Exterior detail shot of Catonsville Presbyterian Church, showing roofline, decorative window, and steeple.


Loading Events
  • This event has passed.
Event Series Event Series: Worship (In Person and Online)
Choir members singing in red robes

First Sunday of Christmas

  • Date: Sunday, December 31, 2023
  • Time: 10:30am11:30am
  • Location: Sanctuary

Order of Worship

December 31, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.

Stream on YouTube

Download Full Bulletin (PDF)

News and Announcements


Roulade on We Three Kings, setting by John Barr

*Call to Worship

(The congregation responds aloud with the bold text)

Arise, shine; for your light has come!
The glory of God has risen upon us.

Tell the good news throughout the earth:
the saving grace of Jesus Christ is for all.

Come and worship the newborn Savior.
We offer the gifts of our lives to the Lord.

Let us worship God!

*Hymn #143, “Angels, from the Realms of Glory”

1. Angels, from the realms of glory,
wing your flight o’er all the earth;
you, who sang creation’s story,
now proclaim Messiah’s birth:
come and worship, come and worship,
worship Christ, the newborn king!

2. Shepherds, in the fields abiding,
watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with us is now residing;
yonder shines the infant light:
come and worship, come and worship,
worship Christ, the newborn king!

3. Sages, leave your contemplations;
brighter visions beam afar;
seek the great desire of nations;
you have seen his natal star:
come and worship, come and worship,
worship Christ, the newborn king!

4. All creation, join in praising
God the Father, Spirit, Son,
evermore your voices raising
to the eternal Three in One:
come and worship, come and worship,
worship Christ, the newborn king!

Prayer of Adoration

Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession

God of glory, you sent Jesus among us as the light of the world, to reveal your love for all people. We confess that our sin and pride hide the brightness of your light. We turn away from the poor; we ignore cries for justice; we do not strive for peace. In your mercy, cleanse us of our sin, pour out the gifts of your Spirit, that, forgiven and renewed, we may show forth your glory shining in the face of Jesus Christ.

Silent prayer of confession

Assurance of Pardon

Hear the good news!

The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting.
Our light has come. In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!
Thanks be to God!

Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.

*Response of Praise: Hymn #137 (“He Came Down”

He came down that we may have love;
he came down that we may have love;
he came down that we may have love;
hallelujah forevermore.

(Additional stanzas)
… that we may have light
… that we may have peace
… that we may have joy

*Passing of the Peace

Life in Community

Thank you for joining us for worship! Explore the calendar of events and recent announcements to take another step into our life together this week. If you’re joining us for the first time or would like to learn more about Catonsville Presbyterian, you’re welcome to share your email with us. We’ll send some information that will help you get connected.

Children’s Message

Prayer for Illumination

Holy One, giver of all light, lift up our hearts and minds to Christ, the morning star that never fades. By the light of your Holy Spirit reveal to us your saving Word and lead us to offer our lives to you in service and in love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Scripture: Isaiah 60:1-6

Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth
and thick darkness the peoples,
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

Lift up your eyes and look around;
they all gather together; they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
and your daughters shall be carried in their nurses’ arms.
Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and rejoice,
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you;
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
A multitude of camels shall cover you,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense
and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

Hymn #151: “We Three Kings Of Orient Are”

1. We three kings of Orient are;
bearing gifts we traverse afar,
field and fountain, moor and mountain,
following yonder star.

O. star of wonder, star of night,
star with royal beauty bright,
westward leading, still proceeding,
guide us to thy perfect light!

2. Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain,
gold I bring to crown him again,
King forever, ceasing never
over us all to reign. (Refrain)

3. Frankincense to offer have I;
incense owns a deity nigh;
prayer and praising gladly raising,
worshiping God Most High. (Refrain)

4. Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume
breathes a life of gathering gloom;
sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
sealed in the stone-cold tomb. (Refrain)

5. Glorious now behold him arise,
King and God and Sacrifice:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
sounds through the earth and skies. (Refrain)

Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, magi from the east came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star in the east and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him, and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet:

‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah,
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.’ ”

Then Herod secretly called for the magi and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out, and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen in the east, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Carol Sing

Call to Offering

Give online (opens in new tab)

Offering of Tithes and Gifts


*Doxology #607, “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow”

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Christ, all people here below;
Praise Holy Spirit evermore;
Praise Triune God, whom we adore. Amen.

*Prayer of Dedication

Gracious and giving God, we give thanks to you, for you are good. Your steadfast love endures forever. We thank you for the blessings of the past year and for how you have stood with us and guided us in difficult times. We give thanks that you will stand with us and guide us in the year to come. Bless these offerings that they may be used to your glory and in service to others in the name of your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Help us to have grateful hearts and to live as the joyful people of God; through Jesus Christ, the greatest gift of all. Amen.

Prayers of the people & the Lord’s Prayer

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 debts, as we forgive our debtors;
and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom and the power
and the glory, forever. Amen.

*Hymn #136, “Go, Tell It On the Mountain”

Go, tell it on the mountain,
over the hills and everywhere;
go, tell it on the mountain
that Jesus Christ is born!

1. While shepherds kept their watching
o’er silent flocks by night,
behold, throughout the heavens
there shone a holy light. (Refrain)

2. The shepherds feared and trembled
when lo! above the earth
rang out the angel chorus
that hailed our Savior’s birth. (Refrain)

3. Down in a lowly manger
the humble Christ was born,
and God sent us salvation
that blessed Christmas morn. (Refrain)


Arise and shine, for your light has come!
The glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

Go now and bear witness to the light of Christ.

Go and tell this good news and great joy:
To us is born a Savior.
Thanks be to God!


Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (“How Brightly Shines the Morning Star”) setting by Max Drischner


  • Dorothy Boulton, Associate Pastor
  • Wendy Johnston, Organist and Assistant Director of Music
  • Greg Knauf, Director of Music
  • Ken Kovacs, Pastor
  • Norman Lazarus, Liturgist
  • Vickie Lord, Social media support


  • Call to Worship: Liturgy, Music, Preaching, and the Arts, Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Theology and Worship (Louisville: Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, 2023).
  • Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013).
  • Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-734388; CCLI Copyright License B 20481088 + Streaming License B 481071
download-audio download-transcript dropdown listen podcast search video blogchatconnectdirectorydonatedownloadfacebookinstagramlinklivestreamnewsoffsite-linkpledgereportsign-uptwittervimeoyoutube