Christmas Eve * indicates standing 24 December 2017
- MUSICAL PRELUDE
- CALL TO WORSHIP
In the beginning was the WORD,
and the WORD was with God and the WORD was God.
And the WORD became flesh and dwelt in our midst.
We beheld His Glory,
the Glory of the only begotten Son of God.
Come, let us worship God.
- HYMN # 60 (VU) O COME, ALL YE FAITHFUL *
PEUPLE, FIDELE ~ ADESTE FIDELES
- PRAYER OF APPROACH *
Eternal Christ, by the mystery of your Incarnation,
You have joined our humanity
that we might ascend to your Divinity,
to be one with You as You are One with the Father.
Send now Your Holy Spirit upon us, that with one mind,
we may praise You,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, One God,
forever and ever, Amen.
- HYMN # 6 (VU) A CANDLE IS BURNING
As each verse is sung the appropriate candle will be lit.
Hope, Peace, Joy and Love – finally the Christ Candle
Christ is the icon of the Divine, the door through whom we see into God and through whom God enters into our existence. The icon became incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth through whom God engages humanity and through whom humanity enters into the Divine Conversation between the persons of God.
LIGHTING the CHRIST CANDLE
Eternal Christ, icon of the Divine,
You are of the same essence as God the Father,
and have entered into human existence through Jesus,
we bless You for your continuous Presence,
living in our midst and revealing the Divine to us.
May your Light be our beacon,
may your Words be our compass
and may your Nativity foreshadow our re-birth.
In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.
- SCRIPTURE LESSONS
First Lesson: Isaiah 9: 2 in a multitude of languages
The People who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness –
on them the Light has shined.
Gospel: Luke 2: 1 – 20
- HYMN # 40 (VU) BEFORE THE MARVEL OF THIS NIGHT *
- OFFERTORY HYMN # 64 (VU) O LITTLE TOWN *
- SACRAMENT OF COMMUNION
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
The LORD be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts
We lift them up to the LORD.
Let us give thanks to the LORD our God.
It is right to give God thanks and praise.
O LORD our God, Source of Eternal Wonder, we gather around your Table, surrounded by the Mystery of Heaven’s radiance.
Lift us from the ordinary that we may be touched by the extraordinary, that we may join with the Angels and the Archangels and all the company of Heaven who forever sing this song of praise:
(Tune # 75 While Shepherds Watched)
All Glory be to God on High
And to the earth be peace
Good will hence forth from heaven to earth
Begin and never cease.
We thank You that from the very beginning, Your Word has been the Light of the World. Through your Word all things were made and by your Word, all creation shall be made new. We rejoice that your Word has become Flesh in Jesus Christ and dwells among us, full of Grace and Truth.
We remember that in every age, You have called Patriarchs and Matriarchs, prophets, preachers, priests and pastors, apostles and martyrs, men and women, young and old, to bear faithful witness to the light of your Word. We remember that, by becoming flesh of our flesh, Christ sanctified all human life, and took unto himself the entire spectrum of human existence, that each of us may sing before You the Songs of Glory.
(tune: # 62 Irby – Once in Royal David’s City)
In the darkness shines the spendour
of the Word who took our flesh
now that Word shall speak forever
and our lives shall intermesh
with the Christ who comes from glory
God has entered ev’ry human story.
Through the powerful benediction of your Holy Spirit, transform us and these gifts of bread and wine, that we offer to You. Grant that we who are fed on these holy mysteries may be so united with Christ that He may come through us to accomplish your Glory in this world.
(Tune # 69 – Cradle Song – Away in a Manger)
Send forth now your Spirit to settle on all
May we be your voices, proclaiming your call,
Your chorus now echoes from earth to the sky,
“All Glory to God in the Heavens most high!”
On that night, the darkest of nights, in which your Son was betrayed, and your WORD was broken, our Lord Jesus Christ took Bread …………
He took a Cup …… Do this in remembrance of me.
(Tune: Greensleeves # 74 – What Child is This)
What child is this who lays to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Good Christians fear for sinners here
This silent WORD is pleading.
Nails, spears shall pierce Him through
A Cross be borne for me, for you,
Hail, hail, God’s Word is True
In Jesus, son of Mary.
We remember your Church scattered upon the face of this earth,
gather her in unity & preserve her in truth.
We remember all your children, who have loved and served You in this life, especially those near & dear to our own souls.
We rejoice that we are still one with them in the holy fellowship of your Church. Together may we continue with them to proclaim your glory!
(Tune: # 48 – Mendelssohn)
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 new born King.
Rejoice, O Israel and all the world. Tonight the Eternal Word becomes Flesh and dwells in our midst. Sing! Rejoice and be glad! Ce soir, les anges chantent dans le ciel; ce soir, les bergers viennent à Bethléem, et ce soir, ils se trouvent Joseph et Marie et l’enfant Jésus, parmi nous and by Him, with Him and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, we raise our voices with all creation to proclaim the glory of God!
(Tune: Antioch # 59)
Joy to the world, the Lord has come!
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing!
As Christ taught us, we are bold to pray in our own languages:
The LORD’S PRAYER
DISTRIBUTION OF THE COMMUNION ELEMENTS
This is the Table, not of the Church, but of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is made ready for those who love Him and those who want to love Him more. So come, you who have much faith and you who have little;
you who have been here often and you who have not been for a long time; you who have tried to follow and you who have failed. Come, not because we invite you but because our Lord has made this place for you. It is Christ’s Will that those who want to meet Him should meet Him here.
POST COMMUNION PRAYER
May your WORD so enter me that when I open my mouth,
I shall speak your WORD in a language that will be both heard and understood by your child to whom I speak.
May my life become a vessel that transports You from your House to my home. May what I resolve to do, become my un-thought action. As You committed your Son into our hands,
now into Your Hands I commend my spirit. Amen
- HYMN # 38 (VU) ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH*
- LITANY FOR CHRISTMAS EVE
Like lightning from God, the angel is sent,
‘Tween heaven and earth the veil is rent!
The message is heard, as it rolls through the sky
“All Glory to God on earth and on high!”
To sinners and saints, the Word is the same,
A Saviour is born, Christ Jesus his Name.
God of the Ages, your truth will unfold,
In Bethlehem’s babe your Grace will be told.
Come guide us this night through darkness and cold.
To new life with Christ, whom now we behold.
- COMMISSIONING and BENEDICTION
- HYMN # 67 (VU) SILENT NIGHT / STILLE NACHT *
- MUSICAL POSTLUDE
The Session wishes each and everyone a blessed and happy Christmastide. Through the next 12 days, we invite you to celebrate the incarnation of Christ. Tonight is the Nativity and through to January 6th when we celebrate the Epiphany, may you meet Christ in a myriad of forms and joyfully be surprised at the nearness of God.
From the Office, we thank you for your kindness and cheerfulness toward us during the entire year. Especially, we thank the volunteers who take the pressure off our lives at each busy time. “Santa’s Elves” come in human forms.
To all of you who serve Christ through your volunteer hours, thank you. Our little church changes the world for thousands in our community and beyond. You are the living presence of Christ.