LDS Sacrament Meeting Christmas Program

When the bishop called me to be the ward choir director in September I nearly fell off my chair in fits of laughter. If there was ever a person unqualified for a job it was me for this one. My musical abilities stop shortly after being able to read music. I have put in my time as a primary chorister but that was all fun and games, nothing technical. My head spun in circles for about 5 days as I tried to wrap my head around the idea that I was being asked to help with the Christmas program. Honestly, I was perfectly FINE with writing the program, I wasn't too fine with leading a choir. My gross lack of experience led to conclude that the program needed to be very basic with MUCH participation from the congregation. Here is what I came up with; it turned out well, the length was perfect and everyone was involved.

Most of the information in this program came from:

Seeing Christmas Through New Eyes, by Dieter F. Uchtdorf

The Gifts of Christmas, by Henry B. Eyring

Because He Came, Thomas S. Monson

One person narrated the whole program and we invited the Primary kids to the front BEFORE the program began, they returned to their seats after their song was over.

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Each year as the final scraps from the Thanksgiving turkey are carefully resting in the back of the refrigerator, our primed and thankful hearts easily transition into the Christmas season. As our thoughts shift from pilgrims and falling leaves to Santa Clause and snowmen we are faced with the ever consuming responsibility of keeping Christ in our Christmas celebrations. We, like the Grinch who stole Christmas, must learn for ourselves that “Maybe Christmas, doesn’t come from a store; Maybe Christmas… perhaps…. Means a little bit more”.
 
With the house all decorated and tree beautifully trimmed we are easily captivated by the wonder and excitement; but in the still of the night with the tree glowing softly, one ornament stands out from the others as a feeling of reverence radiates from the space where it rests. The nativity scene, hastily arranged in the thick of the decorating frenzy tells a story of another Christmas at another time. May we keep the true meaning of Christmas in our hearts as we contemplate the purpose for the peaceful crèche tucked quietly in the corner hoping to be remembered.
 
Primary Children: Picture a Christmas (2-5 min)
(Luke 7: 7-14)
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you goodtidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
 
Congregation: Silent Night
(Luke 2:6-7)
“And SHE brought forth Her firstborn son, and {She} wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and {she} laid him in a manger.” Those brief pronouns trumpet in our ears that, second only to the child himself, Mary is the chiefest figure, the regal queen, mother of mothers – holding center stage in this grandest of all dramatic moments. Consider this young woman, something of a child herself, here bearing her first baby might have wished her mother, or an aunt, or a sister, or a friend to be near her through the labor. Surely the birth of a son such as this should command the aid and attention of every midwife in Judea! We all might wish that someone could have held her hand, cooled her brow, and when the ordeal was over, given her rest in crisp, cool linen.
No matter the humble circumstances of this event, no doubt Mary held her precious child near and looked at him in wonder as she considered the role he would play in saving the sons and daughters of the world. As she kissed his cheek she must have felt the sacred testimony that her baby boy was the Lord of all creation.
 
Choir: Mary’s Lullaby
(We sang this straight out of the primary song book. Nothing fancy)
(Luke 2: 1-5)
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all theworld should be taxed.
 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is calledBethlehem;
 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
 
 Mary had ridden or walked approximately 100 miles from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea. Surely Joseph must have wept at her silent courage. As he cleared away the dung and debris, searched to find the cleanest straw and fought to hold the animals back, might he have felt pain in knowing there could not be a more despicable circumstance in which a child could be born. But Joseph did not complain. Who was this strong, silent, almost unknown man who must have been more worthy than any other mortal man to be the guiding foster father of the living Son of God? Joseph, the guardian of the Savior of the world, it was He who taught the Savior the books of the law. It was Joseph who, in the seclusion of the shop, helped the child begin to understand who he was and ultimately what he was to become.
 
Congregation: When Joseph Went to Bethlehem (2 ½ min)
(I would have preferred this song be done by a small group of men or primary children but I didn't pull it together in time)
 
At this focal point of all human history, a point illuminated by a new star in the heavens revealed for just such a purpose, probably no other mortal watched – none but a poor young carpenter, a beautiful virgin mother, and silent stabled animals who had not the power to utter the sacredness they had seen.  But surely the angels in heaven looked down to witness the creation of a miracle.
 
(Luke 2: 9-14)
 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you goodtidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
 
Congregation: It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (3 min)
 
Shepherds would soon arrive and later, wise men from the east.
 
(Luke 2: 15-20)
 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
 18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
 19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
 
Choir: The First Noel (3-5 min)
(This song was prepared from the Hymnpicity Christmas book 2. Hymnplicity Christmas * The Ultimate Ward Choir Resource * Book 2
(Matthew 2: 1-2)
1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
As we follow the star on our journey to find the savior and to worship him; will we be prepared as were the wise men of old to provide gifts from our many treasures? The Wise Men presented gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but these are not the gifts Jesus asks of us. From the treasure of our hearts Jesus asks that we give of ourselves: ‘Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind’ (D&C 64:34).
 
With Wondering Awe – Choir (3-5 min)
(This was also taken from Hymnplicity Christmas book 2)
(Alma 26:16)
 16 Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.
(John 3:16-17)
16- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17- For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
 
May we sing out in praise and joy for the gift of the lord has been given!
 
Joy to the World – Congregation (2-3 min)
(This song was done with a beautiful piano/organ accompanyment from Sally DeFord. It was a little tricky for me to lead but it worked out well and sounded really great!)
 
I do hope this program helps someone who finds themself in the position I was in this year!
 
 

 

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