Christmas

Christmas

We celebrate not only the infant’s birth in Bethlehem but also the hope for all time given to us by the ‘becoming flesh’ of God’s Son.

Hymn or Music

Opening Sentence – Luke 2:10-11

‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord’.

The Lord be with you. And also with you.

Let us prepare our hearts for worship:

We have come together in the name of Christ
to offer our praise and thanksgiving,
to hear and receive God’s holy word,
to pray for the needs of the world,
and to seek the forgiveness of our sins,
that by the power of the Holy Spirit
we may give ourselves to the service of God.

Opening Responses

O Lord, open our lips:
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
O God make speed to save us:
O Lord make haste to help us.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, is now and shall be for ever. Amen

Praise the Lord.
The Lord’s name be praised.

Hymn or Music

Prayer of Preparation

We meet to celebrate the coming of Christ into the world.

Lord speak to us that we may hear your word.
Move among us that we may behold your glory.
Receive our prayers that we may learn to trust you.
Amen.

Invitation to Confession

As we kneel with the shepherds before the new born Christ child, we open our hearts in penitence and faith.

Silence is kept.

Lord of grace and truth,
we confess our unworthiness
to stand in your presence as your children.
We have sinned:
Forgive us and heal us.
The Virgin Mary accepted your call
to be the mother of Jesus.
Forgive our disobedience to your will.
We have sinned:
Forgive us and heal us.
Your Son our Saviour was
born in poverty in a manger.
Forgive our greed and rejection of your ways.
We have sinned:
Forgive us and heal us.
The shepherds left their flocks to go to Bethlehem.
Forgive our self-interest and lack of vision.
We have sinned:
Forgive us and heal us.
The wise men followed the star to find Jesus the King.
Forgive our reluctance to seek you.
We have sinned:
Forgive us and heal us.

Absolution

May God who loved the world so much
that he sent his Son to be our Saviour,
forgive us our sins
and make us holy to serve him in the world,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

Collect

Let us gather our prayers in the words of the Collect:

Almighty God,
you have given us your only begotten Son
to take our nature upon him
and as at this time to be born of a pure virgin;
grant that we, who have been born again
and made your children by adoption and grace,
may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

Psalm or First Reading

Gospel Reading

Address

Hymn or Music

Affirmation of Faith

Let us affirm our faith together:

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ,
his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen.

Prayers

Let us pray for our own needs and for the needs of the world:

Lord, meet us in the quiet.
And hear our prayer.

  • For the world (for peace, for all leaders, for those suffering or in need)
  • For the church (for our bishops, clergy, the diocese, local churches)
  • For our community (for leaders, groups, and those in need or distress)
  • For our friends and family (for those we love and those no longer with us)
  • For ourselves (we give thanks and we ask for help and guidance)

Let us gather our prayers:

Son of God, Child of Mary,
born in the stable in Bethlehem,
be born again in us this day,
that through us the world
may know the wonder of your love.
Amen.

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us, 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.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

Hymn or Music

Prayer before Communion

Let us prepare to share in communion together:

Come, Holy Spirit
and bless us as we meet together in unity.
As we eat and drink this holy meal,
may we be reminded of your unconditional love for us,
and may our eyes be opened
to recognise Jesus in each other.
We ask this prayer in his name
Amen.

The Peace

The peace of the Lord be always with you
And also with you.

Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

The Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord is here
His spirit is with us

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

We praise you, heavenly Father,
for your son, our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who in the same night that he was betrayed,
took bread and gave you thanks.
He broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying,
“Take, eat, this is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way after supper,
he took the cup, and gave you thanks;
he gave it to them, saying,
“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.
Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me.”

We praise and thank you, loving Father,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
As we obey your command,
send your Holy Spirit,
that this bread and wine may be for us
the body and blood of your precious Son.
Amen.

Dear Friends,
receive the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ
with faith and thanksgiving.
Remember that he gave himself for you.
Remember that he died for you,
and allow him to feed and nourish
your body, mind, and spirit.

The Distribution

We remain in our seats for the distribution.

Prayer after Communion

Let us give thanks to God for this meal:

Lord, be with us
through the fellowship of this eucharist.
May the bread and companionship we share
nourish our hearts and minds,
and with our spirits refreshed,
may we live our lives to your praise and glory,
now and forever.
Amen.

The Song of Mary (Magnificat)

We join in Mary’s song together:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;

he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed;
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his name.
He has mercy on those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm
and has scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.
He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
to remember his promise of mercy,
The promise made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning
is now and shall be for ever.
Amen.

Prayer

Let us dedicate ourselves to proclaim the gospel and be witnesses to God’s love:

Son of Mary, Son of God,
we have joined the worship of the angels;
may we never lose that heavenly vision.
Like the shepherds,
we have rejoiced at the news of your birth;
help us to proclaim that message in word and deed,
to your praise and glory.
Amen.

Hymn or Music

Blessing

May the joy of the angels,
the eagerness of the shepherds,
the perseverance of the wise men,
the obedience of Joseph and Mary,
and the peace of the Christ-child
be ours this Christmas;
and may the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.
Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ, Amen.

Hymn or Music