Worship Resource: O Little Town of Bethlehem with additional prayers

Christmas Eve service in courtyard of Church of the Nativity, circa 1934-1939. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Christmas Eve service in courtyard of Church of the Nativity, circa 1934-1939. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

The following worship resource alternates between verses of O Little Town of Bethlehem (United Methodist Hymnal #230, Public Domain) and additional prayers.

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.

We welcome you O Christ, Light of the World.
End our fears. Our hope is in you.

For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the 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!

We welcome you O Christ, son of Mary, Son of God.
Bring peace to all on earth.

How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is giv’n;
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heav’n.
No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.

We welcome you O Christ, Gift of Heaven.
Enter in. We receive you and pray others will as well.

O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!

Conclude with “Amen” or The Lord’s Prayer

***********
This worship resource may be voiced in several different ways.
Here are a couple of ideas:

  • all persons sing and pray
  • all sing and one prays
  • one sings and all pray

Another option is to speak the hymn text rather than sing it:

  • all speak the hymn and one prays
  • one speaks the hymn and all pray

If you choose to speak the hymn and prayers, it would be especially beautiful with an instrumental version of the hymn playing in the background.  

Feel free to extend the prayer time between the verses for additional intercessions offered silently or aloud.

Whatever you decide, I pray this idea sparks a meaningful and rich time of worship for you this holy season. – Lisa <><

*************
O Little Town of Bethlehem prayers and compilation © 2010 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the art and the use of this post in other settings,
please refer to the copyright information page.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s