Christmas Service 2020

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2020

As you prepare for this Christmas service you might like to listen to

‘The Angel Gabriel’ recently recorded at Heanton Church.

 

Carol: Once in Royal David’s City

 

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. [Isaiah 9:2, 6-7]

 

Carol: O Holy Night

 

Confession

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.

 

Lord of grace and truth, we confess our unworthiness

to stand in your presence as your children.

We have sinned: forgive 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 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 and heal us.

 

The shepherds left their flocks to go to Bethlehem.

Forgive our self-interest and lack of vision.

We have sinned: forgive and heal us.

 

The wise men followed the star to find Jesus the King.

Forgive our reluctance to seek you.

We have sinned: forgive and heal us.

 

May the God of all healing and forgiveness draw us to himself and cleanse us from all our sins, that we may behold the glory of his Son, the Word made flesh,

Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Collect

Lord Jesus Christ, your birth at Bethlehem draws us to kneel in wonder at heaven touching earth: accept our heartfelt praise as we worship you, our Saviour and our eternal God.

 

Carol: In the Bleak Mid-winter

 

Reading: Hebrews 1:1-4

 

Reading: John 1:1-14

 

Reflection: Rev Caroline Raby

 

Carol: It came upon a Midnight Clear

 

Intercessions  Pauline Williamson

 

Emmanuel- God is with us- is born in Bethlehem into the human family. Now we will be able to understand, in human terms, what God is really like.

 

At Christmas time Holy Lord, we remember your humble birth, born one of us, as a baby in a manger, lying on the straw, the cattle and donkey close by and Mary and Joseph looking at you in amazement and wonder. Help us to rekindle our awe and wonder this Christmas. As we exchange gifts with each other let us remember to thank you for the greatest gift of all given to the world as our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

 

Emmanuel God is with us; we welcome you

 

Lord Jesus, the world you were born into was the world we recognise today; a world of danger, risk, want, fear, suffering, jealousy, hatred and greed. We learn from the Christmas story how fear influenced Herod’s despicable behaviour. He had no room for you Lord and sought power and riches for himself. We too fear many things in our daily lives, in these strange and uncertain times. So many of us are instilled with fear and anxiety of contracting the virus, fearing for our loved ones, fear of loneliness, homelessness, unemployment, financial difficulties and so much more. Give courage to all those who are fearful in any way. Help us to love you more, listen to your promises and so lessen our fears.

 

Emmanuel God is with us; we welcome you

 

Merciful God, we thank you for our church leaders who have had to learn new skills and ways of ministry as our worship patterns have been restricted and altered over this year. We thank you that through technology some of us are still able to take part in services online.

 

We pray for all those who worship you here in our churches and in their homes and for Christians in every country of the world. We pray especially for those Christians in the Holy City of Bethlehem, the place of your birth which is such a divided and troubled place and other places in the Middle East where it is dangerous for Christians to worship.

Amazing things can happen when we trust you and are willing to be used as your servants to further your kingdom. We pray for the grace to know you and love you more deeply.

 

Emmanuel God is with us; we welcome you

 

 As Lord, your special family became refugees fleeing from Herod, we pray for the millions of refugees in our time, fleeing from persecution, famine, poverty and war.

We pray for all those families who are spending Christmas apart from those they love and for those whose celebrations are tempered with sorrow, fear, homelessness, illness and anxiety. We pray too for those still grieving the loss of loved ones. Now we quietly bring before you those known to us personally who are in need of our prayers…

 

Silence

 

Through good and difficult times you are always with us.

 

Emmanuel God is with us; we welcome you 

Lord as we celebrate your gift to us, the birth of Jesus our Saviour, may new life be born within us this and every day and may your life-giving hope sustain us through the joys, sorrows and uncertainties of this world.

Help us to reflect your extraordinary love in our hearts and homes this Christmas time, in our worship and in all that we do to further your kingdom.

 

Let us put aside our grievances and celebrate with renewed excitement that the joy of Christmas day will bring some peace and hope to the world. Prepare our hearts to welcome you now so we may be ready to welcome you when you come again.

 

Emmanuel God is with us; we welcome you

 

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our saviour Jesus Christ Amen

 

As our Saviour 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.

 

Carol: O Come All Ye Faithful

 

Closing Prayer

God our Father, your Word has come among us in the Holy Child of Bethlehem:

may the light of faith illumine our hearts and shine in our words and deeds;

through him who is Christ the Lord. Amen

 

May God bless you this Christmas.

 

Download a pdf copy of our Christmas Service.