Liturgy written by Lenora & Gary Rand

A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org


About the Longest Night Service

There is an Advent tradition within Western Christianity of inviting people to come together for the Longest Night, a night around the time of the winter solstice, when there are more hours of darkness than light. It is a time to come together for prayers and laments, to mourn the losses and griefs of the year, to let the tears flow for the hurting places in our own lives, as well as for our country and our world. Known also as “Blue Christmas,” a Longest Night gathering is a safe and sacred space to share anguish, to plead with God to remember us, to pray for justice and restoration, even to hope against hope, through our doubts and tears and fears, that “God will set things right all over the earth.”


Tonight our two congregations,

Trinity United Methodist Church (TUMC) and First Congregational Church (FCC),

invite you to join us in worship.



Longest Night Order of Worship

Trinity United Methodist Church & First Congregational Church (UCC)

Friday, December 18, 7:00 pm


“A hand was stretched out to me, and a written scroll was in it...and written on it were words of lamentation and mourning and woe.”  - Ezekiel 2

“May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.” – Psalm 126


coming together

Please have strips of dark colored cloth or paper (blues, purples & blacks) and permanent markers or pens to use during our worship together.


Prelude        Variations on “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”                          Sarah Lillie, Piano        


Welcome & Call to Worship                                                                             Pastors Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson & Bryson Lillie

We are here tonight in the dark because God created light and dark, day and night... and said both were good. To fear darkness is to miss what we can see there that we cannot see clearly anywhere else. So, here we are. We are in the dark. Will you say that with me? Here we are.

We are in the dark.

We are here to acknowledge that we are in the dark about so many things. We have so many unanswered questions. We have so much fear and sorrow we cannot make sense of—tucked away in secret places. And for some of us, we have fresh grief that is raw and feels unending. Here we are.

We are in the dark.

We can hear in this night an invitation to not run so quickly to the bright shiny objects, to easy answers, and loud, well-lit rooms. This sacred darkening makes room for all of who we are—for our laments and longings, our confessions and our cries. This darkness can help us see what we cannot see in the light. This dark and holy night can perhaps even be a night where dreams are dreamed, where hope can be born. Here we are.

We are in the dark.

And God is with us...

We are not alone.


Special Music             “Longest Night” by The Many                                                         Julie & Brian Schuetz, Bo & Macy Warner

         

sharing our prayers & laments | We Do Not Lament Alone                          Pastors Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson & Bryson Lillie


Special Music         “Seasons" by Hastings, Tan & Davenport                                           Sarah Lillie


sharing our prayers & laments | Grieving What We've Lost                          Pastors Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson & Bryson Lillie


Sung Response       “Waiting for You,” by The Many                                                          Nikki Glantz & Paul Heintzleman

we are waiting for you. we are waiting for you.

we are waiting for you. we are waiting for you.


scripture & rending | Psalm 13                                                                               Rev. Kathy Bullard & Yvonne Clary


Sung Response       “Waiting for You,” by The Many                                                        Nikki Glantz & Paul Heintzleman

we are waiting for you. we are waiting for you.

we are waiting for you. we are waiting for you.


scripture & rending | Jeremiah 8                                                                           Kathy Mizculski


Special Music         “Be Born in Me" by Francesca Battisselli                                             Sarah Lillie


sharing our prayers & laments | Racism & Injustice                                      Pastors Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson & Bryson Lillie


Sung Response       “Waiting for You,” by The Many                                                          Nikki Glantz & Paul Heintzleman

we are waiting for you. we are waiting for you.

we are waiting for you. we are waiting for you.

scripture & rending | Jeremiah 31                                                                         Rev. Nora & Jan Smith


Sung Response       “Waiting for You,” by The Many                                                        Nikki Glantz & Paul Heintzleman

we are waiting for you. we are waiting for you.

we are waiting for you. we are waiting for you.


scripture & rending | Psalm 102                                                                           Rev. Kathy Bullard & Yvonne Clary


Special Music             “Drawing Near” by Christopher Grundy                                       Julie & Brian Schuetz, Bo & Macy Warner


the words of assurance                                                                                    Pastors Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson & Bryson Lillie


sending                                                                                                        


Hymn                        “O Come, All Ye Faithful”                                                                 Debby Groover & Judy Schroeder


final blessing                                                                                                           Pastor Bryson Lillie


Postlude           “Waiting for You,” by The Many                                                             Nikki Glantz & Paul Heintzleman                                           

We are waiting for you.

You are waiting for us too.


You are invited to place your pieces of cloth or paper on your own Christmas tree.

Or you may mail them to your church to add to your congregation’s Advent Wreath.



about the creators of this service


The Many - Drawing on indie pop and gospel influences, The Many, composed of lead singers Darren Calhoun and Leslie Michele, as well as singer/songwriter Hannah Rand, is a liturgically-grounded new kind of worship band. The Many is an intentionally diverse collective making music to help give voice to faith and doubt, questions and fears, laments and longings, music that speaks to a non-violent God, a Jesus who is with us and for us, and to a Spirit that can't be easily defined or controlled. themanyarehere.com


The Plural Guild - The Plural Guild came together to create and curate music, poems, prayer, visual art, liturgy, experiences and community that embrace questions and doubts, as well as faith. To make work that can be used in worship gatherings that’s truly inclusive and helps everyone feel like they belong. That has eyes wide open to the pain of the world. That speaks of a God who came to this earth in Jesus to show us the way to love and live fully alive lives. Work that invites participation versus performance. For anyone...and everyone...who longs for a more loving, just, open, and abundant world. The Plural Guild is a collective led by the husband and wife team, Lenora and Gary Rand, as well as the members of The Many. pluralguild.com