Christmas Day All Age Eucharist
Welcome to St Martin’s
We wish you a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!
Due to current Covid Pandemic restrictions, instead of singing or just listening to the music of Christmas Carols we will be listening to various choirs singing them in recordings.
Presiding: Rev. Sarah Kilbey
Reflection by Rev. Dr. Ken Webb
Grace and peace to you from God our Creator
and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Opening Carol: ‘O Come, all ye faithful’
Collect for Purity
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.
Lighting the Christmas Candle
We light the candles for hope, peace, joy and love.
Light the first, second, third and fourth Advent candles.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given.
We light this candle to celebrate Jesus, light of the world, born to be God with us. In him, our hope is fulfilled, God’s peace is given to us, our joy is complete, and the fullness of God’s love is revealed.
Light the central, Christmas candle.
Jesus is the light of the world.
Whoever follows him will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.
Carol: ‘Hark, the herald angels sing’
Setting the scene: (Ken Webb)
A Story for Christmas for the children ( and grown up children!)
A Prayer for Christmas Day
Loving God, who gave us Jesus, the child of Bethlehem,
to be the one who would show us who you meant us to be,
Open our eyes so that we can recognize him
in young and old, rich and poor, friends and strangers.
Open our ears so that we can hear him
in the noisy and busy times, as well as in the quiet.
And open our lips so that we can share
your message of peace and joy with everyone we meet,
We ask this through Jesus, the Christ, who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
WE LISTEN FOR GOD’S WORD
Epistle: Hebrews 1.1-4 (from the Jerusalem Bible)
At many moments in the past and by many means, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our time, the final days, he has spoken to us through a son whom he appointed hear of all things and through whom he made the ages. He is the reflection of God’s glory and bears the impress of God’s own being, sustaining all things by his powerful command; and now that he has purged sins away, he has taken his seat at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high. So he is now as far above the angels as the title which he has inherited is higher than his own name.
Gospel: John 1.1-5, 9-14 (From the Jerusalem Bible)
When it is announced: Glory to Christ our Saviour.
In the beginning was the Word;
the Word was with God
and the word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things came into being,
not one thing came into being except through him.
What has come into being in him was life,
life that was the light of humankind;
and light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness was not able to comprehend it.
The Word was the real light that gives light to everyone;
He was coming into the world.
He was in the world that had come into being though him,
and the world did not recognise him.
He came to his own
and his own people did not accept him.
But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become the children of God;
to those who believed in his name,
who were born not from human stock
or human desire
or human will,
but from God himself.
The Word became flesh.
He lived among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory that he has from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
At the end: Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious Gospel.
Praise to Christ our Lord.
Breaking of the Word
We reflect together on what God might be saying to us. (Ken Webb)
Affirmation of Faith
A New Creed’ from the United Church of Canada
We are not alone. We live in God’s world:
We believe in God,
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus, the Word in the flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others by the Spirit.
We trust in God.
We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and to resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen;
our judge and our hope.
In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone. Thanks be to God.
Intercessions (Brian Kilbey)
Confession and Absolution
God is love and we are God’s children.
There is no room for fear in love,
We love because God loved us first.
Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.
For thoughts that are selfish,
Lord, forgive us.
For words that have wounded,
Lord, forgive us.
For actions that are not loving,
Lord, forgive us.
For failing to love and care,
Lord, forgive us and deliver us from the power of evil,
for the sake of your Son who died for us,
Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Christ says to all who turn away from their sin,
‘Go in peace, you are forgiven.’
Carol: It came upon a midnight clear ON PAGE 11
WE SHARE THE PEACE OF CHRIST
Peace – you are invited to share a sign of peace with your neighbours
We meet in Christ’s name. Let us share his peace.
Let us present our offerings to the Lord.
Yours, Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory,
the splendour, and the majesty;
for everything in heaven and on earth is yours.
All things come from you, and of your own we give you.
WE CELEBRATE COMMUNION
The Great Thanksgiving Prayer
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 God thanks and praise.
Worship and praise belong to you, God our maker.
Out of nothing, you called all worlds into being,
and still you draw the universe to its fulfilment.
Day and night celebrate your glory
till time shall be no more.
In Christ, your Word became flesh,
and was born of the Virgin Mary.
He emptied himself, taking our human form,
That through his incarnation and passion
we might come to share in his divine nature.
Filled with the Spirit,
who at the first Creation
moved over the face of the waters,
and overshadowed the blessed Virgin at Nazareth,
we await with joy the fulfilment of your new Creation.
As children of your redeeming purpose
who celebrate the birth of your Son,
we offer you our praise,
with angels and archangels
and the whole company of heaven
singing the hymn of your unending glory:
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.
Glory and thanksgiving be to you, most loving Father,
for the gift of your Son born in human flesh.
He is the Word existing beyond time,
both source and final purpose,
bringing to wholeness all that is made.
Obedient to your will he died upon the Cross.
By your power you raised him from the dead.
He broke the bonds of evil
and set your people free to be his Body in the world.
On the night when he was given up to death,
knowing that his hour had come,
having loved his own, he loved them to the end.
At supper with his disciples
he took bread and offered you thanks.
He broke the bread, and gave it to them, saying:
‘Take, eat. This is my Body: it is broken for you.’
After supper, he took the cup,
he offered you thanks, and gave it to them saying:
‘Drink this, all of you.
This is my Blood of the new covenant;
it is poured out for you, and for all,
that sins may be forgiven.
Do this in remembrance of me.’
We now obey your Son’s command.
We recall his blessed passion and death,
his glorious resurrection and ascension;
and we look for the coming of his Kingdom.
Made one with him, we offer you these gifts
and with them ourselves, a single, holy, living sacrifice.
Hear us, most merciful Father,
and send your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon this bread and this wine,
that, overshadowed by his life-giving power,
they may be the Body and Blood of your Son,
and we may be kindled with the fire of your love
and renewed for the service of your Kingdom.
Help us, who are baptised
into the fellowship of Christ’s Body,
to live and work to your praise and glory;
may we grow together in unity and love
until at last, in your new creation,
we enter into our heritage,
in the company of the Virgin Mary,
the apostles and prophets, Martin
and of all our brothers and sisters
living and departed.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honour and glory be to you,
Lord of all ages, world without end. Amen.
Breaking of the Bread
The living bread is broken for the life of the world.
Lord, unite us in this sign.
As our Saviour has taught us, so we pray:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Do not bring us to the time of trial,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.
Invitation and the Sharing of Communion
The Communion bread will be brought to you in your seats. All are warmly invited to receive. Keep your masks on till after the communion wafer is dropped into your hands and then remove them to consume. Alternatively, if you wish to receive a blessing, please indicate this by placing your hands across your chest.
WE GIVE THANKS AND ARE SENT OUT
Give thanks to our gracious God,
whose mercy endures for ever.
Source of truth and joy,
may we who have received the gift of divine life
always follow the way of your Son.
This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.
Father, we have broken the bread which is Christ’s body,
we have tasted the wine of his new life.
We thank you for these gifts
by which we are made one in him
and drawn into that new creation which is your will for all;
through him who died for us and rose again,
your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
Final Carol: Joy to the world
The blessing of the manger ‑
God’s creation all around;
the blessing of the shepherds ‑
God’s people with feet on the ground;
the blessing of the angels ‑
good news for all, and peace for the world,
be with you now and for ever;
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.
It came upon a midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men,
From heaven’s all-gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains,
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessèd angels sing.
Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing.
And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!
For lo!, the days are hastening on,
By prophet bards foretold,
When with the ever-circling years
Comes round the age of gold
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world give back the song
Which now the angels sing.
SECMA ( links )
I just want to say a few words about SECMA. Our overseas mission.
All the fundraisers have been cancelled this year so they are desperate we still support them. Normally the money raised at our Christmas bake sale goes towards this but of course this won’t be happening.
It would be great if you could make a donation to this through the church bank account and mark it ‘ links ‘ . Lynn will receive donations throughout December and forward this to them.
I have the magazines but can’t hand them out or leave them at the back of the church. We are going to try and send them to you by e mail. It might or might not work.
On a lighter note Peter is happy to make black bun. If you want a piece of 2 let us know. It will be £5 a piece. All money to links. Thank you.
Planning for Lent Group(s)
Ken is wondering if people would like to join a Zoom Lent Group on Wednesday evenings using Brian McLaren’s book, ‘The Great Spiritual Migration’ as a resource. ( ISBN: 978-1-473-62677-5) See his website: https://brianmclaren.net
If we are able to meet up with fewer restrictions we could visit the idea of forming actual groups. Please let him know if you are interested.
The Newsletter is on the website