Sunday, December 22, 2013

An Order for Lessons and Carols (24 December 2013)

Lessons and Carols
24 December 2013

The Gathering of the Community


Processional Hymn

‘Once in Royal David’s City’  Common Praise #123

The Bidding and Collect

The Presider greets the Community as follows.

My sisters and brothers in Christ, on this night when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, let it be our duty and delight to hear once more the message of the angels and go in heart and mind to Bethlehem to see the Son of God lying in a manger.

As we hear God’s holy word, let us join with Mary, the favoured handmaid, and offer ourselves in service to God’s holy and saving purpose for the world.  Let us bless the name of the God of our salvation who brings the dawn of forgiveness and salvation to those who live in the shadow of death and despair.  Let us give thanks to the one whose power has made us the children of God.

As we mark once more the mystery of the Word made flesh, let us join with the song of angels and saints and make this place ring with our carols and hymns of praise.

But first, let us remember the poverty of the birth of the Prince of Peace, and pray for the poor, the cold, the hungry and those among us who find that there is no room for them at the inn.

Let us remember the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt, and pray for the oppressed, refugees, the isolated and those on the edges of our society.

Let us remember that the Lord of Glory experienced the pain of life and death, and pray for the sick, the anxious, the weary and the bereaved.

And remembering the promise that Christ shall reign for ever and ever, let us pray for the rulers of the nations, for peace and justice on earth, for the unity and mission of the Church, that we may be a sign that God’s rule on earth has already begun.

With joy in our hearts, let us hear again the story of the birth of Christ, and join with Mary and Joseph, with shepherds and all the host of heaven, and with all our ancestors in the faith in offering our worship.

A period of silence is kept.

Let us pray.

God of glory,
your splendour shines from a manger in Bethlehem,
where the Light of the world is humbly born
into the darkness of human night.
Open our eyes to Christ’s presence in the shadows of our world,
so that we, like him, may become beacons of your justice,
and defenders of all for whom there is no room;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

The Proclamation of the Word of God

The First Reading

A Reading from the Prophet Isaiah (9.1-7)

         1 But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish.  In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.  2 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.  3 You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder.  4 For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.  5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire.  6 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.  7 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.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Thanks be to God.


‘In the Bleak Midwinter’  Common Praise #122

The Second Reading

A Reading from the Prophet Isaiah (11.1-9)

         1 A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.  2 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.  3 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; 4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.  5 Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins.  6 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.  7 The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.  8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.  9 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.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Thanks be to God.


‘Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming’  Common Praise #117

The Third Reading

A Reading from the Gospel according to Luke (1.26-38)

         26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.  The virgin’s name was Mary.  28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”  29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.  30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.  32 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.  33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”  34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”  35 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.  36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren.  37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”  38 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.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Thanks be to God.


‘’Twas in the Moon of Wintertime’  Common Praise #146

The Fourth Reading

A Reading from the Gospel according to Luke (2.1-7)

         1 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.  2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.  3 All went to their own towns to be registered.  4 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.  5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.  6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.  7 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.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Thanks be to God.


‘Angels from the Realms of Glory’  Common Praise #143

The Fifth Reading

A Reading from the Gospel according to Luke (2.8-16)

         8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  10 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:  11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.  12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”  13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” 15 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.”  16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Thanks be to God.


‘Shepherds in the Fields Abiding’  Common Praise #135


The Prayers of the Community

The Incarnation Litany

The appointed person leads the Community in prayer.

In joy and humility let us pray to the Creator of the universe, saying, “Hear us, O Lord, and grant us peace.”

By the good news of our salvation brought to Mary by the angel,
Hear us, O Lord, and grant us peace.

By the mystery of the Word made flesh,
Hear us, O Lord, and grant us peace.

By the birth in time of your timeless Son,
Hear us, O Lord, and grant us peace.

By the manifestation of your radiant glory to the shepherds,
Hear us, O Lord, and grant us peace.

By the submission of the maker of the world to May and Joseph of Nazareth,
Hear us, O Lord, and grant us peace.

May the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our Saviour Jesus Christ,
Hear us, O Lord, and grant us peace.

The person appointed to lead the prayers says the concluding collect.

Let us pray.

Almighty God,
you wonderfully created
and yet more wonderfully restored our human nature.
May we share the divine life of your Son Jesus Christ,
who humbled himself to share our humanity,
and now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

The Presider leads the Community in the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer (said).

With joy in our hearts, let us gather our prayers and praises into one
and pray as our Saviour taught us.
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.

Offertory Hymn

‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’  Common Praise #118 vv. 1, 2, 3, 4

The Sending Forth of the Community


The Presider blesses the Community as follows.

May the God of infinite goodness
scatter the darkness of sin
and brighten your hearts with holiness;
and the blessing of God,
the Creator of the stars of night,
the Sun of righteousness and
the Spirit who descended upon Mary,
be among you and remain with you always.  Amen.

Closing Hymn

During the singing of ‘Silent Night’ candles will be lit.

‘Silent Night’  Common Praise #119


The Community is sent forth in the name of Christ.

Go forth in the light of the newborn Christ.
Thanks be to God.


No comments: