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Christmas Holy Communion Sunday Worship Worship

Holy Communion for Christmas

Listen to or read a service of Holy Communion for Christmas, and take part in an act of Spiritual Communion

Hymn

Good Christians all, rejoice with heart and soul and voice!
Listen now to what we say, Jesus Christ is born today;
ox and ass before him bow, and he is in the manger now!
Christ is born today; Christ is born today!

Good Christians all, rejoice with heart and soul and voice!
Hear the news of endless bliss, Jesus Christ was born for this:
he has opened heaven’s door, and we are blessed for evermore!
Christ was born for this; Christ was born for this!

Good Christians all, rejoice with heart and soul and voice!
Now you need not fear the grave; Jesus Christ was born to save:
come at his most gracious call to find salvation, one and all!
Christ was born to save; Christ was born to save!

In dulci jubilo, Latin and German, 14th century
adapted by John Mason Neale (1818–1866)

Greeting

In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
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.
Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

The sun of righteousness has dawned
with healing in his wings.
Let us come to the light of Christ,
confessing our sins in penitence and faith.

God our Father,
you sent your Son full of grace and truth:
forgive our failure to receive him.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Jesus our Saviour,
you were born in poverty and laid in a manger:
forgive our greed and rejection of your ways.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Spirit of Love,
your servant Mary responded joyfully to your call:
forgive the hardness of our hearts.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

May the God of all healing and forgiveness
draw you to himself
and cleanse you from all your sins,
that you may behold the glory of his Son,
the Word made flesh,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Gloria in Excelsis

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

Collect

Lord Jesus Christ,
your birth at Bethlehem
draws us to kneel in wonder
at heaven touching earth:
accept our heartfelt praise
as we worship you,
our Saviour and our eternal God.
Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading:
Isaiah 52.7-10

A reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah.

How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
who announces salvation,
who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’

Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see the return of the LORD to Zion.

Break forth together into singing,
you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the LORD has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.

The LORD has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth
shall see the salvation of our God.

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.


Responsorial Psalm:
Psalm 98

All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things.
With his right hand and his holy arm has he won for himself the victory.
All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

The Lord has made known his victory;
his righteousness has he openly shown in the sight of the nations.
He remembers his mercy and faithfulness to the house of Israel,
and all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

Shout with joy to the Lord, all you lands;
lift up your voice, rejoice and sing.
Sing to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the voice of song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
shout with joy before the King, the Lord.
All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

Let the sea make a noise and all that is in it,
the lands and those who dwell therein.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
and let the hills ring out with joy before the Lord,
when he comes to judge the earth.
In righteousness shall he judge the world,
and the peoples with equity.
All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

Second Reading:
Hebrews 1.1-4

A reading from the letter to the Hebrews.

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors
in many and various ways by the prophets,
but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son,
whom he appointed heir of all things,
through whom he also created the worlds.

He is the reflection of God’s glory
and the exact imprint of God’s very being,
and he sustains all things by his powerful word.

When he had made purification for sins,
he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
having become as much superior to angels
as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading:
John 1.1-14

Alleluia, alleluia.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we have seen his glory.
Alleluia.

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.
Glory to you, O Lord.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him;
yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And 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.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon

The Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is,
seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.
Amen.

Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray to our incarnate Lord,
who has brought us out of darkness
and into his own marvellous light.

Christ born for us, Son of God given for us:
help us to know you, to worship and to serve you.
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Wonderful counsellor, you order all things with your wisdom:
help the Church to reveal the mystery of your love
and fill her with the Spirit of truth.
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Mighty God, the government is on your shoulders:
guide the leaders of the nations
and bring in your kingdom of justice and righteousness.
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Everlasting father, you call us to live together in unity:
protect by your mercy all your children,
bless our families and renew our communities.
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Prince of peace, you bring reconciliation through the cross:
by your healing power give to all who suffer
your gift of wholeness and peace.
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of the Father,
full of the Spirit,
hear our prayer,
receive our praises,
fill our lives.
Amen.

The Liturgy of the Sacrament

The Peace

Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given,
and his name shall be called the Prince of Peace.

The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you.

Hymn

See, amid the winter’s snow,
born for us on earth below,
see, the Lamb of God appears,
promised from eternal years!
Hail, thou ever-blessèd morn!
Hail, redemption’s happy dawn!
Sing through all Jerusalem:
Christ is born in Bethlehem!

Lo, within a manger lies
he who built the starry skies,
he who, throned in height sublime,
sits amid the cherubim!
Hail, thou ever-blessèd morn!
Hail, redemption’s happy dawn!
Sing through all Jerusalem:
Christ is born in Bethlehem!

Sacred Infant, all divine,
what a tender love was thine,
thus to come from highest bliss
down to such a world as this!
Hail, thou ever-blessèd morn!
Hail, redemption’s happy dawn!
Sing through all Jerusalem:
Christ is born in Bethlehem!

Edward Caswall (1814–1878)

Prayers at the Preparation of the Table

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:
through your goodness we have this bread to set before you,
which earth has given and human hands have made.
It will become for us the bread of life.
Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:
through your goodness we have this wine to set before you,
fruit of the vine and work of human hands.
It will become for us the cup of salvation.
Blessed be God for ever.

The Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord is here.
His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.

All glory and honour be yours always and everywhere,
mighty creator, ever-living God.

We give you thanks and praise for your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who for love of our fallen race humbled himself,
and was born of the Virgin Mary
by the power of your Spirit,
and lived as one of us.

In this mystery of the Word made flesh
you have caused his light to shine in our hearts,
to give knowledge of your glory in the face of Jesus Christ.

In him we see our God made visible
and so are caught up in the love of the God we cannot see.

Therefore with all the angels of heaven
we lift our voices to proclaim the glory of your name
and sing our joyful hymn of praise:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

We praise and bless you, loving Father,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord;
and as we obey his command, send your Holy Spirit,
that broken bread and wine outpoured
may be for us the body and blood of your dear Son.

On the night before he died
he had supper with his friends
and, taking bread, he praised you.
He broke the bread, gave it to them and said:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

When supper was ended he took the cup of wine.
Again he praised you, gave it to them and said:
Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

So, Father, we remember all that Jesus did,
in him we plead with confidence
his sacrifice made once for all upon the cross.
Bringing before you the bread of life and cup of salvation,
we proclaim his death and resurrection until he comes in glory.

Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died:
Christ is risen:
Christ will come again.

Lord of all life,
help us to work together for that day
when your kingdom comes and
justice and mercy will be seen in all the earth.

Look with favour on your people,
gather us in your loving arms
and bring us with all the saints
to feast at your table in heaven.

Through Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honour and glory are yours,
O loving Father, for ever and ever
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on 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.
Amen.

Breaking of the Bread

We break this bread
to share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in the one bread.

The Agnus Dei

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
grant us peace.

Giving of Communion

Jesus is the Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world.
Blessed are those who are called to his supper.
Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,
but only say the word, and I shall be healed.

Today communion is received for and on behalf of all who are participating in this service. This is a time when you are invited to make your own Spiritual Communion.

Hymn

O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see thee lie!
above thy deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by:
yet in thy dark streets shineth
the everlasting Light;
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in thee tonight.

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.

Phillips Brooks (1835–1893)

Post Communion Prayer

God our Father,
whose Word has come among us
in the Holy Child of Bethlehem:
may the light of faith illumine our hearts
and shine in our words and deeds;
through him who is Christ the Lord.
Amen.

Generous God,
you have fed us at your heavenly table.
Set us on fire with your Spirit
that when Christ comes again
we may shine like lights before his face,
who with you and the Spirit lives for ever.
Amen.

Blessing and Dismissal

May the joy of the angels,
the eagerness of the shepherds,
the perseverance of the wise men,
the obedience of Joseph and Mary,
and the peace of the Christ-child
be yours this Christmas;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.
Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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:
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord!

Sing, choirs of angels,
sing in exultation,
sing, all ye citizens of heaven above;
glory to God
in the highest:
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord!

Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
born this happy morning,
Jesu, to thee be glory given;
Word of the Father,
now in flesh appearing:
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord!

Adeste, fideles (Latin, 18th century)
translated by Frederick Oakeley (1802–1880) and others