Sunday 31 December, 2023


1st Sunday of Christmas          
Out of the Ordinary #6 (“God in other people”)**

(Watchnight Service suggestions below) 

Hymns marked with an asterisk (*) are suggested for more than one hymn               

General Also see hymns for Israel-Palestine (How can we call a land “Holy”?) 

Deep in the darkness a starlight is gleaming (StF 625)
Heaven shall not wait (StF 701)
O Lord we are always in your presence (StF 33)
Strength will rise as wait upon the Lord (StF 89)
The God who sings a new world into being (StF 714)
We will walk with God, my brothers (StF 484)
Within God's hands (website only)

out-of-the-ordinary-worship-resource-2023-cover-image**Hymn suggestions are also included as part of Out of the Ordinary, the Methodist Church’s Advent and Christmas 2023 resources. Running for all the Sundays of December, and Christmas Day, this year’s campaign focuses on how the wonder of God’s love is revealed in the ordinary:

  • a seemingly ordinary birth becomes God’s out of the ordinary world-saving event through Jesus
  • every day, ordinary acts of kindness can breakthrough to the extraordinary

Download the Out of the Ordinary worship resource (PDF)

Isaiah 61: 10 – 62: 3

As the deer pants for the water (StF 544)
Glory be to God on high (StF 199)
Let all the world in every corner sing (StF 57)
Let earth and heaven combine (StF 208)
Morning has broken like the first morning (StF 136)
Praise is rising, eyes are turning to you (StF 64)
Worship God with the morning sunrise (StF 68)

Psalm 148

Hymns echoing the psalmist’s theme

All creatures of our God and King (StF 99)
Angels, from the realms of glory (StF 190)
Of the Father’s love begotten (StF 181)
Praise, my soul, the King of heaven (StF 83)
Praise the Lord! You heavens, adore him (StF 86)

Galatians 4: 4-7

Abba, Father (StF 439)
Born in song! (StF 21)
Born in the night, Mary’s child (193)
Come, let us sing of a wonderful love (StF 443)
*Come, thou long-expected Jesus (StF 169)
Jesus, we are here (Jesu, tawa pano) (StF 27)
Let earth and heaven combine (StF 208)
We wait in hope for hope to come (website only)
Where shall my wondering soul begin? (StF 454)

Luke 2: 22-40

And I will wait now (website only)
Beneath the paper wrappings (StF 192)
Birth brings a promise of new life awaking (StF 226)
*Come, thou long-expected Jesus (StF 169)
Hail to the Lord's Anointed (StF 228)
Mary and Joseph came to the Temple (StF 229)
Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace (StF 794) responsive reading
Remembering Mary (website only)
Sing of a God in majestic divinity (StF 13)
Take my life, and let it be (StF 566)
Through long years of watchful waiting (StF 232)
We cannot bear the full light of your glory (website only)
We see the eyes of Mary shine (StF 219)


New Year: Watchnight


A hymn for New Year ("This is a day of both prayer and of praising") (website only)

either Deuteronomy 8: 1-20

Guide me, O thou great Jehovah (StF 465)
O God of Bethel, by whose hand thy people still are fed (StF 475)
Praise, my soul, the King of heaven (StF 83)
Seek ye first the kingdom of God (StF 254)
You call us to the wilderness (website only)

or Ecclesiastes 3: 1-15

Come, let us sing to the One (StF 2)
O Lord, we are always in your presence (StF 33) (especially for prayer response)
Sing of a God in majestic divinity (StF 13)
There is no moment of my life (StF 482)
When we are living, we are in the Lord (StF 485)

either Psalm 8

Hymns echoing the psalmist’s theme

I sing the almighty power of God (StF 107)

or Psalm 90

Come, let us anew our journey pursue (StF 460)

Revelation 21: 1-6a

As with gladness men of old (v.4) (StF 224)
It came upon a midnight clear (StF 205)
Hills of the north, rejoice (StF 172)
O God, you search me and you know me (StF 728)
Praise is rising (StF 64)
Darkness like a shroud covers the earth (StF 170)
Joy to the world, the Lord is come! (StF 330)
New every morning is the love (StF 137)
You showed us mercy (StF 488)

Matthew 25: 31-46

Blest are the pure in heart (StF 244)
Hark the glad sound! The Saviour comes (StF 171)
Here on the threshold of a new beginning (StF 684)
Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love (StF 249)
Up to your table, Lord, you call us (vv.1&3) (StF 599)
We pray until that hour (StF 741)
When I needed a neighbour, were you there? (StF 256)

or Luke 12: 13-21

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness (StF 34)
*Day of judgment! Day of wonder! (StF 732)

or Luke 12: 35-50

A charge to keep I have (StF 658)
As servants working an estate whose owner is away (StF 491)
At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow (StF 317)
*Day of judgment! Day of wonder! (StF 732)
Light a candle in a darkened place (StF 174)
Lo, he comes with clouds descending (StF 177)
Stay with me, remain here with me (StF 780)
We pray until the hour (StF 741)

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