From Advent to Alleluia: Two options for walking through the church year in one service

After Pentecost comes Trinity Sunday and the beginning of a long period of Ordinary Time or Growing Time, as many churches teach their children. Ordinary Time (time not connected to the Christmas and Easter cycles) stretches this year from the beginning of June until the end of November. Either the beginning or end of this long period would be a good time to review the entire Christian year. The first two services here were planned for June, and the children were able to sing songs they had learned throughout the year. The third service was planned for November to anticipate the new year that was about to begin.



Jean DeVries prepared this program for the children at two elementary Christian day schools. She writes, “It was a spiritual experience for me as I studied, prepared the students, and watched them perform. I pray they will never forget our church seasons.” All the banners were made by the fifth-grade students.


Processional: “O Come, O Come, Immanuel” PsH 328, PH9, RL 184, SFL 123, TH 194, TWC 133

Banner Display: Isaiah 9:2

Hymn: “People in Darkness Are Looking for Light” SFL 119

Prophecy: Isaiah 40:3

Hymn: “The Prophets Came to Israel” PsH 334, SFL 128

Fulfillment: Matthew 3:1-3

Hymn: “Prepare the Way of the Lord” SFL 124

Mary’s Song: Luke 1:46-49

Hymn: “Magnify the Lord” PsH 622, SFL 13


Banner Display: Luke 2:8-20


“Angels We Have Heard on High” PsH 347, PH 23, RL 206, SFL 133, TH 214, TWC 152
“Good News” SFL 132
accompanied by flutes
“He Came Down” SFL 136
“Go, Tell It on the Mountain” PsH 356, PH 29, RL 224, SFL 131, TH 224, TWC 151


Banner Display: Matthew 2:1-12


“As with Gladness Men of Old” PsH 358, PH 63, RL 228, SFL 143, TH 226, TWC 181
“The King of Glory Comes” PsH 370, SFL 156, TWC 134
with percussion instruments and interpretive dance


Banner Display: John 12:12-15

Hymn: “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna” PsH 378, PH 89, RL 282, TWC 203

Anthem: “My Song Is Love Unknown” Carolyn Jennings

Hymn: “Were You There” PsH 377, PH 102, SFL 167, TH 260, TWC 218


Banner Display: Matthew 28:1-7

Hymn: “Were You There”, stanza 4

Scripture: Philippians 2:10-11


“Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” PsH 388, PH 113, RL 325, SFL 172, TH 277, TWC 234
with interpretive dance from Songs for LiFE, Leader’s Edition
“Low in the Grave He Lay” PsH 396, TH 276, TWC 235
“He Is Lord” PsH 633, SFL 178, TWC 97
“He’s Alive” SFL 174
with Orff instruments


Banner Display: Luke 24:50-53


“Clap Your Hands” PsH 166, SFL 179, TWC 23
“Hail the Day That Sees Him Rise” PsH 409, RL 331, TH 290, TWC 258


Banner Display: Acts 1:4-5, 8; Acts 2:1-4


“The Fruit of the Spirit” 224, SFL 188
“Spirit of the Living God” PsH 424, PH 322, SFL 184, TH 726, TWC 297
“The Spirit of the Lord” SFL 187
with hand drum

Closing Comments and Prayer


For more information, contact the church through their website: His six meditations for this service (we didn’t have room for them here) are available without charge on e-mail:

The People Gather and Welcome One Another

The Prelude

“Praise to the Lord,” Albrecht, Walther
“Prelude and Fugue in C Major” Bach

Call to Worship

Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ!
Grace to you, and peace.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth.
Let the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.
Praise the Lord!
The Lord’s name be praised!


A season of hope and preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ

Hymn: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” PsH 328, PH 9, RL 184, SFL 123, TH 194, TWC 133

Scripture: Isaiah 11:1-10



A celebration of the birth of the Christ Child

Hymn: “O Come, All Ye Faithful” PsH 340, PH 41, 42, RL 195, TH 208, TWC 173

Scripture: Luke 2:1-11


Anthem: “The Sky Can Still Remember,” Michael Gray (SAB), G. Schirmer Inc. #12442


The growth and extension of Jesus’ ministry into the world

Hymn: “As with Gladness Men of Old” PsH 358, PH 63, RL 228, TH 226, TWC 181

Scripture: Ephesians 3:1-12


The Lord be with you
and also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession concluded with the Lord’s Prayer


The season of penitence and self-discipline, reflecting Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness and our preparation for his suffering and death

Hymn: “Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley” PH 80

Scripture: Isaiah 52:13-53:9


Anthem: “O Sacred Head Now Wounded”

Prayer for Reconciliation

Most merciful God, we your church confess that our spirit has not been that of Christ. We have failed to love one another as you have loved us. We have pledged loyalty to him with our lips, but betrayed, deserted and denied him. Forgive us, we pray, and by your Spirit keep us faithful in every time of trial or temptation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Time of Silence for Private Confession

Assurance of God’s Grace

Hear the Lord’s words of grace to us all: “Your sins are forgiven.”
Thanks be to God! Amen.

Hymn: “Glory Be to the Father” PsH 635, PH 577-579, RL 561-563, TH 734, 735, TWC 805, 807


The resurrection of the Lord and celebration of new life in Christ

Hymn: “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” PsH 388, PH 123, RL 325, SFL 172, TH 277, TWC 234

Scripture: Mark 16:1-8


The Apostles’ Creed


The celebration of the giving of the Holy Spirit, God’s continuing presence, and the birth of the Christian Church

Hymn: “Come, O Spirit, Dwell Among Us” PH 129

Scripture: Acts 2:1-12

Ordinary Time

Most of the time, when we are called to live faithfully

Hymn: “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!” PsH 249, PH 138, RL 611, SFL 66, TH 100, TWC 2

Scripture: Psalm 96 (PH 217 chanted, with congregational refrain)


The Offering

Offering of Music: “Old Hundredth,” Pachelbel

Doxology: “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow” PsH 637, 638, PH 591-593, RL 556, SFL 11, TH 731-733, TWC 808, 809

The Offertory Prayer

The Peace

Since God in Christ has given us peace, let us share that peace in the whole family of faith. The peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all
And also with you.

[The congregation shares some sign of God’s peace with those nearest them.]

Christ the King

The cycle begins again

Hymn: “Lift High the Cross” PsH 373, PH 371, RL 415, SFL 171, TH 263, TWC 229

Scripture: Luke 23:33-43

The Dismissal

Go in peace to serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia!

The Blessing

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the partnership of the Holy Spirit be with you all, now and forever. Amen.

Postlude: “Hornpipe,” Handel

The art depicting the different seasons of the liturgical year was designed by Paul Stoub, an artist in Grand Rapids, MI. Subscribers to RW are encouraged to use this art for bulletin or banner designs.

Jean De Vries is a teacher at Dutton Christian School, Dutton, Michigan.


Reformed Worship 51 © March 1999, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.