December 24, 2021 | 7:00 p.m. | Christmas Eve
St. Martin’s Episcopal Church | Williamsburg VA
Shepherd’s Carol Choir
O Holy Night Martha Caruso, Chris Krehbiel, Phaedra McNorton
The Word of God
Opening Hymn O come all ye faithful vv. 1, 2, & 6 Hymnal 83
Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed be God’s kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.
The Collect for Purity (together)
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: 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.
Song of Praise Angels we have heard on high
Angels we have heard on high, singing sweetly through the night,
And the mountains in reply echoing their brave delight. Gloria in excelsis Deo. Gloria, in excelsis Deo.
The Collect of the Day
The Lord be with you. And also with you. Let us pray.
O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
The First Reading Isaiah 9:2-7
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. You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. For 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. For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. For 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. His 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.
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Psalm 96 (in unison)
Sing to the Lord a new song; * sing to the Lord, all the whole earth. Sing to the Lord and bless his Name; * proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations * and his wonders among all peoples. For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; * he is more to be feared than all gods. As for all the gods of the nations, they are but idols; * but it is the LORD who made the heavens.
Oh, the majesty and magnificence of his presence! * Oh, the power and the splendor of his sanctuary! Ascribe to the LORD, you families of the peoples; * ascribe to the LORD honor and power. Ascribe to the Lord the honor due his Name; * bring offerings and come into his courts. Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; * let the whole earth tremble before him. Tell it out among the nations: “The Lord is King! * he has made the world so firm that it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.” Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea thunder and all that is in it; * let the field be joyful and all that is therein. Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy before the LORD when he comes, * when he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness * and the peoples with his truth.
The Second Reading Titus 2:11-14
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He 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. The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
The Gospel Acclamation Love came down at Christmas
Love came down at Christmas, love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas: star and angels gave the sign.
The Gospel Luke 2:1-20
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke. Glory to you, Lord Christ.
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see– I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” When 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.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, Lord Christ.
The Sermon The Rev. Cathy Boyd
A period of silence follows the sermon.
The Nicene 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: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from 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. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He 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.
The Prayers of the People (the people respond with the bolded words)
Prayer Leader: Let us pray. Sisters and brothers, rejoicing in the love of God that has taken flesh among us in Christ Jesus, let us confidently bring to the Lord the petitions of our heart this Christmas Eve, saying: Hear our prayer.
May God, who came to us as a little child, enable us to know ourselves as children of the Kingdom of Heaven. God of mercy, Hear our prayer.
May God, who has called us to be kind to one another, tender-hearted and forgiving of one another, pour upon us the riches of his grace, free us from evil, and strengthen us to live in love with all the peoples of the earth. God of mercy, Hear our prayer.
Let us then pray with hope for the future of the world: for peace on earth and goodwill among all people; for an end to injustice, terrorism and war; and for those responsible for building the ways of peace. God of mercy, Hear our prayer.
For the unity of all Christian people and for people of faith in every land; for all who seek God and the way of truth. God of mercy, Hear our prayer.
For the healing of memories, for relief where past wrongs and violence persist, and for all who are in pain and distress. God of mercy, Hear our prayer.
For the strengthening of the bonds of human dignity, for the resolve of all whose courage and compassion bring relief, and for those who, day by day, meet hostility with restraint. God of mercy, Hear our prayer.
For those striving to keep peace in un-peaceful places, for their skills, commitment and bravery, and for the safety of all those rebuilding the fabric of life. God of mercy, Hear our prayer.
For friendship and trust among all, that we might discern more deeply our shared humanity, and for the dawning of a world that is in harmony with itself. God of mercy, Hear our prayer.
Celebrant: O God, look in mercy on the deep divisions of our world. Set in our hearts the spirit of penitence, forgiveness and reconciliation, that the day may soon come when we no longer distrust or fear one another, but are drawn together in unity of purpose, in understanding, and in love; through our Savior born this night, Jesus the Christ. Amen.
The Peace & Announcements
The peace of the Lord be always with you. And also with you.
The Holy Communion
The Offertory Angel’s Carol Choir
The Offering of Gifts The Doxology
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, ye heavenly host: praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
The Great Thanksgiving Eucharistic Prayer D
The Celebrant continues with the Eucharistic Prayer… we acclaim you, and glorify your Name, as we sing:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power, God of 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. Hosanna in the highest.
…And offering to you, from the gifts you have given us, this bread and this cup, we praise you and we bless you. We praise you, we bless you, we give thanks to you, and we pray to you, Lord our God.
….Through Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ, all honor and glory are yours, Almighty God and Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. AMEN.
The Lord’s Prayer
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, and the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The Breaking of the Bread
Alleluia. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia.
O little town of Bethlehem Hymn 79 In the bleak midwinter Hymn 112 Silent night Hymn111
The Post-Communion Prayer
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted us as living members of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have fed us with spiritual food in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Closing Hymn Joy to the world vv. 1, 2, & 4 Hymnal 100
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Special thanks to our guest musicians tonight:
Mike Isler, trumpet Caroline Jarrell, violin Jackson Livanec, cello MacKenzie Miller, French horn
Kathy Parisi, violin Jordan Stehle, tuba Steve Turner, trombone Chris Ward, trumpet