St. Martin’s Episcopal Church | Williamsburg VA
The Word of God
Opening Hymn Joy to the world Hymnal 100
Joy to the world! the Lord is come: let earth receive her King;
let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing, and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.
Blessed are you, holy and living One. You come to your people and set them free.
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, verses 1 & 4 Hymnal 96
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.
See him in a manger laid whom the angels praise above;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid, while we raise our hearts in love.
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.
Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born this day of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
The First Reading Isaiah 52:7-10
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. The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Hymn Hark! the herald angels sing Hymnal 87
Hark! the herald angels sing glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful, all ye nations, rise, join the triumph of the skies;
with the angelic hosts proclaim Christ is born in Bethlehem!
Hark! the herald angels sing glory to the newborn King!
The Second Reading Hebrews 1:1-12
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. For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”? And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, and his servants flames of fire. “But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” And, “In the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like clothing; like a cloak you will roll them up, and like clothing they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will never end.” The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Hymn Good Christian friends, rejoice! Hymnal 107
Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice;
give ye heed 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!
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. Lisa Green
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 Day, 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 unpeaceful 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 day, 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 God rest you merry, gentlemen, verses 1 & 4 Hymnal 105
1 God rest you merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay;
remember Christ, our Savior was born on Christmas Day,
to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.
Refrain: O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy; O tidings of comfort and joy!
2 Now to the Lord sing praises, all you within this place,
and with true love and charity each other now embrace;
this holy tide of Christmas doth bring redeeming grace. Refrain
The Offering of Gifts In the bleak midwinter, verse 4 Hymnal 112
What can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
if I were a wise man, I would do my part; yet what I can I give him—give my heart.
The Great Thanksgiving Eucharistic Prayer B
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give him thanks and praise.
It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth because you gave Jesus Christ, your only Son, to be born for us; who, by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, was made perfect Man of the flesh of the Virgin Mary his mother; so that we might be delivered from the bondage of sin, and receive power to become your children. Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:
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 give thanks to you, O God, for the goodness and love which you have made known to us in creation; in the calling of Israel to be your people; in your Word spoken through the prophets; and above all in the Word made flesh, Jesus, your Son. For in these last days you sent him to be incarnate from the Virgin Mary, to be the Savior and Redeemer of the world. In him, you have delivered us from evil, and made us worthy to stand before you. In him, you have brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.
On the night before he died for us, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.” After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he 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. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.” Therefore, according to his command, O Father, We remember his death, We proclaim his resurrection, We await his coming in glory;
And we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to you, O Lord of all; presenting to you, from your creation, this bread and this wine.We pray you, gracious God, to send your Holy Spirit upon these gifts that they may be the Sacrament of the Body of Christ and his Blood of the new Covenant. Unite us to your Son in his sacrifice, that we may be acceptable through him, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In the fullness of time, put all things in subjection under your Christ, and bring us to that heavenly country where, with Martin and all your saints, we may enter the everlasting heritage of your sons and daughters; through Jesus Christ our Lord, the firstborn of all creation, the head of the Church, and the author of our salvation. By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for 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.
Communion Hymn What child is this Hymnal 115
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.
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 Blessing of Christmas
The Closing Hymn Go tell it on the mountain
Refrain: Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere;
Go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born!
While shepherds kept their watching o’er silent flocks by night,
behold, throughout the heavens there shone a holy light. Refrain
Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit. Thanks be to God.
“Alleluia, alleluia” is only said during the Easter season.
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