Morning Worship: 19 December 2021

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Joy

Preludes           Chorale Prelude on  “Veni, Emmanuel”

George Lachenauer (b. 1933)

Little Partita for Advent,  on “Veni, Emmanuel”

James Woodman (b. 1957)

I. Meditative – II. Broadly flowing – III. Steadily –

IV. Freely, surging


Call to Worship Micah 5: 2-5a

*Opening Hymn No. 8 Lift Up Your Heads

*Prayer of Invocation and Joy

Today, O God, we pray that you draw us out of every wilderness to the sites of hope and joy where we prepare for the coming of Christ.  Open our lives to joy.

Here, O coming savior, we sense that you will be among us soon.  Open our minds to perceive your presence and power.

Always, O Holy Spirit, we know that Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and Jesus have gifts and graces yet to be seen.  Open our hearts to expectation, excitement and exuberance, and the new life that is your eternal gift.  Amen.

The Candles of Love Wendy Donnell, Caleb Hong, Ella Stone-Diliberto and Kelsie Harris

The Word of Joy John 15: 9-11

The Prayer of Advent

O Holy one, as Christmas draws near, there is a sense of excitement in the air.  We can feel a joy in our lives and see it in those around us.  Still — especially this year, for some of us this is a sad time and a hard time.   Help us to receive the joy that comes from you and renews our lives.  Help us to share this joy, too, with a world in need — the world you so love.  Amen.

Children proceed to the Great Hall  (sung, seated)

O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel;

To us the path of knowledge show, and help us in that way to go.

Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel shall come to thee O Israel.

The Gospel of Promise Luke 1: 39-55

The Morning Meditation Kenneth Baily

Call to Share our Gifts

Choral Anthem E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come

Paul Manz (1919-2009)

Prayer of Advent and Lord’s Prayer

(“Our father and mother… trespasses”)

*Hymn of Departure (attached) All Earth is Waiting

*Assurance and Blessing

* Hymn Response No. 41 O Come, All Ye Faithful,  st. 1 & 3

Postlude Postlude on “Savior of the Nations, Come”        Wayne Wold (b. 1954)

* Those who are able please stand


During this time of covid caution we welcome all

to safe, careful congregational assembly, with masks.

(Except for worship leaders while they are speaking/singing.)

Note that our leaders are vaccinated and boosted.

Cleaning has increased and we welcome your questions.

We have a touch-free offering today

That is, you may leave a gift in the basket,

deliver an envelope after worship, send a gift

via email or online, or any touch-free method you wish

Thanks to worship leaders Wendy Donnell, Ken Baily, Lynd Matt, Natacha Rist – organ, and deacons Isabelle Draper, Tony Rudié and Melissa Dietrich

NHCC is an Open and Affirming, Still Speaking congregation where all are welcome regardless of the divisions or separations that some in society would impose: whoever you are you are welcome in God’s house. “In Christ we are a new creation,” so we are blessed to be together in Christ’s name.

Newton Highlands Congregational Church, UCC

54 Lincoln Street, Newton, MA 617 527 3898

Toda la tierra, espera el Salvador

y’ el sur co abierto, la obra del Creador;

es el mundo que lucha por la libertad,

reclama justicia y busca la verdad.

All earth is waiting to see the Promised One,

and open furrows, the sowing of our God.

All the world, bound and struggling, seeks true liberty;

it cries out for justice and searches for the truth.

Thus says the prophet to those of Israel,

“A virgin mother will bear Emmanuel:”

One whose name is “God with us,” our Savior shall be,

through whom hope will blossom once more within our hearts.

In a lowly stable the Promised One appeared,

yet feel that presence throughout the earth today,

For Christ lives in all Christians and is with us now;

again on arriving, Christ brings us liberty.

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