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Worship: Advent & Christmas

resources from judicatories, including re-opening guidelines and online worship videos; online hospitality & participation; engaging children, youth, and intergenerational; lectionary & preaching; liturgy, music & liturgical arts; tech & copyright helps;

Covid-19 Christmas Celebration Guidelines

On November 10, Governor Walz detailed new restrictions to slow communal spread of Covid-19. Executive Order 20-96 states that as of Nov. 24, attendance at "receptions" must not exceed 50 attendees; as of December 8, attendance must not exceed 25 attendees. This applies to anything you host at the church or in another venue that is not worship itself.

CDC considerations for fall and winter holiday celebrations.

Resuming Care-filled Worship and Sacramental Life: The Ecumenical Consultation on Protocols for Worship, Fellowship, and Sacraments

Bishop Ough of the MN Annual Conference UMC wrote Conference Regathering Plans Move to Orange to aid leaders in deterring best practices, especially looking ahead to Advent and Christmas.

Liturgical Arts


Illustrated Worship: Advent contains five hand-drawn illustrations and five bulletins which illustrate texts from the RCL for Advent (Year B), November 29 through December 27, 2020. 

Illustrated Nativity Figures

20 illustrations to use in Christmas worship bulletins, newsletters, or giant, life-size nativity figures - endless possibilities. Find suggestions here.


Jan Richardson has graciously given copyright permission for using her work online. Her writing is appropriate for worship, contemplative practices, family devotions and small group discussions.

Rev. Elsa Cook offers a Pandemic Liturgy for Advent, including visual art and videos (from re:thinkworship) for each Sunday; a lovely Lessons and Carols in Coronatide liturgy for Christmas Eve or the First Sunday of Christmas; and Shadows and Light: A Service for a Pandemic Christmas Eve.

SALT Project created Advent Lighting Litanies

Featured Advent Films - multiple gorgeous films of varying lengths; share with many ages in worship, study, devotional time, etc.

LeaderWise's Dan Nelson, PhD, LP, collated a beautiful Interfaith Prayer for Peace. Adding pieces from other world religions or individuals - especially publicly/currently demonized groups - might add to its power.


All The Many's Advent and Christmas music in one place.

CAL 2020 head image

Share some joy with Luther College's innovative take on their annual Christmas at Luther concert. 

Engage Worship has compiled a list of shareable (YouTube or Facebook live) Christmas music videos in contemporary and traditional styles.

The Association of Lutheran Church Musicians put together a wonderful rendition of Angels We Have Heard on High for congregations to use; available in various formats.

Tom Witt shared this fantastic Advent & Christmas music list in the UCC's Clergy Praxis Zoom.

The Longest Night

The Longest Night” is a pre-recorded worship service produced by the Southwestern Texas Synod (ELCA) for folks who are alone… who grieve… who have lost hope... who need to give voice to the discomfort of their souls… who need a guided time of quiet and reflection on the life-giving word of God. It will be available on the SWT synod website by December 15 for use on the solstice (the “longest night,” December 21) or any time during the remaining Advent/Christmas season. For additional information contact


Register now to participate in the Blue Christmas Service. The service (webinar) will take place at 7 p.m. CST on Monday, December 21, 2020, via Zoom. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Recorded/Full Worship Services

Jobs with Concordia College

Concordia College, Moorhead, is offering a worship service recording for Sunday, Dec. 27; including lessons, carols, poetic readings and music performed by Concordia students and alumni. Participants are encouraged to have a candle available for the service. The service will be available on Dec. 21 here.

"Celebrate the Child" featuring Jonathan Swenson, Paraphrase Theatre

The cost for the entire 1 hour video is $300 for congregations over 500 worshipping in normal conditions (not Covid #'s), or $200 for those under 500. $50 for any/each additional playing of the video.

Christmas Day Worship Service

The Saint Paul Area Synod and St. Paul Reformation provide an online Christmas Day worship service with Bishop Lull preaching; available for viewing on Christmas morning (Friday, December 25) on the synod's website (on the homepage) and scheduled to "premiere" at 9 a.m. on their Facebook page

Yogadevotion Advent Candlelight Worship

Wednesday, Dec. 16 - 7 p.m. | Online

Center yourself in the presence of God, anticipating the arrival of Emmanuel, "God with us." Scripture, prayer, readings, music and silence will be incorporated in a Yogadevotion practice that explores the Advent themes of hope, peace, joy and love. A freewill offering will be designated to a local charity. Learn more.

Augsburg University created their profound Advent Vespers, Come Now, Breath of God

Webinars & Podcasts

Preaching on Christmas Eve 2020 from Rev. Julia Seymour (ELCA)

Practical Resources for Churches offers a number of on-demand webinars.

Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center: 

Day Advent Journey
Advent Rituals for Yesterday and Today

Tuesday, December 1, 9am-12p

Led by Pastor David Lose, Theresa Latini, and Pastor Kurt Kalland

Lighting the Advent wreath on a Zoom call

“Virtual Advent” featuring Anna Petrin

How can Advent be special in a year when so much is different?

Wired Magazine's What Should You Do about Holiday Gatherings and Covid-19? can help in family and congregational conversations - including a could creative alternatives.

How Silently the Wondrous Gift Is Given

Chad Fothergill, cantor to the Lutheran Summer Music community, author of Sing with All the People of God: A Handbook for Church Musicians, and editor of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians journal CrossAccent offers timely words of wisdom, caution and joy.

Judicatory Resources

Books and resources to help prepare for Advent in a spirit of hope; for individual or small group study or in classrooms.

ELCA World Hunger encourage addressing local, regional and global hunger.

Seasonally appropriate materials guide congregations in specific actions and provide for worship and study.

The ELCA's First Third of Life team curated a great list of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany resources.