Sermon magazine word celebrations – reading sample 2 of the archived issue 6

Children especially need blessings, the promise of the good. On the one hand, they have their lives ahead of them and it should succeed, on the other hand, they are more vulnerable than adults.
There are various occasions for child blessing. For example, many parents bless their children when they leave the house in the morning. The church takes Christmas as an occasion. One reason is that God himself has become a child. Another is in memory of the Bethlehem child murder. This is how we celebrate the festival of innocent children on December 28th. We know that children are still exposed to many dangers today. The world in which we live not only offers space.
This is also why it is important to promise the children that God himself will protect them.
Every child is unique. So the blessing is given to them personally.
In some areas, it is also common for children, like the shepherds, to bring gifts to the crib. This is offered as a design element.

1 indent
Moving in of all services involved in worship. Bowing in front of the altar or squat, facing the tabernacle when it is in the sanctuary.

2 vocals for the opening
GL 143 "Now rejoice, you Christians" or
EH 193.1.2 "Star above Bethlehem" or
On the way 64 »Sing a new song to the Lord«

3 signs of the cross and liturgical greeting
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Community: Amen.
Glory to God in the highest and peace to people on earth.
Community: Amen.

4 Introduction
Dear children, today you are the focus of worship. Now you may think that this cannot be true, because there should be Jesus. When we celebrate worship, we come together because we believe and want to show that Jesus plays a very important role in our life and in our church.
If you think that, you are of course right. But then look at the crib. There you discover the shepherds; they all worship the child lying in the crib.
Jesus Christ, God’s Son, has become a human child, just as you are. That is why you and Jesus are the focus today. He wants to bless you.
Like the shepherds, we now want to worship Jesus Christ in the crib. You children are now invited to come to the crib with us. (You brought home-made Christmas decorations as a gift. You may bring them to the crib.)

5 Adoration at the crib
All children are invited to stand in front of you (see above).
If possible, the calls to prayer are made by children.

Jesus Christ, we praise you, because through you God has become a human child.
Jesus Christ, we praise you.

Church: Jesus Christ, we praise you.
Jesus Christ, we thank you because you have shown the powerful people how much God loves the little and the weak. Jesus Christ, we thank you.

Church: Jesus Christ, thank you.
Jesus Christ, we praise you because you made yourself very small. Jesus Christ, we praise you.

Church: Jesus Christ, we praise you.
Jesus Christ, we thank you for you brought the Good News to people. Jesus Christ, we thank you.

Church: Jesus Christ, thank you.
Through Jesus Christ the great God, who created heaven and earth, a little child and has become our human brother. That is why we praise him today and every day of our lives.
Community: Amen.

6 song at the crib
GL 141 "I’m at your crib here" or
EH 193.3 "Star above Bethlehem" or
On the way 103 »My hope and my joy«
Everyone returns to their places.

7 Gospel Transition
We now hear the gospel. It is the good news that the angels brought to the shepherds. We also learn how the shepherds set out to find Jesus and how happy they were.

8 Call to the Gospel
The community stands by the call for hallelujah.
EH 24 or
GL 531/4
The cantor sings the call, the congregation repeats.
The verse on Hallelujah can be found in the Lectionary before the Gospel for Christmas – In the Morning. The gospel text must be read from a Bible because it is not in the Lectionary. Gospel homage can be expanded by repeating the gospel call. Two altar servers with candlesticks stand to the right and left of the ambo.

9 Gospel: Luke 2.821
From the holy gospel according to Luke.
Church: Glory to you, O Lord.
Cross sign on book, forehead, mouth and chest.
According to the gospel:
Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Church: Praise be to you, Christ.

10 Speech: Gospel Dialogue
A child disguised as a shepherd and a child "from today" speak about what they have heard.

Child: Say you were there when what we just heard happened.

Shepherd child: Yes. That’s true. It was the most beautiful day in my life.

Child: I’ve heard the story many times, but I can’t really imagine how you experienced it.

Shepherd child: At first it was a normal night. It was lousy cold and we were very tired from working with the animals. Only the night guards were on their feet, the rest of us slept. But suddenly we were all woken by a loud voice and a bright light.
I can’t say what to compare it to. I just knew I didn’t have to be afraid.
It was also very quick.
The shepherds were very excited afterwards. An angel said we should go to Bethlehem and there we would find a child in a stable. This child is the savior of the world!
Child: Then you ran to Bethlehem and found Jesus the Savior.
Shepherd child: Yes, roughly. Before that I put my flute in so I could play something for the child.

Child: Oh, the child was definitely happy!
I have another question: Why did the angel actually appear to you? You were very poor people back then. The other people didn’t particularly like you because you lived outside with the animals and weren’t so fine and clean. Why didn’t he appear to the king to believe in Jesus??

Shepherd child: I’ve often thought about that.
But it fits Jesus: He was not born in a palace, but in a stable. I think he wanted to show from the beginning that God especially loves people who are not big and strong themselves. Because, like a child, the parents need their help.

Child: I understand that well. I can do a lot myself, but I still need my parents.
In fact, all people need God’s help and blessing. But as the shepherds were weaker than the other people back then, we children are even smaller and weaker than the adults. God loves little people. That is why he himself became a child and blesses the children.

11 Child Blessing Guide
The children are invited to step forward together with their parents and, if possible, stand in a row or in a semicircle in front of the crib or at the altar steps. The parents stand behind their children and put a hand on their shoulders.
Dear children, you have heard that God especially loves you. As a sign of this, the blessing is now being awarded to each one of you. You are now invited to come forward with your parents.

The children and their parents step forward.
Dear parents, your children are entrusted to you by God.
As a sign that you want to protect and accompany your children, we would like to ask you to come forward with your children and put a hand on your children’s shoulders during the blessing. We also invite you to draw a sign of the cross on the forehead of the children after the blessing we request.
Prayer for child blessing
let us pray.

Jesus, you called and blessed the children that were brought to you. Do you also bless our children whom we entrust to you today.
Therefore we ask you, our brother and master.
Community: Amen.

12 child’s blessing
The leader now goes to each child. He / she asks the child or parents for his name. Then he / she draws a cross on the child’s forehead and speaks the blessing. The formulations can vary (see below), so that each child knows and is blessed individually.
What’s your name?
Child: N.N..
N.N., Jesus bless and protect you.
N.N., Jesus strengthen you and accompany you every day of your life.
N.N., Jesus is always with you and protect you in your ways.
N.N., Jesus bless you and accompany you like a good friend.
Return to the seats.

13 singing after the child’s blessing
GL 140 "Born in Bethlehem" or
EH 192,1–3 "Jesus is born" or
On the way 118 »daughter Zion«

14 Lord’s Prayer
Jesus was also a child, like you it is and as we adults all were. We know from him that God wants us to be a good father. That is why we are now praying together in prayer by calling God Father.
Church: Our Father in Heaven …

15 peace signs
When the angels proclaimed the good news of the birth of Jesus to the shepherds, they sang: Peace to people on earth.
We wish and pray that peace may be everywhere on earth, with each of you, in your families and between your friends and you. But there should also be peace between the peoples of the world. As a sign that we wish each other peace, we shake hands with our neighbors to salute peace.

16 blessings
May God bless us with the peace that the angels have announced to the shepherds. Protect our children and our families. He will protect us in all of the steps we will take in the new year.
So bless us the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Community: Amen.

17 dismissal
Sing praise and price.
Church: Thanks be to God the Lord.

18 closing song
GL 144, 1–3 "Jauchzet, you heaven" or
EH 193.4 "Star above Bethlehem" or
On the way 101 »Of good powers«
Then bow to the altar or squat, facing the tabernacle when it is in the sanctuary.

19 extract
Excerpt from all services involved in worship. organ injury.

20 design element
The children present gifts to the child in the crib
Following 5 adoration at the crib.

As the shepherds gave their gifts to the child in the crib, the children are now also invited to put homemade Christmas decorations in front of the crib (or to hang them on a Christmas tree next to the crib).
Dear children, back when Jesus was born in the stable in Bethlehem, angels announced the Good News to the shepherds. The shepherds quickly set out to find the child in the crib.

They brought him presents, maybe a lambskin or milk and cheese and much more.
Today the shepherds are not at the crib, but you children. You also brought gifts. I see …
The speaker can be shown various objects and names them.
You are now invited to bring your gifts to the crib.

Continue with 6 songs at the crib

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