Sunday 21 December 2014 10am

CAROLS THROUGH THE AGES –

WELCOME AND NOTICES

CALL TO WORSHIP: 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… C/A

LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLES
(The first three candles are lit.)
We have lit the candle of Hope, a sign that God is with us, encouraging us along our way. We have lit the candle of Peace,
a reminder that Jesus came to share God’s peace.
We have lit the candle of Joy, a sign that God has promised life in all its fullness. Today we light the candle of Love,
a sign of God’s generous care and concern for all people.

CHOIR: A Candle’s Light

GATHERING PRAYER

NARRATOR…

READER: (From Isaiah 42: 5 – 10)

NARRATOR and a ROMAN

CAROL: Earth Has Many a Noble City (WOV 216) seated
Earth has many a noble city;
Bethlehem, thou dost all excel:
out of thee the Lord from heaven
came to rule his Israel.

Eastern sages at his cradle
make oblations rich and rare;
see them give, in deep devotion,
gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Jesus, whom the Gentiles worshipped
at thy glad epiphany,
unto thee, with God the Father
and the Spirit, glory be. C/A

READER: (From Isaiah 9: 2-7)

NARRATOR… and mime during, Unto Us a Boy is Born.

CAROL: Unto Us a Boy is Born (WOV 218) seated
Unto us a boy is born!
King of all creation,
came he to a world forlorn,
the Lord of every nation.

Cradled in a stall was he
with sleepy cows and asses;
but the very beasts could see
that he us all surpasses.

Herod then with fear was filled:
“A prince”, he said, “in Jewry!”
All the little boys he killed
at Bethlem in his fury.

Now may Mary’s son, who came
so long ago to love us,
lead us all with hearts aflame
unto the joys above us.

Omega and Alpha he!
Let the organ thunder,
while the choir with peals of glee
now rends the air asunder. © Oxford University Press (WOV)

READER: (Matthew 1: 18 – 25)

CAROL: O Little Town of Bethlehem (WOV 240)
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. C/A

READER: (Luke 2: 8-20)

CHOIR: Did You Hear What I Hear?
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

NARRATOR and POET

CAROL: The First Nowell (seated)

The first Nowell the angel did say
was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay:
In fields where they lay a-keeping their sheep
on a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.

They looked up and saw a star,
shining in the east, beyond them far;
And to the earth it gave great light,
and so it continued both day and night. C/A

NARRATOR…

READING: Psalm 98

NARRATOR…

CAROL: Joy to the World
Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
let earth receive its king;
let every heart prepare him room,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the earth! The Saviour reigns;
let us our songs employ;
while fields and streams, rocks, hills and plains
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of his righteousness
and wonders of his love,
and wonders of his love,
and wonders, wonders of his love. C/A

THE OFFERING

READER: (From Romans 5: 1-11)

CHOIR: Mary Did You Know?

NARRATOR…

CAROL: Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Hark! the herald angels sing,
glory to the newborn King;
peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful all you nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
with the angelic host proclaim,
`Christ is born in Bethlehem’:
Hark! the herald angels sing,
glory to the newborn King.

Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
light and life to all he brings,
risen with healing in his wings.
mild he lays his glory by,
born that we no more may die;
born to raise us from the earth,
born to give us second birth:
Hark! the herald angels sing,
glory to the newborn King. C/A

READER: (Philippians 2: 5-11)

JOSEPH MOHER AND FRANZ GRUBER

CAROL: Still the Night ~ Accompanied by Siu (remain seated)
Still the night, Holy the night,
Sleeps the world, hid from sight,
Mary and Joseph in stable bare,
Watch o’er the child, beloved and fair,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Still the night, Holy the night,
Shepherds first saw the light,
Heard resounding clear and strong,
Far and near, the Angels song,
Christ the Redeemer is here,
Christ the Redeemer is here.

Still the night, Holy the night,
Son of God, love’s pure light,
Love is smiling from thy face,
Strikes for us now the hour of grace,
Saviour since thou art born,
Saviour since thou art born. C/A

NARRATOR…

CAROL: Once in Royal David’s City – first verse solo
Once in royal David’s city…

He came down to earth from heaven
who is God and Lord of all,
and his shelter was a stable,
and his cradle was a stall;
with the poor and mean and lowly
lived on earth our Saviour holy.

And through all his wondrous childhood,
day by day like us he grew;
he was little, weak, and helpless,
tears and smiles like us he knew;
and he feeleth for our sadness,
and he shareth in our gladness. C/A

SANTA and a YOUNG PERSON

NARRATOR…

CAROL: Carol our Christmas
Carol our Christmas, an upside down Christmas;
snow is not falling and trees are not bare.
Carol the summer, and welcome the Christ Child,
warm in our sunshine and sweetness of air.

Sing of the gold and the green and the sparkle,
water and river and lure of the beach.
Sing in the happiness of open spaces,
sing a nativity summer can reach!

Shepherds and musterers move over hillsides,
finding, not angels, but sheep to be shorn;
wise ones make journeys whatever the season,
searching for signs of the truth to be born.

Right side up Christmas belongs to the universe,
made in the moment a woman gives birth;
hope is the Jesus gift, love is the offering,
everywhere, anywhere, here on the earth. © Shirley Murray (CoC)

ACT OF REMEMBRANCE & CANDLE – LIGHTING

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

NARRATOR…

CAROL: Come to this Christmas Singing (Tune: WOV 245)
Come to this Christmas singing!
Come to a birthday, bringing
gifts from our country’s treasure,
beauty of shell and stone:
wisdom the old have taught us,
laughter the young have brought us,
love to surround a manger,
making this Child our own.

Wealth of our land and water,
riches of race and culture –
these be our gold and incense
offered for Christmas Day:
where we make peace, declare it,
where we have much, let’s share it,
aroha warm our hearts,
and aroha be our way.

Here where the sheep are grazing,
where summer sun is blazing
harvests for others ripen –
food for the world can grow:
Christ of a cold December,
quicken us to remember
poverty in a stable
need, like the sting of snow. © Shirley Murray (CoC)

A BLESSING
May you have joy this Christmas –
The joy of celebrating Christ’s birth.
May you have hope this Christmas –
The hope of a world renewed.
May you have peace this Christmas –
The peace which all people can share.
May you know love this Christmas –
The love which is fulfilled in God’s gift to you –
The gift of Jesus Christ. Amen.

THE GRACE

Acknowledgement: Re-written from Peta Sherlock’s, Carols Tell the Story.

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