December 25th Christmas Day

Wooden Nativity Scene

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Christmas Day Morning Service

Welcome

Lighting the Advent Candle

One candle to remind us of the Patriarchs, the second for the Prophets, the third for John the Baptist and the fourth for Mary.  Now the centre candle for Jesus, born today. He is the Light of the World.

(Light the candles)

Mary gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because there was no room for him in the inn.

All Loving God, we thank you for the birth of Jesus Christ, our Saviour.  May we always welcome him into our homes and into our lives.

Amen

O Lord, open our lips
All   and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

You laid the foundation of the earth
All and the heavens are the work of your hands.

Blessed are you, sovereign God,
creator of heaven and earth,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As your living Word, eternal in heaven,
assumed the frailty of our mortal flesh,
may the light of your love be born in us
to fill our hearts with joy as we sing:


Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All Blessed be God for ever.

A Song of the Bride

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, •
my soul shall exult in my God;

Who has clothed me with the garments of salvation, •
and has covered me with the cloak of integrity,

As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, •
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

For as the earth puts forth her blossom, •
and as seeds in the garden spring up,

So shall God make righteousness and praise •
blossom before all the nations.

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, •
and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest

Until her deliverance shines out like the dawn, •
and her salvation as a burning torch.

The nations shall see your deliverance, •
and all rulers shall see your glory;

Then you shall be called by a new name •
which the mouth of God will give.

You shall be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, •
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

Isaiah 61.10,11; 62.1-3

All Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us;
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,
so may the light of your presence, O God,
set our hearts on fire with love for you;
now and for ever.
Amen.

 

Luke 2:1-20 The Message

The Birth of Jesus

1-5 About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.

6-7 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

An Event for Everyone

8-12 There were sheepherders camping in the neighbourhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Saviour has just been born in David’s town, a Saviour who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”

13-14 At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

15-18 As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

19-20 Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!

Reflection from the Vicarage

 

All To us a child is born,
to us a son is given.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; •
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
upon them the light has dawned.

You have increased their joy and given them great gladness; •
they rejoiced before you as with joy at the harvest.

For you have shattered the yoke that burdened them; •
the collar that lay heavy on their shoulders.

For to us a child is born and to us a son is given, •
and the government will be upon his shoulder

And his name will be called: Wonderful Counsellor;
the Mighty God; •
the Everlasting Father; the Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and of peace •
there will be no end,

Upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, •
to establish and uphold it with justice and righteousness.

From this time forth and for evermore; •
the zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Isaiah 9.2, 3b, 4a, 6, 7

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

To us a child is born,
to us a son is given.

 Silence

Intercessions

The Collect

Lord Jesus Christ

Your birth at Bethlehem draws us to kneel in wonder at heaven touching earth: accept our hear felt praise as we worship you, our Saviour and our eternal God.

Amen

Almighty God,
who wonderfully created us in your own image
and yet more wonderfully restored us
through your Son Jesus Christ:
grant that, as he came to share our humanity,
so we may share the life of his divinity;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
All Amen.

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
as our Saviour taught us, so we pray

All Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the
kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

May God, who has called us out of darkness
into his marvellous light,
bless us and fill us with peace.
All Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
All Thanks be to God.

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown”; and he replied, “Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light, and safer than a known way.”

So I went forth, and finding the hand of God, trod gladly into the night. He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone east. So heart, be still! What need our human life to know if God hath comprehension? In all the dizzy strife of things, both high and low, God hideth his intention. God knows. His will is best. The stretch of years which wind ahead, so dim to our imperfect vision, are clear to God. Our fears are premature. In Him all time hath full provision.

Then rest; until God moves to lift the veil from our impatient eyes, when, as the sweeter features of life’s stern face we hail, fair beyond all surmise, God’s thought around His creatures our minds shall fill.

Minnie Haskins (1875-1957)

 

May the Lord bless and protect you; may the Lord’s face radiate with joy because of you; may he be gracious to you, show you his favour, and give you his peace.’

 

Numbers 6:24-26 The Living Bible

 

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