St Paul’s Church, Stafford
Carol Service
Sunday 20th December 2020, 6.30pm

 

Welcome, opening prayer and lighting of the Easter Candle
 by Revd Alison Thomas

First reading: John Chapter 1  v 1-5, 9-14, 18

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it…

 

The congregation’s candles are lit during the first reading

Carol: O Come All Ye Faithfulsung by the Virtual Choir

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,
O come, let us adore him….

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation, 
Sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above: 
‘Glory to God, in the highest!’;
O come, let us adore him….

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born for our salvation
Jesus, to Thee be glory giv’n;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore him….

 

Second Reading: Isaiah 9 v 2, 6-7

As people struggle in darkness, Isaiah foretells light coming into the world…

 

Carol: When I think upon Christmasmusic Anne Winnington, singer Lisa Woodward

When I think upon Christmas
Words can't express
How our Father in heaven
Has sent us His best
To be born in a manger
The king in the hay
And creation will worship His Name

For the joy of the world
He was born
Bringing peace to us all
Through the gift of the Son
Now the darkest of ages are done
For the Saviour of heaven has come

When I think upon Jesus
The King of all days
I can't help but respond
With an offering of praise
Like the wise men and shepherds
I'll follow Your light
Like the angels I'll lift Your Name high

For the joy of the world
You were born
Bringing peace to us all
Through the gift of Your love
Now the darkest of ages are done
For the Saviour of heaven has come

Now I look back in reverence
To that holy night
For the God of the heavens
Had us on His mind
Let us sing of His glory
Rejoice in His Name
Oh Emmanuel with us always
And forever His kingdom will reign

 

 

Third reading: Luke chapter 1 v 26-38

 

An angel brings amazing news to a humble girl in an obscure little town …

 

Carol: Silent Nightmusic Jim Marsden, singer Gerry Robinson

 

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
'Round yon virgin Mother and Child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight!
Glories stream from heaven afar;
Heavenly hosts sing Al-le-lu-ia!
Christ the Saviour is born!
Christ the Saviour is born!

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, oh, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth

Fourth Reading: Luke 2 v 8-20

The glory of the Lord shines around a group of dazzled and fearful shepherds on a night-time hillside…

Carol: Light of the Stablesung by Anne Winnington

Hail, hail to the new-born King
Let our voices sing Him our praises
Hail, hail to the Guiding Light
That brought us tonight to our Saviour
Halle, Hallelujah
Halle, Hallelujah
Halle, Hallelujah
Halle, Hallelujah

Come now, let it shine so bright
To the knowing Light of the Stable
Kneel close to the Child so dear
Cast aside your fear and Be Thankful

Hail, hail to the newborn King
Let our voices sing Him our Praises
Hail, hail to the Guiding Light

That brought us tonight to our Saviour
Halle, Hallelujah…

Hail, hail to the newborn King
Let our voices sing Him our Praises
Hail, hail to the Guiding Light
That brought us tonight to our Saviour
Halle, Hallelujah…

Fifth Reading: Luke Chapter 2 v 22b, 25-38

Two devout and faithful people have waited their whole lifetimes for a glimpse of the Lord’s Messiah…

 

Carol: What Child Is Thissung by the Virtual Choir

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 praise,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why lies he in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.

This, this is Christ the King…

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…

 

 

Sixth reading: Psalm 46 v 1-7

 

The Christmas message – reflection by Revd Martin Strang

 

 

Carol: Hark the Herald Angels Singsung by the Virtual Choir

Hark! the herald angels sing, 
"Glory to the new-born King! 
Peace on earth, and mercy mild, 
God and sinners reconciled." 
Joyful, all ye nations, rise, 
Join the triumph of the skies; 
With th'angelic host proclaim, 
"Christ is born in Bethlehem." 
Hark! the herald angels sing, 
"Glory to the new-born King! 

Christ, by highest heaven adored: 
Christ, the everlasting Lord; 
Late in time behold him come, 
Offspring of the Virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see; 
Hail, th'incarnate Deity: 
Pleased, as man, with man to dwell, 
Jesus, our Emmanuel! 
Hark! the herald angels sing, 
"Glory to the new-born King! 

Hail! the heaven-born Prince of peace! 
Hail! the sun of Righteousness! 
Light and life to all he brings, 
Risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by, 
Born that we no more may die: 
Born to raise the sons of earth, 
Born to give them second birth. 
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the new-born King !"

 

Closing prayer:

Father of all, you have given us your son to be Saviour of the world.
Welcome us, your children, into your kingdom to enjoy your presence forever. Amen

 

Blessing