Christmas Eve, 2022 – Holy Communion

(Modified 2022-12-28: Added audio recordings)

Audio recording of full service including sermon

Link to text and audio of the Christmas Eve sermon


DECEMBER 24, 2022



Organ Prelude

The Ringing of the Bell. 

Entrance of the Ministers. Please stand.

The Christmas Anthems

BEHOLD a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, / and shall call his name Immanuel.
Isaiah 7. 14.

Unto us a child is born, / unto us a son is given. Isaiah 9. 6.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, / because that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world that we might live through him. 1 St John 4. 9.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, / who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. Ephesians 1. 3.

GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, / and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, / world without end. 

Hymn in Procession: O Come All ye Faithful  

V./ Let us go forth in peace. Alleluia!
R./ In the Name of Christ. Alleluia!

O come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant!
O come ye, O come ye to B
 and behold him Born the King of Angels:

O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
 Christ the Lord.

God of God, Light of Light,
Lo, he abhors not the 
Virgin’s womb;
Very God,
 Begotten, not created:

Sing, choirs of angels, Sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of Heaven abo
 to God In the highest:

See how the shepherds, summoned to his cradle
Leaving their flocks draw night with lowly fear
We too will thither bend out joyful footsteps

Station at the Creche (after verse 4)

V./ The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.
R./ And we beheld his glory.

O GOD, who makest us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of thy only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that as we joyfully receive him as our Redeemer, we may with sureconfidence behold him when he shall come again to be our Judge; through Jesus Christ our LordAmen.

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory given!
 Word of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing!

The Lord’s Prayer

Collect for Purity (Prayer Book p. 67)

Summary of the Law, Lord. Have Mercy (Prayer Book p. 69, 70)

Collect for the Day

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin: Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Old Testament:    Isaiah 9.2-7   R./ Thanks be to God  

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. Thou hast multiplied the nation, thou hast increased its joy; they rejoice before thee as with joy at the harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder,the rod of his oppressor, thou hast broken as on the day of Mid′ian. For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, 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 it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.  

Psalm: 96                                                                                 

O SING unto the LORD a new song; / sing unto the LORD, all the whole earth.
Sing unto the LORD, and praise his Name; / be telling of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his honour among the nations, / and his wonders among all peoples.
FOR the LORD is great, and cannot worthily be praised; / he is more to be feared than all gods.
As for all the gods of the peoples, they are but idols; / but it is the LORD that made the heavens.
Honour and majesty are before him: / strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
ASCRIBE unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the peoples, / ascribe unto the LORD glory and power.
Give unto the LORD the honour due unto his Name; / bring presents and come into his courts.
O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness; / let the whole earth stand in awe of him.
TELL it out among the nations that the LORD is King; / he hath made the round world so fast that it cannot be moved; he shall judge the peoples righteously.
Let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad; / let the sea make a noise, and all that is therein.
Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it; / then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the LORD;
For he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth, / and with righteousness to judge the world, and the peoples with his truth.

Epistle: Titus 3. 4-7                    

 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by men and hating one another; but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life. R./ Thanks be to God       

Gradual: Of the Father’s Love Begotten

Please sing, lighting your taper as the flame is offered, and turning to face the reading of the Gospel. Keep your taper lit until the Nicene Creed has been said. 

Of the Father’s Love begotten
Ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega,
He the source, the ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see,
Evermore and evermore!

At His word the worlds were framed;
He commanded ; it was done :
Heaven and earth and depths of ocean
In their threefold order one ;
All that grows beneath the shining
Of the moon and burning sun,
Evermore and evermore!

O that Birth for ever blessed,
When the Virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
Bare the Saviour of our race;
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred Face,
Evermore and evermore !

This is He Whom seers in old time
Chanted of with one accord ;
Whom the voices of the Prophets
Promised in their faithful word;
Now He shines, the long-expected:
Let creation praise its Lord :
Evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heaven adore Him!
Angel-hosts His praises sing!
All dominions bow before Him,
And extol our God and King ;
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Every voice in concert ring,
Evermore and evermore!

The Holy Gospel: Luke 2. 1- 20 R./ Glory be to thee, O Lord         

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. 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.
R./  Praise be to Thee, O Christ

Thee let old men, Thee let young men,
Thee let boys in chorus sing ;
Matrons, virgins, little maidens
With glad voices answering;
Let their guileless songs re-echo,
And the heart its praises bring,
Evermore and evermore!

Christ to Thee, with God the Father
And, Holy Ghost, to Thee!
Hymn, and chant, and high thanksgiving,
And unwearied praises be,
Honour, glory, and dominion,
And eternal victory,
Evermore and evermore!​​    

Nicene Creed​

I BELIEVE in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible:
     And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, Begotten of the Father before all worlds; God, of God; Light, of Light; Very God, of very God; Begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father; Through whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation camedown from heaven, And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, And was made man, And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead: Whose kingdom shall have no end.
     And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, The Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spake by the Prophets. And I believe One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the Resurrection of the dead, And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

Sermon The Rector                    

Offertory Hymn: Once in Royal David’s City

Once in royal David’s city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her Ba
In a manger for 
His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little Child.

He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His she
lter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall;
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on e
arth our Savior holy.

And through all His wondrous childhood
He would honor and obey,
Love and watch the lowly maiden,
In whose gentle arms He lay:
Christian child
ren all must be
Mild, obedient, good as He.

For he is our childhood’s pattern; 
Day by day, like us He grew;
He was little, weak and helple
ars and smiles like us He knew;
And He feeleth for our sadness,
And He shareth in our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love;
For that Child so dear and gentle
Is our Lord in heaven above,
And He leads His childr
en on
To the place where He is gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see Him; bu
t in heaven,
Set at God’s right hand on high;
Where like stars His children crowned

All in white shall wait around.

The Intercession (Prayer Book p. 74)

Invitation, Confession and Absolution (Prayer Book p. 76, 77)                                                                                                                                 

The Great Thanksgiving, Peace, Prayer of Humble Access (Prayer Book pp. 87ff)                                                                                                        

The Communion

All baptized Christians are invited to come forward with faith and love to Christ and His Church to receive Holy Communion tonight. Those not receiving are invited to come forward for a blessing, indicating this by crossing your arms over your chest.                                                                                                                             

Carols during Communion:

Infant Holy, Infant Lowly

Infant holy, Infant lowly,
Lying cradled in a stall.
n lowing little knowing
Christ the Babe is Lord of All.
Swift are winging Angels singing
ls ringing, Tidings bringing
Christ the Babe is Lord of All.

Flocks were sleeping, shepherds keeping
Vigil till the morning new.
Saw the glory, heard the story
Tidings of a Gospel true.
Thus rejoicing free from sorrow
Praises voicing, greet tomorrow
Christ the Babe is born for you.

See Amid the Winter’s Snow

See amid the winter’s snow,
Born for us on earth below,
See the tender Lamb appears, 
Promised from eternal years.

Hail, thou ever-blessed morn!
Hail, redemption’s happy dawn!
Sing through all Jerusalem,
Christ is born in Bethlehem.

Lo, within a manger lies
He who built the starry skie
He, who throned in he
ight sublime
Sits amid the cherubim. 

Say, ye holy shepherds, say
What your joyful news today;
Wherefore have ye lef
t your sheep
On the lonely mountain steep? 

“As we watched at dead of night,
Lo, we saw a wondrous
Angels singing peace on earth
Told us of the Saviour’s birth”. 

Sacred infant, all divine,
What a tender love wa
s Thine,
Thus to come from highest bliss
Down to such a world as this. 

Teach, O teach us , Holy Child,
By Thy Face 
so meek and mild,
Teach us to resemble Thee,
In Thy Sweet humility! 

O Little Town of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem,
    How still
 we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
    The silent stars go by.
Yet in thy da
rk streets shineth
    The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
    Are met in thee to-night.

O morning stars, together
    Proclaim the holy b
And praises sing to God the King,
    And peace to men on earth.
For Christ is born o
f Mary
    And gathere
d all above,
While mortals sleep the Angels keep
    Their watch of wondering love.

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 com
    But in this worl
d of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still,
    The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
    Descend to us, we pray!
Cast o
ut our sin and enter in,
    Be born in us to-day.
We hear the Christmas angels,
    The great glad tidings tell;

O come to us, abide with us,
    Our Lord Emmanuel!

The Lord’s Prayer

Thanksgiving after Communion (Prayer Book p. 85, 86)                                                                                                                                                           Gloria

The Christmas Blessing      

Hymn: Hark the Herald Angels Sing 

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’ angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem.”
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ, by highest heav’n adored:
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of the Virgins Womb
Veil’d in flesh, the Godhead see;
Hail, th’incarnate Deity:
Pleased, as man, with man to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail! the heav’n born Prince of peace!
Hail! the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die:
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!


Let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Thanks be to God. Alleluia! 

Organ Postlude

Please join us for hot apple cider and baking in the lounge and narthex following the service.

                                   CHRISTMAS SERVICES AT ST. MARYS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

December 25 Christmas Day

10.00 a.m. Morning Prayer

10.30 a.m. Holy Communion

January 1  Octave Day of Christmas and Circumcision of Christ

10.00 a.m. Morning Prayer 

10.30 a.m. Holy Communion

January 6, The Epiphany of the Lord

6.00 p.m. Holy Communion followed by Pot Luck Supper and all-age Twelfth Night Party in the Parish Hall.


​CHRIST IS BORN: glorify him. Christ comes from heaven: go out to meet him.
Christ descends to earth: let us be raised on high.
Let all the world sing to the Lord; let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad, 
for his sake who was first in heaven and then on earth. 
Christ is here in the flesh: Let us exult with fear and joy - with fear, because of our sins; ​with joy, because of the hope that he brings us.
Once more the darkness is dispersed; once more the light is created.
Let the people that sat in the darkness of ignorance now look upon the light of ​knowledge. 
The things of old have passed away; behold, all things are made new. 
He who has no mother in heaven is now born without father on earth. 
The laws of nature are overthrown, for the upper world must be filled with citizens.
He who is without flesh becomes incarnate; the Word puts on a body; the Invisible ​is ​seen; he whom no hand can touch is handled;  the Timeless has a beginning; the ​Son of God becomes Son of Man — Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and ​forever.
Light from light, the Word of the father comes to his own image, (humanity). 
For the sake of my flesh he takes flesh; for the sake of my soul he is united to a rational​ soul, purifying like by like. 
In every way he becomes human, except for sin. O strange conjunction! The Self-existent ​comes into being: the Uncreated is created. 
He shares in the poverty of my flesh, that I may share in the riches of his Godhead.​

St Gregory of Nazianzus ( 325-389 AD)