Worship Elements: December 26, 2021

September 2nd, 2021

First Sunday after Christmas Day

COLOR: White
SCRIPTURE READINGS: 1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26; Psalm 148; Colossians 3:12-17; Luke 2:41-52

Call to Worship

L: We who knelt in the stable—
P: Let us come and kneel in the temple!
L: Let our hearts give thanks, and our hands rejoice!
P: Let our spirits sing, and our bodies dance!
L: O children, enter the house of the Lord!
P: Enter God's presence, and be reborn!


O Spirit, rise up from the earth to be with us in this place; descend from the heavens to be with us in this time. We have gathered to worship you, for such is the beginning of wisdom. In worship, we begin to grasp that, compared with yours, the vast scope of our minds is confined; that the steady scale of our hearts is unsure; that the masterful skill of our hands is common.

O Spirit, like Hannah and Elkanah and Mary and Joseph, we must learn the wisdom of honoring that which lies beyond us, of keeping within our hearts that which we do not comprebend. Help us, as we ponder the power of your presence, the strength of your touch, and the mystery of your voice, to trust the prophets you raise up among your children and the savior you send unto your people.


L: Like Hannah, the mother of Samuel, the Spirit has woven a robe for the children of God to wear:
M: The garment is cut on the pattern of love,
W: Which makes the two one, and unites the many.
M: Its sleeves are made from the cloth of compassion;
W: Its collar, from humility.
M: Its front is fashioned from mercy and patience;
W: Its back, from wisdom born of grief.
M: Its sash is forgiveness, the tie that binds;
W: Its hem is stitched with threads of kindness.
L: Come, let us dress in the raiment of God, the saving garment, the righteous robe—
M: Like a bridegroom decked with a garland,
W: Like a bride adorned with jewels!

Prayer for One Voice

Great are the works of your hands, O God! They clothe you with honor and majesty, for they are faithful and just, promoting peace and sustaining life: You make the springs to give drink to the beasts and water the trees where birds build their nests. You cause the grass to grow for pasture and sow the seed for cultivation. You fill the sea with living things and speckle the sky with eagles.

Your works cover you with a garment of light, O God, for they are righteous and good, enduring forever: You set the earth on its foundations, never to be shaken. You speak, and the mountains rise over the plain; you point, and the valleys sink to their appointed places. You order the moon to mark the seasons, and its countenance changes each passing night; you command the sun to part the days, and its face vanishes over the western horizon. You send forth your spirit, and we are created; you cry for joy, and the world is renewed.

Your works robe you in the raiment of power, O God, for they are worthy of remembrance, inspiring worship: Our praises rumble like raging waters through the mighty canyons, and soar like rushing wings toward the towering clouds, and sigh like gentle breezes through the ancient trees, and pound like galloping hooves across the windswept plains. In wisdom you have made the earth; in wisdom we shall fill the earth with rousing songs of gladness.

We will sing to you as long as we live; we will chant your praises while we have being. Like the boy Samuel, we will serve you; like the boy Jesus, we will seek you. Like both of them, we will ask the question that has been raised by your children throughout the ages, 'What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" And you will answer as you have answered throughout the ages, "You shall give to others freely; you shall open wide your hands, and your hearts shall not be grudging, that I might bless you in all that you do."

O one who prepared a stable for him who would have no place to lay his head, shelter us, that we might shelter others. O one who delivered him whom we would call the Great Physician, heal us, that we might heal others. O one who provided swaddling clothes for him whose robe would be gambled away, clothe us, that we might clothe others. O one who raised up teachers for him whom we would claim as our Great Teacher, guide us, that we might guide others.

Great are your works, O God, and great shall be our works if you are our Lord! Bless us, make us a faithful and just people, promoting peace and sustaining life, that the works of our hands might clothe you with honor and majesty! Make us a righteous and good people, enduring forever, that the works of our hearts might cover you with a garment of light! Make us a people worthy of remembrance, inspiring love, that the works of our spirits might robe you in the raiment of power!


As the Son of God came unto the world, let his brothers and sisters go into the world, giving thanks for life in word and deed, and growing in love for God and neighbor.

From Litanies and Other Prayers Year C, Copyright © Abingdon Press

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