24 December 2020 at 11:30 pm

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The Gathering

Please stand at the sound of the bell as the sacred ministers enter, during which the Choir sings an introit.

Born in a stable so bare,
Born so long ago,
Born ’neath light of star,
He who loved us so.

Far away, silent he lay,
Born today, your homage pay,
For Christ is born for aye,
Born on Christmas Day.

Cradled by mother so fair,
Tender her lullaby;
Over her son so dear
Angel hosts fill the sky. …

Love in that stable was born
Into our hearts to flow;
Innocent dreaming babe,
Make me thy love to know. …

Words and Music: J. Rutter (b. 1945) 

Welcome all wonders in one sight!
Eternity shut in a span.
Summer in winter, day in night,
heaven in earth and God in man.

Great little one whose all-embracing birth
brings earth to heaven, stoops heaven to earth.

The Greeting

Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ
be with you

and also with you.

Words of Welcome

Prayers of Penitence

Christ the light of the world has come
to dispel the darkness of our hearts.
In his light let us examine ourselves and confess our sins.

Silence is kept.

God our Father,
you sent your Son full of grace and truth:
forgive our failure to receive him.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Jesus our Saviour,
you were born in poverty and laid in a manger:
forgive our greed and rejection of your ways.

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Spirit of love,
your servant Mary responded joyfully to your call:
forgive the hardness of our hearts.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

The president says

May the God of all healing and forgiveness
draw you to himself
and cleanse you from all your sins,
that you may behold the glory of his Son,
the Word made flesh,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Gloria in Excelsis

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

The Collect

The president introduces a period of silent prayer with the words ‘Let us pray’.

Eternal God,
who made this most holy night
to shine with the brightness of your one true light:
bring us, who have known the revelation of that light on earth,
to see the radiance of your heavenly glory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

Please sit.

A reading from the prophet Isaiah.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’

Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy; for in plain sight they see the return of the LORD to Zion. Break forth together into singing, you ruins of Jerusalem; for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The LORD has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God

Isaiah 52.7-10

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading

The Choir sings an acclamation to herald the Gospel.

Please stand.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we have seen his glory.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

Glory to you, O Lord.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.
What has come into being in him was life,
and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.

But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

John 1.1-14

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon

Please sit.

The Nicene Creed

Please stand.

Let us declare our faith in God.

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, was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and 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,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who 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.

Prayers of Intercession

Please sit.

The response to the bidding.

Lord, in your mercy.

Hear our prayer.

Then at the end.

Merciful Father,
Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,
Our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

The Liturgy of the Sacrament 

Please stand.

The Peace

This holy night the angels sang,
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to all in whom he delights.’

Luke 2.14

The peace of the Lord be always with you

and also with you.

Please sit.

Preparation of the Table

The table is prepared and bread and wine are placed upon it.

A Hymn is sung by the Choir. Please follow this and pray the words.

Hark! the herald-angels sing
Glory to the new-born King;
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled:
Joyful all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies,
With th’angelic host proclaim,
Christ is born in Bethlehem.
Hark! the herald-angels sing
Glory to the new-born King.

Christ, by highest heav’n adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold him come
Offspring of a virgin’s womb:
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail th’incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with man to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! the herald-angels sing
Glory to the new-born King.

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Ris’n with healing in his wings;
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald-angels sing
Glory to the new-born King.

Words: C. Wesley (1707-1788)
Music: F. Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
Verse 3 arr. D, V, Willcocks (1919-2015)

Please stand.

Taking of the Bread and Wine

Word made flesh, life of the world,
in your incarnation you embraced our poverty:
by your Spirit may we share in your riches.

Amen.

The Eucharistic Prayer (B)

The Lord is here.

His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

All glory and honour be yours always and everywhere,
mighty creator, ever-living God.
We give you thanks and praise for your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who for love of our fallen race humbled himself,
and on this night was born of the Virgin Mary
by the power of your Spirit, and lived as one of us.
In this mystery of the Word made flesh
you have caused his light to shine in our hearts,
to give knowledge of your glory in the face of Jesus Christ.
In him we see our God made visible
and so are caught up in the love of the God we cannot see.
Therefore with all the angels of heaven
we lift our voices to proclaim the glory of your name
and sing our joyful hymn of praise:

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.

Lord, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness;
grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit,
and according to your holy will,
these gifts of bread and wine
may be to us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ;

who, in the same night that he was betrayed,
took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper
he took the cup and gave you thanks;
he gave it to them, saying:
Drink this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me.

Jesus Christ is Lord:

Lord, by your cross and resurrection
you have set us free.
You are the Saviour of the world.

And so, Father, calling to mind his death on the cross,
his perfect sacrifice made once for the sins of the whole world;
rejoicing in his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension,
and looking for his coming in glory,
we celebrate this memorial of our redemption.
As we offer you this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving,
we bring before you this bread and this cup
and we thank you for counting us worthy
to stand in your presence and serve you.

Send the Holy Spirit on your people
and gather into one in your kingdom
all who share this one bread and one cup,
so that we,
in the company of Blessed Mary, St. Joseph and all the saints,
may praise and glorify you for ever,
through Jesus Christ our Lord;

By whom, and with whom, and in whom,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father,
for ever and ever.

Amen.

Please sit as silence is kept.

The Lord’s Prayer

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Breaking of the Bread

The president breaks the consecrated bread.

We break the bread of life,
and that life is the light of the world.

God here among us,
light in the midst of us,
bring us to light and life.

Invitation to Communion

Christ is the true bread
which has come down from heaven.

Lord, give us this bread always.

The president and people receive communion. At the giving of communion, the president receives communion in both kinds.

The words of distribution (“The body and blood of Christ, broken/shed for us all”) are spoken to the congregation, and all who intend to receive reply with “Amen”. All the baptised regardless of denomination are welcome to receive the sacrament.

Please follow the instruction of the stewards. At the distribution, Holy Communion is administered without speaking. The consecrated bread is dropped into the hands of communicants.

To reduce the risk of spreading any infection, communion will be in one kind (bread) only. This is still considered to be complete communion by the Church of England.

The Post Communion Prayer and The Lighting of the Advent Candle

Please stand.

The president introduces a time of silent prayer with the words
‘Let us pray’.

God our Father,
in this night you have made known to us again
the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 
confirm our faith and fix our eyes in him
until the day dawns
and Christ the Morning Star arises in our hearts.
To him be glory both now and for ever.

Amen.

The president then moves to the Advent Wreath to light the last candle of the wreath, as we celebrate the Birth of Jesus. The five candles of the wreath will remain in the sanctuary and lit until we celebrate the Epiphany on the 6th January. The candle is lit and this prayer is said.

Blessed are you, sovereign Lord, King of peace:
to you be praise and glory for ever.
The new light of your incarnate Word
gives gladness in our sorrow,
and a presence in our isolation.
Fill our lives with your light,
until they overflow with gladness and praise.

Blessed be God for ever.

A hymn is sung by the Choir.

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!

God of God,
Light of Light,
Lo! he abhors not the Virgin’s womb;
Very God,
Begotten, not created:
O come, let us adore him

Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above;
Glory to God
In the highest:
O come, let us adore him

Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
Born this happy morning,
Jesu, to thee be glory giv’n;
Word of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing:
O come, let us adore him

Words: possibly by J. F. Wade (1711-1786)
translated by F. Oakley (1802-1880) and others
Music: J. F. Wade (1711-1786) arr. D. V. Willcocks (1919-2015)

The Dismissal

The Blessing

May the Father,
who has loved the eternal Son
from before the foundation of the world,
shed that love upon you his children.

Amen.

May Christ,
who by his incarnation gathered into one
things earthly and heavenly,
fill you with joy and peace.

Amen.

May the Holy Spirit,
by whose overshadowing Mary became the God-bearer,
give you grace to carry the good news of Christ.

Amen.

and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Amen.

The Dismissal

Go in peace.
Proclaim the Word made flesh.

Glory, thanks and praise to God.

Please sit and wait for the stewards to invite you to leave.


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