Worship & Devotions

Christmas Eve Worship



December 24, 2021

3:00pm afternoon worship



Prelude        Lo! How a Rose E’er Blooming  arr. by Mark Hayes & Marvin Gaspard

                                              piano/organ duet by Martha Lobaugh and Linda Mains


Invocation                                                                                                   Luke 1:46b-47, 49

P     My soul magnifies in the Lord

C    And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.


P     For the Mighty One has done great things for me.

C    And Holy is His name.


P     In joy and peace we gather in His Name, Father, †Son and the Holy Spirit.

C    Amen.


Processional Hymn     #45 (Green Hymnal)  

     Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful      vs. 1   Adeste Fideles


    Oh, come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant!

    Oh, come ye, oh, come ye to Bethlehem;

    Come and behold him born the king of angels.

    Oh, come, let us adore him, oh, come, let us adore him,

    Oh, come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!


Opening Dialogue        Isaiah 11:1-2 & Isaiah 40:1-5


P   For a shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,

C   And a branch shall grow out of his roots.


P    The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him

C   the spirit of wisdom and understanding,


P   The spirit of counsel and might,

C   the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.


P    For a child has been born for us,

C   a son given to us;


P     Authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named:

C    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace


P     His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace

C     for the throne of David and his kingdom.


P     He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness

C     from this time onward and forevermore.


Lighting of the Advent Wreath        #34 (Green Hymnal)      vss. 1 & 5

               O Come, O Come, Emmanuel             Veni, Emmanuel


       O come, O come, Emmanuel,

       and ransom captive Israel,

       that mourns in lonely exile here

       until the Son of God appears.

       Refrain:   Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

                        shall come to you, O Israel.


       O come, O Key of David, come,

       and open wide our heavenly home;

       make safe the way that leads on high,

       and close the path to misery.     Refrain



1st Reading from Micah 5:2-5a                                       Prophecy of Fulfillment


But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah,
    who are one of the little clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
    one who is to rule in Israel,
whose origin is from of old,
    from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time
    when she who is in labor has brought forth;
then the rest of his kindred shall return
    to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and feed his flock

    in the strength of the Lord,
    in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great
    to the ends of the earth;
and he shall be the one of peace.


 The Word of the Lord



Hymn     #41                (Green Hymnal)      vs. 1

                        O Little Town of Bethlehem                         St. Louis


       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.


2nd Reading from Luke 1:26-35, 37-38                                                Gabriel visits Mary


        In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”

        But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 

       The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 

        Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 

The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. For nothing will be impossible with God.” 

         Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.


     The Word of the Lord.


Anthem           Reflection on ‘Conditor alme siderum’                                         arr. David Lasky


3rd Reading from Luke 2:1-7                                                          The Birth of Jesus


         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.


    The Word of the Lord



Hymn       #67         (Green Hymnal)     vs. 1

                  Away in a Manger                  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 sky looked down where he lay,

      The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.


4th Reading from Luke 2:8-20                                   Shepherds Report a Glorious Visit


        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.


The Word of the Lord



Hymn        #60    (Green Hymnal)      vss. 1 & 2

               Hark! The Herald Angels Sing                                                         Mendelssohn


               Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn king;

               Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.”

               Joyful, all you nations, rise; join the triumph of the skies;

              With angelic hosts proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!”

              Hark! The herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn king!”


              Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord,

              Late in time behold him come, offspring of a virgin’s womb.

              Veiled in flesh the Godhead see! Hail, the incarnate deity!

              Pleased as man with us to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel!

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



5th Reading from Matthew 2:1-12                                 Magi seek the New King


     In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” 

       When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 

    They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

                 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

                 are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

           for from you shall come a ruler

                  who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”


      Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared.  Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 

       When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was.   When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.  On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage.

       Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.


The Word of the Lord.



Anthem            We Three Kings of Orient Are                          Sunday School Youth on Chimes


6th Reading from Matthew 2:13-14                   Escape to Egypt


        Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 

        Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt,


       The Word of the Lord



Sermon Meditation


Hymn           #71    (Green Hymnal)               vss. 1 & 3

        Angels We Have Heard on High    Gloria



     Angels we have heard on high,

     sweetly singing o’er the plains,

     And the mountains in reply,

     echoing their joyous strains.

     Glo…ri-a in excelsis Deo; 

     Glo…ri-a in excelsis Deo.


     Come to Bethlehem and see

     Him whose birth the angels sing;

     Come, adore on bended knee

     Christ the King, the newborn king.

     Glo…ri-a in excelsis Deo; 

     Glo…ri-a in excelsis Deo.


Prayers of the Church

P    In this time of Christmas blessing, let us come before God seeking his presence, praying for all people of God, for our nation and our world, and for those in need.


A brief silence.


P      Lord, this day we pray to you for the faithful throughout the world. May your glory and spirit move through all faith communities raising up righteousness and salvation. By your presence, draw all people to come into a closer relationship with you and help us to see the glory of your Son who gives healing and strength to all those who seek him. Lord, our Emmanuel we pray,

C       Lord abide with us.


P      Almighty God, we pray for peace among nations, for peace in our homes, and for peace in our hearts. As we come to the close of this year, may we see the humble savoir born in the manger and believe that he came to set us free from our sins. May we be inspired to put away all the divides us, causes strife and heart break. Empower us to seek justice and equality for all those who long for your presence. Lord, our Emmanuel we pray,

C       Lord abide with us.


P     Eternal Lord, many struggle at this Christmas time. Despite the joy and celebrations all around there are many that face times of sickness, depression, anxiety, or grief. We still struggle in times of pandemic and suffering throughout the world. Give your Spirit of strength and assure all of your life of mercy and resurrection. Grant healing to those who need healing. Grant comfort to those who are abused or forgotten. Grant hope to those lost in the shadow of death. Send your Spirit to be with all who call out to you, including our shut-ins, hospitalized and especially all those we name in our hearts to you…..

Lord, our Emmanuel we pray,

C     Lord abide with us.


P      Lord of Mercy and Grace, we give thanks for this day that you have given us, the day to celebrate the birth of your Son, our Savior. Continue to inspire us to hear of your glory and bear witness to the salvation given through your Word. Fill this church with the mission of your Son, to love as you have loved us and serve in humbleness sharing your message of hope. Lord, our Emmanuel we pray,

C       Lord abide with us.


P      Into your outstretched arms, O God, we commend ourselves and all for whom we pray, trusting in Jesus Christ, the light and life of the world.

C        Amen.


The Lord's Prayer


Sharing the Peace of the Lord

P     May the joy and blessing of the one who has been born for us come to you and fill you with love. May the peace of the Lord be with you all!

C    And also with you!


Offertory Hymn        #40          (Green Hymnal)     vss. 1 & 3

                 What Child Is This                     Greensleeves


       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!


     So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh;

          come, peasant king to own him.

      The King of kings salvation brings;

          let loving hearts enthrone him.

     Raise, raise the song on high,

          the virgin sings her lullaby;

      Joy, joy, for Christ is born,

          the babe, the son of Mary!


Holy Communion

P  Let us pray, Heavenly Father, your abundant love is given to all your children. This same love is why you became incarnate, born in a manger, weak and helpless to ascend to your crowning throne of the cross and die to save us from our sins. You are the King of kings and Lord almighty and we come before you humble and seeking your blessings once again.

C      Amen.


Great Thanksgiving

P    The Lord be with you.

C   And also with you.


P    Lift up your hearts.

C   We lift them up to the Lord.


P    Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

C   It is right to give him thanks and praise.


P   We should in all times and in all places offer thanks and praise to you, O Lord, Holy Father, through Christ our Savior. In him we are all freed from our sins and given new life. In his birth and life we are given a joy and light that can never be extinguished. In his sacrifice for our sakes we are given new life and forgiveness everlasting. We give thanks for this great gift of salvation.


In  the night in which he was betrayed,

   our Lord Jesus took bread,

   and gave thanks; broke it,

   and gave it to his disciples, saying:

   Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.

   Do this for the remembrance of me.


   Again after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,

   and gave it for all to drink, saying:

   This cup is the new covenant in my blood,

   shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.

   Do this for the remembrance of me.


P     The Lord’s Table is ready! We invite all who believe in Jesus as Christ and his true presence in, under and with the bread and wine, to come and receive his sacrament, his forgiveness, and his mercy.


Distribution of Communion

All who believe are invited to come to the table of the Lord – come with meditative hearts and joyful expectations in the glory of God. As you come forward, please take a tissue and place it in your open palm of your hand to receive the communion elements. 


Communion Hymns       sung by all during distribution as time permits


 #56    (Green Hymnal)      vss. 1 & 2   

      The First Noel                     The First Nowell


       The first Noel the angel did say

       Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;

       In fields where they lay, keeping their sheep,

       On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.

       Refrain:    Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel!

                         Born is the King of Israel.


       They looked up and saw a star,

       Shining in the east beyond them far;

       And to the earth it gave great light,

       and so it continued both day and night. Refrain


#54  (Green Hymnal)         vss. 1 & 4

              It Came upon the Midnight Clear                          Carol


    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.


    For lo! The days are hast’ning on,

       by prophets seen of old,

    When with the ever circling years

       shall come the time foretold,

    When peace shall over all the earth

       its ancient splendors fling,

    And all the world give back the song

       which now the angels sing.



 #50  (Green Hymnal)      vss. 1 & 4

               Angels, from the Realms of Glory                                                   Regent Square


    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:

    Refrain:     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. Refrain



Post Communion Blessing

P     The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.

C     Amen.


The Light of Christ goes Forth



7th Reading from John 1:1-5, 10-14                    The Word made Flesh


      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

      He was in the world, and the world came into being through  him; yet the world did not know him.  He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

       And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. 


This is the Gospel of our Lord



P     Let us Pray, Almighty God you breathed out the word at creation and by that power light shone forth out of chaos. That same Word became flesh and was humbly born in the manger. Christ took on our nature and was born of the Virgin Mary, freeing us from sin and death. By that gift of grace, we are redeemed, made eternal children of your heavenly kingdom, in the light that never ends. May your Word go out to all the world spreading love, peace and hope to all generations, through our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C     Amen.


Hymn      #65   (Green Hymnal)             vss. 1 & 3

   Silent night, holy night               Stille Nacht


          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!

          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.



P      May the good news of the Messiah’s birth bring you great joy today and always. May the Father, †Son and Holy Spirit bless you now and forever.

C    Amen.


Recessional Hymn     #39 (Green Hymnal)          vss. 1 & 4

                Joy to the World                          Antioch


       Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

             Let earth receive its King;

       Let every heart prepare him room

             and heaven and nature sing

       And heaven and nature sing,

             and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.


      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.



P     Go in peace, The Incarnate Lord has come!

C    Emmanuel has come! The Lord is with us, Thanks be to God!


Postlude                              Ding, Dong, Merrily on High                    by David H. Hegarty

                                                     piano/organ duet by Martha Lobaugh and Linda Mains




Music of the Day and other special music was pre-recorded.


From Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #32801.


New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Additional inserted hymns if applicable are reprinted under OneLicense.net license #A-725744.



In Service of the Lord at Worship Today:

Joy-filled Christmas Worshipers:                                 The People of St. Mark

Presiding Minister:                                                         Rev. Kirk Griffin

Organist:                                                                          Martha Lobaugh  

Pianist:                                                                              Linda Mains                      

Ushers:                                                                              Tony, Amy, Noah, Abby Shermeyer      

Videographer                                                                   Michael Lobaugh

Acolytes:                                                                            Morgana, Lobaugh, Marcus Lobaugh                                                                                                            and Noah Shermeyer                    

Lectors:                                                                             Gail & Mike Merlo, Morgana Lobaugh 



St. Mark Church Staff:

Pastor: Rev. Kirk Griffin

Office Coordinator: Alison Peterson

Director of Music: Melinda Elnaggar

Organist: Martha Lobaugh

Sexton: Wally Rodenhaber

Housekeeper: Dale Dull

Preschool Directors: Idonia Klunk & Allison Wentz


2021 Congregation Council:  President Hollis Long, Vice-President Pat Keefer, Secretary Linda Bolin, Treasurer Jeff Kindschuh, Mary Berry, Karen Feeser,  Kathy Gates, Patricia Hagarman,  Tom Long,  Lynn Peterson.