Christmas Eve

St. Giles’ Cathedral
12noon and 5.15pm
Thursday 24th December 2020
Christmas Eve

Organ Music

J.S.Bach Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme BWV 645
Dieterich Buxtehude In dulci jubilo
J.M.Bach In dulci jubilo

Scripture Sentences and Call to Worship

Hymn

O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see you lie!
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by.
Yet in your streets is shining
the everlasting light;
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in you tonight.

O morning stars, together
proclaim the holy birth
and praises sing to God the King,
and peace to men on earth;
for Christ is born of Mary;
and, gathered all above,
while mortals sleep, the angels keep
their watch of wondering love.

How silently, how silently,
the wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming;
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him, still
the dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
descend to us, we pray;
cast out our sin, and enter in,
be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
the great glad tidings tell:
O come to us, abide with us,
our Lord Emmanuel.

Text: Phillips Brooks 1835-93
Tune: Forest Green English Traditional harm. R.Vaughan Williams 1872-1958

Welcome

Prayer

Prayer of Confession

Lord, you came to us in the fullness of time. Forgive us for not opening our eyes to your coming. It is time that we prepare for your coming. Let the earth ring with song. Let the light break forth. Let us all rejoice in the miracle of love. Let Christ come into the fullness of our time.

Declaration of Pardon

First Lesson St Luke 2 1-14

Carol

Shepherd’s Pipe Carol

Going through the hills on a night all starry
On the way to Bethlehem
Far away I heard a shepherd boy piping
On the way to Bethlehem

Angels in the sky brought this message nigh:
“Dance and sing for joy that Christ the newborn King
Is come to bring us peace on earth
And He’s lying cradled there at Bethlehem.”

“Tell me, shepherd boy piping tunes so merrily
On the way to Bethlehem
Who will hear your tunes on these hills so lonely
On the way to Bethlehem?

Angels in the sky brought this message nigh:
“Dance and sing for the joy that Christ the newborn King
Is come to bring peace on earth
And He’s lying cradled there at Bethlehem.”

“None may hear my pipes on these hills so lonely
On the way to Bethlehem;
But a King will hear me play sweet lullabies
When I get to Bethlehem.”

Angels in the sky came down from on high
Hovered over the manger where the babe was lying
Cradled in the arms of his mother Mary
Sleeping now at Bethlehem

Text and Music John Rutter b. 1945

Second Lesson

St Luke 2 15-20

Homily

Carol

Sussex Carol

On Christmas night all Christians sing
to hear the news the angels bring;
on Christmas night all Christians sing
to hear the news the angels bring;
news of great joy, news of great mirth,
news of our merciful King’s birth.

Then why should we on earth be so sad,
since our Redeemer made us glad,
then why should we on earth be so sad,
since our Redeemer made us glad,
when from our sin he set us free,
all for to gain our liberty?

When sin departs before his grace
then life and health come in its place;
when sin departs before his grace
then life and health come in its place;
heaven and earth with joy may sing,
all for to see the new-born King.

All out of darkness we have light,
which made the angels sing this night:
all out of darkness we have light,
which made the angels sing this night:
‘Glory to God, on earth be peace,
goodwill to all shall never cease.’

Text: English traditional
Music: English traditional arr. David Willcocks

Christmas Greetings

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.

Hymn

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:’

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

Benediction

Organ Voluntary

Louis-Claude Daquin Noël Suisse

CCL Licence No 980930
Streaming Licence 57837

The service was conducted by Rev Calum I MacLeod
The cantor was Rory Wilson

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.