[Note there are separate services for early
evening children's drama . See also Christmas Day.]
The Gathering of the People of God
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!
CHOIR The little town were Christ was born ['Who will come ?....']
LIGHTING THE ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS CANDLES [see Christmas Day for liturgy]
THE PEACE: SHARING THE LIGHT
HYMN 237 Once in royal David's city [while the light is being passed]
PRAYER OF ADORATION
Merciful God, our Maker and our Judge,
We have sinned against you in thought, word and deed:
We have not loved you with our whole heart,
We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves;
We repent, and are sorry for all our sins.
Father, forgive us.
Strengthen us to love and obey you in newness of life;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS
.... Christ's word of grace to us: your sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God
Lessons and Carols
EXPECTATIONS OF THE OLD COVENANT
Isaiah 9:2-7 a son is given to us ... Prince of Peace
HYMN SA 61 Long ago, prophets knew [verses 1 and 2]
Luke 1:68-79 The song of Zechariah (The Benedictus)
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a mighty saviour for us in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us
that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins.
By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
HYMN The Lord's Messiah comes [tune St Olave AHB 154]
The Lord's Messiah comes,
God's kingdom to announce.
He calls us to repent,
and all our sins renounce.
His conquest over sin
now gives us peace within.
He breaks into our world,
the light of God to show,
all darkness to dispel,
all evil overthrow.
Let justice now be done,
new life on earth begun.
Lord of the end to come,
your praise we will repeat,
the world you came to save,
you will perfect, complete.
There no need to fear:
Rejoice, the Lord in near.
© David Beswick 1997
THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW COVENANT
Luke 1:26-38 The announcement of the coming birth of Jesus
HYMN SA 61 [verses 3 and 4] .. Mary hail!
Luke 2:1-7 The birth of Jesus
HYMN 236 Silent night
Luke 2:8-20 The angels and the shepherds
CHOIR God's surprise
OFFERING [Congregational Hymn 223 While shepherds watched their flocks
DEDICATION AND PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
CHOIR Cloth for the cradle
John 1:1-14 The Word became flesh
The Lord's Supper
HYMN 243 Love came down at Christmas
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
The Sending Forth of the People of God
HYMN 229 Let earth and heaven combine
WORD OF MISSION
DISMISSAL Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.
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