Christmas DJ service

My daughter grabbed this shot of me controlling the Christmas morning "DJ" worship service at St. James. We gave the band the morning off (after two Christmas Eve services) and I spun an eclectic mix of tunes along with some videos and stills on screen to help people meditate on Christ-mass.

Some highlights:

We opened with the traditional Roman Catholic Proclamation of the Birth of Christ read over George Winston's piano solo of the spiritual "Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head."

Our call to worship was David Crowder's "Oh Praise Him" (Sunsets and Sushi) with a flash animation to the Apollo 8 crew's reading of the creation story from lunar orbit on Christmas Eve, 1968 mixed in.

We did a two-voice reading of John 1:1-14 from The Message paced to fit over "Acknowledgement" from John Coltrane's A Love Supreme, with several pauses to let the text sink in.

Lynette's sermon featured the music video of Black Eyed Peas' "Where is the Love?"

We had several stations for people to reflect upon in response to the Word:

A station to light a candle for someone who is forgotten or left out (not just at Christmas), and an opportunity to jot down a prayer and then send it to heaven by burning it with incense. There was also a Christmas poem to meditate on and...

An opportunity to write down the name of someone we have trouble loving on a paper heart and place it on the altar.

There was also a series of graphics with a variety of Christmas texts from ancient hymns, early Christian fathers, and contemporary sources on the screen to reflect on. We played two versions of "Love Came Down at Christmas" -- key to our "Christ Comes Down...To Send Us Out" theme -- by Stacie Orrico and Shawn Colvin, along with Bruce Cockburn's "Strong Hand of Love" and Third Day's "Manger Throne" during the station time.

Participatory prayer and Communion finished out the service.

From the comments I received, people appreciated it as a "holy moment," and a nice complement to the more upbeat Christmas Eve services.

Here's the complete playlist:

Gathering time:
Red Nativity, "Silent Grace"
Eucharist CD, "House of the Lord"
Blind Boys of Alabama w/ Me'Shell Ndegeocello, "O Come All Ye Faithful"
Nova Cantica, "Natus est"
Tribe, "Adore" (very cool version of the Adoramus Te)

Call to worship
George Winston, "Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head" (with Proclamation read over it)
David Crowder Band, "O Praise Him" (with Genesis 1 from Apollo 8, space images on screen)

John Coltrane, "Acknowledgement" under John 1 (images of sunrise on screen)

Windam Hill Artists, "Angels We Have Heard On High"
Jim Brickman, "Joy to the World"
Black Eyed Peas, "Where is the Love" (music video)

Stacie Orrico, "Love Came Down"
Shawn Colvin, "Love Came Down at Christmas"
Bruce Cockburn, "Strong Hand of Love"
Third Day, "Manger Throne"

Harp 46, "In Wonder"
Alex De Grassi, "The Holly and the Ivy"

Eucharistic Prayer
Baltimore Consort, "Es ist ein' Ros' entsprugen" and "In dulci Jubilo." I used a very nice video montage from Highway Video called Symbols of Reverence here.

Derek Webb, "We Come to You" (with montage of images, and playout continuing during the distribution of Communion)

Ottmar Liebert, "Silent Nite"

Dismissal hymn
Blind Boys of Alabama with Aaron Neville, "Joy to the World"

Music for coffee and cookies
Kemper Crabb, "Divinum Mysterium"
Winter Solstice, "Joy to the World"
Matthew Perryman-Jones, "O Holy Night"
Sufjan Stevens, "Once in Royal David's City"
Jars of Clay, "Bethlehem Town"
Caedmon's Call, "What Child is This?" and "Babe in the Straw"

Thanks, Leah, for the photos!


Sivin Kit said...

I was thinking of doing this someday. Great stuff and interesting mix for the liturgy

Bob said...

Thanks! It was a real treat to program this sequence, and the videos and images worked really well now that we have a big screen up front. (Until a few weeks ago, we used the TV off to the right side of the sanctuary.) I can't wait to do it again!