Festival Eucharist for the Eve of the Nativity

Christmas Eve 2020 at 8pm

You will find our live stream on our homepage, on Facebook (where you can interact with others watching with comments), and on Youtube.

The congregation is invited to say the words together in bold. Please sing along with us! To prepare for worship, you may want to ready your advent wreath and a white candle, or just a white candle.

Welcome and Opening Sentences

The rector welcomes the congregation and introduces the service.

Behold, I bring you good news of a great joy, which will come
to all the people; for unto you is born this night in the city of
David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.    Luke 2:10, 1

The Collect of the Day

The priest associate prays the Christmas Collect as the candle is lit. You are invited to light a candle in the center of your Advent Wreath (or any candle) as you pray with us.

The Lord be with you,
And also with you.
Let us pray.
O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy Christ perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Hymn

Opening Hymn O Come All Ye Faithful Hymnal 1982 #83

1st Lesson

Please be seated. Isaiah 9:2-7

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. You have multiplied
the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at
the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. For the yoke of their
burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you
have broken as on the day of Midian. For all the boots of the tramping
warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for
the fire. For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests
upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, 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 onward and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do
this.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Congregational Hymn

Angels We Have Heard on High Hymnal 1982 #96

The Holy Gospel Luke 2:1-14

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.
Glory to you, Lord Christ.

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!”

The Gospel of our Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon

The Rev. Mike Angell, Rector

Anthem

Baba Yetu composed by Christopher Tin

Swahili
Baba yetu, yetu uliye
Mbinguni yetu, yetu amina!
Baba yetu yetu uliye
M Jina lako e litukuzwe.

Utupe leo chakula chetu
Tunachohitaji, utusamehe
Makosa yetu, hey!
Kama nasi tunavyowasamehe
Waliotukosea usitutie
Katika majaribu, lakini
Utuokoe, na yule, muovu e milele!

Ufalme wako ufike utakalo
Lifanyike duniani kama mbinguni.
(Amina)

English
Our Father, who art
in Heaven. Amen!
Our Father,
Hallowed be thy name.
Give us this day our daily bread,
Forgive us of our trespasses,
As we forgive others
Who trespass against us
Lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from the evil one forever.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.
(Amen)

The Prayers of the People

You may add your prayer requests in the comments at any time. Know people will pray for you. The response to the prayer is the ancient Advent Hymn “O Come O Come Emmanuel”

In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.

At a time when the faithful cannot come gather safely in person in ways we remember and cherish, we pray for the church throughout the world. Help us to remember all of those bishops, priests, and deacons and baptized ministers who have responded to this health crisis with courage and faith. Help us to know that we can come to adore you in a parking lot, through a screen at home, in a shelter, a hospital ward, or wherever Christmas finds us in this scattered world.

In a world facing a health pandemic, and coming to terms with the ongoing pandemics of racism and discrimination give us persistence and humility. Let us remind our neighbors and our elected officials, that the Son of God had no place to lay his head but a lowly manger. God chose the humble, the poor, and the hungry. Give us courage to stand with those whose voices often go unheard. In the midst of the coronavirus, we remember all those who are suffering with the disease, and all of the nurses, doctors, and first responders caring for them. We remember family members who are unable to visit. You are invited to add your own prayers, even to write your prayer request in the comments as you watch.

Finally this Christmas, let us remember all those who rejoice with us, but upon another shore and in a greater light, that whole multitude which no one can number who ran the course of faith before us. As we remember them, help us to cast our cares, our hopes, and our fears with You, the God who chose to dwell with us.

Celebrant

O Lord our God, accept the fervent prayers of your people; in the multitude of your mercies, look with compassion upon us and all who turn to you for help; for you are gracious, O lover of souls, and to you we give glory, Holy Trinity, One God, now and forever. Amen.

The Peace

The peace of Christ be always with you.
And also with you.

Announcements

The rector shares a few brief announcements.

The Great Thanksgiving

The presider continues the Eucharistic prayer:
It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

Because you gave Jesus Christ, your only Son, to be born for
us; who, by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, was made
perfectly human of the flesh of the Virgin Mary his mother; so
that we might be delivered from the bondage of sin, and
receive power to become your children.

Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and
Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever
sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:

Sanctus and Benedictus

from The Mass of Spirituals

Therefore we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.

The presider concludes with prayer for the coming of God’s reign.

Holy and gracious God: In your infinite love you made us
for yourself, and, when we had fallen into sin and become
subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent Jesus
Christ, your only and eternal Son, to share our human
nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the
God and Father of all.

He stretched out his arms upon the cross, and offered himself,
in obedience to your will, a perfect sacrifice for the whole
world.

At the following words concerning the bread, the Celebrant is to hold it,
or to 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.

On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, our
Lord Jesus Christ 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.”

Therefore we proclaim the mystery of faith:

Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.

We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O Father, in
this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Recalling Christ’s death,
resurrection, and ascension, we offer you these gifts.

Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the
Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new
and unending life in him. Sanctify us also that we may faithfully
receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy,
and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints
into the joy of your eternal kingdom.

All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ, by him, and with him, and in
the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father,
now and for ever.

The People sing AMEN.

The Lord’s Prayer

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

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.

Prayer for Spiritual Communion

Gracious and Loving God, on this day we are not able to gather around your table to celebrate your presence in the sacrament of bread and wine. We are not able to share your peace with one another.
Nevertheless, we lift up our hearts, we join with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven as we proclaim you holy and receive you into our hearts by faith.
Strengthen our love for you. Help us offer our sacrifice with all your faithful people, that we may restore health and wholeness to one another and to all your creation. Give us patience and hope as we long for the day when we can gather and break bread together again. Through Christ our Savior. Amen.

Distribution of Communion

On Christmas morning, in lieu of a service, we’ll host an in-person reception of Holy Communion from 10:30a to 12 noon. You can come to visit the church, decorated for Christmas, take a moment to pray in a pew with our organ playing Christmas music. You can also receive Eucharist (a consecrated wafer) at the altar rail.

The Lighting of the Candles

Hymn after Communion

Silent Night Hymnal 1982 #111

Post Communion Prayer

Gracious God,
tonight you have united earth and heaven
in sending your Son to take our human nature.
May we, who have tasted heavenly things,
share in the life of Christ’s kingdom.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The Christmas Blessing

May God, who sent angels to proclaim the glad news of the Savior’s birth, fill you with joy and make you heralds of the Gospel. And the blessing of God the holy and undivided Trinity be upon you and remain with you for ever. Amen

Final Hymn

Joy to the World

The Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Postlude

Service Leaders
Preacher and Presider: The Rev. Mike Angell
Assisting: The Rev. Marc Smith
Deacon: The Rev. Chester Hines
Seminarian: Emilee Walker-Cornetta
Lectors: Shirley Mensah
Greeters: Heidi Volkl, Alisa Williams
Director of Music: Mary Chapman
Guest Organist: Connor Scott

Music reprinted and broadcast with permission by OneLicense # A-704988

The Psalms and Collect of the Day are copyright of the Order of Saint Helena. The Scripture Translation is the Common English Bible. All are used by permission.

The Prayer for Spiritual Communion was composed by our member Bob Lewis.