Lessons and Carols - December 26, 2010

153: Good Christians All, Rejoice

Loving God, open our hearts and minds to the truth made manifest in Christ, that you are with us. You are with us now, in this moment, flowing like a spring in our innermost being. May the simple beauty of the birth of Jesus summon us always to love what is most deeply human, and to see your love reflected in those whose lives we touch. May the testimony of creation—in the stable animals and the very heavens—summon us to cherish all life, and to see your goodness in the beauty of this Earth. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

145: Good King Wenceslas

First Lesson: Genesis 1:26-28; 5:1-2
God blesses humankind
Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." This is the list of the descendants of Adam. When God created humankind, he made them in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them "Humankind" when they were created.

122: In the Bleak Mid Winter

Second Lesson: Genesis 9:8-17
God establishes the covenant with Noah.
Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, "As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth." God said, "This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth." God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth."

Senior Choir Anthem: Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella

Third Lesson: Isaiah 9:2; 6–7
Crist's birth is foretold.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness-- on them light has shined. For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

140: It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Fourth Lesson: Isaiah 11:1–3, 4a, 6–9
The peace Christ will bring is foretold.
A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder's den. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

Junior Choir Anthem: Were You There On That Christmas Night?

Fifth Lesson from Luke 1:26–35; 38
The Annunciation.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.

117: Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming

Sixth Lesson: Luke 2:1; 3–7
Luke tells of the birth of Jesus.
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

120: O Little Town of Bethlehem

Seventh Lesson: Luke 2:8–16
The shepherds go to the manger.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see--I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!" When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us." So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.

Senior Choir Anthem: Rise Up Shepherd and Follow

Eighth Lesson: Matthew 2:1–12
The wise men are led by the star.
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage." When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 'And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.'" Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage." When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Junior Choir Anthem: Twas the Light Before Christmas

Ninth Lesson: John 1:1–14
The mystery of incarnation.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth.

138: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

The Peace

Hymn-at-the-Offertory: 128: The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy

Offertory Prayer
God of light, in the birth of your Son we see your glory. May we who share in this mystery grow daily in your love. This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.

Hymn Sing

The Lord’s Prayer
Depart in peace, and take with you the certain knowledge
That God is always coming into the world.
We will seek God, not in a long ago stable or ancient manger, but in the people we meet and the depths of our own hearts.
May the blessing of Christmas make you a blessing to others; May the peace of the season pervade all that you do.
We will welcome the challenge of discipleship.
We will offer ourselves as God’s ministers.
We will go forth in hope, peace, joy, and love.

126: Away in a Manger


Christmas Eve 2010


5:00 p.m. 11:00 p.m.

118: O Come All Ye Faithful

Today we remember Jesus
and the story of his birth;
Jesus is our King.

The Christ candle is lit on the wreath.
Hope, peace, joy, and love. Four candles, four promises continually offered to us by God, and all of them manifest in this one we light tonight: the Christ candle. In Christ we find the hope of transformation, the peace that follows justice, the joy of self-fulfillment in community, and the love that encompasses us in all our diversity, empowering us to make our own unique contribution to this world. In Christ we find light and life, and the courage to be like him, answering his call and following in his footsteps.

Take this fire, let it flame,
God is born in our frame,
sinless child tastes our shame,
sin’s might he is breaking;
new the world is making.
Shine, O candles, shine,
Burn with love divine,
to the night,
comes the light
of the Father’s glory.

Jesus Christ is the light of the world;
Jesus is our Way.
With Jesus even dark places are light;
Jesus is the Truth.
In Jesus we shall live for ever;
Jesus is our Life.

The Summary of the Law
Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Let us pray,
Eternal God, this holy night is radiant with the brilliance of your one true light. As we have known the revelation of that light on earth, bring us to see the splendour of your heavenly glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Anthem – Junior Choir: Born To Set Us Free
Anthem – Senior Choir: Lullaby of the Dove

Isaiah 9:2-7
Psalm 96
Refrain: All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
120: O Little Town of Bethlehem

Luke 2:1-14 – A dramatic reading of the Gospel.
Luke 2:1-14 – A Reading

Sermon: Archdeacon John Clarke

Anthem – Junior Choir: Child of Christmas
Anthem – Senior Choir: Carol of the Bells

The Prayers of the People
In joy and humility, let us pray to the creator of the universe, whose son was born so that we might have everlasting life, saying, “Lord, grant us peace.”
We pray that our lives may reflect the love you have shown us, and that there will be unity in your church. We ask your grace for Sue and Ron our bishops, and for all of us as we minister in word and action, helping us to bear faithful witness to your love. By the good news of our salvation brought to Mary by the angel, hear us, O Lord.
Lord, grant us peace.
We give thanks for and ask your blessing for those who are on duty this night: police, fire fighters, ambulance crews, health care providers and others on special duty. We hold up before you the men and women of the Canadian Forces, that they may be kept safe. Hear us O Lord,
Lord, grant us peace.
On this joyful evening, may your peace, justice and love flow into the world, into our country, communities and families. May our hearts search out the lonely and those in need, so they will know your presence. We give thanks for our ministry at St. Paul’s to generously provide time and treasure to help fill the Christmas boxes. May you continue to fill us with strength and vision to recognize the work of your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven, hear us O Lord,
Lord, grant us peace.
We name before you those who are ill at home or in the hospital [especially….], knowing that you are doing for them better things than we can ask or imagine. By the manifestation of the King of glory to the shepherds and magi, hear us, O Lord.
Lord, grant us peace.
We commend to you all who have died [especially….], that our trust in you may deepen as you keep them safe in your care. We offer our thanks and praise for all you have done for us, rejoicing in the knowledge that you are with us always. By the submission of the maker of the world to Mary and Joseph of Nazareth, hear us, O Lord.
Lord, grant us peace.
Almighty God, once more this holy night rings out with joy, prayer and music, and our hearts are lifted with the song of the angels; once more the bright star guides us to thoughts of a child, lying in a manger; we ask you to bless us and all those dear to us. May the magi within us, wisely brings our gifts and offer true worship; may the awestruck shepherd within us, run to embrace the wonder of your love. O God, your love is so great that you gave us your Son to shine out in our darkness. Help us to make that love known to the entire world, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Confession & Absolution
Hear the words of the angel to Joseph: 'You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.' Therefore let us seek the forgiveness of God through Jesus the Saviour of the world.

Silence is kept.

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us, that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Peace
Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and his name shall be called the Prince of Peace.
The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.

139: The First Nowell

Prayer over the Gifts
Let us pray,
Source of light and gladness, accept all we offer on this joyful feast. May we grow up in him who unites our lives to yours; for he is Lord now and for ever. Amen.

The Eucharistic Prayer "G" from Common Worship, the Church of England
The Lord is here.
His Spirit is with us.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, Lord God, our light and our salvation; to you be glory and praise for ever.

From the beginning you have created all things and all your works echo the silent music of your praise. In the fullness of time you made us in your image, the crown of all creation.

You give us breath and speech, that with angels and archangels and all the powers of heaven we may find a voice to sing your praise:
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

How wonderful the work of your hands, O Lord. As a mother tenderly gathers her children, you embraced a people as your own. When they turned away and rebelled your love remained steadfast.

From them you raised up Jesus our Saviour, born of Mary, to be the living bread, in whom all our hungers are satisfied.

He offered his life for sinners, and with a love stronger than death he opened wide his arms on the cross.

On the night before he died, he came to supper with his friends and, taking bread, he gave you thanks. He broke it and gave it to them, saying: Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.

At the end of supper, taking the cup of wine, he gave you thanks, and said: Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.
Jesus Christ is Lord:
Lord, by your cross and resurrection you have set us free.
You are the Saviour of the world.

Father, we plead with confidence his sacrifice made once for all upon the cross; we remember his dying and rising in glory, and we rejoice that he intercedes for us at your right hand.

Pour out your Holy Spirit as we bring before you these gifts of your creation; may they be for us the body and blood of your dear Son.

As we eat and drink these holy things in your presence, form us in the likeness of Christ, and build us into a living temple to your glory.

Bring us at the last with Mary, Joseph and all the saints to the vision of that eternal splendour for which you have created us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, by whom, with whom, and in whom, with all who stand before you in earth and heaven, we worship you, Father almighty, in songs of everlasting praise:
Blessing and honour and glory and power be yours for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer
As our Saviour taught us, let us pray,
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

The Breaking of the Bread
We break the bread of life,
and that life is the light of the world.
God here among us,
light in the midst of us,
bring us to light and life.

The gifts of God for the People of God.
Thanks be to God.

Hymns-during-Communion at 11:00 p.m. are: 125, 138 & 137


119: Silent Night

Prayer after Communion
Let us pray,
Father of all, tonight you have united earth and heaven in sending your Son to take our human nature. May we who have tasted heavenly things share in the life of his eternal kingdom. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A doxology
Glory to God,
whose power, working in us,
can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.
Glory to God from generation to generation,
in the Church and in Christ Jesus,
for ever and ever. Amen.

May Christ, who by his incarnation gathered into one things earthly and heavenly, fill you with peace and goodwill and make you partakers of the divine nature; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

154: Joy to the World

The Scattering (Mark 4:20)
Alleluia! Go forth into the world, rejoicing in the birth of our saviour.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia!