Carol – LBW #45 Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful
1 Oh, come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant!
Oh, come ye, oh, come ye to Bethlehem:
Come and behold him, born the King angels:
Refrain; Oh, come, let us adore him, Oh, come let us adore him
Oh, come let us adore him, Christ the Lord!
2 The highest, most holy, Light of light eternal,
Born of a virgin, a mortal he comes;
Son of the Father Now in flesh appearing! Refrain
3 Sing, choirs of angels, Sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God In the highest: Refrain
4 Yea, Lord, we greet thee, Born this happy morning:
Jesus, to thee be glory giv’n!
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing: Refrain
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us pray: Almighty God, you made this holy night shine with the brightness of the true Light. Grant that here on earth we may walk in the light of Jesus’ presence and in the last day wake to the brightness of his glory; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
FIRST LESSON: Isaiah 9:2-7 Christ’s birth and kingdom are foretold by Isaiah.
2 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. 3You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, people exult when dividing plunder. 4For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. 5For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. 6For 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. 7His 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.
Carol – LBW #58 (vss. 1 & 2) Lo, How a Rose Is Growing
1 Lo, how a rose is growing,
A bloom of finest grace;
The prophets had foretold it:
A branch of Jesse’s race
Would bear one perfect flow’r
Here in the cold of winter
And darkest midnight hour.
2 The rose of which I’m singing,
Isaiah had foretold.
He came to us through Mary
Who sheltered him from cold.
Through God’s eternal will
This child to us was given
At midnight calm and still.
SECOND LESSON: Micah 5:2-5a The prophet foretells the glory of Bethlehem.
2 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. 3Therefore 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. 4And 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; 5and he shall be the one of peace..
Carol – LBW #41 (vss. 1 & 2) O Little Town of Bethlehem
1 O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by,
Yet in the dark streets shineth
The everlasting light.
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.
2 For Christ is born of Mary.
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wond’ring love.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King
And peace to all the earth!
THIRD LESSON: Titus 2:11-14 God’s grace in Jesus Christ brings salvation
11The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, 12training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, 13while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
Carol – LBW #40 What Child Is This
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 Christian, fear; for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you;
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
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.
Raise, raise the song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby;
Joy, joy, for Christ is born,
The babe, the son of Mary!
FOURTH LESSON: Luke 1:26-35,38 The Angel Gabriel salutes Mary.
26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He 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. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35The 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. 38Then 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.
Carol – LBW #60 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
1 Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn king;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled.”
Joyful, all you nations,
rise; Join the triumph of the skies;
With angelic hosts proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Refrain: Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”
2 Christ, by highest heav’n adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see! Hail,
Pleased as man with us to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel! Refrain
3 Hail the heav’n born Prince of Peace!
Hail the sun of righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Ris’n with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that we no more may die,
Born to raise each child of earth,
Born to give us second birth. Refrain
FIFTH LESSON: Luke 2:8-16 The Shepherds are told of the Birth
8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14″Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
15When 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.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.
Carol – #56 (vss. 1 & 2) The First Noël
1 The first Noel the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields where thy lay keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter’s night, that was do deep.
Refrain: Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel! Born is the King of Israel.
2 They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the east beyond them far;
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night. Refrain
SIXTH LESSON: Matthew 2:1-11 The wisemen are led to Jesus.
1In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2asking, “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.” 3When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
6’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.'”
7Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8Then 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.” 9When 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. 10When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11On 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 – WOV #646 (vss. 1 & 4) We Three Kings of Orient Are
1 We three king of Orient are;
bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
following yonder star,
Refrain: Oh, star of wonder, star of night,
star with royal beauty bright;
Westward leading, still proceeding,
guide us to thy perfect light!
2 Born a king on Bethlehem’s plain,
gold I bring to crown him again;
King forever, ceasing never,
over us all to reign. Refrain
3 Frankincense to offer have I;
Incense owns a deity nigh:
Prayer and praising, gladly raising,
worshipping God Most High. Refrain
4 Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume
breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
sealed in the stone-cold tomb. Refrain
SEVENTH LESSON: John 1:1-14 John the Evangelist unfolds the mystery of the Incarnation.
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
10He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
14And 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.
Carol – LBW #54 (vss. 1 & 2) It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
1 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 all,
from heav’n’s all gracious king.”
The world in solemn stillness lay
to hear the angels sing.
2 Still through the cloven skies they come
with peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heav’nly music floats
o’er all the weary world.
Above its sad and lowly plains
they bend on hov’ring wing,
And ever o’er its babble sounds
the blessed angels sing.