Sunday, December 15, 2019

Lessons and Carols

Organ PreludeVeniat Dominus (Sequence)

Words of Welcome and Announcements John Strawbridge

Choral IntroitO Hearken Ye (Alfred Burt)

O hearken ye, who would believe;
The gracious tidings now receive.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
The mighty Lord of heaven and earth
Today is come to human birth:
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

* Call to Worship

L: Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
P: For the Lord, our God is coming to us!
L: Tell the poor, gather the lowly.
P: For the Lord, our God is coming to us!
L: The trees of the fields and all nature are awaiting eagerly the redemption of the earth.
P: For the Lord, our God is coming to us!
L: Let us praise the God of our salvation. Let us hail God’s Anointed One with shouts of joy.
Let us worship God!

* Opening HymnHail to the Lord’s Anointed UMH 203

1. Hail to the Lord’s Anointed, great David’s greater Son! Hail in the time appointed, his reign on earth begun! He comes to break oppression, to set the captive free; to take away transgression, and rule in equity.

2. He comes with succor speedy to those who suffer wrong; to help the poor and needy, and bid the weak be strong; to give them songs for sighing, their darkness turn to light, whose souls, condemned and dying, are precious in his sight.

3. He shall come down like showers upon the fruitful earth; love, joy, and hope, like flowers, spring in his path to birth. Before him, on the mountains, shall peace, the herald, go, and righteousness, in fountains, from hill to valley flow.

4. To him shall prayer unceasing and daily vows ascend; his kingdom still increasing, a kingdom without end. The tide of time shall never his covenant remove; his name shall stand forever; that name to us is love.

Prayer of Invocation (All)

Holy God, Source of abundant love, peace and joy, we worship you with grateful, happy hearts. As we continue our Advent journey, help us to trust you more fully, to enjoy you more freely, and to serve you more eagerly. Let all our preparations be focused on meeting you as you speedily come to us. Amen.

Lighting the Advent Wreath

Leader: We have lit the first two candles, one for hope and one for peace. Today we light the third candle, the candle of joy. This should be the easy one, because joy is all around us—in our children, the lights, the music, gathering together. But how often do we let our preparations—or our memories—push joy to the side? Joy is like an underground spring that wells up within us, but joy is also a choice, an attitude. Like a muscle, it needs to be exercised. So today we open ourselves to joy, trusting that God has already planted it in us. All we need to do is give it care and offer it to share. (Three candles are lit.)
All: Loving God, we open ourselves to you, trusting that this is how you made us: you created us for joy-filled hearts and lives. Show us the creative power of hope. Teach us the peace that comes from justice. Fill us with the kind of joy that cannot be contained, but must be shared. Prepare our hearts to be transformed by you, that we may walk in the light of Christ. Amen.

Choral ResponseEmmanuel, Emmanuel UMH 204
Emmanuel, Emmanuel, his name is called Emmanuel. God with us, revealed in us, his name is called Emmanuel.

Children’s Moments


The Festival of Lessons and Carols is about Spiritual Darkness being overcome by the Light of Christ. We start our journey in Genesis and end with the Incarnation in John’s first chapter.

Call to Begin

Beloved in Christ, as we await the great festival of Christmas let us prepare ourselves so that we may be shown its true meaning. Let us hear, in lessons from Holy Scripture, how the prophets of Israel foretold that God would visit and redeem His waiting people. Let us rejoice, in our carols and hymns, that the good purpose of God is being mightily fulfilled. Let us celebrate the promise that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will bring all people and all things into the glory of God’s eternal kingdom.
L: First, let us pray for the needs of the whole world:
For peace on earth and goodwill among all people:
P: Come to us Prince of Peace
L: For our troops around the world and especially in the Middle East:
P: Come to us, King of Israel
L: For unity within the Church He came to build;
P: Come to us Precious Cornerstone.
L: For those who are sick, especially those among our church family:
P: Come to us our Way, Our Truth and Our Life.
L: For those having financial difficulty and those facing the loss of jobs and homes:
P: Come to us our Great God and Savior.
L: For those who are marginalized by society:
P: Come to us Light of the World.
L: For the peace makers and peace seekers, for believers and non-believers, for all who struggle and all who thrive, we ask your blessings.
P: Come to us Alpha and Omega. Come to us Morning Star. Come to us Hope of the World,
Come to us Emmanuel!

CarolOnce in Royal David’s City (Vs. 1 – Choir Only & 2)   UMH 250

1. Once in royal David’s city stood a lowly cattle shed, where a mother laid her baby in a manger for his bed; Mary, loving mother mild, Jesus Christ, her little child.

2. He came down to earth from heaven who is God and Lord of all, and his shelter was a stable, and his cradle was a stall. With the poor, the scorned, the lowly lived on earth our Savior holy.

First Lesson – Genesis 3:8-15
God announces in the Garden of Eden, the seed of the woman will bruise the serpent’s head.

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.” The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
cursed are you among all animals
and among all wild creatures;
upon your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.”

CarolAdam Lay I-Bounden (Ord, Choir)

Adam lay ybounden,
Bounden in a bond;
Four thousand winter
Thought he not too long.
And all was for an apple,
An apple that he took.
As clerkës finden written
In their book.
Ne had the apple taken been,
The apple taken been,
Ne had never Our Lady,
A-been heaven’s queen.
Blessed be the time
That apple taken was!
Therefore we may singen
Deo gratias

Second Lesson – Genesis 22:1-3,9-18
God promises to Abraham that in his seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed.

After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him.

When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, “By myself I have sworn, says the Lord: Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of their enemies, and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.”

CarolLo, How a Rose E’er Blooming UMH 216

1. Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung! Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as those of old have sung. It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter, when half spent was the night.

2. Isaiah’ twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind; with Mary we behold it, the Virgin Mother kind. To show God’s love aright, she bore to us a Savior, when half spent was the night.

3. O Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air, dispel in glorious splendor the darkness everywhere. True man yet very God, from sin and death now save us, and share our every load.

Third Lesson – Isaiah 9:2,6,7
The prophet Isaiah foretells the birth of Christ.

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.

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.

CarolIt Came Upon the Midnight Clear (Vs. 1 & 2)   UMH 218

Fourth Lesson – Micah 5:2-4
The prophet Isaiah foretells the birth of Christ.

But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah,
who are one of the little clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to rule in Israel,
whose origin is from of old,
from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has brought forth;
then the rest of his kindred shall return
to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth;

Carol Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus UMH 196

1. Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee. Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art; dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.

2. Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King, born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring. By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone; by thine all sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne.

Fifth Lesson – Luke 1:26-38
The Angel Gabriel appears to the Virgin Mary.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

CarolTo a Maid Engaged to Joseph (Vs. 1-3, & 6)  UMH 215

1. To a maid engaged to Joseph, the angel Gabriel came. “Fear not,” the angel told her, “I come to bring good news, good news I come to tell you, good news, I say, good news.”

2. “For you are highly favored by God the Lord of all, who even now is with you. You are on earth most blest, you are most blest, most blessed, God chose you, you are blest!”

3. But Mary was most troubled to hear the angel’s word. What was the angel saying? It troubled her to hear, to hear the angel’s message, it troubled her to hear.

6. As Mary heard the angel, she wondered at his words. “Behold, I am your handmaid,” she said unto her God. “So be it; I am ready according to your word.”

Sixth Lesson – Luke 2:1, 3-7
The birth of Jesus is described by Luke.

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.

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.

Carol What Child Is This UMH 219

1. What child is this who, laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping? Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping? This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing; haste, haste to bring him laud, the babe, the son of Mary.

2. Why lies he in such mean estate where ox and ass are feeding? Good Christians, fear, for sinners here the silent Word is pleading. This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing; haste, haste to bring him laud, the babe, the son of Mary.

3. So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh, come, peasant, king, to own him; the King of kings salvation brings, let loving hearts enthrone him. This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing; haste, haste to bring him laud, the babe, the son of Mary.

Seventh Lesson – Luke 2:8-16
The shepherds journey to the manger.

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!”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.

CarolJoys Seven (Cleobury, Choir)

The first good joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of one;
To see the blessed Jesus Christ
When He was first her son:
When He was first her son, good man:
And blessed may He be,
Both Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
To all eternity.
The next good joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of two;
To see her own son, Jesus Christ
To make the lame to go:
To make the lame to go, good man:
And blessed may He be,
Both Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
To all eternity.
The next good joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of three;
To see her own son, Jesus Christ
To make the blind to see;
To make the blind to see, good man:
And blessed may He be,
Both Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
To all eternity.
The next good joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of four;
To see her own son, Jesus Christ
To read the Bible o’er:
To read the Bible o’er, good man:
And blessed may He be,
Both Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
To all eternity.
The next good joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of five;
To see her own son, Jesus Christ
To bring the dead alive:
To bring the dead alive, good man:
And blessed may He be,
Both Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
To all eternity.
The next good joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of six;
To see her own son, Jesus Christ
Upon the crucifix:
Upon the crucifx, good man:
And blessed may He be,
Both Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
To all eternity.
The next good joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of seven;
To see her own son, Jesus Christ
To wear the crown of heaven:
To wear the crown of heaven, good man,
And blessed may He be,
Both Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
To all eternity.

Eighth Lesson – Matthew 2:1-11
Three wise men follow the star and are led to Jesus.

n the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Carol We Three Kings (Vs. 1 & 5)   UMH 254

1. We three kings of Orient are; bearing gifts we traverse afar, field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star. O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

5. Glorious now behold him arise; King and God and sacrifice: Alleluia, Alleluia, sounds through the earth and skies. O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

Ninth Lesson – John 1:1-14
John unfolds the mystery of Christ’s birth.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

CarolO Come, All Ye Faithful (Vs. 1 & 5)   UMH 234

1. O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem. Come and behold him, born the King of angels; O come, let us adore him, O Come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

[5]. Child, for us sinners poor and in the manger, we would embrace thee with love and awe. Who would not love thee, loving us so dearly? O come, let us adore him, O Come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

The Offering of Gifts and Tithes

OffertorySong of Mary (Friedell)

Bring not a crown to wear upon his head so fair;
He needs no gold upon his shining hair.
Place not a sceptre in his hands;
This babe no glory understands,
Nor shall he reign o’er earthly lands.
Bring not your incense sweet to lay before his feet,
For thrones shall pass and kingly joys are fleet.
Greet not this babe in homage deep,
Let no praise break upon his sleep.
Like guarding angels, silence keep.
Bring him your hearts alone, to God such gifts are known.
The poor and meek the Father calls His own.
Only your love and service bring;
At gifts so sweet the Heavens ring.
O enter now and greet your King!

Presentation of Tithes and Offerings

* Presentation of OfferingPraise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow UMH 95

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, yet heavenly host; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

* Offering Prayer (All)

Gracious and loving God, we give you thanks with grateful hearts for lives transformed through your love revealed in the one whose birth we await once more – Jesus Christ. We offer these gifts and the service of our lives, praying that they may be used to transform the lives of those in need. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

* Closing HymnThe Days are Coming, Said the Lord (Carolyn Winfred Gillette)

CAROL D (“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”)
1. “The days are coming,” said the Lord to people beaten down,
“The days are coming in this world when justice will abound.
My people, you will sing and dance, and hope will blossom forth,
For I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up on the earth.”

2. O God, you sent the prophets here to people long oppressed;
You told your children, filled with fear, that one day they’d be blessed.
You said to cities lost, destroyed by violence, sin or war,
That they would soon receive the joy that they were longing for.

3. You promised justice in the land to those who were enslaved;
You said that one day, by your hand, your cities would be saved.
As sure as dawn would turn to day and as the sun would set,
Your children there could trust your way; you were not finished yet.

4. The days are coming, loving Lord, to sing of Jesus’ birth;
Yet cries for justice still are heard throughout this sinful earth.
In Advent, may we work and wait, do justice, share and pray,
And so prepare to celebrate your joyful, coming day.

* Benediction

L: The God who makes everything whole,
P: Sends us forth to bring healing to the broken-hearted and to comfort the grieving.
L: The Christ who comes to be with us,
P: Sends us forth to stand with the oppressed, to release those imprisoned by sin, to speak hope to the lonely.
L: The Spirit which calls you to faithfulness,
P: Sends us forth to proclaim the Good News that today is God’s time, the day when all people will be blessed.

* Choral ResponseGaudete (Trad.)
Rejoice – Christ is born of Mary the Virgin. Rejoice!

Organ PostludeJubilans in Ecclesia (Borden)

Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on December 11, 2019

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