Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist, Rite II (Thursday, December 24, 2020)
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Prelude: ‘June’ – Barcarolle;
December’ – Christmas from “The Seasons”, Op. 37, Tchaikovsky;
Novelette in C, Poulenc;
Pour le Cinq Doigts from “Etudes, Book 1”
Debussy; A Rose Breaks into Bloom, Brahms;
Prelude and Fugue in G Minor, J. S. Bach
Please stand as you are able
Processional and Opening Hymn: O come, All Ye Faithful
The Blessing of the Crèche
Dear friends, as we meet to celebrate the birth of Christ, let us pray that God will bless this crib, that all who worship his Son, born of the Virgin Mary, may come to share his life in glory.
Come let us adore him.
God our Father, on this night your Son Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary for us and for our salvation: bless this crib, which we have prepared to celebrate that holy birth; may all who see it be strengthened in faith and receive the fullness of life he came to bring, who is alive and reigns for ever.
We pray you, Lord, to purify our hearts, that they may be worthy to become your dwelling place. Let us never fail to find room for you, but come and abide in us, that we also may abide in you, for as at this time you were born into the world for us, and live and reign, King of kings and Lord of lords, now and for ever.
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light.
For to us a child is born
to us a Son is given.
His name will be called wonderful counsellor, mighty God,
the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
Glory to God in the highest
and peace to his people on earth.
The Collect for Purity
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord.
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Collect of the Day
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.
O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting.
The Liturgy of the Word
Please sit for lessons.
The First Lesson: Isaiah 9: 2-7
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. You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. For a child has been born for us, a son is given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The Psalm: 96, Cantate Domino Garrett
1 Sing to the Lord a new song; *
sing to the Lord, all the whole earth.
2 Sing to the Lord and bless his Name; *
proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations *
and his wonders among all peoples.
4 For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; *
he is more to be feared than all gods.
5 As for all the gods of the nations, they are but idols; *
but it is the Lord who made the heavens.
6 Oh, the majesty and magnificence of his presence! *
Oh, the power and the splendour of his sanctuary!
7 Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples; *
ascribe to the Lord honour and power.
8 Ascribe to the Lord the honour due his Name; *
bring offerings and come into his courts.
9 Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; *
let the whole earth tremble before him.
10 Tell it out among the nations: "The Lord is King! *
he has made the world so firm that it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity."
11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
let the sea thunder and all that is in it; *
let the field be joyful and all that is therein.
12 Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy
before the Lord when he comes, *
when he comes to judge the earth.
13 He will judge the world with righteousness *
and the peoples with his truth.
The Second Lesson: Titus 26: 11-14
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self‑controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The Sequence Hymn: While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks
Please stand as you are able
The Gospel: Luke 2: 1-20
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke
Glory to you, Lord Christ
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see-- 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 Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours!"
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us." So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you Lord Christ.
The Sermon: The Rev’d. Mark Brown
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day, he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
The Prayers of the People
Let us pray to our incarnate Lord, who has brought us out of the darkness and into his own marvellous light. Christ born for us, Son of God given for us: help us to know you, to worship and to serve you. Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
Wonderful counsellor, you order all things with your wisdom: help the Church to reveal the mystery of your love and fill her with the Spirit of truth. Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
Mighty God, the government is on your shoulders: guide the leaders of the nations and bring in your kingdom of justice and righteousness. Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
Everlasting Father, you call us to live together in unity: protect by your mercy all your children, bless our families and renew our communities. Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
Prince of peace, you bring reconciliation through the cross: by your healing power give to all who suffer, including Mother Rhoda, Arthur Ellwell, Trevor Chase, Jennifer Sprosty, John Owens, Fr. Free, Nelly Johnson, Rev. Roslyn Dimerson, Maggie White, Violet Cheeks and all those on our prayer list and for all who are suffering from Covid-19. Grant your gift of wholeness and peace. Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.