Christmas Eve Service of Lessons & Carols

Variations on “In Dulci Jubilo”……………. Denis Bedard (1950 — )

+Silent Prayer
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever. Amen.

“The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy”
The Virgin Mary had a baby boy,
And they said that his name was Jesus.

He come from the glory,
He come from the glorious Kingdom.

The Wise Men saw where the baby was born,
And they said that his name was Jesus.

Oh yes, believer!

The angels sang when the baby was born,
And they said that his name was Jesus.

Traditional West Indian Carol, arranged by Mack Wilberg

Welcome and Announcements

Call to Worship

“O Come, All Ye Faithful” No. 208

Lesson No. 1 – Genesis 3:8-19
“God tells sinful Adam that he has lost the life of Paradise and that his seed will bruise the serpent’s head.”

“I Wonder As I Wander”
I wonder as I wander, out under the sky,
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die
For poor ornery sinners like you and like I.
I wonder as I wander out under the sky.

When Mary birthed Jesus, ’twas in a cow’s stall
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all.
But high from God’s heaven a star’s light did fall,
And the promise of the ages it then did recall.

If Jesus had wanted any wee thing,
A star in the sky, or a bird on a wing,
Or all of God’s angels in heaven to sing,
He surely could have had it, ’cause he was the king
John Jacob Niles, arranged by Steve Pilkington

Lesson No. 2 – Genesis 12:1-3; 22:15-18
“God tells faithful Abraham that in his seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed.”

“Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” No. 196

Lesson No. 3 –  Isaiah 9:2, 6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-6
“The prophet foretells the coming of the Savior.”

“Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” No. 221

Lesson No. 4 – Luke 1:26-38
“The angel Gabriel appears to the virgin Mary.”

“Gabriel’s Message”
The angel Gabriel from heaven came,
His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
“All hail,” said he, “thou lowly maiden Mary,
Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

“For know a blessed Mother thou shalt be,
All generations laud and honor thee,
Thy Son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold,
Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,
“To me be as it pleaseth God,” she said,
“My soul shall laud and magnify his holy name.”
Most highly favored lady, Gloria!

Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ, was born
In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,
And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say
“Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

Basque Carol, arranged by Craig Phillips

Lesson No. 5 – Luke 2:1-7
“Luke tells of the birth of Jesus Christ.”

       “Away In a Manger”

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing; the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
I love thee, Lord Jesus! Look down from the sky,
And stay by my side until morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay
Close by me for ever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And fit us for heaven, to live with thee there.

Traditional Normandy tune/arranged by Reginald Jacques

Lesson No. 6 – Luke 2:8-16
“The angels appear to the shepherds and the shepherds go to the manger to see the Christ.”

“What Sweeter Music”

What sweeter music can we bring
Than a carol, for to sing
The birth of this our heavenly King?
Awake the voice!  Awake the string!
Dark and dull night, fly hence away,
And give the honour to this day
That sees December turned to May.

Why does the chilling winter’s morn
Smile like a field beset with corn?
Or smell like a meadow newly shorn
Thus on the sudden? Come and see
The cause, why things thus fragrant be:
‘Tis he is born, whose quickening birth
Gives life and lustre, public mirth,
To heaven and the underearth.

We see him come, and know him ours,
Who, with his sunshine and his showers,
Turns the patient ground to flowers.

The darling of the world is come,
And fit it is, we find a room
To welcome him.
The nobler part of all the house here, is the heart,
Which we will give him; And bequeath
This holly, and this ivy wreath,
To do him honor; who’s our King,
And Lord of all this reveling.

What sweeter music can we bring
Than a carol, for to sing
The birth of this our heavenly King.

Robert Herrick (1591-1674)/John Rutter

Lesson No. 7 – Matthew 2:1-11
“The wise men from the East are led by the star to Jesus and present their gifts to the new born King.”

            “The First Nowell”

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

And by the light of that same star,
Three wise men came from country far;
To seek for a king was their intent,
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Nowell, Born is the King of Israel!

This star drew nigh to the northwest;
Over Bethlehem it took its rest,
And there it did both stop and stay
Right over the place where Jesus lay:
Nowell, Born is the King of Israel!

Then entered in those wise men three,
Full reverently upon their knee,
And offered there in his presence
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense:
Nowell, Born is the King of Israel!

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
That hath made heaven and earth of naught,
And with his blood mankind hath bought.
Nowell, Born is the King of Israel!

English traditional carol/arr. D. Willcocks

Lesson No. 8 – Luke 2:21-40
“The baby is presented in the temple and it is prophesied that he shall suffer greatly for the salvation of his people.”

“Of the Father’s Love Begotten” No. 162

Lesson No. 9 – John 1:1-14
“John identifies Jesus as the Eternal God, the Creator of All things, now come in Human Nature.”

“Stille Nacht”

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Alles schläft, einsam wacht
Nur das traute, hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
Schlaf’ in himmlischer Ruh’,
Schlaf’ in himmlischer Ruh’!

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Hirten erst kundgemacht;
Durch der Engel Halleluja
Tönt es laut von fern und nah:
“Christ, der Retter, ist da,
Christ, der Retter ist da!”

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb’ aus deinem göttlichen Mund.
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund’.
Christ, in deiner Geburt,
Christ, in deiner Geburt!

Joseph Mohr/Franz Grüber arranged by Andrew Carter

“Silent Night, Holy Night”

Silent night! Holy night! All is calm, all is bright
round yon virgin mother and child.  Holy infant, so tender and mild,
sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night! Holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight!
Glories stream from heaven afar, heav’nly hosts sing alleluia;
Christ, the Savior, is born! Christ, the Savior, is born!

Silent night! Holy night!  Son of God, love’s pure light
radiant beams from thy holy face, with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

Silent night! Holy night! Wondrous star, lend thy light;
with the angels let us sing alleluia to our King;
Christ, the Savior, is born! Christ, the Savior, is born!


Silent Prayer
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets, to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warning and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

“Psallite Unigenito”

Psallite unigenito Christo Dei Filio, Redemptori Domino, puerulo, iacenti, in praesepio.

(Sing Praise to the only begotten, to Christ the Son of God To the Lord, Our Redeemer, an infant lying in a manger)

Lo, in a manger bed, there lies an infant small.  Angel hosts their homage pay, before the Lord of all, low before him fall.

Glory to God on high the choirs of angels sing; ‘Peace on earth, goodwill to men’ their voices echoing, praise the newborn King.

John Rutter/tune Michael Praetorius (from Musae Sioniae 1609)