All are welcome to join us in church for our services.
Sunday 24th December 2023
Christmas Eve, 7pm
Order of Service
Hymn: NEH 29 It came upon a midnight clear
Welcome all wonders in one sight! Eternity shut in a span. Summer in winter, Day in night, Heaven in earth, and God in man. Great little one whose all-embracing birth brings earth to heaven, stoops heaven to earth.
The Blessing of the Crib
Dear friends, as we meet to celebrate the birth of Christ, let us pray that God will bless this crib, that all who worship his Son, born of the Virgin Mary, may come to share his life in glory. Amen.
Prayer of Penitence:
Christ the light of the World has come to dispel the darkness of our hearts. In his light let us examine ourselves and confess our sins.
God our Father, we confess to you and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ that we have sinned in thought, word and deed, and in what we have failed to do. We are truly sorry. Forgive us our sins, and deliver us from the power of evil, for the sake of your Son who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
God, who is both power and love, forgive you and free you from your sins, heal and strengthen you by the Holy Spirit, and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
O God, you have made this most holy night grow radiant with the brilliance of the true Light: grant that, as we have known the mystery of that Light on earth, so we may delight in him in heaven; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
Lighting of the Christmas Candle
We lit the first candle to pray for hope.
We lit the second candle to pray for peace.
We lit the third candle to pray for joy.
We lit the fourth candle to pray for love.
God has come Glory to God in the highest
Jesus is born Glory to God in the highest
The light shines Glory to God in the highest
Now we light the Christmas candle and we rejoice that Jesus is born. He is hope, peace, joy and love for all the world. A Saviour is born to us today. Alleluia!
Lord Jesus Christ, you bring the life of God into the world. Fill us with your light, now and always. Amen.
First Reading Isaiah 52:7-10
After the reading: This is the Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God
Hymn: NEH 39 Unto us is born a son
Gospel: John 1:1-14
Once the gospel is announced Glory to Christ our Saviour
After the gospel is read Praise to Christ our Lord
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 substance with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and was made 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 worshipped and glorified and 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.
Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and his name is called the Prince of Peace.
The peace of the Lord be always with you. And also with you.
Let us offer one another a sign of peace. Peace be with you.
Hymn: NEH 26 Hark the Herald angels sing
The Preparation of the Gifts:
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation; through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made; it will become for us the bread of life.
Blessed be God for ever.
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation; through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands; it will become the cup of our salvation.
Blessed be God for ever.
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise.
Worship and praise belong to you, God our maker. Out of nothing, you called all worlds into being, and still you draw the universe to its fulfilment. Day and night celebrate your glory till time shall be no more. In Christ, your word became flesh, and on the night was born of the Virgin Mary. He emptied himself, taking our human form, that through his incarnation and passion we might come to share in his divine nature. Filled with the Spirit, who at the first Creation moved over the face of the waters, and overshadowed the blessed Virgin at Nazareth, we await with joy the fulfilment of your new Creation. As children of your redeeming purpose who celebrate the birth of your Son we offer you our praise, with angels and archangels and the whole company of heaven, singing the hymn of your unending glory:
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
Glory and thanksgiving be to you, most loving Father. In Jesus the Messiah you have come to us, and lived for a time among us, He is the Word existing beyond time, that we might for ever live with you. In the manger at Bethlehem, in his flight to Egypt, and as the carpenter’s son, the Only-begotten bent low to meet us. Obedient to your calling, he accepted death on the cross. When you exalted him on the third day, and bestowed on him the name above all names, he opened the gate of glory that we might be your children, and share in his kingdom of Peace. Before he was given up to suffering and death, desiring to complete the work for which he had come into the world, at supper with his disciples he took bread and offered you thanks. He broke the bread, and gave it to them, saying: “Take, eat. This is my Body: it is broken for you.” After supper, he took the cup, he offered you thanks, and gave it to them saying: “Drink this, all of you. This is my Blood of the new covenant; it is poured out for you, and for all, that sins may he forgiven. Do this in remembrance of me.”
We now obey your Son’s command. We recall his blessed passion and death, his glorious resurrection and ascension; and we look for the coming of his Kingdom. Made one with him, we offer you these gifts and with them ourselves, a single, holy, living sacrifice.
Hear us, most merciful Father, and send your Holy Spirit upon us and upon this bread and this wine, that, overshadowed by his life-giving power, they may be the Body and Blood of your Son, and we may be kindled with the fire of your love and renewed for the service of your Kingdom.
Help us, who are baptised into the fellowship of Christ’s Body to live and work to your praise and glory; may we grow together in unity and love until at last, in your new creation, we enter into our heritage in the company of the Virgin Mary, the apostles and prophets, and of all our brothers and sisters living and departed.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory be to you, Lord of all ages, world without end. Amen.
BREAKING OF THE BREAD
The living bread is broken for the life of the world. Lord, unite us in this sign.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
As our Saviour has taught us, so we pray: 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. Do not bring us to the time of trial but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: grant us peace.
COMMUNION: All are welcome to come for communion or a blessing
PRAYERS AFTER COMMUNION
The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us: and we beheld his glory. John 1:14
God our Father, tonight you have made known to us again the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; may our Christmas celebration confirm our faith and fix our eyes on him until the day dawns and Christ the Morning Star rises in our hearts.
To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
Christ the Son of God, born of Mary, fill you with his grace to trust his promises and obey his will; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy spirit be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.
Hymn: NEH 30 O come all ye faithful
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. In the name of Christ. Amen.
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