A very warm welcome to this
Christmas Eve Service
CALL TO WORSHIP: (from the back)
Sssh. Can you hear it?
An expectant silence, a hushed anticipation,
as if the very galaxy is holding its breath.
There are some truths even the stars know,
like darkness, like loneliness
and how the night can be a living thing.
And how once, long ago,
the night waited in wonder
along with the darkness
and the loneliness,
for the sound of a baby’s cry,
for the miraculous to come to the earth.
CAROL: Once in Royal David’s City
Once in royal David’s city
stood a lowly cattle shed
where a mother laid her baby
in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.
He came down to earth from heaven
who, with God, is over all,
and his shelter was a stable,
and his cradle was a stall;
There among the poor and lowly
lived on earth our Saviour holy.
For he is our life-long pattern;
daily when on earth he grew,
he was tempted, scorned, rejected,
tears and smiles like us he knew.
Thus he feels for all our sadness,
and he shares in all our gladness. C/A
RE-LIGHTING OF THE CANDLES OF HOPE, PEACE, JOY AND LOVE
Over the weeks of Advent… We lit the candle of Hope for all who spoke of the hope to come, for all who believed in the promise;
the candle of Peace seeking light for our path, and the dream
of justice and peace in the world;
the candle of Joy for all who share good news of God coming
among us – God’s messengers and prophets, shepherds and wise ones;
friends, neighbours, strangers;
the candle of Love remembering all who protected the life
of Bethlehem’s new baby – all who support and care for new life today…
SUNG RESPONSE: (Tune: Silent Night) Remain seated
Candle light, sacred light, mystery flames, burning bright, Hope, joy and peace are the gifts of this night. Love poured out over all within sight, Shine your light in our world; shine your light in our world.
© 2006 Catherine MacDonald, Gathering
Invitation to Bethlehem: Know you are invited!
AN OLD TESTAMENT READING OF PROMISE
(From Isaiah 11: 1-4a,5-6 & 9:6)
CAROL: Infant Holy, Infant Lowly – Remain seated
Infant holy, infant lowly,
for his bed a cattle stall;
oxen lowing, little knowing,
Christ the babe is Lord of all.
Swift are winging angels singing,
noels ringing, tidings bringing:
Christ the babe is born for all.
Christ the babe is born for all!
Flocks were sleeping, shepherds keeping
vigil till the morning new
saw the glory, heard the story,
tidings of a gospel true.
Thus rejoicing, free from sorrow,
praises voicing, greet the morrow:
Christ the babe was born for you.
Christ the babe was born for you! C/A
Invitation to Bethlehem: A Long, Long Time
AN OLD TESTAMENT READING OF PROMISE (Micah 5:2)
CAROL: O Little Town of Bethlehem
O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see you lie!
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by:
yet, in your dark streets shining
the everlasting light,
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in you tonight.
For Christ is born of Mary;
and, gathered all above,
while mortals sleep, the angels keep
their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars, together
proclaim the holy birth,
and praises sing to God the King,
and peace to all on earth.
How silently, how silently
the wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming;
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him
still, the dear Christ enters in. C/A
Invitation to Bethlehem: God Sent Many Invitations
READING: From Luke 1: 26-38
Mary and Joseph’s Invitations
READING: Matthew 1: 18-25
CAROL: What Child is This? – remain seated
What child is this, who laid to rest,
on Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
while shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
whom shepherds guard and angels sing,
haste, haste to bring him laud,
the Babe, the Son of Mary!
A Singing Telegram
CAROL: While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night,
While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
all seated on the ground,
the angel of the Lord came down
and glory shone around.
‘Fear not’, said he (for mighty dread
had seized their troubled mind),
‘glad tidings of great joy I bring
you and all humankind.
‘To you in David’s town this day
is born of David’s line
a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord;
and this shall be the sign:
‘the heavenly babe you there shall find
to human view displayed,
all meanly wrapped in swaddling clothes
and in a manger laid’. C/A
A CHRISTMAS PRAYER
We’re Still Invited
A TIME OF QUIET
THE LIGHTING OF THE CHRIST CANDLE
CAROL: O Come All Ye Faithful
O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him
Born the King of angels;
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.
Sing choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above,
“Glory to God in the highest”:
O come, let us adore him…
Yea, Lord, we greet you
born for our salvation;
Jesus, to you be glory given:
Word of the Father now in flesh appearing:
O come, let us adore him… C/A
Acknowledgement: Invitation to Bethlehem is adapted from
Christmas Plays by Evelyn Minshull. Used by permission.
25 December 9.30 am Christmas Day Service
10.00 am Combined Services on:
29th Dec, 5th , 12th , & 19th January
26 January 9.00 am Morning Worship
Please note the changes in service times during December/January
Services return to normal on the 26th January.