Christmas Eve/Day 2022: Option 2: Ideas to share the Revised Common Lectionary Readings with all ages.

Welcome Each week I compile a number of resources to help you contemplate the RCL readings with your family. While designed to be used during a Sunday service at church or by zoom, these readings can also be used during the week to help you remember and build on what you experienced on Sundays. My objective is for faith to be a lived experience and for children to learn how to worship and explore the Bible and pray by participating in Worship with you. The goal here is not for them to learn names or facts though they may want to do that for themselves, but rather to find ways of connecting with the text and sharing that with others. The ideal is to form a life long love of Christ, for the Word of God and to participate in Worship.

We enter a new Church Season, Christmas, and it’s liturgical colour is WHITE (if you find that choice repressive many are now substituting GOLD)

There are 3 sets of reading for use on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services.You can find Option 1 and Option 3 here. Check with the Church you are attending or the on-line service you are viewing to find out which one they are following. Or have all three open so that you are ready to share the message of these amazing worship expereinces with the children in your company.

If worshipping at home you might want to set up a focal point, possibly the Advent Candles, and adding a white Christ candle and maybe a nativity.

For Christmas Eve services some people remove the baby, adding him in for Sunday morning services.

If able to worship in the Church buildings pack a special backpack, as well as filling, it with your Covid Safe equipment, add the books or materials required to help your young ones relate to today’s readings. And especially today a new something found under the Christmas tree.

For adults and older students, you might like to use a journal with which to record anything that grabs your attention during the service. This could be a special, bound book or use your ipad or iphone. You could write a precis of the message (traditional words or pictures), draw, keep a record of emotions and hymns that you did or did not like. Young scholars could use a template like this free downlhttps://kidsbibleteacher.com/christmas-sermon-notes-page/%E2%80%8Boad. Remember, this is for you, you do not have to show anyone what is in it unless you want to, and you feel safe to do so.

CONGREGATIONAL USE: Though parents are the best at sharing their faith with their children, if you are a small congregation where children are a very small, or rare part of your congregational life. Please feel free to make these suggestions available to your congregation. Very happy for you to copy and paste idesa into your own Order of Service.

LET’S BEGIN:

SING It’s Christmas by David MacGregor

LIGHTING OF THE CHRIST CANDLE LITURGY

We come to you God and you present us with a baby (pretend to rock a baby in our arms)

to show us how to LOVE others (make a love heart with your fingers)

to bring us JOY (do a star jump)

to teach us PEACE (take a deep breath in)

always to look to for HOPE (arms out wide)

Amen (one clap)

THE LORD’S PRAYER:

You might like to start with the Lord’s Prayer if at home, or say the Lord’s Prayer within a set place if following along in a service. Here are 4 options

2 with ACTIONS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOugEQpcc_k OR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMjm93ylL2w

A more contemplative version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NuUo-igXDU&fbclid=IwAR2FasYCU-9mP1PaLQDjweXyhyUnJutt4J28KycjzeUEttWSesipX2jmJxE

Or for a more Intergenerational approach try Number 1 on the Table Settings album by Liturgical Folks

ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF COUNTRY

If you are in Australia and attending a Uniting Church in Australia, in many cases an Acknowledgment of Country will be said. You can teach your young ones to do this too.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE – Christmas Present Prayer Response.

In advance wrap a present, if you are environmental, you could wrap the smallest items in hankies, progress to wrapping in a tea towel, or hand towels. Between each layer of wrapping stick a post it note with the names of people or areas of concern to spark people’s ideas so that when the parcel is unwrapped the person taking off the layer, can pray for the person or item of concern, or you can leave space for everyone’s individual prayers to be quietly said. (Some of the notes can just have a drawing or a photo of the area of concern so that even the non-readers can participate.

COLOURING-IN Scroll to the end to find the MERRY CHRISTMAS sheet.

FIRST READING: Isaiah 62:6-12

READ: Tea and Sugar Christmas by Jane Jolly If you are a Storybox Library subscriber you can watch it here

DO: Who guards/protects you, ie, lifesavers, policeman, etc. DRAW, write or make a model of something being protected to make life better.

COLOURING-IN

PRAY

Protective God

Keep me looking for you,

Keep me celebrating

the good things you bring

Amen

PSALM 97

Psalm 97: Rejoice, the Lord is King!

Rejoice! The Lord is King! (Star Jump beep bow)
Lift up your heart,  (raise your arms high above your head)
lift up your voice; rejoice;  (open your mouth wide)
again I say, rejoice.
(Star Jump)

Power! All the forces in the planet (Show your muscles)
are powered by the Lord. (put your hands in the prayer position)
Love! All the love in the universe (Make a love heart with your hands)
flows from the Lord. (Open your hands out)
Joy! All the happiness in the world (Jump)
is given by the Lord. (hands in prayer position)
Thanks! All our thanks we give back to you. (look up hands out wide)

My thanks and Christmas Blessings to Rev Purdie for this rewrite of the Psalm. Actions in Italics are my additions.

How does this Psalm make you feel, point out an emoji that shows how you feel or show in your face and body how you feel.

SECOND READING: Titus 3:4-7

READ: You are Mine by Max Lucado

WATCH This is a long reading of the book, watch it in small bits with young children or let them move away when they need to they will return to it, especially if older children are watching.

MAKE a love heart card, on the front draw you in the middle of a love heart and inside write everything about you, the good and bad, becasue God loves you because you are you.

SING God is love by David MacGregor

OR I am loved by Heather Price

PRAY:

Father God,

we are loved by you,

not for what we do,

but because you

love us

Amen.

GOSPEL READING: Luke 2:(1-7)8-20

READ: The Whirl Story Bible, Jesus is Born pp.198-203.

COLOURING-IN

PLAY: with sheep and shepherds. What would happen if the Angels arrived? Who would the Shepherds guard?

DEPARTING SONG Love has come by David MacGregor

To all a Blessed Christmas

Wendy L.

Please check local guidlines before using items that are not mine especially if you are using this page for congregational use. Please acknowedge this page if you find it useful. Thank you.

I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.

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Christmas Eve/Cristmas Day OPTION 2 Revised Common Lectionary ideas to involve even the youngest.

There are 3 sets of reading for use in Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services. Check with the Church you are attending or the on-line service you are viewing to find out which one they are following. Or have all three open so that you are ready to share the message of these amazing worship expereinces with the children in your company.

We enter a new Church Season, Christmas, and it’s liturgical colour is WHITE (if you find that choice repressive many are now substituting GOLD)

If worshipping at home you might want to set up a focal point, possibly the Advent Candles,. and maybe a nativity. For Christmas Eve services some people remove the baby, adding him in for Sunday morning services.

CONGREGATIONAL USE: Though parents are the best at sharing their faith with their children, if you are a small congregation where children are a very small, or rare part of your congregational life. Please feel free to make these suggestions available to your congregation. Very happy for you to copy and paste idesa into your own Order of Service.

LET’S BEGIN:

WELCOME: Everyone is welcome here.

SING/LISTEN It’s Christams Time by David MacGregor Today is a great day to let little ones “sing” too by playing soft bells or maracca’s

Colouring in sheets Look for the MERRY CHRISTMAS sheet for today

THE LORD’S PRAYER:

You might like to start with the Lord’s Prayer if at home, or say the Lord’s Prayer within a set place if following along in a service. Here are 4 options

2 with ACTIONS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOugEQpcc_k OR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMjm93ylL2w

A more contemplative version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NuUo-igXDU&fbclid=IwAR2FasYCU-9mP1PaLQDjweXyhyUnJutt4J28KycjzeUEttWSesipX2jmJxE

Or for a more Intergenerational approach try Number 1 on the Table Settings album by Liturgical Folks

I have given you a choice of 2 Christmas day candle liturgies.

SOUTHERN CROSS CHRISTMAS DAY LITURGY

You can print this version of the Southern Cross here

Place a candle on the star. Today I use the brightest star in the constellation. ( You can find more information on the Southern Cross here, including the star names, and some information on how The First peoples understand these stars)

OR if you have a flag or piece of clothing with the Southern Cross on it you might use a torch behind, to shine through the fabric. DO NOT place the material directly on any heat source, electrical, battery or flame.

(actions in italics)

We stand under the Southern Cross (Arms and eyes high)

As the First People have and still do.

God you were always in this land (plant your feet firmly on the ground)

We light our Brightest star (twinkle your fingers)

May Christ guide us to You. (Form the cross with your Body)

Amen

OR

God came into our life,

shining light into the night

We welcome God’s gift

Jesus today

Amen

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Prepare a present (you might like to put a baby doll in the middle present) in advance, wrap as many layers as you want, then each person removes a piece of wrapping and says a prayer. This may be a silent prayer it doesn’t have to be verbal.

If you are in Australia and attending a Uniting Church in Australia, in many cases an Acknowledgment of Country will be said. You can teach your young ones to do this too

FIRST READING: Isaiah 62:6-12

READ: Tea and Sugar Christmas by Jane Jolly If you are a Storybox Library subscriber you can watch it here

PLAY: With Binoculars, magnifying glasses, optical telescope anything that allows you to see something far away up close.

PRAY

Protective God

Keep me looking for you,

Keep me celebrating

the good things you bring

PSALM 97

Psalm 97: Rejoice, the Lord is King!

Rejoice! The Lord is King! (Star Jump beep bow)
Lift up your heart,  (raise your arms high above your head)
lift up your voice; rejoice;  (open your mouth wide)
again I say, rejoice.
(Star Jump)

Power! All the forces in the planet (Show your muscles)
are powered by the Lord. (put your hands in the prayer position)
Love! All the love in the universe (Make a love heart with your hands)
flows from the Lord. (Open your hands out)
Joy! All the happiness in the world (Jump)
is given by the Lord. (hands in prayer position)
Thanks! All our thanks we give back to you. (look up hands out wide)

My thanks and Christmas Blessings to Rev Purdie for this rewrite of the Psalm. Actions in Italics are my additions.

DRAW: examples of Power, Love and Joy.

SECOND READING: Titus 3:4-7

READ: You are Mine by Max Lucado

WATCH

DRAW and MAKE: a paper chain of people You can watch a video of how to do that here, or you can sometimes buy a chain of people from a craft store.

Colour each person in, they can be members of your family, or people from church (members of God’s family) or you can draw the nativity, making each person in the chain a different member of the nativity.

PRAY:

Father God,

we are loved by you,

not for what we do,

but because you

love us

Amen.

GOSPEL READING: Luke 2:(1-7)8-20

READ: The Spark Story Bible, Jesus is Born pp.198-203. For the reading outside the brackets start half way down p.200 If you also read the reading inside the brackets NOTE in the picture on p.199 Mary is riding on a donkey but it is not mentioned in the Biblical text.

SING JOY on Seeds of Christmas EP by Seeds Family Worship

MAKE: Your own wooly sheep to take to see the baby. You will need a straw and print out this free download

May you all have a Very Blessed Christmas

Wendy L.

Please check local guidlines before using items that are not mine especially if you are using this page for congregational use. Please acknowedge this page if you find it useful. Thank you.

I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.

NATIVITY 2 B: Ideas to help the whole family relate to the RCL readings

Have a Blessed Christmas. May the story speak anew to you this season.

This is a page that has collated ideas that suport the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) readings, which are theologically and developmentally approriate, saving you time in finding resources admist this busy season, be it those in paid church employment or families looking for resources. If you use this page please refer to it as appropriate.

We are entering a new season and you will notice that the colour for the season of Christmas is White ( if you find this offensive please feel free to use gold this season.) The season of Christmas starts on the 24th of Decemeber and there are 3 RCL readings for the 24th and 25th of December Services. If you can check with the congregation you are worshipping with either physically or virtually this season to see which reading they will be using it may help your preparation.

I will post on each of these options, Nativity 1B, 2B, 3B and there is a general Christmas page if you are unsure what the readings might be. If you would like to start with some singing there are some songs that you may enjoy on this page, as well as some Christmas stories, and genral activity and colouring in pages.

If at home prepare a worship space, place a white table cloth, your advent candles, and light the final white Christ candle today. You may also include any items that help you concentrate on the season of Christmas.

PRAY:

God came into our life,

shining light into the night

We welcome God’s gift

Jesus today

Amen

FIRST READING: Isaiah 62:6-12

READ/WATCH: God’s Great Love by Rick Warren I chose this book becasue this reading in Isaiah reminds us of all the things that God would do for his people

PLAY; with blocks, build something wonderful, What do you think God finds wonderful?

PLay with a nativity set? (If you don’t have one you can make one

What do you find wondeful? What did God do that was wonderful?

PSALM 97

Psalm 97: Rejoice, the Lord is King!


Rejoice! The Lord is King! (Star Jump beep bow)
Lift up your heart,  (raise your arms high above your head)
lift up your voice; rejoice;  (open your mouth wide)
again I say, rejoice.
(Star Jump)

Power! All the forces in the planet (Show your muscles)
are powered by the Lord. (put your hands in the prayer position)
Love! All the love in the universe (Make a love heart with your hands)
flows from the Lord. (Open your hands out)
Joy! All the happiness in the world (Jump)
is given by the Lord. (hands in prayer position)
Thanks! All our thanks we give back to you. (look up hands out wide)

Words by https://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-97-rejoice-the-lord-is-king.html read her statement on her page about her influences. Actions (in Italics) by me.

DO: Describe those feelings, Show how these feelings look like in your body or draw it, or point out what it feels like from a set of emotional cards https://innovativeresources.org/resources/card-sets/bears-cards/ or the Bears App https://innovativeresources.org/resources/digital-applications/bears-app/

SECOND READING: Titus 3:4-7

READ/WATCH: Horton Hears a Who by Dr Suess I chose this book becasue Titus reminds us that it is not our actions but God’s mercy.(v. 5) And this reminded me of Horton, he could have walked away but he choose to be mercifal and help the Who’s.

SING https://colinbuchanan.com.au/products/practise-being-godly-dvd Titus $AUS2.50

PRAY:

Oh Merciful God,

Thank you

that you care so much you

YOu sent your Son,

and made us part of your family

Amen

GOSPEL READING: LUKE 2 (1-7), 8-20

WATCH https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CO_ubBfLc9Q&fbclid=IwAR3jjGt1RCwHquKpsPWPZTIPOaA_YTvaRo5L0bBovRKThYhbbohqC78tUMU

SING Joy

OR Angels singin’ Glory https://colinbuchanan.com.au/products/king-of-christmas-dvd $Aus2.50

MAKE: Sheep and Shepherds. Make a field of Sheep and some shepherds and

Make some Angel https://lettheirlightshine.com/2020/11/04/how-to-make-an-angel-craft-video/

OR anything from the general Christmas page.

Have a Blessed Christmas

Wendy L.

(if you could acknowledge this page I’d appreciate the recommendation)

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Year A: Ideas to help 3’s and under relate to this weeks RCL readings

It’s finally arrived. Christmas Day. One last candle to light. And look at the colours in the church. We are in a new season, the Season of Advent.

PRAY:

Little Candle Burning bright (make yourself tall, with a flame- Arms over your head with your palms together in prayer)

Light my path (shade your eyes and look ahead)

to Christ your Son – (Blow out the candles and watch the smoke float out into the world.)

May I bring, Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love (point to each of the previous candles)

into the World

Amen

No matter where you are. At your home church, with relatives or travelling. Make sure you are ready to share this amazing time of Worship with your children.

The Uniting Church has 3 different lectionaries to choose from, so it might make being prepared cumbersome if you do not know in advance which readings to prepare for. So I will try to make it as simple as I can. Especially if you are travelling as being weighed down by books and equipment is not always possible (20kg if your flying, or an overflowing family car, can make life difficult), and the idea is to enjoy sharing this experience. Yes, even with overexcited children, fussing in-laws and exhaustion off the scale. I know a quiet service that allows you to snooze quickly is soo tempting. But then you would miss out on the spiritual awakening of your child. And that is worth staying awake to share in..

If you have older children this sheet might help them stay focused during the service https://reflectionaryb.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/christmas1.pdf

You can find some ideas here https://wordpress.com/post/thecrossinmybackyard.wordpress.com/910 as to where to sit and what to bring.

THE LORDS PRAYER IN ACTIONS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOugEQpcc_k OR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMjm93ylL2w

If you need

3 Possible FIRST READINGS

A) Isaiah 9: 2-7

B) Isaiah 62:6-12

C) Isaiah 52:7-10

3 Possible PSALMS

A) Psalm 96

B) Psalm 97

C) Psalm 98

3 Possible SECOND READINGS

A) Titus: 2:11-14

B) Titus 3:4-7

C) Hebrews 1:1-4, (5-12)

3 Possible GOSPEL READINGS

A) Luke 2:1-14, (15-20)

B) Luke 2:( 1-7), 8-20

C) John 1:1-14

You will find last years suggestions here A) https://wordpress.com/post/thecrossinmybackyard.wordpress.com/478

B) https://wordpress.com/post/thecrossinmybackyard.wordpress.com/481

C) https://wordpress.com/post/thecrossinmybackyard.wordpress.com/488

They are the same readings as for Year C and for that matter Year B.

Have a Blessed Christmas

Wendy L.