A celebration of the Christmas story
The People of God Gather
Prelude: "In Dulci Jubilo"
Opening Hymn: "Hark, the Glad Sound!"
(PsH 335, RL 251, TH162)
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
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Prayer for Illumination
To Respond in Faith and Service
Hymn of Response: "Spirit Divine,
Inspire Our Prayer" (HB 243, PsH 421)
Offertory: "Gesu Bambino" Yon
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.
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.
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.
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"
THE FIFTH LESSON
Scripture Reading: Luke 2:8-16
(The shepherds go to the manger.)
Anthem: "Wexford Carol"
Carol: "God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen"
THE SIXTH LESSON
Scripture Reading: Mattheio 2:1-11
(The wise men follow the star to Jesus.)
Anthem: "In the Bleak Midwinter"
THE SEVENTH LESSON
Scripture Reading: John 1:1-14;
(John unfolds the great mystery of the incarnation.)
Anthem: "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence"
Closing "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing"
(HB 163, PsH 345, RL 196, TH 168)
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).