Watchnight Service Guide

There are many possible ways of structuring the covenant service. You may choose to follow the service exactly as written in this given liturgy. However, if you wish to include other elements such as a sermon, music, or Holy Communion, a few suggestions of service order are given below for your consideration. Each order may be adapted as is best fitting to the worship context.

Structure One


The Greeting
Opening Prayer
Song(s)
The Lord’s Prayer
Scripture Lesson(s)
The Proclamation
The Confession
Words of Assurance and Pardon
Song
The Invitation
The Covenant Prayer
Holy Communion
Song
Dismissal with Blessing

Structure Two


The Greeting
Opening Prayer
Song(s)
Scripture Lesson (John 15:1-8)
The Proclamation
The Confession
Song
Words of Assurance and Pardon
Scripture Lesson (2 Kings 23:1-3)
The Invitation
The Covenant Prayer
Remembrance of Baptism with Holy Communion
The Lord’s Prayer
Song
Dismissal with Blessing

Structure Three


The Greeting
Song
Opening Prayer
Silent Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer
Scripture Lesson (Ecclesiastes 3:1-13)
Song
Scripture Lesson (Psalm 8)
Scripture Lesson (Revelation 21:1-6a)
Song
Scripture Lesson (Matthew 25:31-46)
Sermon
Song
Offering
The Proclamation
The Confession
Words of Assurance and Pardon
The Invitation
The Covenant Prayer
Song
Dismissal with Blessing

Structure Four


The Gathering
Song
Opening Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer
Song(s)
Scripture Lesson(s)
Sermon
The Proclamation
The Confession
Words of Assurance and Pardon
The Invitation
The Covenant Prayer
Song(s)
Dismissal with Blessing

Though it is not included in the above liturgy, it is very appropriate for the service to end with the celebration of Holy Communion. Likewise, a remembrance of baptism is a fitting ceremony to be included as part of the service.

The scripture readings in the service often vary. The scriptures listed above are some of the readings most commonly done in the service. Here is a list of other possible scripture readings:

Psalm 8
Ecclesiastes 3:1-13
Matthew 25:31-46
Revelation 21:1-6a

Depending on the setting, a sermon or homily may be included as part of the service.

This service provides many opportunities for multiple people to be involved in worship leadership. You may choose a lay person or two to lead the liturgy, though it would be best to keep to only one or two standard liturgists for the service (excluding the scripture readings). Since the service does contain many elements and transitions, it is highly recommended to practice the service at least once with all who will be involved.

Notes on music


Hymn suggestions (with name of lyricist)
“A charge to keep I have” (Charles Wesley)
“Come let us use the grace divine” (Charles Wesley)
“Jesus we look to Thee” (Charles Wesley)
“O for a thousand tongues to sing” (Charles Wesley)
“O God our help in ages past” (Isaac Watts)
“My hope is built on nothing less (The Solid Rock)” (Edward Mote)
“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” (Isaac Watts)

Contemporary song suggestions (with name of recording artist)
“Beneath the Waters (I Will Rise)” (Hillsong)
“Christ is Risen” (Matt Maher)
“Cornerstone” (Hillsong)
“Lord I Need You” (Matt Maher)
“Love Divine” (Jenn Johnson)
“Seas of Crimson” (Bethel Music)
“The Wonderful Cross” (Chris Tomlin)