A Christmas to Remember: Six Unique Ideas for Your Christmas Day Service

A Christmas to Remember: Six Unique Ideas for Your Christmas Day Service

Every few years (six or seven, to be exact), Christmas Day falls on a Sunday. This is one of those years.

It makes for a long weekend for those of us involved in worship planning and leadership (especially if you have an 11 p.m. service on Christmas Eve!), but what a privilege to gather together as a church on one of the greatest holidays of the church year.

Around the World: Music and Prayers for Children's Choir

Around the World: Music and Prayers for Children's Choir

Several years ago, I planned an “Around the World” theme for my children's choir (1st-8th grade), incorporating music, dance, and singing games from different countries.

I've had lots of questions since then about music selection, hymns, prayers, and resources, so I thought I'd put together a more complete planning guide for those of you looking to do something similar with your group.

In this post, you'll find songs, hymns, singing games, and prayers in Spanish (Spain, Mexico, Argentina), French, German, Hebrew, African (Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco, South Africa), and English (Great Britain, Scotland, and Ireland). I'm also including a few relevant Scripture verses and ideas for tying in a mission focus.

Here are some of my favorite resources for an "Around the World" theme for children's choir:

UMH = United Methodist Hymnal
NCH = New Century Hymnal
GTG = Glory to God Hymnal (Presbyterian)

Saudades Do Brasil

IMG_0035 Spring weather, vivid colors, hospitality, time to explore, and best of all: moments where music overcame language barriers.

My time in São Paulo, Brazil was my first experience with international travel and as such, I have many vivid memories.  I traveled that week with a group of friends from school.  The purpose of our trip: to share music and ministry at a small United Methodist Church outside of the city.  With the aid of two translators, we met and conversed over large family-style meals, learned the songs the children sing in the streets, and participated in several Portuguese worship services.


Other highlights of the trip include sightseeing in São Paulo (including a trip to the observation deck of the tallest building in the city) and visiting the large, indoor farmer’s market.


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In Brazil, music is an integral part of the culture - it is a part of everyday events.  In the cool night following a delicious supper, an impromptu dance/singing circle made up of children and adults alike formed out of an innocent game of “football.”  The combination of complex rhythm (compared to our traditional 4/4 in America) and a cappella harmony was incredible – moments I wish I had captured in a form other than memory.