I'm sitting at my desk, having just finished my lunch, and I have a few details left for tonight:
* Read and re-read the meditation so that it doesn't feel like I'm "reading" tonight.
* Write Christmas prayers of the people (cribbing extensively from this morning's Lessons and Carols from King's College Cambridge, which I listened to, weeping occasionally, as I ran around doing errands).
* Tinker with the Communion service so that it's not so long as it was last year (this is one I wrote... you know, borrowing extensively from here and there. I'll paste it below, just for funsies).
* Wrap presents/ write cards to church staff. Alas, most of them... well, all of them except for yours truly... have gone home. So... I hope they come into the office tonight. We'll see.
Then... go home and, I don't know, maybe bake a cake for Christmas dessert? I'm uncharacteristically ready for Christmas. That's not to say I'm ready for the memorial service on the 27th or church the 28th... but I'll be doing my best!
Larry-O is home, which is wonderful... he looks well and seems to be in a very good mood. And Petra is through the moon because she got a pretty good part in the upcoming school musical, so yay for all that.
I've neglected to blog all sorts of stuff, including...
* Larry-O's play and Petra's and my trip to Big City to see him therein...
* Our Longest Night service (that's Blue Christmas to many of you)...
* And the general state of the world I'm in (good. Complicated and good!)...
A very, very merry and peaceful Christmas to you all, and goodwill reign throughout God's beautiful and broken earth.
Celebration of the Lord’s Supper
for Christmas and Epiphany
The Light of the World has dawned; come, let us adore him.
We have seen the star in the East;
let us bow before the newborn Sovereign.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
The Great Thanksgiving
O Holy God, in Jesus you joined with us to be our brother and savior: with hearts full of joy we give you thanks and praise.
For a time we were a people walking in darkness,
but in Christ we saw the Light of the World.
In Jesus the heavens and the earth are reconciled once again.
From Christ’s fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
Therefore, with the shepherds and the angels, with the children and the Wise Ones, with all people of every age, we lift our hearts to you and sing,
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
O Gracious God, we cannot contain our joy at the gift of your son Jesus Christ.
In Jesus, fully God and fully human, all creation is redeemed and renewed.
Jesus accepted the baptism of John and lived as an observant Son of the Law.
Christ dwelled among us, healing the sick,
blessing and welcoming the children,
eating with the outcast, and
proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor.
But in his inclusive welcome, he was a threat to the powers of his day and ours, and so the sin of the world brought him to be tortured and killed.
In the fullness of your time he was raised again,
vanquishing the powers and the principalities.
O Generous God, as we remember your gracious and saving acts in Christ Jesus, we take this bread and this cup, giving you praise and thanksgiving as we proclaim the mystery of our faith.
To us is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
O Mighty God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us, that by your power, this bread and this cup may become for us the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Give us eyes to see your coming Reign, that we may feast with the Prince of Peace for all eternity.
Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
In the unity of the Holy Spirit,
All glory and honor are yours, almighty God,
Forever and ever. Amen.
The Words of Institution
We thank you that on the night before he died, Jesus took bread and after giving thanks, gave it to his disciples, saying, “This is my body that is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Give us grace to live as your people,
people who have received the gift of salvation in the Word made flesh.
In the same way, after supper, Jesus took the cup saying, “This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
By the mystery of this cup,
let the love we have been given pour forth in our lives,
bearing witness to the Good News in all we say and do.
Sharing of the Bread and Cup
Unison Prayer of Thanksgiving
Christ is born, and we give him glory. Christ has come down from heaven, and we receive him. Christ is now on earth, and we exalt him. We thank you, Gracious and Loving God, for the gift of the Word made flesh. By the mystery of this joyful feast, strengthen and renew us, Holy God. Let us be like the angels, singing “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace to God’s people on earth.” Let us be like the shepherds, telling abroad the Good News of Christ’s birth. And let us be like the Wise Ones, living each moment in joyful anticipation of the day when Christ will come again. Amen.