Advent/Christmas Readings with Congregational Participation

Interactive Advent/Christmas Readings –

These are two congregational interactive readings, designed to involve the congregation in scripture. These readings can fit services through the Christmas, one covering the annunciation to Mary in Luke 1:26-38, and the other John’s introduction to his gospel, in John 1:1-18. We did these readings for our carol service and we were quite surprised how involved people got. Instead of a passive listening experience it was heartening to hear Christians engaging and interacting with scripture. We found it worked effectively with the music group leading the various sections as required.

 Luke 1:26-38 The Annunciation to Mary –

Reader: In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said,

MEN: “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you”

Reader: But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her,

WOMEN: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,

ALL: and you will name him Jesus.

WOMEN: He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.

MEN: He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

Reader: Mary said to the angel,

WOMEN: “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”

Reader: The angel said to her

MEN: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you,

WOMEN: and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;

MEN: therefore the child to be born will be holy;

WOMEN: he will be called Son of God.

Reader: And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren.

ALL: For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Reader: Then Mary said,

ALL: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”

Reader: Then the angel departed from her.

Reading John 1:1-18 The Word –

 Reader 1: In the beginning was

Reader 2: the Word, and the Word was

Reader 3: with God,

Readers1, 2 & 3: and the Word was God.

R1: He was in the beginning

R3: with God.

R1: All things came into being

Rs1,2&3: All things came into being

ALL: All things came into being

R2: through him,

R1: and without him not one thing came into being.

Rs1,2&3: without him not one thing came into being.

ALL : without him not one thing came into being.

R3: What has come into being in him was life,

R2: Life

R1: Life

ALL: Life, and the life was the light of all people.

Rs1,2&3: The light shines

ALL: in the darkness, the darkness, and the darkness, the darkness

R2: did not overcome it.

R1: The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

ALL: True light into the world.

R3: He was in the world, and the world came into being through him;

ALL: yet the world did not know him.

He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.

R3: But to all who received him, who believed in his name,

ALL: he gave power to become children of God,

R1: who were born,

R2: not of blood

R3: or of the will of the flesh

R2: or of the will of man,

ALL: but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us,

and we have seen his glory,

R3: the glory as of a father’s only son,

ALL: full of grace and truth.

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