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The Gathering

Our worship begins at the sound of the bell, please stand as the sacred ministers enter, during which the introit hymn is sung.

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;
Bow down before him, his glory proclaim;
With gold of obedience and incense of lowliness,
Kneel and adore him: the Lord is his name.

Low at his feet lay thy burden of carefulness;
High on his heart he will bear it for thee,
Comfort thy sorrows, and answer thy prayerfulness,
Guiding thy steps as may best for thee be.

Fear not to enter his courts in the slenderness
Of the poor wealth thou wouldst reckon as thine:
Truth in its beauty, and love in its tenderness,
These are the off’rings to lay on his shrine.

These, though we bring them in trembling and fearfulness,
He will accept for the name that is dear;
Mornings of joy give for ev’nings of tearfulness,
Trust for our trembling and hope for our fear.

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;
Bow down before him, his glory proclaim;
With gold of obedience and incense of lowliness,
Kneel and adore him: the Lord is his name.

Words: J. S. B. Monsell (1811-1875)
Music: melody from the ‘Rheinhardt MS’, Üttingen (1754)
Hymn Tune: WAS LEBET

In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

The Greeting

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe.

From the rising of the sun to its setting
your name is proclaimed in all the world.

The Lord of glory be with you.

The Lord bless you.

Words of Welcome

Invitation to Confession

The grace of God has dawned upon the world
through our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who sacrificed himself for us to purify a people as his own.

Let us confess our sins.

Silence is kept.

God be gracious to us and bless us,
and make your face shine upon us:

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

May your ways be known on the earth,
your saving power among the nations:

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

You, Lord, have made known your salvation,
and reveal your justice in the sight of the nations:

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon you,
pardon and deliver you from all your sins,
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,
and keep you in life eternal;
through 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 ‘Grateful for the glory revealed today through God made flesh, let us pray.’

Silence is kept.

O God,
who by the leading of a star
manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth:
mercifully grant that we,
who know you now by faith,
may at last behold your glory face to face;
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 book of the prophet Isaiah. 

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth,
    and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
    and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light,
    and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

Lift up your eyes and look around;
    they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
    and your daughters shall be carried on their
    nurses’ arms.
Then you shall see and be radiant;
    your heart shall thrill and rejoice,
because the abundance of the sea shall be
    brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall
    come to you.
A multitude of camels shall cover you,
    the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
    all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
    and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

Isaiah 60.1-6

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Please stand as the gradual hymn is sung. During the hymn a procession will make its way to the centre of the nave from where the Gospel for the day is read. To symbolise our desire to turn to Christ in our daily lives, at the end of the hymn we remain standing and turn to face the place where the Gospel is proclaimed.

As with gladness men of old
Did the guiding star behold,
As with joy they hailed its light,
Leading onward, beaming bright;
So, most gracious God, may we
Evermore be led to thee.

As with joyful steps they sped,
To that lowly manger bed,
There to bend the knee before
Him whom heav’n and earth adore,
So may we with willing feet
Ever seek thy mercy-seat.

As they offered gifts most rare
At that manger rude and bare,
So may we with holy joy,
Pure, and free from sin’s alloy,
All our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to thee our heav’nly King.

Holy Jesu, ev’ry day
Keep us in the narrow way;
And, when earthly things are past,
Bring our ransomed souls at last
Where they need no star to guide,
Where no clouds thy glory hide.

In the heav’nly country bright
Need they no created light;
Thou its Light, its Joy, its Crown,
Thou its Sun which goes not down:
There for ever may we sing
Alleluias to our King.

Words: W. Chatterton Dix (1837-1898)
Music: Adapted from C. Kocher (1786-1872)
by W. H. Monk (1823-1889)
Hymn Tune: DIX

Gospel Reading

Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ was revealed in flesh,
proclaimed among the nations
and believed in throughout the world.

cf 1 Timothy 3.16

Alleluia.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew

Glory to you, O Lord.

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Matthew 2.1-12

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.

Acclamations at the Presentation of the Gifts

The traditional gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh are offered at the crib.

At the offering of gold

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe:
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As gold in the furnace is tried
and purified seven times in the fire,
so purify our hearts and minds
that we may be a royal priesthood
acceptable in the service of your kingdom.

Blessed be God for ever.

At the offering of incense

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe:
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As our prayer rises up before you as incense,
so may we be presented before you
with penitent hearts and uplifted hands
to offer ourselves in your priestly service.

Blessed be God for ever.

At the offering of myrrh

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe:
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As you give medicine to heal our sickness
and the leaves of the tree of life
for the healing of the nations,
so anoint us with your healing power
that we may be the first-fruits of your new creation.

Blessed be God for ever.

Sermon

Please sit after the preacher leads us in prayer.

The Nicene Creed

Please stand with the president.

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

Following an invitation to pray from the intercessor we kneel or sit to pray.

Today the wise men knelt before our Saviour.
Let us also kneel to worship him with great joy,
and to make our prayer to his heavenly Father.
Father, the wise men came from the east to worship your Son:
grant to Christians everywhere a true spirit of adoration.

Lord, in your mercy

hear our prayer.

Father, your Son is the King of kings and Lord of lords:
grant an abundance of peace to your world.

Lord, in your mercy

hear our prayer.

Father, the Holy Family shared the life of the people of Nazareth:
protect in your mercy our neighbours and families,
together with the whole community of which we are part.

Lord, in your mercy

hear our prayer.

Father, your Son was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor:
show your love for the poor and powerless,
and strengthen […and all] those who suffer.

Lord, in your mercy

hear our prayer.

Father, the wise men presented to your Son
gold, incense and myrrh:
accept the gifts we bring,
and the offering of our hearts at the beginning of this new year.

Lord, in your mercy

hear our prayer.

Father, you are the King of heaven,
the hope of all who trust in you:
give to […and all] the faithful departed
the wonders of your salvation.

Lord, in your mercy

hear our prayer.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of wise men, shepherds and angels,
and of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph,
we commend ourselves and all Christian people
to your unfailing love.

Merciful Father,

accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

The Liturgy of the Sacrament

Please stand with the president.

The Peace

Our Saviour Christ is the Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there shall be no end.

cf Isaiah 9.6,7

The peace of the Lord be always with you

and also with you.

Preparation of the Table

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

A hymn is sung.

Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid;
Star of the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

Cold on his cradle the dew-drops are shining,
Low lies his head with the beasts of the stall:
Angels adore him in slumber reclining,
Maker and Monarch and Saviour of all.

Say, shall we yield him, in costly devotion,
Odours of Edom and off’rings divine?
Gems of the mountain and pearls of the ocean,
Myrrh from the forest or gold from the mine?

Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
Vainly with gifts would his favour secure;
Richer by far is the heart’s adoration,
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.

Words: R. Heber (1783-1826)
Music: J. F. Thrupp (1827-1867)
Hymn Tune: EPIPHANY

Taking of the Bread and Wine

Lord, accept your people’s gifts,
not gold, frankincense or myrrh,
but hearts and voices raised in praise of Jesus Christ,
our light and our salvation.

Amen.

The Eucharistic Prayer (E)

Please kneel or sit.

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 honour and praise be yours always and everywhere,
mighty creator, ever-living God,
through Jesus Christ your only Son our Lord:
for at this time we celebrate your glory
made present in our midst.
In the coming of the Magi
the King of all the world was revealed to the nations.
In the waters of baptism
Jesus was revealed as the Christ,
the Saviour sent to redeem us.
In the water made wine
the new creation was revealed at the wedding feast.
Poverty was turned to riches, sorrow into joy.
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.

We praise and bless you, loving Father,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord;
and as we obey his command,
send your Holy Spirit,
that broken bread and wine outpoured
may be for us the body and blood of your dear Son.
On the night before he died he had supper with his friends
and, taking bread, he praised you.
He broke the bread, gave it to them and said:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.
When supper was ended he took the cup of wine.
Again he praised you, gave it to them and said:
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.
So, Father, we remember all that Jesus did,
in him we plead with confidence his sacrifice
made once for all upon the cross.
Bringing before you the bread of life and cup of salvation,
we proclaim his death and resurrection
until he comes in glory.

Great is the mystery of faith:

Christ has died,
Christ is risen,
Christ will come again.

Lord of all life,
help us to work together for that day
when your kingdom comes
and justice and mercy will be seen in all the earth.
Look with favour on your people,
gather us in your loving arms
and bring us with Blessed Mary, St. Joseph and all the saints
to feast at your table in heaven.
Through Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honour and glory are yours, O loving Father,
for ever and ever.

Amen. (Sung)

Silence is kept.

The Lord’s Prayer

Believing the promises of God, 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.

The Agnus Dei is sung as the bread is broken for distribution.

Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, bearer of our sins,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, redeemer of the world,
grant us peace.

Invitation to Communion

God’s holy gifts
for God’s holy people.

Jesus Christ is holy,
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

The president and people receive communion. All baptised Christians are welcome to receive the sacrament. Please follow the guidance offered by the stewards.

If you are not baptised, or would prefer to not receive then do still come forward for a blessing bringing this book with you so the president knows your intention.

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

To the words ‘The Body of Christ’ the communicant replies “Amen”. Prior to then on drinking from the cup the president says ‘The Blood of Christ shed for us all’ to which those present reply “Amen.”

For those at home it might be helpful to use this prayer during the distribution.

God the Father,
help us to hear the call of Christ the King
and to follow in his service,
whose kingdom has no end;
for he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, one glory.
Amen.

Choir Anthem

‘The Infant King’

Sing lullaby!
Lullaby baby, now reclining,
Sing lullaby!
Hush, do not wake the infant king.
Angels are watching, stars are shining
Over the place where he is lying:
Sing lullaby!

Sing lullaby!
Lullaby baby, now a-sleeping,
Sing lullaby!
Hush, do not wake the infant king.
Soon will come sorrow with the morning,
Soon will come bitter grief and weeping:
Sing lullaby!

Sing lullaby!
Lullaby baby, now a-dozing,
Sing lullaby!
Hush, do not wake the infant king.
Soon comes the cross, the nails, the piercing,
Then in the grave at last reposing:
Sing lullaby!

Sing lullaby!
Lullaby! is the babe awaking?
Sing lullaby!
Hush, do not stir the infant king.
Dreaming of Easter, gladsome morning,
Conquering death, its bondage breaking:
Sing lullaby!

Words: S. Baring-Gould (1834-1924)
Music: Old Basque Noël arranged by P. Moore (b. 1943)
Hymn Tune: THE INFANT KING

The Post Communion Prayer

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

Lord God,
the bright splendour whom the nations seek:
may we who with the wise men have been drawn by your light
discern the glory of your presence in your Son,
the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

A hymn is sung.

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, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.

They lookèd 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, Nowell, Nowell, 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 wheresoever it went:
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.

This star drew nigh to the north-west;
O’er Bethlehem it took its rest,
And there it did both stop and stay
Right over the place where Jesus lay:
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.

Then entered in those Wise Men three,
Fell reverently upon their knee,
And offered there in his presence
Both gold and myrrh and frankincense:
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.

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

Words: from Sandys’ ‘Christmas Carols’ (1833)
Music: English traditional melody arr. J. Stainer (1840-1901)
Hymn Tune: THE FIRST NOWELL

The Dismissal

Acclamation

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe.

To you be glory and praise for ever.

From the rising of the sun to its setting
your name is proclaimed in all the world.

To you be glory and praise for ever.

When the time had fully come
you sent the Sun of Righteousness.

In him the fullness of your glory dwells.
To you be glory and praise for ever.

The Dismissal Gospel

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

Glory to you, O Lord.

Simeon took the child Jesus in his arms and praised God, saying, ‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’

Luke 2.28-32

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.

The Blessing

May God the Father,
who led the wise men by the shining of a star
to find the Christ, the Light from light,
lead you in your pilgrimage to find the Lord.

Amen.

May God, who has delivered us from the dominion of darkness,
give us a place with the saints in light
in the kingdom of his beloved Son.

Amen.

May the light of the glorious gospel of Christ
shine in your hearts and fill our lives
with his joy and peace.

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

We have seen his glory,
the glory revealed to all the nations.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ. Amen.


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Communion setting
© The Royal School of Church Music

Great Amen
© G H Taylor

Sing lullaby
Musical arrangement © Kevin Mayhew Ltd

Organ voluntary
© Kevin Mayhew Ltd

CCL licence: 668063