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Online Worship

2020 has been a year unlike any other, and this Advent and Christmas season promises to be no different.  Knowing that so many of our communities of faith are unable to gather in person, Shining Waters Regional Council has developed a selection of video resources for use in online worship.  Resources will be provided for Advent, Christmas Eve and Epiphany Sunday.

These videos have been cleared for use in your worship services.  Resources have been sorted by week.  Music has been contributed from a variety of sources, including the generous contribution of music from Metropolitan United Church and Jubilee United Church (those videos will be coming soon).  Songs not in the public domain need to be reported to One License, and congregations will need to have the Podcast/Streaming license as an add on to their regular license. Unless noted otherwise, all music pieces are available for use in pre-recorded, live-streamed (Zoom) and archived services.

This page is something of a “living document” — week by week (or perhaps even day by day!) more resources will be added.

If you have prayers or music to contribute, or would like to be notified as new resources are added, please email Bri-anne Swan at bswan@united-church.ca.


Online Pageant Resources

Shining Waters also has two online pageant resources for use with Sunday Schools and congregations.

You’re on Mute is the story of a Sunday School class that is trying to record their Sunday School Pageant. Along the way, they discover the meaning of Christmas during COVID-19.

The First Christmas tells the story of the first Christmas. Inspired by the Gospel of Luke, this pageant encourages an intergenerational approach to the story and utilizes well known Christmas hymns.

If you are interested in either of the pageant resources, please email Jeffrey Dale, Minister for Faith Formation, Youth & Young Adults.

Online Pageant
Advent 1 Title


Mark 13:14-37


“Keeping Awake in the Prison Cell” by Ramiro Gonzales


Come Thou Long Expected Jesus; O Come, Emmanuel

This eschatological text, situated between Jesus teaching on the temple mount and Mark’s passion narrative, discusses visions of the end times with apocalyptic imagery from the the prophets Isaiah, Joel, Ezekiel and Daniel. Christ followers are implored to “keep awake” to the signs of Christ’s return.  For a people experiencing imperial oppression, eschatological texts are meant to be texts of hope; that the destruction of the status quo is so sorely needed, that images of the sun being darkened and heaven and earth passing away are moments to look forward to with anticipation.

As you listen, consider how these words sit with you.  Are they frightening? Comforting? Who might these words especially speak to today?  Who do you expect would find hope in anticipation of destruction?

Music: Onward by Chelsea McGough.  Licensed for use.

Video: Utilizes stock footage from Storyblocks

Download the video here.


Ramiro Gonzales has been a prisoner on Texas’ Death Row since 2006. He is scheduled to be executed on April 20, 2021.

Ramiro’s prayer is a reflection on the hope found in this week’s gospel reading, despite the fear and doubt of one’s desperate circumstances.  It is a hope that stands steadfast in the knowledge that death is not the last word and that there are times where thinking about “the end times” can also be a comfort, a beacon to guide one’s heart and thoughts.

Music: Stronger Self by Moments. Licensed for use.

Narration: Todd Cutrivo

Video: Utilizes stock footage from Storyblocks

Download the video here.

Download Ramiro’s original handwritten prayer here.


O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (Veni, Veni, Emanuel), based on Christian chants from the 9th century, has been a beloved start to the Advent season for hundreds of years. This tune is based of a 15th century plainsong melody.  The English adaptation used in the United Church of Canada was published in 1851 by John Mason Neale.  The song is a call for deliverance and redemption, with both hope and knowledge that God is present. The revolution needs our joy, too.

Performed by Emorie. The music and lyrics are in the public domain.  No One License reporting is required.

Video: Utilizes stock footage from Storyblocks

Download the song here.


In 1744, Charles Wesley considered Haggai 2:7 while looking at the plight of orphans in his community, as well as the growing class divide throughout Great Britain. Through this train of thought, Wesley wrote Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus.

Words and music (Hyfrydol) are in the public domain and do not require One License reporting.

Video: Utilizes stock footage from Storyblocks

Download the song here.

do justice. the podcast (Advent 1)


Isaiah 40:1-11
Mark 1:1-8


“When I Wish for Comfort” by Tania Omega


Calling with the Wild; Comfort, O Comfort My People

Advent 2 Title

Isaiah 40 sees the author moving from warnings of judgement and destruction for God’s people, to a message of comfort and freedom that is to come for a community in exile.  While the Revised Common Lectionary sets up this text as prophecy for Christ’s birth, it is Mark (in this week’s gospel reading) who is referencing Isaiah, not Isaiah predicting the gospel.

As you listen to this text, you’re invited to consider what is the comfort you need?  What comfort is needed in your community?  What does it mean to prepare a way for God?

Music: Camargue by Alice in Winter. Licensed for use.

Video: Utilizes stock footage from Storyblocks

Download the file here.

The beginning of Mark’s gospel points directly towards the words of Israel’s prophets, particularly Isaiah & Malachi.  Last week we listened to Mark’s words foreshadowing the coming of the end times; a passage infused with hope for those in desperate situations.  This week, we are greeted with the declaration of good news.  Mark’s original audience could have really used some good news as they navigated the violence and complexity of the Jewish War with Rome.

There is a tendency in Canada to think of wilderness as forests for hiking, lakes for canoeing, camping by fires with family, friends, and song.  The wilderness of John the Baptizer is a life lived out on the fringes, crying out from the margins of “civilized” society.  This is not a wilderness of Canadiana kitsch. It is a wilderness lived on the edge. A wilderness populated by those who have been left behind.

As you listen to this week’s gospel reading, you’re invited to wonder about what these words might mean for people living on the fringes of their community. Where do you see yourself in relationship to the wilderness? Whom do you feel is being called to repent?

Music: Come Thou Font of Every Blessing. Performed by Marie.  Licensed for use.

Video: Utilizes stock footage from Storyblocks

Download the file here.


Written by Tania Omega.

A prayer reflecting on hospitality and how comfort is not only one sided.

Download coming soon.


Wish for Comfort Image

A musical reflection on the Holy Spirit calling from the margins — calling from the wilderness.

This song is not registered with One License and is offered with permission. No reporting is required.

Photo: Caitlyn Wilson on Unsplash

Download the song here.


Advent 3 Title


Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
John 1:6-8, 19-28


“Christ Who Sees me in the Fullness of Who I Am” by Daniel Towns



Resources coming soon.


Luke 1:26-38
Luke 1:46-55


“When I Wish for Comfort” by Tania Omega


My Soul Cries Out (Canticle of the Turning; May it Be (Song of Mary)

Advent 4 Logo

An imagining of Mary’s thoughts after being told that she will have a baby, that baby will be the Son of God, and things are about to get very, very difficult and terrifying for her.  The end of the song features Mary’s words of praise (drawing almost entirely on Hannah’s words of praise) known as the Magnificat.

Words and music by Bri-anne Swan. No requirement to report to One License. 

Download coming soon.


A musical interpretation of the Magnificat and the longing for God’s justice in the world.

Words by Rory Cooney and set to the tune Star of the County Down.

Please report use of this song to One License.

Video: Utilizes stock footage from Storyblocks and contributed videos from members of Shining Waters Regional Council.

Download the file here.

Canticle of the Turning
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We are grateful to Metrolpolitan United Church and Jubilee United Church for offering their recorded music for use in congregational online worship across Shining Waters Regional Council. (Videos and downloads coming soon)

Additional Resources Logo

Advent Message from the Moderator


In his Advent message, Moderator Richard Bott reminds us that for everything there is a season. The Advent season is not just a time of waiting, it’s a time for preparation, as we prepare for the baby Jesus. We have to move one step at a time, without fear, without worry. Because God is here, with us. God is with all this wounded world. Advent — especially this Advent — is a time to remember that. Advent and Christmas will be different this year. We will need to keep our physical distance and cover our faces. Perhaps the distance this pandemic brings can allow us to prepare our spiritual life for the coming of the Christ child. One step at a time. Each in its own order. There is a time for everything.

Download the video here.

Téléchargez la vidéo ici.



Convergence Music Project

What is CMP all about? Succinctly, it’s about creating a soundtrack for what many are now calling the “Convergence Christian Movement” (often formally referred to as the Progressive Christian Movement)

CMP is about great new songs of all kinds and musical styles for worship that reflect the theology and transforming biblically based agenda at the heart of Convergence Christianity. 

When using music from the Convergence Music Project, please pay attention to the required copyright permissions.

Check out the Advent music here.

Those Who Dream Playlist

A playlist from A Sanctified Art to get you in the mood as you plan for Advent.

Not for use in online worship, just for your listening and planning pleasure.


A poem offered by Brother Richard Hendrick from the early days of the pandemic.

Download poem here.