Christmas Day

St. Giles’ Cathedral
Morning Prayer at 11.30am
Christmas Day 2020

Organ Music
Olivier Messiaen Les Bergers
J.S.Bach Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich BWV 605
Mark Blatchly Three Versets on Away in a manger

Scripture Sentences and Call to Worship


It came upon the midnight clear,
that glorious song of old,
from angels bending near the earth
to touch their harps of gold:
‘Peace on the earth, good will to men
from heaven’s all-gracious King!’
The world in solemn stillness lay
to hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come,
with peaceful wings unfurled;
and still their heavenly music floats
o’er all the weary world:
above its sad and lowly plains
they bend on hovering wing;
and ever o’er its Babel-sounds
the blessed angels sing.

But with the woes of sin and strife
the world has suffered long;
beneath the angels’ hymn have rolled
two thousand years of wrong;
and warring humankind hears not
the love-song which they bring:
oh, hush the noise and still the strife,
and hear the angels sing.

For lo, the days are hastening on,
by prophet-bards foretold,
when, with the ever-rolling years,
still dawns the Age of Gold;
when peace shall over all the earth
its ancient splendours fling,
and the whole world give back the song
which now the angels sing.

Text: Edmund Hamilton Sears 1810-76
Music: Noel; traditional adapted by Arthur Sullivan 1842-1900

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 98

O sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvellous things.
His right hand and his holy arm
have gained him victory.
The Lord has made known his victory;
he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations. 

He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the victory of our God.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises. 

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who live in it.
Let the floods clap their hands;
let the hills sing together for joy 

at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.




Light of the world, you gave us the transforming birth of the child Jesus as a light for our path. Yet we confess that we shut our eyes to the light. We admit that we do not want to see the gift you have given us. We acknowledge our reluctance to see and share our gifts with our sisters and brothers. We ask that your Spirit be lit within us, that we may share your gifts of peace and justice with all people. Amen.

Declaration of Pardon

First Lesson Isaiah 52 7-10


Jesus, Jesus, rest your head

Jesus, Jesus, rest your head.
You have got a manger bed.
All the evil folk on earth
Sleep in feathers at their birth.
Jesus, Jesus, rest your head.
You have got a manger bed.

Have you heard about our Jesus?
Have you heard about his fate?
How his mother went to the stable
On that Christmas Eve so late?
Winds were blowing, cows were lowing,
Stars were glowing, glowing, glowing.

To the manger came the Wise Men.
Bringing from hin and yon,
For the mother and the father,
And the blessed little Son.
Milkmaids left their fields and flocks
And sat beside the ass and ox.

Text: Appalachian Carol
Music: Libby Larsen b.1950

Second Lesson St John 1  1-14



Nativity Carol

Born in a stable so bare
Born so long ago
Born ‘neath light of star
He who loved us so

Far away, silent he lay
Born today, your homage pay
For Christ is born for aye
Born on Christmas Day

Cradled by mother so fair
Tender her lullaby
Over her son so dear
Angel hosts fill the sky

Wise men from distant far land
Shepherds from starry hills
Worship this babe so rare
Hearts with his warmth he fills

Love in that stable was born
Into our hearts to flow;
Innocent dreaming babe,
Make me that love to know

Text and Music: John Rutter b. 1945

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into hell;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
The Holy Catholic Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting.

Prayers of Intercession

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.


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!

God of God,
Light of light,
Lo, he abhors not the Virgin’s womb;
very God,
begotten, not created:

Sing, choirs of angels,
sing in exultation,
sing, all ye citizens of heaven above:
‘Glory to God

In the highest:’
Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory given:
Word of the Father,
now in flesh appearing:

Text: Possibly by John Wade c1711-86
Music Adeste Fideles Possibly by John Wade c1711-86


Organ Voluntary

Théodore Dubois Toccata

CCL Licence No 980930
Streaming Licence 57837

The service was conducted by Rev Calum I MacLeod
The cantor was Caroline Hood
The organ was played by Michael Harris, Organist and Master of the Music

The hymns were recorded in 1999 and 2014 by the Choir of St Giles’ Cathedral, John Harris and Peter Backhouse, Assistant Organists, Michael Harris, Organist and Master of the Music.