Christmas Eve 2020 Candlelight Service | December 24

Christmas Eve 2020 Candlelight Service | December 24

Worship Service for Christmas Eve 2020

Rev. Gregory Mech | December 24, 2020 | Christmas Eve Candlelight Service | Immanuel Lutheran Church ONLINE and IN-PERSON – Joplin, Missouri | 5:00 and 7:00 pm

Still Wearing Face Masks, Some Classes and On-Campus Activities Have Returned | In-Person Services and Holy Communion are back! Limited Seating. Learn more.

Special Services for Christmas Eve 2020 (5 & 7pm) and Christmas Day (10am). Join us online or in-person! Check out our Advent and Christmas Schedule.

Use our new JESSE TREE Devotions and Activities with your children each day of Advent, leading up to Christmas 2020!

Thank you for supporting Immanuel Lutheran financially. Learn more at

Martin Luther School is Joplin’s Lutheran School, serving children from age 2 through 8th grade. Learn more and receive a FREE Educational Success Consultation! Call 417-624-1403.

Special thanks to all who helped to make this broadcast possible today:
Rev. Gregory Mech, DCE Jason Glaskey, organist Betty Lingenfelter, the Immanuel Brass Choir,
soloist Clare Davis, the COVID Committee, Altar Guild and Board of Elders.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. Reading, Carols and Candlelight. Immanuel Lutheran Church LCMS. Joplin Missouri.

Christmas Eve 2020

Readings, Carols and Candlelight

 When all was still, and it was midnight,
     Your almighty Word, O Lord, descended from the royal throne.

Wisdom 18:14-15

PROCESSIONAL HYMN “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” LSB 380

Hark! The herald angels sing, 
“Glory to the new-born King;
Peace on earth and mercy mild, 
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations, rise, 
Join the triumph of the skies;
With the heavenly hosts proclaim, 
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! The herald angels sing, 
“Glory to the new-born King!”

Christ, by highest heaven adored, 
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold Him come, 
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the God-head see, 
Hail the incarnate Deity! 
Pleased as Man with man to dwell, 
Jesus, our Immanuel!
Hark! The herald angels sing, 
“Glory to the new-born King!”

Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace! 
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings, 
Risen with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by, 
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth, 
Born to give us second birth.
Hark! The herald angels sing, 
“Glory to the new-born King!”

Psalm 96 

Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.

Declare his glory among the nations, 
    his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
     he is to be feared above all gods.

For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, 
    but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
     strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, 
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
     bring an offering, and come into his courts!

Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; 
    tremble before him, all the earth!
Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!
    Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; 
he will judge the peoples with equity.”

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; 
    let the sea roar, and all that fills it; 
let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy 

before the Lord, for he comes; for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Matthew 1:18–25 The Birth of Jesus Christ

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us).

When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

ANTHEM – Clare Davis


The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Let us pray. O God, You make this most holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light.  Grant that as we have known the mysteries of that Light on earth we may also come to the fullness of His joys in heaven; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

“The Quempas Carol” 

(Verse and refrain are sung; the interludes are read. The text for verses 1-4 and the tune are from German Christmas carols from the 1300s. Verse 5 is from Paul Gehardt’s “Come, Your Hearts and Voices Raising”, LSB 375)

1. He whom shepherds once came praising,
Awed by heav’nly light ablazing,
Cheered by angel news amazing:
“King of glory, Christ is born!”

The glorious angels came today,
Aglow with light into the night of darkness deep,
To shepherds who by moon’s bright ray
Did in the field o’er sheep their silent vigil keep.
“Joy, great joy and tidings glad we bring from heav’n resounding,
For you, for you and all the world abounding.”

God’s own Son is born a child, is born a child;
God the Father is reconciled, is reconciled!

2. He whom sages, westward faring,
Myrrh and gold and incense bearing,
Humbly worshiped, off’rings sharing,
Judah’s lion reigns this morn!

“God’s majesty has come to earth
And sent His only Son to you in humankind;
A chosen virgin gave Him birth.
In David’s town the holy infant you will find,
Lying helpless in a manger, poor and bare and lowly,
To set you free from all your sorrow wholly.”

God’s own Son is born a child, is born a child;
God the Father is reconciled, is reconciled!

3. Sing with Mary, virgin mother;
Praise her Son, our newborn brother;
Angel ranks, lead one another,
Hailing Him in holy joy!

Then sang the angels this refrain:
“To God on high alone give praise and glory,
And peace on earth again shall reign.
Let all on earth with gladness heed this story
And rejoice in His goodwill.” The Savior came in meekness
For you, for you, to bear your flesh in weakness.

God’s own Son is born a child, is born a child;
God the Father is reconciled, is reconciled!

4. To our king, God ever reigning,
Yet of Mary manhood gaining,
Heav’nly gifts for us obtaining,
Raise your hymns of homage high!

The wond’ring shepherds said: “Behold!
Let us now go with all good speed to Bethlehem
To see this thing the Lord has told;
The sheep are safe; He will indeed take care of them.”
There they found the wonder child, in lowly swaddling clothes lying,
Yet all the world with His free grace supplying.

God’s own Son is born a child, is born a child;
God the Father is reconciled, is reconciled!

When all was still, and it was midnight,
     Your almighty Word, O Lord, descended from the royal throne. Wisdom 18:14-15

5. From the bondage that oppressed us,
From sin’s fetters that possessed us,
From the grief that sore oppressed us,
We, the captives, now are free.

Luke 2:1–7 The Birth of Jesus Christ

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

HYMN 370 “What Child Is This” vs. 1,2

What child is this, who, laid to rest, 
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet 
While shepherds 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 Christian, fear; for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you;
Hail, hail the Word made flesh, 
The babe, the son of Mary!

Luke 2:8–20The Shepherds and the Angels

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

HYMN 368 “Angels We Have Heard on High”

Angels we have heard on high, 
Sweetly singing over 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 
Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee 
Christ the Lord, the new-born King.
Gloria in excelsis Deo. Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Luke 2:15–20

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

HYMN 379 “O Come, All Ye Faithful” vs. 1-3

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.

Highest, most holy, Light of Light eternal,
Born of a virgin, a mortal He comes.
Son 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.

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.

Isaiah 9:2–7

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.
You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;

they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder, 
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

  HYMN 384 “Of the Father’s Love Begotten”

Of the Father’s live begotten 
Ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega, 
He the start, the ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see 
Evermore and evermore.

Oh, that birth forever blessed, 
When the virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving 
Bore the Savior of our race,
And the babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred face 
Evermore and evermore.

This is He whom seers in old time 
Chanted of with one accord,
Whom the voices of the prophets 
Promised in their faithful word.
Now He shines, the long-expected;
Let creation praise its Lord 
Evermore and evermore.



I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


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.

1 John 4:7–16

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

 ♫ HYMN 363 “Silent Night, Holy Night”

(The hymn will be sung when the lights in the church have been lowered.)

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, “Alleluia!
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior 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.

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht!
Alles schlaeft, einsam wacht
Nur das traute, hochheilige Paar. 
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar.
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh.

Literal translation of the German verse: Silent night, holy night! All are sleeping. Lonely awake, only the married high-holy couple. Sweetheart boy with curly hair, sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.

(Please extinguish your candles, holding them upright for a time so the wax might harden.)

Heavenly Father, We pray to see the future as You see it, so we may live the present as You will it. We pray we may be grounded in Christ as a Lutheran congregation, and guided by Your grace as we walk in forgiveness. We pray we are growing continually in faith as servants in Christ’s Kingdom proclaiming the Gospel. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Created by Lutheran Service Builder © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.

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