The Prelude Silent Night
The Opening Hymn 93 Angels, from the Realms of Glory
The people standing if able, the Celebrant says
Celebrant Blessed be the one, holy, and living God.
People Glory to God for ever and ever. Amen.
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. Amen.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.
O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The people sit.
First Lesson: John 1:1-5
The Word Became Flesh
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.
Carol 67 Comfort, Comfort Ye My People
Second Lesson: Genesis 3:8-19
8 They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.” 14 The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you among all animals and among all wild creatures; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” 16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” 17 And to the man he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your
wife, and have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Carol 81 v. 1—2 Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming Michael Praetorius, 16th Century
Third Lesson: Isaiah 9:2b-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.
For a child has been born for us, a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named
Wonderful Counsellor, 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 onwards and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Carol 92 v. 1—4 On This Day
Fourth Lesson: Isaiah 11:1-9
The Peaceful Kingdom
A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear;
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
and faithfulness the belt around his loins.
The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Carol 115 v. 1—3 What Child is This
Fifth Lesson: Luke 1:26-38
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.
Carol 102 v. 1, 2, 5 Once in Royal David’s City
Sixth Lesson: Luke 2:1-7
The Birth of Jesus
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.
Carol 79 v. 1 and 2 O Little Town Of Bethlehem 19th Century English Carol
Luke 2:8-21 The Shepherds and the Angels
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 favors!’
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. After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Carol 96 v. 1 and 2 Angels We Have Heard On High
Eighth Lesson: Matthew 2:1-12
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King, behold, there came three wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the King had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privately called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, “Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also”.
When they had heard the King, they departed; and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him; and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts, 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.
Carol 109 v. 1 and 5 The First Noel
Ninth Lesson: John 1:6-14
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. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 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.
Carol 73 v. 1—3 The King Shall Come
The celebrant then adds
Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Then, all standing if able, the Celebrant continues with
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,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human.
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,
who with the Father and the Son is worshiped 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.
Silence may follow. All kneel if able.
The Prayers of the People BCP, 387
The Leader and People pray responsively
Father, we pray for your holy Catholic Church;
That we all may be one.
Grant that every member of the Church may truly and humbly serve you;
especially Grace Church, Broad Brook; St. Paul’s, Brookfield; Trinity, Brooklyn.
For all immigrants, refugees, and the ministries that serve them, especially IRIS – Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, New Haven.
That your Name may be glorified by all people.
We pray for all bishops, priests, and deacons;
for Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury; Michael, our Presiding Bishop;
Ian and Laura, our own Bishops; and Pat, our Priest.
We also pray for Don, for Ned, and all those discerning a call to ordained ministry.
That they may be faithful ministers of your Word and Sacraments.
We pray for all who govern and hold authority in the nations of the world;
That there may be justice and peace on the earth.
Give us grace to do your will in all that we undertake;
That our works may find favor in your sight.
Have compassion on those who suffer from any grief or trouble;
That they may be delivered from their distress.
Give to the departed eternal rest;
Let light perpetual shine upon them.
We praise you for your saints who have entered into joy;
May we also come to share in your heavenly kingdom.
Let us pray for our own needs and those of others, especially… (prayer list is read) (We respond by repeating the names raised by the intercessor in prayer.) The People may add their own petitions.
The Intercessor continues.
We pray to you also for the forgiveness of our sins.
Silence may be kept. Intercessor and People
Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; in your compassion forgive us our sins, known and unknown,
things done and left undone; and so uphold us by your Spirit
that we may live and serve you in newness of life, to the honor and glory of your Name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Celebrant concludes with an absolution or a suitable Collect.
Announcements ~ The Offertory Canon Pat
Celebrant Ascribe to the Lord the honor due his Name;
bring offerings and come into his courts. Psalm 96:8
The Offertory Hymn A Christmas Canon O’Neil and Kinkel
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas The joy that He brings
This night we pray
Our lives will show this dream he had Each child still knows.
We are waiting We have not forgotten
On this night, on this very Christmas night, on this night.
The Holy Communion
The Great Thanksgiving
Eucharistic Prayer D BCP, 372
The people remain standing if able. The Celebrant, whether bishop or priest, faces them and sings or says
The Lord be with you.
People And also with you.
Celebrant Lift up your hearts.
People Our hearts are with the Lord.
Celebrant Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People It is right to give him thanks and praise.
Then, facing the Holy Table, the Celebrant proceeds
It is truly right to glorify you, Father, and to give you thanks; for you alone are God, living and true, dwelling in light inaccessible from before time and for ever.
Fountain of life and source of all goodness, you made all things and fill them with your blessing; you created them to rejoice in the splendor of your radiance.
Countless throngs of angels stand before you to serve you night and day; and, beholding the glory of your presence, they offer you unceasing praise. Joining with them, and giving voice to every creature under heaven, we acclaim you,
and glorify your Name, as we sing (say),
The Sanctus Hymn S129 Powell
The people stand or kneel if able. Then the Celebrant continues
We acclaim you, holy Lord, glorious in power. Your mighty
works reveal your wisdom and love. You formed us in your own image, giving the whole world into our care, so that, in obedience to you, our Creator, we might rule and serve all your creatures. When our disobedience took us far from you, you did not abandon us to the power of death. In your mercy you came to our help, so that in seeking you we might find you. Again and again you called us into covenant with you, and through the prophets you taught us to hope for salvation.
Father, you loved the world so much that in the fullness of time you sent your only Son to be our Savior. Incarnate by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, he lived as one of us, yet without sin. To the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation; to prisoners, freedom; to the sorrowful, joy. To fulfill your purpose he gave himself up to death; and, rising from the grave, destroyed death, and made the whole creation new.
And, that we might live no longer for ourselves, but for him who died and rose for us, he sent the Holy Spirit, his own first gift for those who believe, to complete his work in
the world, and to bring to fulfillment the sanctification of all.
At the following words concerning the bread, the Celebrant is to hold it, or lay a hand upon it; and at the words concerning the cup,
to hold or place a hand upon the cup and any other vessel containing wine to be consecrated.
When the hour had come for him to be glorified by you, his heavenly Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end; at supper with them he took bread, and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”
After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he 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. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”
Father, we now celebrate this memorial of our redemption. Recalling Christ’s death and his descent among the dead, proclaiming his resurrection and ascension to your right hand, awaiting his coming in glory; and offering to you, from the gifts you have given us, this bread and this cup, we praise you and we bless you.
Celebrant and People:
We praise you, we bless you, we give thanks to you, and we pray to you, Lord our God.
The Celebrant continues
Lord, we pray that in your goodness and mercy your Holy Spirit may descend upon us, and upon these gifts, sanctifying them and showing them to be holy gifts for your holy people, the bread of life and the cup of salvation, the Body and Blood of your Son Jesus Christ.
Grant that all who share this bread and cup may become one body and one spirit, a living sacrifice in Christ, to the praise of your Name.
Remember, Lord, your one holy catholic and apostolic Church, redeemed by the blood of your Christ. Reveal its unity, guard its faith, and preserve it in peace.
Remember all your people, and those who seek your truth. Remember all who have died in the peace of Christ, and those whose faith is known to you alone; bring them into the place of eternal joy and light.
And grant that we may find our inheritance with the Blessed Virgin Mary, with patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, and all the saints who have found favor
with you in ages past. We praise you in union with them and give you glory through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Through Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ, all honor and glory are yours, Almighty God and Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. AMEN.
And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,
People and Celebrant BCP, 364
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,
and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Breaking of the Bread BCP, 364
The Celebrant breaks the consecrated Bread. A period of silence is kept.
Then may be sung or said
Alleluia. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;
Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia.
The Agnus Dei Hymn S163 Powell
Facing the people, the Celebrant says the following Invitation
The Gifts of God for the People of God.
Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving.
The ministers receive the Sacrament in both kinds, and then immediately deliver it to the people.
Communion Hymn 112
After Communion, the Celebrant says
Let us pray.
Celebrant and People BCP, 366
Almighty and everliving God,
we thank you for feeding us with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood
of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ;
and for assuring us in these holy mysteries
that we are living members of the Body of your Son, and heirs of your eternal kingdom.
And now, Father, send us out
to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you
as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord. To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever.
The Bishop when present, or the Priest, may bless the people.
The people kneel if able.
All stand if able.
The Recessional Hymn 99 Go Tell It On The Mountain
Deacon Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit.
People Thanks be to God.
The Postlude Bell Gloria Stanley Saxton