Christmas Eve Worship 2022
Nativity of Our Lord

Holy Communion

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
The Rev. Jeffrey Goodrich

The Rev. Cassandra Hartnett


Good Christian Friends, Rejoice
arr. by Molly Ijames
Karen Morrissey & Yeon Soh, piano

Ding-Dong! Merrily on High / O Sanctissima
arr. by Mark Hayes
Karen Morrissey & Yeon Soh, piano

O Tannenbaum
arr. by Vince Guaraldi
Karen Morrissey, piano


Holy God, we admit that we don’t fully understand the Christmas story.
We are not familiar with angel choruses.

We have not walked many miles to be counted in a census.
We don’t always hear your voice in our dreams.

We don’t fully understand this story,
and sometimes we hesitate to share it.

Yet we are here because we have heard a promise of peace.
We have faith its day will come!

We have heard a rumor of justice.
We have faith its day will come!

We have heard a whisper of hope.
We have faith its day will come!

We have heard a hint of love.
We have faith its day will come!

We have heard of the birth of Jesus.
We have faith his day is here!

You gather us together with open hearts
to worship at the manger. Amen.


O Come, All Ye Faithful 


The Lord be with you. And also with you.

Let us pray. Holy God, we tell this story of your coming into the world over and over, but still we need to hear it anew. We need this story of ordinary people who were brave. We need this story of love that changed the world. We ask you to move among us. Draw close. Crack open our hearts and fill them with your goodness. Help us to hear with curiosity, joy, and hope what your story means among your people today. Gratefully we pray, Amen.


Angels We Have Heard on High



Over a hundred people, from the ages of two to eighty years old, were asked to fill in the blank for the statement: “My story is…” From the voices of different generations, hear their answers…

…Tonight we tell the story that we tell every year – the story of Christ’s birth, the story of love made flesh. It’s a story that weaves through every generation. It’s a story that picks up the bits and pieces of our narrative and braids us together. So tonight we light the Christ candle, because from generation to generation, our story belongs to God. Thanks be to God for a love like that. Amen.

Light the Christ Candle.

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A reading from Isaiah.

2The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness — on them light has shined.

3You have multiplied the nation,
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as people exult when dividing plunder.

4For the yoke of their burden,
and the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.

5For all the boots of the tramping warriors
and all the garments rolled in blood
shall be burned as fuel for the fire.

6For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7His authority shall grow continually,
and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Word of God, Word of Life. Thanks be to God.


A reading from Hebrews.

1Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 3He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

Word of God, Word of Life. Thanks be to God.


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The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke the Second Chapter

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In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see– I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

The Gospel of the Lord.

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SERMON The Rev. Cassandra Hartnett


What Child Is This

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STATEMENT OF FAITH A Christmas Creed from Latin America

I believe in Jesus Christ and in the power of the Gospel
which began in Bethlehem.

I believe in the One whose spirit glorified a small village,
of whose coming the shepherds saw the sign,
and for whom there was no room in the inn.

I believe in the One whose life changed the course of history,
over whom the rulers of the earth had no power,
and who was not understood by the proud.

I believe in the One to whom the poor, the oppressed, the discouraged,
the afflicted, the sick, the blind and the injured gave welcome
and accepted as Lord and Savior.

I believe in the One who, with love, changed the hearts of the proud,
and with his life, showed that it is better to serve than to be served,
and that the greatest joy is in giving your life for others.

I believe in peace, which is not the absence of war,
but justice among all peoples and nations and love among all.

I believe in reconciliation, forgiveness and the transforming
power of the gospel.

I believe that Christmas is strength and power, and that this world can change
when, with humility and faith, we kneel before the manger.

I believe that I must be the first one to do so. Amen.


Let us pray.

Holy One, Author of our lives, we admit that there is something marvelous and wonderful about this night:
the glow of the candlelight, and the familiar hymns,

the children that are wound tight with contagious, joyful energy,
the feeling that something we’ve been waiting for might be within reach.

Joy and hope are in the air — so thick we could almost bottle it up. But we don’t want to bottle up this feeling; we want to share it. We want to share the joy of this night:
with the children of this region,
with single parents,
with lonely young adults,
with our unhoused neighbors,
with those who are grieving,
with people who can’t make it home for Christmas.

We want to share this hope with people who had imagined that this year would be different, that this year they would have what they were looking for.
We want to share this night with families who couldn’t afford to put much under the tree, as well as with those who are new to this country— fleeing a life that was unsafe or unwelcoming.

We don’t want to bottle up the magic of this night; we want to share it.
We want to pour your good news all over this community.

We want to sing like Mary sang, until all who are looking for you have found their way home.
So help us live like the shepherds—who weren’t afraid to go and tell the good news.
Help us take the words of the angels to heart—to not be afraid.
Help us to be as trusting as Joseph—who chose to believe the impossible.
But more than anything, give us the courage and conviction to tell this story.

In a hurting world so desperate for hope, we have something to say. Amen.


The peace of the Lord be with you always. And also with you.



Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming
arr. Brian L. Hanson

Chancel Choir


On Christmas Night
Congregation sing verses 1 & 4
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Let us pray. God of abundance, receive and bless these gifts we have offered. Join our hearts with the song of the angels, and gather us at your table of celebration. Strengthen us to share with all the world the abundance of your grace upon grace, poured out in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. Amen.


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Holy God, creator and parent of all life, from the beginning of time your Spirit filled the night sky with shining stars to show the way. You built homes for your creatures, where there would always be room for your abundance. You made humankind in your image, and promised to walk with us in all our pathways. In the winter of our longing, your Holy Spirit came to Mary, growing within her your only Son, a part of yourself, to turn the broken world upside down.

Every time we gather at this table, we tell his story: the story of a Messiah who loved the lost and lonely and forsaken, the story of a Messiah who gathered his friends together for one last supper, showing them at that table how to live with courage and love. On that night, before he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.

Show us your presence in this bread and cup, and make them the body and blood your Son, as we recall again the story of our faith:

By the power of your Holy Spirit, let this meal sustain us in our lives with you. Inspire us to be a part of the new story you are writing for this world, until the baby whose birth we celebrate comes among us again.


Let us pray as Jesus taught us, each in the words or language of our choice.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.


Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen. 


Glory to God in the highest! Come now to the table of peace.


At this table, Christ is both host and meal, and offers himself to all who hunger and thirst for his presence. We believe that he is truly present in this sacrament. Come to the front, where bread is placed in your hand (you can request a gluten-free wafer), and where you receive wine by taking a cup from the tray (the cups in the center contain white grape juice). If you do not wish to commune, you are welcome to come forward and receive a blessing. If you need to receive communion in your seat, simply notify an usher. No one is too young to receive this sacrament, though some families wish to give their children some instruction before they take their first communion. If a young child accompanies you to the rail, please indicate to the pastor whether they should receive bread or a blessing.


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The First Noel

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The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in God’s grace. Amen


Let us pray. Wondrous God, we thank you for Jesus, God with us, in these gifts of bread and wine. As we have shared this feast of love, strengthen us to share your love with all the world. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.


Lights are dimmed and individual candles are lit.
Please tip only the unlit candle


Of the Father’s Love Begotten
Wilbur Held


1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. 10He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. 14And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.


Silent Night, Holy Night

On the last line of the last verse, we invite you to raise your candle on the first “Jesus, Lord at your birth!” and lower it on the second.: a profound way of honoring the birth of our Savior in unity.



From generation to generation, God has been by our side.
From generation to generation, we are not alone.
The God of yesterday and the God of tomorrow knows you by name, loves you, and sends you forth, in the name of the Father, + the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.


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Go in peace. Christ is with us! Thanks be to God!


Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
Mark Hayes

Karen Morrissey & Yeon Soh, piano

We are grateful for all who participate in leading our 10:00 pm Worship.



Sarah & Brad

Worship Assistant

Torch Bearers
Mary & Marie Claire


Communion Presenters
Bob & Donna

Music Director



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From Sundays and Copyright 2022 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #27028.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission.

All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Call to worship adapted from resources by A Sanctified Art and by Cheryl Lawrie’s work at

Prayer of the day, Candle Lighting, Prayers of the People, Preface and Great Thanksgiving are adapted from materials written by Rev. Sarah (Are) Speed | A Sanctified Art LLC |