The Light on the Hill

Order of Service – Christmas Eve 2021

The Order of Service follows below.

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Lessons and Carols
Christmas Eve, December 24th, 2021

Prelude

Opening Carol: Once in Royal David’s City

Soloist: Once in royal David’s city
stood a lowly cattle shed
where a mother laid her baby
in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.

Please stand as you are able and join in singing.

All: He came down to earth from heaven
who is God and Lord of all,
and his shelter was a stable,
and his cradle was a stall;
with the poor, despised and lowly
lived on earth our Saviour holy.

And through all his wondrous childhood,
day by day like us he grew;
he was little, weak, and helpless,
tears and smiles like us he knew;
and he feels for all our sadness,
and he shares in all our gladness.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
with the oxen standing by,
we shall see him; but in heaven,
set at God’s right hand on high,
when his children gather round
bright like stars, with glory crowned.

Together in Song #312. Cecil Frances Alexander 1818-95 alt. Public domain.

Welcome and Acknowledgment of Land

Prayer

Musical Reflection: The Light, the Christmas Light

Words by Shirley Murray, music by Colin Gibson, arranged by Rosemary Nairn

Lighting of the Advent Candles

Carol: O Little Town of Bethlehem

  1. O little town of Bethlehem,
    how still we see you lie!
    Above your deep and dreamless sleep
    the silent stars go by:
    yet, in your dark streets shining
    the everlasting light,
    the hopes and fears of all the years
    are met in you tonight.

  2. For Christ is born of Mary;
    and, gathered all above,
    while mortals sleep the angels keep
    their watch of wondering love.
    O morning stars, together
    proclaim the holy birth,
    and praises sing to God the King
    and peace to all on earth.

  3. How silently, how silently
    the wondrous gift is given!
    So God imparts to human hearts
    the blessings of his heaven.
    No ear may hear his coming;
    but in this world of sin,
    where meek souls will receive him, still
    the dear Christ enters in.

  4. O holy child of Bethlehem,
    descend to us, we pray;
    cast out our sin and enter in,
    be born in us today.
    We hear the Christmas angels
    their great glad tidings tell;
    O come to us, abide with us,
    Our Lord Immanuel.

Together in Song #309. Phillip Brooks 1835-93. Public Domain.

The First Lesson: The Prophet Isaiah Foretells the Birth of Christ

Isaiah 9:2-7

Musical Reflection: One Small Child

Words and music by David Meece, arranged by Roger Emerson

The Second Lesson: The Angel Gabriel Appears to Mary

Luke 1:26-38

Carol: Joy to the World! The Lord is Come

  1. Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
    let earth receive its king;
    let every heart prepare him room,
    and heaven and nature sing,
    and heaven and nature sing,
    and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

  2. Joy to the earth! The Saviour reigns;
    let us our songs employ;
    while fields and streams, rocks, hills and plains
    repeat the sounding joy,
    repeat the sounding joy,
    repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

  3. He rules the world with truth and grace,
    and makes the nations prove
    the glories of his righteousness
    and wonders of his love,
    and wonders of his love,
    and wonders, wonders of his love.

Together in Song #268. Isaac Watts, 1674 – 1748 alt. Based on Psalm 98. Public Domain.

The Third Lesson: Jesus is Born in Bethlehem

Luke 2:1-7

Drama: No Room at the Stable

Written by Stephen Deal, performed by Subtle Bricks Theatre Company

The Fourth Lesson: The Shepherds Go to the Manger

Luke 2:8-16

Musical Reflection: Angel’s Carol

Words and music by John Rutter

Offering for the Christmas Bowl Appeal

This evening’s offering supports the Christmas Bowl Appeal – the Christmas Appeal of Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia. You may use the envelope available in the foyer, make a cash donation in the offering receptacle or go to actforpeace.org.au/christmasbowl. Thank you for supporting this vital ministry.

Prayers for Peace

Carol: Love Came Down at Christmas

  1. Love came down at Christmas,
    Love all lovely, Love divine;
    Love was born at Christmas,
    star and angels gave the sign.

  2. Worship we the Godhead,
    Love incarnate, Love divine;
    worship we our Jesus:
    but wherewith for sacred sign?

  3. Love shall be our token,
    love be yours and love be mine,
    love to God and neighbours,
    love for plea and gift and sign.

Together in Song #317. Christina Georgina Rossetti, 1830-94 alt. Public Domain.

The Fifth Lesson: The Light Shines in the Darkness

John 1: 1-5

Carol: Silent Night

  1. Silent night, holy night:
    all is calm, all is bright
    round the virgin mother and child,
    holy infant so tender and mild,
    sleep in heavenly peace,
    sleep in heavenly peace.

  2. Silent night, holy night:
    shepherds quake at the sight;
    glories stream from heaven afar,
    heavenly hosts sing, ‘Alleluia!
    Christ the Saviour is born,
    Christ the Saviour is born.’

  3. Silent night, holy night:
    wondrous star, lend your light;
    with the angels let us sing
    Alleluia to our King;
    Christ our Saviour is born,
    Christ our Saviour is born.

Together in Song #311. Franz Gruber and Joseph Mohr, tr John Freeman Young. Public Domain

Prayer

Carol: Hark the Herald Angels Sing

  1. Hark! the herald angels sing
    glory to the new-born King,
    peace on earth, and mercy mild,
    God and sinners reconciled.
    Joyful, all you nations, rise,
    join the triumph of the skies;
    with the angelic host proclaim,
    ‘Christ is born in Bethlehem’.

    Hark! the herald angels sing
    glory to the new-born King.

  2. Christ, by highest heaven adored,
    Christ, the everlasting Lord,
    late in time behold him come,
    offspring of a virgin’s womb:
    veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
    hail the incarnate Deity,
    pleased in human flesh to dwell,
    Jesus, our Immanuel.

    Hark! the herald angels sing
    glory to the new-born King.

  3. 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 need 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.

Together in Song #303. Charles Wesley 1707-88 and others. Public Domain.

Benediction

Postlude

Please wait for an usher to indicate it is time to move. We invite you to be COVID conscious as you greet one another this Christmas night and ask that as you exit, not to crowd the doorways.

May you know God’s peace and hope, light and life, this Christmas.