Sunday, December 17, 2017

Candle-lit Eucharist for Christmas Eve (7.00 p.m. on Christmas Eve)

First eucharist of christmas
24 December 2017

The Gathering of the Community

Prelude

Processional Hymn

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

Introductory Responses

Blessed are you, Son of Mary;
born a child, you shared our humanity.
Let heaven and earth shout their praise.

With all the voices of heaven
we celebrate the coming of our Saviour.
Let heaven and earth shout their praise.

With all the creatures on earth
we sing and dance at Christ’s birth.
Praise and honour and glory to you, O Lord most high.

Hymn of Praise

Gloria in Excelsis [i]

Collect

Let us pray.

Almighty God,
as we prepare with joy
to celebrate the gift of the Christ-child,
embrace the earth with your glory
and be for us a living hope
in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. [ii]


The Proclamation of the Word

The First Reading:  Isaiah 9.2-7

A reading from the prophet Isaiah.

            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.  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.  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.  For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire.  For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, 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.

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

The Psalm:  Psalm 96 from Songs for the Holy One

Refrain (sung twice):  May the heavens rejoice and the earth dance with joy!

Sing a new son to the Most High!
To the Holy One let the whole world sing!
Sing and bless the Divine Name.
Day after day declare God’s saving help.
Proclaim among the nations the holy splendour,
among all peoples the miraculous deeds.

Refrain:  May the heavens rejoice and the earth dance with joy!

Surely the Holy One is great,
utterly worthy of praise, terrifying to all other gods!
All gods of the nations are worthless idols.
It was the Holy One who made the heavens!
Splendour and majesty fill the holy Presence;
power and beauty adorn the Holy Sanctuary.
Give honour to the Holy One, all races of the world,
acknowledge the glory and power.
Honour God’s glorious name.
Bring offerings; enter the holy courts.

Refrain:  May the heavens rejoice and the earth dance with joy!

Bow down to God in holy array;
let all earth dance before the Holy One.
Proclaim among the nations that the Holy One reigns,
the one who established the unshakable world
and who judges the peoples fairly.
Let the heavens rejoice, the earth dance with joy!
Let the seas thunder, with all their inhabitants!
Let the plains exult, and everything in them!
Let the woodland trees shout in exaltation,
in the presence of the Holy One, who is coming ---
is coming to judge the world.
God will judge the world with true justice,
its peoples with integrity.

Refrain:  May the heavens rejoice and the earth dance with joy!

The Second Reading:  Titus 2.11-14

A reading from the Letter to Titus.

            2.11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, 12 training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.  14 He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

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

The Gradual Hymn

‘Love Came Down at Christmas’  Common Praise #131

The Gospel:  Luke 2.1-20

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.
Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

            In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.  This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.  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.

            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 Saviour, 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 favours!”

            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.  When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.  But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

The Gospel of Christ.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

The Sermon

The Affirmation of Faith (sung to Common Praise #223)

We believe in God the Father,
God almighty, by whose plan
earth and heaven sprang to being,
all created things began.
We believe in Christ the Saviour,
Son of God in human frame,
virgin-born, the child of Mary
upon whom the Spirit came.

Christ, who on the cross forsaken,
like a lamb to slaughter led,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
he descended to the dead.
We believe in Jesus risen,
heaven’s king to rule and reign,
to the Father’s side ascended
till as judge he comes again.

We believe in God the Spirit;
in one Church, below, above:
saints of God in one communion,
one in holiness and love.
So by faith, our sins forgiven,
Christ our Saviour, Lord and friend,
we shall rise with him in glory
to the life that knows no end. [iii]

The Prayers of the Community

Intercessions, Petitions and Thanksgivings

The Exchange of the Peace

May the peace of Christ who has come to dwell with us
be always with you.
And also with you.

The Holy Communion

The Offertory Hymn

‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’  Common Praise #138

Prayer over the Gifts

Let us pray.

Good and loving God,
we rejoice in the birth of Jesus,
who came among the poor
to bring the riches of your grace.
As you have blessed us with your gifts,
let them be a blessing for others.
With the trees of the field,
with all earth and heaven,
we shout for joy at the coming of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. [iv]

Thanksgiving at the Table

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy,
that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you,
almighty and merciful God, through our Saviour Jesus Christ. 
In the wonder and mystery of the Word made flesh
you have opened the eyes of faith to a new and radiant vision of your glory,
that beholding the God made visible,
we may be drawn to love the God whom we cannot see. 
And so, with all the choirs of angels,
with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven,
we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

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. [v]

Holy One, the beginning and the end, the giver of life:
Blessed are you for the birth of creation.
Blessed are you in the darkness and in the light.
Blessed are you for your promise to your people.
Blessed are you for the prophets’ hopes and dreams.
Blessed are you for Mary’s openness to your will.
Blessed are you for your Son, Jesus, the Word made flesh.

In the night in which he was betrayed,
our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;
broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take and eat; this is my body given for you.
Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,
and gave it for all to drink, saying:
This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.
Do this for the remembrance of me.

Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.

With this bread and cup we remember
your Word dwelling among us, full of grace and truth.
We remember our new birth in his death and resurrection.
We look with hope for his coming.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Holy God, we long for your Spirit.
Come among us.  Bless this meal.
May your Word take flesh in us.
Awaken your people.  Fill us with your light.
Bring the gift of peace on earth.
Come, Holy Spirit.

All praise and glory are yours, Holy One of Israel,
Word of God incarnate, Power of the Most High,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.[vi]

The Lord’s Prayer (said)

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.

The Communion

The Sending Forth of the Community

Procession to the Crèche

Candles are lit during the Hymn and remain lit for the concluding prayers.

‘Silent Night, Holy Night’  Common Praise #119

Prayer after Communion

Let us pray.

Radiant God,
with our eyes we have seen your salvation,
and in this meal we have feasted on your grace.
May your Word take flesh in us,
so that we may be your holy people,
revealing your glory made known to us
in Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen. [vii]

Blessing

May the God of infinite goodness
scatter the darkness of sin
and brighten your hearts with holiness;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Lover of creation, the Beloved of God
and the Love that unites them,
be among you and remain with you always.  Amen.

After the Blessing the candles are extinguished.

Closing Hymn

‘Joy to the World’  Common Praise #154

Dismissal

Go forth in love to proclaim the birth of Christ.
Thanks be to God.




[i] Lang Carol Mass.

[ii] Liturgy Task Force, ‘Trial Use Collects and Prayers over the Gifts and after Communion for Year C:  Advent 1 through Epiphany 6,’ 4.

[iii] Common Worship (2000), 146.

[iv] Liturgy Task Force, ‘Trial Use Collects and Prayers over the Gifts and after Communion for Year C:  Advent 1 through Epiphany 6,’ 13.

[v] Lang ‘Carol Mass’.

[vi] Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), p. 110.

[vii] Liturgy Task Force, ‘Trial Use Collects and Prayers over the Gifts and after Communion for Year C:  Advent 1 through Epiphany 6,’ 13.