Lessons and Carols - An alternative to the traditional lessons and carols using contemporary and ancient sources. Developed for use at the late service on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Candle Poem
Written for the Union Church UCC of Tekonsha in 1995, adapted. Copyright Katherine Hawker.
The star shining on the innkeepers shed;
Sunshine glistening off the deafening cold of winter snow;
Candles lit in displays of solidarity with those in mourning;
Give tangible witness to the prophet's claim
That light shines in the darkness, now and forever.
May we come to worship in joyful celebration of the light
Whom we call Jesus, the Christ.
Proclamation of the Light
Written for the Evangelical United Church of Christ, 1996. Copyright Katherine Hawker.
"Light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it,"
proclaims the ancient word;
light stands firm against the dark landscape of reality,
warmth prances in rooms too long drafty.
Each of us holding a flickering candle;
seemingly insignificant one by one, yet magnificent when held together.
Each of us making a choice to stand in the light;
proclaiming the indisputable presence of unquenchable light.
Light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.
Prayer of Invocation and Blessing - written as a Communion Prayer to be interspersed with a Carol or other response.
God spoke in the beginning;
out of darkness came night and day,
out of emptiness came creation,
out of loneliness came humankind.
And God said, "This is very good."
God spoke when the world was troubled;
giving voice to prophets from the earliest days,
moving through Mary as she gave birth to her child,
crying as a vulnerable baby lying in a manger.
Still God said, "This is very good."
God speaks today;
breathing energy into our weary lives,
challenging our celebrations and sharing our pain,
dancing with songs of justice and peace.
Now we know that, "This is very good."