“Rejoice! All Beings Praise” • Psalm 148 • 1st Sunday of Christmas with Pop-up Praise Pageant • Worship Service for In-Home or Remote Group Use

Creation fiber art at All Saints Episcopal Church, San Leandro, California

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

Worship Note

This service is one of a series designed to align us with the Living God during these pandemic-impacted times as social justice reforms arise. A simpler format for a full week!

Preparations

  • In advance, invite folks to prepare outfits/props representing their favorite forms of creation for the Pop-up Praise section. (see A Cosmic Celebration of the Christ’s Birth” below)
  • Read through this service beforehand to assemble other items needed.
  • A “Christ Candle” can be any candle or object which represents Christ’s presence.
  • Choose songs (our suggestions or your favorites). Assemble what you’ll need to sing.
  • Ensure an uninterrupted place to worship.
  • Decorate your space to welcome God’s presence. White is the traditional color of the season of Christ. We are in the season of Christmas until Epiphany – January 6th.

Time for Children of All Ages

No new “Out of the Bag” this Sunday (See “Kathryn Schreiber” YouTube channel for previous recordings)

Worship Service

Please adapt to make this worship service your own. Your intention is what is important.

We Gather

Call to Worship

We gather in celebration! Jesus Christ has been born! Let Heaven and Nature sing! May we join the cosmic chorus praising the newborn king!

Light the Christ Candle

Sing-a-long Carol: “Angels We Have Heard on High” Words and Music: Traditional French carol; Arranged and performed by Nathan Drake (Reawakened Hymns).

We Rest in God’s Grace

Releasing and Receiving

How is it with your soul? Check in with God however your spirit and body wish. It’s okay, too, just to say “Hi!” to God. God’s delighted you are here.

Silent Prayer

We shift from speaking to God to sitting with God silently. A helpful way to enter sacred silence is to offer this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10:

Be still and know that I am God. (pause)

Be still and know that I am. (pause)

Be still and know. (pause)

Be still. (pause)

Be. (pause)

Rest in God’s loving presence for as long as you wish. When you’re ready to move on, take a deep breath, let it out, thank God, and say, “Amen.”

God’s Grace 

It is a grace just to be alive. God called us into life just as God called Jesus into life. On this First Sunday of Christmas receive the essential blessing of being called into life. Amen.

Pop-up Praise Pageant

(LTP translation of Psalm 148 adapted by K Schreiber)

Creation Solidarity

With what form/s of creation – cosmic or earthly, plant or animal – would you like to praise God? What human groups do you belong to? Look though the psalm below and see what excites you. Please praise God with as many beings as you wish! If you’ve prepared costume or props, that’s great. Also use your body. How might different beings praise God? Have fun!

“Cosmic Celebration of the Christ’s Birth”

ALL: “We praise God! Hallelujah! Christ is born! Praise the Lord!”

Angels: “Across the heavens, from the heights, all of us angels, we heavenly beings, we sing praises, we sing praises!” (sing chorus of “Angels We Have Heard on High”) “Gloria in excelsis deo.”

Beings in the Sky:

“We are the sun and moon. We sing praise!” (praise movements and sounds)

“We are the glittering stars. We sing praise!” (praise movements and sounds)

“We are the highest heavens. We sing praise!” (praise movements and sounds)

“We are therain clouds.We sing praise!” (praise movements and sounds)

All Beings in the Sky, together: “We praise God’s name, whose word called us forth and fixed us in place forever by eternal decree.

ALL: “We praise God! Hallelujah! Christ is born! Praise the Lord!”

Beings from the Deep:

“We praise God from the depths of the earth!” (praise movements and sounds)

“We praise God from the depths of the ocean!” (praise movements and sounds)

ALL: “We praise God! Hallelujah! Christ is born! Praise the Lord!”

All Manner of Beings:

Fire and Hail… (praise movements and sounds)

Snow and Midst… (praise movements and sounds)

Storms and Winds… (praise movements and sounds)

Mountains and Hills… (praise movements and sounds)

Fruit Trees and Cedar Trees… (praise movements and sounds)

Wild Beasts and Tame… (praise movements and sounds)

Snakes and Birds… (praise movements and sounds)

ALL: “We praise God! Hallelujah! Christ is born! Praise the Lord!”

All Manner of People:

Princes, Princesses and Judges… (praise movements and sounds)

Elected Officials and Voters… (praise movements and sounds)

Men and Women… (praise movements and sounds)

Old and Young… (praise movements and sounds)

All Manner of People, together: “We praise, praise, the Holy Name, this name beyond all names!

ALL: “We praise God! Hallelujah! Christ is born! Praise the Lord!”

One: God’s splendor above the earth, above the heavens, gives strength to the nation, glory to the faithful, a people close to the Lord — let there be praise!

ALL: “We praise God! Hallelujah! Christ is born! Praise the Lord! Amen!”

Special Music “Jesus, Jesus, What a Wonderful Child” Traditional African-American;Performed by the Good Counsel High School Choirs

We Pray

Prayers of Petition

Lift up prayers of joy and concern

The Lord’s Prayer

Imagine being together with your favorite worship community

We Give Thanks

Offering

Praise is the original offering. Especially now that we cannot “pass the plate” – what a prefect time to reorient the weekly offering as a time of praise? Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow. (also see donation footnote)

We Continue in Hope

Sing-a-long Carol: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” Words: C Wesley, Music: F Mendelssohn, Chalice #150; Performed by Bach Choir and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Benediction

No matter the day of the year, no matter the condition of our hearts, every day is a celebration day when Christ appears. Let us hold onto hope and faith, love and wonder. Let us go forth with peace. Amen.

(the service 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 26, 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 a local nonprofit that supports the health and wellbeing of the natural world. 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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