CALL TO WORSHIP
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. Luke 2:10-11
Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours! Luke 2:14
LIGHTING THE ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS CANDLES** [see liturgy below]
THE PEACE: SHARING THE LIGHT [The people's candles are lit from the Christmas candle]
HYMN 239 As with gladness men of old. [While the light is passed]
PRAYER OF ADORATION
Loving God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed: we have not loved you with all our heart or served you with all our strength; we have been blind to the vision of a renewed world and deaf to your call to costly discipleship; we have been indifferent to the suffering of others and unwilling to forgive one another. In your mercy, Lord, pardon and restore us, that together in the ministry of Christ we may serve you with joy all the days of our life. Amen.
DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS
.... Christ's word of grace to us: your sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God
EXPECTATIONS OF THE OLD COVENANT
Isaiah 9:2-7 a son is given to us ... Prince of Peace
HYMN 218 Unto us a boy is born!
Luke 1:68-79 The song of Zechariah (The Benedictus; Bible p. 1027, read responsively)
HYMN 235 Angels from the realms of glory
THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW COVENANT
Luke 1:26-38 The announcement of the coming birth of Jesus
HYMN 222 The angel Gabriel from heaven came
Luke 2:1-7 The birth of Jesus
HYMN 237 Once in Royal David's city [verses 1 and 5]
HYMN Once in Judah's least known city [A carol from Iona; tune 237]
Once in Judah's least known city
Stood a boarding house with back-door shed,
Where an almost single-parent mother
Tried to find her new born son a bed.
Mary's man and dad went wild
When they heard their daughter had a child.
He brought into earth a sense of heaven,
Lord of none and yet the Lord of all;
and his shelter always was unstable
For his mission was beyond recall.
With the poor, with those least holy,
Christ the King was pleased to live so lowly.
Can he be our youth and childhood's pattern
When we know not how he daily grew?
Was he always little, weak and helpless,
Did he share our joys and problems too?
In our laughter, fun and madness,
Does the Lord of love suspect our gladness?
Not in that uncharted stable
With the village gossips standing by,
But in heaven we shall see him -
Here as much as up above the sky -
If, in love for friend and stranger,
We embrace the contents of the manger.
HYMN The Silver Stars are in the Sky [An Australian carol]
The silver stars are in the sky,
The red-gold moon is riding high,
O, sleep my little one sleep!
Once long ago against her breast,
A mother hush'd a babe to rest
Who was the Prince of Heav'n above
The Lord of gentleness and love,
O, sleep, my little one, sleep.
The boo-book calls across the across the night,
The brown moths flutter in the light,
O, sleep, my little one, sleep!
In Bethlehem long, long ago,
When roads and paddocks gleamed with snow;
On this same night, that mother mild
Lull'd into dreams her Royal Child,
So, sleep, my little one, sleep! my little one sleep!
Luke 2:8-20 The angels and the shepherds
CHOIR Coldly the night winds winging [ Hymn 245]
OFFERING [Congregational Hymn 227 Hark the herald angels sing]
DEDICATION AND PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
HYMN 243 Love came down at Christmas [tune ii]
John 1:1-14 The Word became flesh
HYMN 228 O come all you faithful [verses 1, 2 and 6]
GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING [remain standing]
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise.
Thanks and praise ......
..... choirs of angels and the whole creation
in the eternal 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.
We thank you ....
[The great prayer of thanksgiving continues, recalling God's goodness in caring for his people, the life and saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ, how he commanded his disciples to remember him with the bread and the wine, and we pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit on us and what we do.]
THE LORD'S PRAYER [Front of Hymn Book]
BREAKING THE BREAD
LAMB OF GOD
Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, redeemer of the world, grant us peace.
COMMUNION [Choir: 225 Infant holy, infant lowly]
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
HYMN 224 Joy to the world
WORD OF MISSION
DISMISSAL Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.
**LIGHTING THE ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS CANDLES
[A family group or individual comes to the table and one reads:]
After counting the weeks of Advent we have come to Christmas Day.
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. Isaiah 9:2
[Four coloured candles are lit first and then the white candle, and reading continues.]
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
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. John 1:14
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