Recorded Worship Service for December 24, 2023
Christmas Eve






Watch this week’s service above.

Today’s Readings and Hymns:
(Click on each blue arrow to expand/collapse each section.)

2   
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.
3
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.
4
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.
5
For all the boots of the tramping warriors
and all the garments rolled in blood
shall be burned as fuel for the fire.
6
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.
7
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.


1   
Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2
Sing to the Lord, bless the name of the Lord;
proclaim God’s salvation from day to day.
3
Declare God’s glory among the nations
and God’s wonders among all peoples.
4
For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised,
more to be feared than all gods.
5
As for all the gods of the nations, they are but idols;
but you, O Lord, have made the heavens.
6
Majesty and magnificence are in your presence;
power and splendor are in your sanctuary.
7
Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord honor and power.
8
Ascribe to the Lord the honor due the holy name;
bring offerings and enter the courts of the Lord.
9
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;
tremble before the Lord, all the earth.
10
Tell it out among the nations: “The Lord is king!
The one who made the world so firm that it cannot be moved will judge the peoples with equity.”
11
Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
let the sea thunder and all that is in it; let the field be joyful and all that is therein.
12
Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy at your coming, O Lord,
for you come to judge the earth.
13
You will judge the world with righteousness
and the peoples with your truth.


11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, 12training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, 13while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14He 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.


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

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

15When 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.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.



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!

The highest, most holy,
light of light eternal,
born of a virgin, a mortal he comes;
Son 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
in the highest:

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 glory giv’n!
Word of the Father,
now in flesh appearing: Refrain



Good Christian friends, rejoice
with heart and soul and voice;
give ye heed to what we say:
Jesus Christ is born today;
ox and ass before him bow,
and he is in the manger now.
Christ is born today!
Christ is born today!

Good Christian friends, rejoice
with heart and soul and voice;
now ye hear of endless bliss:
Jesus Christ was born for this!
He has opened heaven’s door,
and we are blest forevermore.
Christ was born for this!
Christ was born for this!



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 heav’n’s all-gracious king.”
The world in solemn stillness lay
to hear the angels sing.

And you, beneath life’s crushing load,
whose forms are bending low,
who toil along the climbing way
with painful steps and slow:
look now, for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing;
oh, rest beside the weary road
and hear the angels sing!



Angels, from the realms of glory,
wing your flight o’er all the earth;
once you sang creation’s story,
now proclaim Messiah’s birth:
Come and worship, come and worship,
worship Christ, the newborn king.

Shepherds, in the fields abiding,
watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with us is now residing,
yonder shines the infant light.
Come and worship, come and worship,
worship Christ, the newborn king.

Sages, leave your contemplations,
brighter visions beam afar;
seek the great desire of nations,
you have seen his natal star.
Come and worship, come and worship,
worship Christ, the newborn king.

All creation, join in praising
God, the Father, Spirit, Son,
evermore your voices raising
to the eternal Three in One.
Come and worship, come and worship,
worship Christ, the newborn king.



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,
heav’nly 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 your holy face,
with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at your birth,
Jesus, Lord, at your birth.



Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her king;
let ev’ry 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 earth, the Savior reigns!
Let all their 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 sin and sorrow 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.




Worship Leaders: Pastor Colleen Cox, Karen Nein

Music: Deb Jenks (organ and piano), Liza Gallen (soprano), Donnasue Thompson (flute), Carol Aulenbach (organ), Senior Choir


Additional Resources:

View and print the pre-reader’s version of this Sunday’s children’s bulletin: Pre-reader’s Version
View and print the reader’s version of this Sunday’s children’s bulletin: Reader’s Version


The radio program Sing for Joy follows the weekly Sunday lectionary through music and reflection. To listen, click here: Sing for Joy. Program host Pastor Bruce Benson ties the biblical readings of the day with musical selections from a number of sources brought together by Dr. John Ferguson, retired professor of organ and church music. The program is produced by St. Olaf College.


Portions of today’s liturgy by Rev. Sarah Speed, A Sanctified Art LLC, sanctifiedart.org.

Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE #A-730287 and CCLI licenses #21502973 and #21502966. All rights reserved.

Liturgies and music graphics from Sundays and Seasons, © 2023 Augsburg Fortress Publishers. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Augsburg Fortress Publishers under license #SB143962.