Festival of Lessons and Carols

A celebration of the Christmas story

 

The People of God Gather

Prelude: "In Dulci Jubilo"
Koch

Opening Hymn: "Hark, the Glad Sound!"
(PsH 335, RL 251, TH162)

Greeting

To Prepare for the Lord's Coming

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 9:6-7

Lighting of the Advent Candle

New Testament Reading: 2 Peter 3:10-13

Hymn: "O Lord, How Shall I Meet You"
(PsH 331, RL 368, TH 119)

To Hear God's Word

Scripture Reading:
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

Prayer for Illumination

Message

To Respond in Faith and Service

Hymn of Response: "Spirit Divine,
Inspire Our Prayer" (HB 243, PsH 421)

Offertory: "Gesu Bambino" Yon

Offertory Prayer

Hymn of Praise: "O Come, All Ye Faithful"
(HB 170, PsH 340, RL 195, TH 151)

THE BIDDING PRAYER

Beloved in Christ, as we gather in this Advent season, let it be our great joy to let God's Word take us back to Bethlehem and our Lord's birth.

Therefore let us read in Holy Scripture the story of God's loving plan of salvation from Adam's sin to Christ's glorious redemption.

But first let us pray for the needs of the world: for peace on the earth; for goodwill; for unity within the church and among all nations.

Silent Prayers

Let us remember in his name the poor and helpless, the hungry and oppressed, the sick and sorrowing, the lonely and the unloved, the elderly and the little children; and let us pray especially for those who do not know or love you or who have spurned your gracious call of salvation.

Silent Prayers

Finally, let us remember before God all those who rejoice with us but upon another shore, and in a greater light—that great cloud of witnesses, that multitude that no one can number, with whom in the Lord Jesus we are one forevermore.

Silent Prayers

These prayers and praises we humbly offer up to the throne of heaven, in the words which Christ himself taught us: Our Father…

The Bidding Carol: "Noivell, Sing Nowell" (Carols for Choirs 2)

THE FIRST LESSON

Scripture Reading: Genesis 3:8-15.

(God announces in the Garden of Eden that the seed of the woman shall crush the serpent's head.)

Carol: "The Lord at First Did Adam Make" (Oxford Book of Carols)

THE SECOND LESSON

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 9:2,6-7

(Christ's birth and kingdom are foretold by Isaiah.)

Hymn: "O Come, O Come, Immanuel"
(HB 147, PsH 328, RL 184, TH 147)

THE THIRD LESSON

Scripture Reading: Luke 1:26-38

(The angel Gabriel salutes the Blessed Virgin Mary.)

Hymn: "My Spirit Glorifies the Lord" (PsH 212)

THE FOURTH LESSON

Scripture Reading: Luke 2:1-7

(Luke tells of the birth of Jesus.)

Anthem: "Away in a Manager"
Haan

THE FIFTH LESSON

Scripture Reading: Luke 2:8-16

(The shepherds go to the manger.)

Anthem: "Wexford Carol"
Wagner

Carol: "God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen"
(HB166,RL209,TH160)

THE SIXTH LESSON

Scripture Reading: Mattheio 2:1-11

(The wise men follow the star to Jesus.)

Anthem: "In the Bleak Midwinter"
Darke

THE SEVENTH LESSON

Scripture Reading: John 1:1-14;
Revelation 7:9

(John unfolds the great mystery of the incarnation.)

Anthem: "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence"
Hoist

The Blessing

Closing "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing"
(HB 163, PsH 345, RL 196, TH 168)

Postlude: "Noel"
Daquin

Excerpt

The "Festival of Lessons and Carols" is patterned after a traditional English evening service. The traditional service incliuies nine Scripture lessons, tracing salvation history from Genesis through the gospels; each reading is followed by a carol. The service here was constructed for a morning service combining the service of the Word with seven lessons and carols as a response to the Word.

This service was prepared by Charlotte Larsen and Jan Musch for the Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church. The hymns in the service appear in one or more of the following hymnals: The Hymnbook (HB), Psalter Hymnal (PsH), Rejoice in the Lord (RL), Trinity Hymnal (TH).

Charlotte Larsen is music director of Ann Arbor (Mich.) Christian Reformed Church.