There are 3 Reading options suggested for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day services. I will post for each set of readings over the coming days.
If you are a small congregation please feel free to print these pages and hand them to parents as they arrive.
If you are a parent or guardian, check with the church you are attending as to what readings they will be using at their services, this will make it easier on you if you can prepare in advance.
I will also post some Christmas Day service general ideas for those who visit a congregation that does not use the Revised Common Lectionary.
No matter where you are or where you go, the important part is that you enjoy this holy day together.
Remember that you have bought your child to worship. Enjoy engaging them in it.
Sit towards the front so they can see what is going on
Read during the Bible readings,
Pray during the prayers,
Colour, Draw or Craft during the sermon.
Craft or drawing or play are for spiritual responses not for a perfectionist piece that can be shown off.
Remember that little ones will need their own space to move and wiggle.
Also leave when you need to but make sure you return quickly.
You and your child/ren have as much right to worship as any other member of the congregation.
Point out the change in the colours in the church, they should now be White, no longer purple, as we have stopped waiting, Christmas has come.
Remember every parent/guardian, even Holy ones, will be sleep deprived Christmas Morning. So be kind to yourself.
FIRST READING: Isiah 62:6-12
READ/SING: ALL things bright and beautiful http://www.authenticmedia.co.uk/search/product/all-things-bright-and-beautiful-dawn-machell-illus/9781860249815.jhtml see the video at the bottom. or if have time buy form Koorong https://www.koorong.com/search/product/all-things-bright-and-beautiful-dawn-machell-illus/9781860249815.jhtml
DRAW: all the beautiful things that God gives, even a baby. You could draw a bow and a cross on the paper ( like a bow around a present as seen from above) then your child can draw in each segment.
PRAY: Hold up Five fingers and found down 5 things that God gave you.
READ: Psalm 97: Rejoice, the Lord is King!
Rejoice! The Lord is King!
Lift up your heart,
lift up your voice; rejoice;
again I say, rejoice.
Power! All the forces in the planet (make your hand into fists, band them one on top of the other)
are powered by the Lord.
Love! All the love in the universe (make a heart shape with your hands)
flows from the Lord.
Joy! All the happiness in the world (Throw your arms out and to the side)
is given by the Lord.
Thanks! All our thanks we give back to you.( hold your hands wide open at shoulder height)
from Rev Purdie http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-97-rejoice-the-lord-is-king.html
DO: Does this Psalm make you feel Happy or Sad? Make a face to show which one you feel.
SECOND READING: TITUS 3: 4-7
READ/WATCH CAN I BE YOUR DOG? BY TONY CUMMINGS
found from http://www.picturebooktheology.com/search/label/adoption
PLAY: play families, either with a nativity set, or a set of family dolls, or animals etc.
PRAY: Use the nativity to suggest a prayer for each person represented ie for the baby to have a safe home to grow up in, ie for dad to love Mum, for people to care enough to find you etc. (if you do not have a play nativity you can make one here http://www.catholicicing.com/diy-printable-nativity-for-kids/ (Hint if you print on heavy paper you do not need the toilet rolls. For hygiene reasons if sharing with others use cardboard rolls.)
GOSPEL: Luke 2(1-7), 8-20
READ: Jed and Roy McCoy by Andrew McDonough https://www.lostsheep.com.au/stories/jed-and-roy-mccoy-a-christmas-story/
DO: there are some free activities at the end of the story, or for about $A5 you can purchase a downloadable package that has more than enough activities for all ages.
SING/LISTEN: https://www.seedsfamilyworship.com/product/seeds-of-christmas-ep/# NO.6
Prepare a special church bag in advance so that you are ready for the rush on Monday Night or Tuesday Morning.
TO Do LIST:
You might need to bring with you
family play toys such as dolls, or animals
You might want to download
and buy the activity sheet at the the end of https://www.lostsheep.com.au/stories/jed-and-roy-mccoy-a-christmas-story/