Christmas Eve On-line 2020 Intergenerational & Communion Service

Christmas Eve On-line 2020

Intergenerational & Communion Service

Welcome & Announcements

  • Next Sunday will be a service of Christmas Carols and their stories with Christina T.-S. St. Andrew’s River Heights will join us online.
  • 3 we encourage Westworth to watch St. Andrew’s River Heights service from their website—will give our online worship team a well-deserved Christmas break

CAROL:  VU 60   vs. 1,3,4,5

“O Come, All Ye Faithful”

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,

O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem:

Come and behold him,

Born the King of angels:

O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him,

O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.


Sing, choirs of angels,

Sing in exultation,

Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above;

Glory to God in the highest:

O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him,

O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.


See how the shepherds summoned to his cradle,

Leaving their flocks, draw nigh with lowly fear.

We too will thither bend our joyful footsteps:

O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him,

O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.


Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning;

Jesus, to thee be glory given;

Word of the Father

Now in flesh appearing:

O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him,

O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.


Candle Lighting & Prelude

On a star-lit night over 2000 years ago, God was born into this world.

With the Advent candles of hope, peace, joy and love, we welcome again the Christ Child into our hearts. The L./J. family will now tell us the meaning and offer a prayer.

(light the Christ candle on the stand and the Christ candle in middle of Advent wreath)



Opening Prayer

In these long nights of soft, snow-glow light, lead us, God, into moments of meditation and reflection. As the stars twinkle overhead, remind us of the star that heralded Jesus’ birth. May the simplicity of this year’s Christmas carry us back to a simple birth in a roughly hewn manger. Even in our sadness of missing family and friends, may this quiet Christmas eve soothe our worried minds and grant us the deep peace of the Christ Child. Amen.


CAROL:  VU  44  vs. 1,2,4

“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”


It came upon a midnight clear,

That glorious song of old,

From angels bending near the earth

To touch their harps of gold,

“Peace on the earth, good will to all,

From heaven’s all-gracious King!”

The world in solemn stillness lay

To hear the angels sing.


Still through the cloven skies they come

With peaceful wings unfurled;

And still their heavenly music floats

O’er all the weary world;

Above its sad and lowly plains

They bend on hovering wing,

And ever o’er its Babel sounds

The blessed angels sing.


For, lo! The days are hastening on,

By prophets seen of old,

When with the ever-circling years

Shall come the time foretold,

When peace shall over all the earth

Its ancient splendours fling,

And the whole world send back the song

Which now the angels sing.


First Lesson: Isaiah 9:2,6

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

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


Passing of the Peace

May the peace of Christ be with you.

Let us now pass the peace of the Christ Child to those within our living rooms and prayerfully to others throughout the world.


Passing of Peace Music:   “Away in a Manger”  arr. by Karen S. and David S.

Bettina N., flute


Second Lesson: Luke 2:1-7

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. 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. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 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.


CAROL:  VU  69

“Away in a Manger”

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,

The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.

The stars in the bright 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 you, Lord Jesus; look down from the sky,

And stay by my side until morning is nigh.


Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask you to stay

Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.

Bless all the dear children in your tender care,

And fit us for heaven to live with you there.


Third Lesson: Luke 2:8-14

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 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 Saviour, 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 favours!’


CAROL:  VU 38  

“Angels We Have Heard on High”


Angels we have heard on high

Sweetly singing o’er the plains,

And the mountains in reply,

Echoing their joyous strains.

Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Gloria in excelsis Deo!


Shepherds, why this jubilee?

Why your joyous strains prolong?

What the gladsome tidings be

Which inspire your heavenly song?

Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Gloria in excelsis Deo!


Come to Bethlehem and see

Christ whose birth the angels sing;

Come, adore on bended knee

Christ, the Lord, the newborn King.

Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Gloria in excelsis Deo!


See him in a manger laid,

Whom the choirs of angels praise;

Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,

While our hearts in love we raise.

Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Gloria in excelsis Deo!


Fourth Lesson: Luke 2:15-18

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.



“O Little Town of Bethlehem”   Sir Walford Davies


Fifth Lesson: Luke 2:19-20

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.


CAROL:  VU 73 

“The Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy”

The virgin Mary had a baby boy,

The virgin Mary had a baby boy,

The virgin Mary had a baby boy,

And they say that his name is Jesus.


He come from the glory,

He come from the glorious kingdom.

He come from the glory,

He come from the glorious kingdom.

Oh yes! Believer!

Oh yes! Believer!

He come from the glory,

He come from the glorious kingdom.


The angels sang when the baby was born,

The angels sang when the baby was born,

The angels sang when the baby was born,

And they say that his name is Jesus.


He come from the glory,

He come from the glorious kingdom.

He come from the glory,

He come from the glorious kingdom.

Oh yes! Believer!

Oh yes! Believer!

He come from the glory,

He come from the glorious kingdom.


The shepherds came where the baby was born,

The shepherds came where the baby was born,

The shepherds came where the baby was born,

And they say that his name is Jesus.


He come from the glory,

He come from the glorious kingdom.

He come from the glory,

He come from the glorious kingdom.

Oh yes! Believer!

Oh yes! Believer!

He come from the glory,

He come from the glorious kingdom.


Christmas Story

Fritz’s Story of Silent Night

There was a mouse by the name of Fritz who lived way over the ocean in a town called Oberndorf high up in the Austrian Alps. We’ve worked our magic to bring Fritz back to life right here at Westworth and tell us about a fateful night just before Christmas. The year was 1818…

I loooove Christmas. At this time of year there are all sorts of my favourite songs being played and sung. I looooove music! And–there are all sorts of delicious feasts of crumbs at this time of year! My noise just crinkles in delight at all of the scrumptious smells with their generous leftover morsels. People come to church and bring goodies to share with each other. They don’t know that when they eat their goodies, they are also sharing their crumbs with me!

But one year things were really hard for them. They didn’t have as much money and didn’t have much to eat for themselves, let alone share with each other. They were sad and so was I because there weren’t many crumbs for me to eat. I was getting pretty hungry.

And then I saw some food! It was attached to the organ, so I thought that I better be careful, but just a couple of nibbles wouldn’t hurt. That leather was pretty good and filling my stomach while listening to angelic music was the best thing in the world! So I just kept nibbling and listening. I was in heaven.

And then suddenly the music stopped! Franz Gruber, the organist, started saying all sorts of words that I had never heard in church before. He was really angry. He tried this and that but nothing worked. He then bent down and looked behind the organ—he almost saw me, but I quickly scampered away. He then said some more of those new words and something about a mouse haven eaten the bellows. Oh-oh. That was when my heart broke. I had eaten part of the organ and it was all my fault that the music stopped! Have you ever done something that you feel realllly bad about? I did. I felt so bad that my stomach started to turn in knots and I didn’t want to eat anything more for a very long time. There would be no music for Christmas Eve and it was all my fault!

Franz went to Father Joseph Mohr, the priest of the church who was working on the Christmas services in the back of the church, and told him about the broken organ and his broken heart. That made two of us who had broken hearts.

I was really surprised with how Father Mohr responded. He smiled—he wasn’t angry at all—and then dug around in a bag and gave Franz a piece of paper. He explained to Franz that he just come back from walking up the mountainside to visit a poor hut and bless a newborn baby. As he returned, he thought back to when Jesus was born in a poor stable, and the words to a new song came to him. He wrote them down as soon as he returned and then set them aside so that he could keep working on the services. Father Mohr asked Franz if he could write a simple tune that Father Mohr could accompany on his guitar. Well—Franz wasn’t too happy that he couldn’t play the organ for Christmas Eve, but he liked the words Father Mohr had written, and soon a melody came to him. They practised it together, and I was so happy to hear music again, although I was still feeling pretty guilty.

When people began to arrive for the Christmas Eve service, it was explained to them what a mouse had done to the bellows and I felt so sad all over again—I started to cry because the people were so sad. But near the end of the service, when Father Mohr took out his guitar and taught them a new song called Silent Night, everyone began to sing together. It sounded so beautiful.

And then I heard the most wonderful words ever. Father Mohr said that if it wasn’t for the mouse we would never have had this song. “Blessed be that little furry creature!” He actually blessed me! He forgave me for what I did! I promised myself to never snack on organ bellows again. And then Father Mohr said, “Christmas Eve reminds us to be open to the little miracles of  Christmas that can turn even sad times into blessings.”

Thank you Fritz. You may not realize how important your words are today. You see, many of us are living in a sad time this Christmas when we can’t be with family. Your story helps us look for the little miracles of Christmas–little blessings of gifts or phone calls or emails that remind us we’re not alone. We’re remembered by loved ones. We’re remembered by God.


“O Holy Night”    Adolphe Adam



We are grateful for the many ways in which you support the continuing ministry of Westworth. Donations may be made on the website through the donation button or mailing a cheque to the office. Donations must be received by Dec. 31 to receive a tax receipt for 2020.


Tender and loving God, in all that we offer, may we be light-bearers of Christmas miracles. Bless what we give and open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts to receive Christmas miracles from others. Through the Christ Child, we pray, Amen.

CAROL:  VU  74

“What Child Is This?”


What child is this who laid to rest,

On Mary’s lap is sleeping?

Whom angels greet with anthems sweet

While shepherd watch are keeping?


This, this is Christ the King.

Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;

Haste, haste to bring him laud,

The Babe, the Son of Mary!


Why lies he in such mean estate

Where ox and ass are feeding?

Good Christians, fear, for sinners here

The silent word is pleading.


This, this is Christ the King.

Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;

Haste, haste to bring him laud,

The Babe, the Son of Mary!


So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh;

Come one and all, to own him.

The King of Kings salvation brings;

Let loving hearts enthrone him.


This, this is Christ the King.

Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;

Haste, haste to bring him laud,

The Babe, the Son of Mary!


The Sacrament of Holy Communion (Communion Setting E: VU 942)

May God be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them up to God.

Let us give thanks to God most holy.

It is right to give God thanks and praise.


On this holy night we come to taste anew

the wonder of a holy love.

We come in awe of the mystery of God

becoming vulnerable, a baby needy and naked,

utterly dependent upon human warmth and care.

We celebrate the mystery of the Anointed One

who offered warmth and care to others vulnerable and needy.

We celebrate the mystery of Love incarnate as we sing:


Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might (repeat),

heaven and earth are full, full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest. (repeat)

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest. (repeat)


On the night before Jesus died, he had supper with his disciples.  He took bread, thanked you as we have thanked you,

broke the bread and gave it to his friends, saying,

“Take this, all of you, and eat it.

This is my body given for you.

Each time you eat this bread, remember me.”


After supper he took the wine, thanked you for it,

and passed a cup of wine to his friends, saying

“This cup is the new promise God has made with you in my blood.  Each time you drink from this cup, remember me.”

At this time, we also remember all who are poor, cold and hungry like the shepherds, that they may receive good news.

We pray for all who are wandering and searching like the magi, that they may find the place to leave their gifts and their burdens.

We pray for all who are busy, hurried, and preoccupied like the innkeeper, that they may know the peace that comes from genuine acts of hospitality.

We pray for all like Herod who have power, that they may use it with good will.

We pray for ourselves—we who need comfort, peace and joy. We pray for all who are alone this evening. Ease our loneliness, calm our fears, and grant us hope for a new year of healing and health. Amen.


With the words Jesus taught us, we now pray to God,

our Mother and 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,

the power, and the glory,

forever and ever.



In the bread broken and the cup poured,

we proclaim the good news of Christ,

which restores to memory and hope

those who are broken and unremembered.

We long for the bread of tomorrow

and the wine of the age to come.

Therefore, as we eat this bread and drink this cup, we sing:


Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.


Come, life-giving Spirit of God, bring us together

in unity at your table.

Shower us with your grace that we may know,

in the depths of our being,

that each one of us is dearly loved and warmly welcomed

to this table of healing and wholeness.

May these gifts of life be a sign of your grace to us.


Through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory is yours,

God most holy, now and forever.

Amen, amen, amen, amen.


Sharing the Bread and the Cup

The Bread of Life; The Cup of Communion


Prayer after Communion

Divine love, we have tasted the holy mystery of your incarnation in a little one. Be incarnate in our lives, that we may love the little ones of this world as you have loved us.

CAROL:  VU 67 

“Silent Night” (with recorder & guitar)


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 Hallelujah,

Christ the Saviour is born,

Christ the Saviour 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.



Take the love of the Christ Child into your hearts and your homes on this holy night.



Rolling Credits

Due to the Red Alert for Winnipeg, the building for Westworth United Church is closed to the public. We will be continuing online worship at 10:45 am and Zoom Sunday School at 10:15 am.

Staff at Westworth are working both from home and in the building and welcome phone calls or emails at (204) 489-6974, ext. 20 Please do not hesitate to contact Rev. Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd at home (204) 775-8817 or through email

If you would like to receive weekly updates about what is happening in our congregation, please make sure that our office has your email address. Check the congregational email tab.


Permission to podcast the music in this service has been obtained from One License—License # A-732847


Thank you to those who have helped to put this service together:

Service leaders:

Will F., reader

Christina T-S., soloist

Dorcas W., organist/pianist

Jewel C., recorder

Debbie M., music researcher

Rev. Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd, minister, guitar

Peter S. and Ron B. production & camera

Westworth United Church’s stained-glass windows, which you see here, were created by Leo Mol.