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Christmas 1A


You can find a YouTube playlist here with many of the songs suggested below.



Gathering


The Psalm offers us an opportunity to sing songs of praise and it’s worth emphasising that it is all of creation singing praise in these readings. The best thing is to use songs which are “heart songs” in your congregation but well known ones which relate to the readings are All creatures of our God and King (CH 147 / MP 7), Praise the Lord, his glories show (CH 152), Joyful, joyful, we adore thee (Hymnary), Creation sings the Father’s song (MP 1268 / CCLI / Getty) and Indescribable (MP 1170 / CCLI).


If you want to begin with a more seasonal carol then Angels from the realms of glory (CH 324 / MP 35) could be a good option as it summarises the Christmas story but culminates with “all creation, join in singing” with the option of a contemporary version by Brenton Brown (CCLI). Joy to the world (CH 320 / MP 393) has the song of heaven and song of earth joining together and there are contemporary versions by Phil Wickham (CCLI) and Chris Tomlin (CCLI). Good Christians, all rejoice (CH 322 / MP 196) might lead towards the Epistle as it moves from “Christ is born today” to “Christ was born to save”.



Word


This week’s psalm has settings in a full range of styles. The Lord of heaven confess (CH 104) is a straightforward metrical setting, Glory to God above (CH 105) is a lively Wild Goose original with some simple harmony parts, All you works of God (CH 151) has a bright chorus and then some call and response in the verses, while Let Creation Sing (CCLI) would suit those looking for a worship song. Nyanyikanlah / Hallelujah! Sing praise to your creator (PFAS 148E / GSW 5) is a lively song from Indonesia which would be well suited to percussion accompaniment.



Response


Lully, lulla, thou little tiny child (Hymnary) and Unto us a boy is born! (CH 331 / MP 714) are probably the best known carols which links to the Gospel. There are also some excellent contemporary hymns which explore this such as Jesus entered Egypt (GIA) which focuses on Jesus as a refugee, while A voice was heard in Ramah (Carolynn), The tyrant issues his decree (CH 330) and The soldiers fear the captain’s wrath (WGRG) all focus on the abuse of power and the murder of innocent children.


Songs which explore Jesus coming as both a human child and also the Son of God would link well to the Epistle, with hymns such as Child in the manger (CH 314 / MP 71), Behold the great Creator makes (CH 308), the short chant He became poor (WGRG) and worship songs such as Born on that day (CCLI), Prince of heaven (CCLI) and The kindness and the love (Resound).


Given the general nature of the Old Testament, any songs of praise to God would be appropriate.


You might also want a more general seasonal song at this point and Lord, you were rich beyond all splendour (CH 318) is a beautiful song often sung by choirs but very accessible for congregations, while Adore (CCLI / Common) has a chorus which could be picked up easily even if the full song was too much to learn.



Sending


King Of Kings (CCLI) ties together many of the themes from today’s readings while You shall go out with joy (CH 804) picks up on the idea of all of creation praising God. As with the opening song you could sing a seasonal carol here and It came upon the midnight clear (CH 303 / MP 345) or See in yonder manger low (CH 313 / MP 588) both have some links with themes from this week’s readings.



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