborn Christ Leader: The Peace of Christ be with you all. People: And also with you. Leader: Let us greet one another with the sign of Christ’s peace. Lighting the Christ Candle Carol 40 “Joy to the world” (verse 1) The Lighting Carol 40 “Joy to the world” (verses 2 and 3)
Mark S. Williams
Antioch Joseph Bellissimo and Kevin Jones
The Hebrew Scripture: Isaiah 9: 2-7
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on
them light has shined. You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. L: The Word of God for the people of God. P: Thanks be to God. Anthem “Sing lullaby”
Sing lullaby, while snow doth gently fall, Sing lullaby to Jesus born in an oxen-stall. Sing lullaby to Jesus born now in Bethlehem, The naked blackthorn’s growing to weave his diadem. Sing lullaby, while thickly snow doth fall, Sing lullaby to Jesus the Saviour of all. – Frederick William Harvey
The Epistle: Titus 2:11-14
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly
passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds. L: The Word of God for the people of God. P: Thanks be to God. Gospel Anthem Lux aurumque (Light and Gold) Lux, Calida gravisque pura velut aurum Et canunt angeli molliter modo natum.
Light, warm and heavy as pure gold and angels sing softly to the new-born babe.
— Edward Esch, tr. to Latin by Charles Anthony Silvestri The Gospel: Luke 2:1-20
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was
the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. 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. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 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. In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 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: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” 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.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. L: The Word of God for the people of God. P: Thanks be to God. Christmas Meditation A time of reflection follows. Page 14
“On Us Has Light Shined”
* Meditation Carol 43
“O little town of Bethlehem”
A Christmas Prayer 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. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
Forest Green Rev. Wilson
Offertory Invitation Rev. Ahrens Cash and designated checks go to the United Church of Christ Christmas Fund. Gifts to the fund help provide pension and health premium supplementation to low-income retired clergy and emergency assistance to the families of clergy and lay employees. A $30,000 challenge grant from anonymous donors will match dollar for dollar any gift you give this year. Anthem
“Heir of the Highest Heaven”
Commissioned by the Barnard Music Fund and the Anthem Commission Fund for the 2013 Festival of Lessons and Carols Here, O prophet, is life and light! Here is the message sure! Beams from this face the glory bright Of the kingdom of the pure.
Nay, in Immanuel’s smile we see The brightness of His face, With sweet compassion and mercy free And gentleness and grace.
To us, o mortals, a Child is born! To us a Son is given, Light of light, and star of the morn, Heir of the highest heaven!
Thus to the world that travailed long Under its sorrow and pain, There is chanted the happy Christmas song, Again and ever again;
Heaven no longer is strange and far, Heaven to the earth draws near; Dawns on the world that morning star Our desolate hearts to cheer.
Swifter than morning ray e’er ran Let the new glad tidings run That the Son of God is the Son of man, And heaven and earth are one.
God is no longer a vision dim, For we have learned his name— Our Father; and we draw nigh to Him From whom Immanuel came;
Text: Washington Gladden (1836-1918) Music: Peter Niedmann (1960-)
* Presentation Carol 53
“What child is this” (verses 1 & 3)
The Sacrament of Holy Communion
We practice open communion: Wherever you are on your faith journey, you are welcome at the Lord’s table. Please come forward down the center aisle and return to your seat by the side aisle. Wheat-free rice flour bread is available on the trays, cut into circles. Invitation
*Sursum Corda Plainsong
*Communion Prayer Rev. Ahrens: We give you thanks, God of majesty and mercy, for calling forth the creation and raising us from dust by the breath of your being. We bless you for the beauty and bounty of the earth and for the vision of the day when sharing by all will mean scarcity for none. We remember the covenant you made with your people Israel, and we give you thanks for all our ancestors in faith. Rev. Reed: We rejoice that you call us to reconciliation with you and all people everywhere and that you remain faithful to your covenant even when we are faithless. We rejoice that you call the entire human family to this table of sacrifice and victory. Rev. Wilson: We come in remembrance and celebration of the gift of Jesus Christ, whom you sent, in the fullness of time, to be the good news. Born of Mary, our sister in faith, Christ lived among us to reveal the mystery of your Word, to suffer and die on the cross for us, to be raised from death on the third day, and then to live in glory. We rejoice in the good news of the birth of Jesus; with the angels, the shepherds, and the faithful of every nation, we glorify your holy name. *Sanctus
from Deutsche Messe, Franz Schubert
The Congregation may be seated. Blessing the Elements Rev. Ahrens: We remember that on the night of betrayal and desertion, and on the eve of death, Jesus gathered the disciples for the feast of Passover. Rev. Wilson: Jesus took bread, and after giving thanks to you, broke it, and gave it to the disciples, saying: “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Rev. Reed: In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” Leaders: Therefore we proclaim the mystery of our faith. All: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. Rev. Reed: Eternal God, we unite in this covenant of faith, recalling Christ’s suffering and death, rejoicing in Christ’s resurrection, and awaiting Christ’s return in victory. Rev. Wilson: We spread your table with these gifts of the earth and of our labor. We present to you our very lives, committed to your service in behalf of all people. Rev. Ahrens: We ask you to send your Holy Spirit on this bread and wine, on our gifts, and on us. Strengthen your universal church that it may be the champion of peace and justice in all the world. Restore the earth with your grace that is able to make all things new. All: Be present with us as we share this meal, and throughout all our lives, that we may know you as the Holy One, who with Christ and the Holy Spirit, lives for ever. Amen. Page 17
Breaking Bread and Pouring Wine
The bread is broken and the wine is poured as visible and audible reminders of the sacrificial self giving of Jesus Christ. These actions call to mind the cost as well as the joy of Christian discipleship.
The bread which we break is the communion of the body of Christ. The cup of blessing which we bless is the communion of the blood of Christ.
Call to the Supper
The gifts of God for the people of God. Come, for all things are ready.
Music During Communion Anthem “Prepare a Place”
Anthem “Lo! How a rose e’er blooming”
Prepare a place for Love to dwell; No need for lavish inn or hall; the rudest space, the smallest cell can cradle Love so very well. Prepare a way for peace to grow beyond the limits of our fear. Define the path for all to know that Peace was promised long ago. Prepare a song for Life to raise, when born anew in human heart; Above the surge and swell and craze when Life is lived in languid days. Prepare a feast for Christ to share; A loaf and cup to feed the poor; to lift the masses from despair; each broken spirit to repair. Prepare a time for all to see the timeless Wonder born as Truth; A time to risk, a time to be; to ponder God’s humanity. —John Gilbert, Advent 1979
Lo! How a Rose e’er blooming From tender stem hath sprung, Of Jesse’s lineage coming, As men of old have sung. It came a Flow’ret bright Amid the cold of winter, When half-spent was the night.
Isaiah ‘twas foretold it, The Rose I have in mind. With Mary we behold it, The Virgin Mother kind. To show God’s love aright, She bore to men a Savior, When half-spent was the night.
“Away in a manger”
This Flow’r whose fragrance tender With sweetness fills the air Dispels with glorious splendor The darkness ev’rywhere. True man, yet very God! From sin and death He saves us And lightens ev’ry load.
* Prayer of Thanksgiving Mr. Williams L: Let us pray. All: Great and gracious God, we thank you that, in this holy meal, the true Light has come to dwell in us. As we return into the world you love, may we take to all people the good news of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.
* Lighting the Candles We celebrate the birth of Jesus and the Light that brought the people of God out of darkness. Turn towards the center aisle to face the Christ candle. Please tip your unlit candle into the nearest flame. * Carol 60 “Silent night, holy night” Stille Nacht After the Choir sings the first verse in the original German, please join in singing the remaining verses in English. Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht! Alles schläft, einsam wacht Nur das traute, hochheilige Paar. Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar, Schlaf ’ in himmlischer Ruh’, Schlaf ’ in himmlischer Ruh’. 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.
* Christmas Benediction Rev. Ahrens Leader: Jesus is born! God is with us! Let us go forth rejoicing in the love of God and the peace of Christ. People: Glory to God in the highest! * Closing Carol
“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”
Mendelssohn, descant Paul Halley
As the Postlude begins, please extinguish your candle. It is our custom to remain seated for the postlude. Postlude Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her, BWV 738 (From Heaven Above to Earth I Come)
Johann Sebastian Bach
Please place the extinguished candle in the designated box as you leave worship.
The Congregation, Council and Staff wish you a Merry Christmas!
Participants in the Service The Reverend Timothy C. Ahrens The Reverend Dr. Janine Wilson The Reverend Sarah Reed Mr. Mark S. Williams Steven Deliman, Crucifer Adam Wade and Cameron Wade, Acolytes The First Church Choir Kevin Jones, Minister of Music/Organist James E. Bobb, Assisting Organist
The Christmas Dedications The list is headed by the names and dates of those ministers who served this church with distinction and devotion. William H. Marble 1852-1856 Washington Gladden 1882-1918 John M. Steele 1856-1857 Carl S. Patton 1911-1917 Henry B. Elliott 1858-1860 Irving Maurer 1918-1924 Edward P. Goodwin 1860-1867 McIlyar H. Lichliter 1924-1942 George W. Phillips 1868-1871 Boynton Merrill 1943-1959 Robert G. Hutchins 1872-1882 Chalmers Coe 1960-1983 To the glory of God and In memory of and celebration of our parents Herman & Lorene Ahrens, Robert F. Sitler & Ruth L. Ann Sitler; In celebration of our children Luke & Kirsten, Daniel, Sarah & Thalia by Rev. Tim Ahrens & Susan Sitler In memory of parents Herbert & Carolyn Livingston by Gretchen Atkinson In memory of George W. & Merriam Frances Barnard and Jean Byerly by G. Dene Barnard In celebration of my church family by Sandy Bennett In celebration of Ed & Marilyn Koetz by Kris Brant & Debbi Kelly In memory of my parents Maxine & Bill Gilson by Nancy Braverman In memory of Lee Burba by Nancy Burba In celebration of music by Nicola & Kemper Campbell In celebration of Bill & Gail Johannes by Barb Clapham In celebration of Quinten & Kinsey Burns by Bert & Bev Cook In memory of parents and brother by Ned Cullom In memory of Ruth, Leslie & Jim Wesner and Tom Danneberger by the Danneberger family In memory of my mother Arlene Martha Huerster Ellenberger by Allison L. Ellenberger In memory of beloved family & friends by Chris & Tom Farquhar In memory of parents Austin & Opal Garrison by Melva Fisher In memory of Herbert & Ruth Gale and Robert & Helen Knapp by Erick Gale In celebration of music ministry; in memory of parents by Carol & Jim Gallagher In memory of Victoria Guadalupe Salazar & Bea by Sandra Geronimo In celebration of family & friends; in memory of loved ones by Sarah & Wally Giffen In memory of beloved mother Erma Thurston & beloved father Orville Gray by Gary & Dale Ann Gray In memory of Marian Guynn; in celebration of the season by Harry Guynn In memory of Ruth Warman, Carl & Ruth Henderson and William Everett by Mike, Gayle, Emma & Rachel Henderson In memory of Ardis Edmondson Holt by David, Lauren, Brian and Christina Holt In memory of Ardis Postle, Amy Allen, Carmen Williams, parents Howard & Irene Hoskinson by Cheryl Hoskinson In celebration of the HJudson family by Anne & Gerry Hudson In memory of Frieda & Dana Stewart, Fred Stewart and Richard & Sandra Eidson by Ann Hunt In celebration of Frank & Carol Hussey by their children & grandchildren In memory of Dr. & Mrs. Max Tyler and Dr. & Mrs. William M. Johannes by Bill & Gail Johannes In memory of Barbara & Leo Jones; in celebration of the birth of Gray Elliot Jones by Kevin Jones & Joseph Bellissimo In celebration of the gifts of friends, family and the First Church community; in memory of Alun Jones & Garth Peterson by Scott A. Jones & Tom W. Regouski In memory of David Knox by Barbara Knox In memory of Martin & Carolyn Shimp by the Koscher family In memory of William Kutschbach Sr, Suzanne H. Kutschbach, Janice Kutschbach; in celebration of our children & grandchildren by Bob & Diana Kutschbach In memory of Dorothy Cromartie by Carly Kutschbach In memory of Bob & Shirley Lange; in celebration of music at First Church by Bill & Sarah Lange In memory of Edwin & Ruth Busey, Paul & Elsie Leidheiser, and in celebration of children & grandchildren by Paul & Melody Leidheiser In celebration of music by Nancy Livingston In memory of Nervida Maynell & Ruth Maynell by Laurie Maynell In clelbration of parents Eda & Peter Mikolaj by Heather Mikolaj In memory of Kay & Tom Carter and Leora & Elmer Monahan by Bob Monahan & Jane Carter In memory of Jane Morris by Lisa Morris In memory of my mother Elizabeth Stone by Pat Patterson In memory of Ardis & David Postle by the Postle Family In memory of Ken Beitzel & Jeanne McKinney by Jenny, Joe, Mia and Matty Provenzano
In honor of loved ones by Arlene Reynolds In celebration of the music ministry at First Church by Bill & Susan Rhoads In memory of loved ones; in celebration of Ellie Walker by Sue & Ken Salak In memory of Pat Navin, Trudy Navin & Mary Schultz by Hugh Schultz & Dana Navin In memory of Patricia & James Smith and Arthur Curren by the Smith/Curren family In memory of Hugh & Douglas Stephens by Gleva Stephens In memory of our parents, the Rev. Arwood Sterrett and Louis & Nancy Sargent; in celebration of Barbara Cornell Sterrett by Karen & Steve Sterrett In memory of Edward & Betty Ryan and Charles & Julia Wagner by Bill, Amy, Katie and Chase Wagner In celebration of Mary Jo, Shirley, Annie & Pasha by Lynn Wallich In memory of loved ones by Larry & Sharon Walquist In memory of Barbara W. Heer, J. Ralston Werum, Arthur Lynn and Barbara Heer Reed by Jane Werum In memory of Randy Yontz & Dorinda White by Keith White & Debbie Yontz With thanksgiving for Helen Edmonstone; with joy for John Morris by the Matthew Wilson family In memory of loves ones by Mark S. Williams and Tim Carsey In memory of Katherine & Charles Woodard and Florence & Harold Brooks by Jim & Carol Woodard In memory of Glenn & Ernestine Worley by Tom Worley & Nancy Loy In memory of loved ones by Gerry and Marty Worth In memory of John Zahn & Christopher Toukan by John & Betsy Zahn In memory of parents, James & Mary Jane Roberts by Missy & Doug Zimmerman
Join us for the Entire Season of Christmas Sunday, December 29 - The First Sunday after Christmas Day 9 a.m. - Worship 11 a.m. - A Community Festival of Lessons and Carols
Sunday, January 5 - The Second Sunday after Christmas Day 9 & 11 a.m. Worship
About First Congregational Church Welcome to First Congregational Church. As you can see and hear from the soaring Gothic Revival architecture, the stained glass windows, and the sound of music in this space, beauty is truly a multi-media encounter here. Sunday Worship Services are held at 9:00 a.m. (informal Communion service, Parish Hall) and 11:00 a.m. (traditional, Sanctuary). Following in the tradition of Washington Gladden, minister of this church from 1882 to 1914, First Congregational Church welcomes all people and extends its mission and witness into the community. As a congregation of the United Church of Christ, we believe that God is Still Speaking in the world today. Our church has a distinctive voice as a people of welcome, justice and passion for the Gospel, shaped in expressions and traditions of the historic church. This Building was designed by renowned New York architect John Russell Pope, dedicated in 1931 and renovated in 1997. The Brussells Tapestries were woven in 1575 in Belgium, embodying the artistic ideals of the Renaissance. Part of a larger series, they depict events in the life of Abraham. About the Stained Glass Windows: Five studios have placed their work in our church. Above the Chancel, the Jeffrey window depicts Christâ€™s earthly life and ministry, and the east Chancel window honors Mary, the Mother of Jesus. The Friendship window (east transept) represents Christ and Saint John, while the Gladden window (west transept) honors the social justice conscience of Washington Gladden. High above the nave, the eight clerestory windows depict the story of Creation, and the Fall of Adam and Eve. Below, windows in the side aisles illustrate parables of Jesus from the Gospels. The rose window behind the Beckerath organ case portrays Christian cardinal virtues. The Barnard Window in the east Narthex, which celebrates music, was inspired by Bachâ€™s Fantasia and Fugue in G minor and honors G. Dene Barnard, who served First Church as Organist Choirmaster for 30 years. The Chancel cross is red enameled copper on rosewood. Page 22
Thank you! With thanks to all the hundreds of people who serve in our community of faith - volunteers, deacons, council, crucifers and acolytes, greeters, ushers, and so many others. Thank you. FIRST CHURCH CHOIR Soprano: Marti Baumer, Brianna Burkett, Margaret Cipriani, Candace Cummings, Sharon Ferguson, Sarah Garbe, Allison Lange, Nancy Loy, Susan Pusecker, Lissa Wade, Sharon Walquist, Shannon Washington, Mary Weaver, Pam Welsh-Huggins, Lexi White Alto: Janet Axt, Cari Brackett, Cindy Deliman, Allison Ellenberger, Marcia Essig, Dale Ann Gray, Kim Garrison-Hopcraft, Cheryl Hoskinson, Mary Anne Jacobson, Cathy Redenbarger, Jan Wade, Sharon Walquist, Marty Worth Tenor: James E. Bobb, Neal Brower, Bill Catus, Kevin Cubick, John Deliman, Jim Griffin, Greg Halbe, Bill Johannes, Bill Lange, Mike McCullough, Pavan Peter, Rick Sayre Bass: Joseph Bellissimo, Jonathan Bethke, Sean Bragg, Carl Gelfius, Keith Gochnour, Scott Jones, Andrew MacGregor, Wayne Redenbarger, David Stang, Tom Stewart, Rick Welch, Leo Welsh, Ben Wiant, Bill Wirsching II FIRST CHURCH RINGERS Dan Albrecht, Janet Axt, G. Dene Barnard, Cindy Deliman, John Deliman, Carl Gelfius, Mary Anne Jacobson, Kevin Jones, Jean Lebold, Josh Lebold, Nancy Livingston, Nancy Loy, Mary Weaver TEEN CHOIR Sarah Ahrens, Steven Deliman, Alfred Fields, Katie Gies, Dylan Hopcraft, Joseph Spofforth, Adam Wade, Cameron Wade, Victoria Washington TREBLE CHOIR Pamela Welsh-Huggins, director Hector Gonzalez, Maddie Helmer, Cassidy Hopcraft, Mae Hubbard, Erin Murray, Ethan Murray, Miriam Myers, Samantha Myers, Sophia Polo, Mia Provenzano, Matty Provenzano, AnnaSofia Grace Severson, Peter Spofforth
We apologize if anyone has inadvertently been omitted from these lists.
The cover art is “The Nativity” by He-Qi and is used by license. All other artwork used throughout this bulletin is by Steven Erspamer, and is used with permission. All music reproduced within this program is used with permission by arrangement with OneLicense.net #A-700311. All rights reserved. Page 23
First Church is a faith community:
• Called together by God, the Creator and Sustainer of life, to worship, pray and serve; • Led by Jesus Christ, our Teacher and Savior, to learn the faith and welcome all God’s children; • Empowered by the Holy Spirit to witness to God’s love and justice between ourselves, and throughout the world.
Our Open and Affirming Statement
We, the members of First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Columbus, Ohio, believe the following represents our commitment and desire to reach out and welcome all those in need of and searching for God’s love: We believe that we are all created in God’s image, female and male, and we are called to love our neighbors as Jesus loves us. We believe we are many members, but one body in Christ, and called to unite all people in God’s love. We welcome and affirm all people. We invite those who are seeking God’s presence in their lives to join us on our common journey Our faith community seeks to unite persons of all ages, races, nationalities, ethnicities, sexual orientations, mental and physical abilities, socioeconomic levels and political and theological backgrounds. Together in our diversity, and being empowered and directed by the Holy Spirit, we will “do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).” (adopted September 8, 2002 by the congregation) Leadership Senior Minister, Timothy C. Ahrens, M. Div. Associate Minister, Janine Wilson, D. Min. Minister of Music, Kevin Jones, M.M. Director of Christian Education, Mark S. Williams, M. Ed. Commissioned Minister for Social Justice, Tom Brownfield Commissioned Minister for Spiritual Formation and Direction, Jacquelyn Dean Nursery Staff, Rosemary Pawandiwa-Priore, Summer Petras, Evin Wimberly Organist Choirmaster Emeritus, G. Dene Barnard
Diaconate Senior Deacon, Bert Cook Deacons, Kathryn Bamberger, G. Dene Barnard, Mark Brown, Craig Clay, Jacquelyn Dean, Christine Farquhar, Betty Johnson, Tom Kiesel, John Matchett, Jonathan Miller, Matt Myers, Pat Patterson, Sue Salak, Bill Wagner Church Staff Business Manager, Sharon Leidheiser Program Manager, Martha Worth Building Manager, Thomas R. Luff Office Manager, Jaclyn Hamilton Custodians, William Lee, Mark Freeman, Kelvin Murphy Wedding Coordinators, Janet Axt, Fran Panek, Lisa Fravel-Dean, Tori Stucke
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST 444 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215-3885 phone: 614.228.1741 fax: 614.461.1741 www.first–church.org