Estes Park United Methodist Church
December 21, 2020
Longest Night Service
Order of Worship
Prelude – Lo How a Rose e’er Blooming
Words of Welcome
Call to Worship
Tonight, we worship together, but physically apart, for we are lost, we are lonely, we are afraid.
Tonight, we join together as individuals made one by our brokenness, coming with our hearts full of hope, and our pockets filled with doubts.
Tonight, we gather just as we are, for God has promised to meet us here and to welcome us for who we are.
God of love and understanding, we gather tonight to gently ease our pain in the midst of the world’s celebration. Help us know that you are present with us in all of our moods and feelings and seasons. Grant us a taste of the hope, peace, joy, and love that you promise to all of your people through the gift of your son Jesus. AMEN.
Opening Hymn – O Come, O Come Emmanuel (1,2,4 & 6)
Throughout the centuries, people of faith who are struggling have found comfort in the words of Scripture. Hear these selected verses in the spirit of love and compassion:
Candle Lighting: Litany of Remembrance
We light this first candle to remember those persons who we have loved and see no more. We pause to remember their names, their faces, their voices;. We give thanks for the memory that binds them to us in this season which anticipates Christ.
We light this second candle to redeem the pain and losses of this year: the loss of jobs, the loss of health, the loss of simply being able to gather in worship, eat a meal in a restaurant, family holiday gatherings, or to simply go out into the world without fear of contracting a virus.
We light this third candle to remember ourselves this Christmas time. We pause and remember the past weeks, months and for some of us, years of down times. We remember the poignancy of memories, the grief, the sadness, the hurts and pains of reflecting on our own mortality.
This fourth candle is lit to remember our faith and the gift of hope which God offers to us in the Christmas story. We remember that God, who shares our life, promises us a place and time of no more suffering and pain.
Gift of Music – In the Bleak Midwinter
Go in peace, knowing that the God whose love created this world, sent Jesus into the same world to be our friend, companion, and Savior. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out!
Postlude – Love Came Down at Christmas