ORDER OF SERVICE- MIDNIGHT COMMUNION 24th Dec 2005
Piano music as prelude
Reading 1: The Annunciation
LK 1:26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
LK 1:29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
LK 1:34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
LK 1:35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God."
LK 1:38 "I am the Lord’s servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.
Minister: …. But this promises’ fulfilment had been thousands of years in the making… patient waiting… hoping
CANDLE 1: HOPE
L: The Lord be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: We gather to celebrate the birth of the one who is the light
of the world.
P: We are here to worship God - and his Son Jesus - born this
night in Bethlehem of Judea.
L: We light the candle of hope to remind us of the promises
made by all the prophets that God would raise up a saviour
for his people Israel.
P: Christ is our hope and our salvation. He calls us to share
our hope in him with each other.
Readings 2: Hope
there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory. 2The people who walk in darkness will see a great light--a light that will shine on all who live in the
land where death casts its shadow.
ISA 40:30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
ISA 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Roms 5:1 And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
1CO 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Lord as we look to the birth of Jesus- fill us with hope and expectancy of Him filling our lives and being sufficient for all our needs- in this world and the next. May our whole lives radiate the hope of heaven and the hope of the gospel- that does not disappoint us. May the light of your love in our lives become lights in the lives of those around us. Prepare our hearts for the joy and gladness of your coming, for Jesus is our hope.
CAROL 1 : See amid the winter’s snow
CANDLE 2: PEACE
L: We light the candle of peace to remind us that it is only
with God and by following in his path that true peace can be
P: Christ brings the peace of God to us. He calls us to share
the peace he gives with each other.
Readings 3: Peace
6For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7His ever expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David. The passionate commitment of the LORD Almighty will guarantee this!
ISA 11:6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
ISA 11:7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
ISA 11:8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,
and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.
ISA 11:9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.
ISA 11:10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.
Jn 14:27 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Prayer (minister) : Gracious God, Grant that we may find peace as we prepare for our Lord’s birth. May divisions in ourselves and in our families be peacefully resolved. May there be peace in our cities and in the countries of our world. Help us to see the paths of peace in our lives, and then give to us courage to follow them. Lord, let us remember that you only are the giver of lasting peace and that you are always with us.
CAROL 2: Silent night
CANDLE 3: JOY
L: We light the candle of joy to remind us that God gives joy
to every heart that abides in him.
P: As Mary rejoiced in the birth of Jesus - so his birth in us
brings us joy. God calls us to share the joy he gives with
Readings 4: Joy
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit."
-- Galatians 5:22-25
LK 1:46 And Mary said:
"My soul glorifies the Lord
LK 1:47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
LK 1:48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
LK 1:49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me--
holy is his name.
LK 1:50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
LK 1:51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
LK 1:52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
LK 1:53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
LK 1:54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
LK 1:55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
even as he said to our fathers."
LK 1:56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
We joyfully praise you, O Lord, for the fulfilment of your promise of a Saviour and what that means in our lives. Thank you for the gift of salvation through the birth of your Son, Jesus. Create us anew as we wait, fill us with joy, and help us to see your glory as you fill our lives with your living Spirit.
CAROL 3: Joy to the world!
CANDLE 4: LOVE
L: We light the candle of love to remind us that Jesus is God’s
gift of love to us - and that in him, the light of love
triumphs over darkness.
P: Love never fails - it transforms all those who give it and
receive it. God calls us to share his love with each other.
Readings 5: love
JN 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."
1JN 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Prayer: Teach us to love, O Lord. May we always remember to put you first as we follow Christ’s footsteps, that we may know your love and show it in our lives. As we prepare for our celebration of Jesus’ birth, also fill our hearts with love for the world, that all may know your love and the one whom you have sent, your son, our Saviour.
CAROL 4: Love came down at Christmas
MINI-TALK : Mary and the Magnificat
We come to Bethlehem, the ’house of bread’ to receive the bread of life given for the whole world
Prayer of Preparation (ALL)
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.
Prayer of Humble access (ALL) (should be on Songpro liturgy)
We do not presume…
Prayer of Approach (Minister)
Almighty God - you have made this night holy by the
gift of your son, born of the Holy Spirit and of Mary.
Upon him rested all your grace, through him has come
all your mercy. Let his light shine within our hearts
tonight even more brightly than it shines from the
candles in this place. Help us to hear your word and
to celebrate your everlasting love through him. Amen
Draw near with faith.
Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ
Which He gave for you,
And His blood which He shed for you.
Eat and drink
In remembrance that He died for you
And feed on Him in your hearts
By faith with thanksgiving.
The bread is distributed in silence
The wine is distributed, while singing:
CAROL 5: Of the Father’s love begotten
Open prayers of thanks and praise
The congregation take the wine
Post Communion Collect: (ALL)
God our Father,
in this night you have made known to us again
the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
confirm our faith and fix our eyes on him
until the day dawns
and Christ the Morning Star rises in our hearts.
To him be glory both now and for ever.
CANDLE 5: THE CHRIST CANDLE
L: We light the Christ candle to remind us that the light
of the world was born this night.
P: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great
light. Those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness - on
them a light has shined.
L: You, O Lord, have multiplied the nation. You have
increased its joy.
P: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and
the government shall be upon his shoulder.
L: His name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty
God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
P: He is also called Emmanuel, for in him God is with us.
CAROL 6: O Come all ye faithful (born THIS happy morning)
Much liturgy from The Book of Common prayer and Rev. Richard J. Fairchild (1993, 1996, 1999, 2002, used with acknowledgement FROM THE Christmas Eve Bulletin: http://www.spirit-net.ca/sermons/b-advn-candles.html
Readings from the NIV
If, by mistake, I have not acknowledged anyone I should have in this service, please be assured this is completely unintentional. Inform me and I will remedy it.