“Rejoice! Singing New Songs” • Psalm 96:1-3, 7-13 • Christmas Day Rejoicing • Devotional for In-Home or Remote Group Use

Image: screen shot from David Wesley’s (ICU nurse) first virtual choir May 2020

Content prepared by Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber, (c) 2020

Worship Note

This devotional is one of a series designed to align us with the Living God during these pandemic-impacted times as social justice reforms arise.

Preparations

  • Read through this devotional to assemble items needed.
  • A “Christ Candle” can be any candle or object which represents Christ’s presence. If you have an Advent Wreath use it, too.
  • Cue up the music videos before-hand and add your favorites, too!
  • Invite any being who wishes to join in to offer songs of praise to the newborn Christ.

Time for Children of All Ages

Out of the Bag: “Jesus’s Birth” Nativity scene; Where Christ will be born this year

Devotional

Please adapt to make this devotion fit your household.

Invocation

On this Christmas Day we rejoice! Around the world, throughout all species, no matter who we are, no matter where we are, no matter whom we are with or whom we are missing… our souls join in a singing celebration as we rejoice in the birth of Christ – holy presence dwelling in mortal flesh!

Christ has come to set the earth alright, restoring the world to order! Let us rejoice! Let us all rejoice together! Amen.

Lighting the Christ Candle

If you have a household Advent Wreath light the four Advent Candles AND the Christ Candle.

Scripture Reading: Psalm 96:1-3, 7-13 (LTP)

Read out loud or sing using any tune that comes to mind.

A new song for the Lord! Sing it and bless God’s name, everyone, everywhere! Tell the whole world God’s triumph day to day, God’s glory, God’s wonder.

Proclaim the Lord, you nations, praise the glory of God’s power, praise the glory of God’s name! Bring gifts to the temple, bow down, all the earth, tremble in God’s holy presence. Tell the nations, “The Lord rules!”

As the firm earth is not swayed, nothing can sway God’s judgement. Let heaven and earth be glad, the sea and the sea creatures roar, the field and its beasts exult.

Then let the trees of the forest sing before the coming of the Lord, who comes to judge the nations, to set the earth alright, restoring the world to order.

Rejoice: Singing New Songs!

Sing along, dance! Enjoy these lively recordings and your upbeat favorite carols.

“Little Drummer Boy” Written by K K Davis; African Tribal Version arranged by A Boye; performed by Alex Boye and Genesis Choir.

“Angels We Have Heard On High” Traditional French carol; arranged by David Wesley; Performed by Virtual Choir #9 — 233 singers and ASL interpreters from 43 countries.

“Carol of the Bells” Original “Ukrainian Carol” written by M Leontovych; arranged and performed by Jennifer Thomas; orchestrations by Glen Gabriel; choral arrangements by Sheila Bateman.

Christmas Blessing

There have always been “different” Christmases – years when our holiday dreams fade, when we cannot celebrate as we wish. The one who was born in a barn because there was no room in the inn reminds us that these are the very years when God is especially close. Let us be open to the miracle of Christmas anew.

May our minds open to receive newborn vision.

May our hearts open to receive newborn hope.

May our souls open to receive newborn faith.

May our communities open to receive newborn blessings.

Merry Christmas! God bless you! Amen.

(the devotion is concluded)

Resources:

Online Chalice Hymnal: https://hymnary.org/hymnal/CH1995

Online New Century Hymnal: https://hymnary.org/hymnal/NCH1995

HOL: Hymns of Life, bilingual hymnal. ©1986, China Alliance Press.

YouTube Music Videos: search by title AND one of the authors for best results

Worship Resources: All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber unless attributed to another source.

(LTP) The Psalter: A faithful and inclusive rendering from the Hebrew into contemporary English poetry, intended primarily for communal song and recitation. Liturgical Training Press ©1994

(Chalice) The Chalice Hymnal and (New Century) The New Century Hymnal, among other worship publications, have suspended copyright restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Online Publishing Date: December 22, 2020.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author.

Donation for Use of Content: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. However,  you may express your gratitude financially by supporting any non-profit with a donation or word of gratitude. If you would like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

Living Liturgies: www.inthebiglove.com; Facebook: “Living Liturgies”; YouTube: “Kathryn Schreiber”

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