Worship Guide: Blue Christmas Service, Dec 19 6:00 p.m.

Blue Christmas Service

United Methodist Church of Auburn

Sunday, December 19th, 2021, 6 pm, In Person & Livestream

The Blue Christmas service used tonight is based on an order developed and used at The Cathedral Church of St. Andrew, Honolulu, Hawaii.



Leader: in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by God, and without God nothing came to be. What came to be through God was life, and this life was the light of the world.

People: The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.


CAROL – “O Little Town of Bethlehem”

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie;

above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.

Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light;

the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above,

while mortals sleep and angels keep their watch of wondering love.

O morning stars together, proclaim the holy birth,

and praises sing to God the King, and peace to all on earth!

How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given;

So God imparts to human hearts the blessing of his heaven.

No ear may hear his coming, but in this world of sin,

where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in.

O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray;

Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born is us today.

We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;

O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!

(Words: Phillips Brooks, 1868; Music: Lewis H. Redner, 1868, Public Domain)

FIRST SCRIPTURE – Ecclesiastes 3:1-11


   L: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, so far

          from the words of my groaning?

   P: O my God, I cry by day but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.

   L: In you, our ancestors trusted. They trusted and you delivered them.

   P: It was you who brought me from the womb, you who kept me safe on my mother’s

           breast. Since my mother bore me, you have been my God.

   L: Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.

   P: God does not despise the affliction of the afflicted. God does not hide from me. When I

          cry to God, God hears me. Thanks be to God.


PIANO – “Spirit Song” UMH #347

SECOND SCRIPTURE – Isaiah 40:1-5, 28-31

SILENT PRAYER (to offer concerns for others and your own concerns to God)

LITANY OF REMEMBRANCE (first candle is lighted/scroll of names on monitor)

(Invite names from the congregation)

   Response: We remember them with love. May God’s eternal love surround them.


O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel

That mourns in lonely exile here, until  the Son of God appear

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.


LITANY OF LOSS (second candle is lighted)

   Response: We remember that through you all things are possible. Refresh, restore, renew

                        us, O God, and lead us into your future.


O come thou Wisdom from on high, and order all things far and nigh;

To us the path of knowledge show, and teach us in her ways to go

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.


LITANY OF WHOLENESS (third candle is lighted)

   Response: We remember that though we have journeyed far, and that, while lost, we may

                        have turned away from the light, the light itself has not failed. We remember

                        that though winter be upon us and though the night be dark, with the

                        turning of the  Wheel the dawn will come, and dawn defeats



O come thou day-spring, come and cheer our spirits by thy advent here

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and deaths dark shadows put to flight

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.


LITANY OF FAITH (fourth candle is lighted)

   Response: We remember the One who shares our burdens, who shows us the way to the

                        Light, and who journeys with us into all tomorrows.


O come desire of nations, bind in one the hearts of humankind

Bid then our sad divisions cease, and be thyself our King of Peace

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.



   Repeated Response: And in your merciful love, answer.

CAROL – “Away in a Manger”

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus lays down his sweet head.

The stars in the sky looked down where he lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes, but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.

I love thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky, and stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay close by me forever and love me, I pray.

Bless all the dear children in thy tender care, and take us to heaven to live with thee there.

(Words: Anonymous; Music: James R. Murray, 1887, UMH, Public Domain)



Prayer: Gentle God of love, help us reach out together for the light of faith, for renewal and recovery and a new day coming. Grant that hope may come to rest in our hearts, and let it go forth with us into the darkness, this night and in the nights to come, until the dawn returns.


Guide me, O thou great Jehovah, pilgrim through this barren land.

I am weak, but thou art mighty, hold me with thy powerful hand.

Bread of heaven, bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more, feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain whence the healing stream doth flow;

Let thy fiery, cloudy pillar lead me all my journey through.

Strong deliverer, strong deliverer,

be thou still my strength and shield, be thou still my strength and shield.

(Invitation to light candles)


PRAYER (all stand)

CAROL – “Silent Night, Holy Night” UMH #239

Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright round yon virgin mother and child.

Holy infant, so tender and mild, sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night, shepherds quake at the sight; glories stream from heaven afar, heavenly hosts sing Alleluia! Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born!

Silent night, holy night, Son of God, love’s pure light; radiant beams from thy holy face

with the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus Lord at thy birth, Jesus Lord at thy birth.

Silent night, holy night, wondrous star, lend thy light; with the angels let us sing,

Alleluia to our King; Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born.

(Words: Joseph Mohr, 1818; Music: Franz Gruber, 1818, Public Domain)


All: Another day will come, O God. I do not know what it will bring, but make me ready, God, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, help me to do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of thy Peace. Amen.