Christmas Eve 2021

MINISTRY OF MUSIC: “O Holy Night” Solo by Sylvia Van Belle, accompanied by Llew Sheppard

ADVENT CANDLE LIGHTING – Sylvia

Tonight, is Christmas Eve and we light our Advent candles as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.

First, we lit the candle of Hope: the promise of hope born in Jesus tonight.

         Candle of Hope, ignite hope within us. (light a candle)

Next, we lit the candle of Peace: the promise of peace born in Jesus tonight.

         Candle of Peace, ignite peace within us. (light a candle)

Then we lit a candle of Joy: the promise of joy born in Jesus tonight.

         Candle of Joy, ignite joy within us. (light a pink candle)

Finally, we lit the candle of Love: the promise of love born in Jesus tonight.

         Candle of Love, ignite love within us. (the fourth candle is lit)

We live in a world longing for God, the God who will be our courage when we are scared of what comes next, the God who will be our wisdom when we don’t know which way to turn, the God who will be with us now and always.

Knowing the need for God in our own lives and in this heartbroken world, we light this candle as a symbol that God is with us, born in Jesus this night.

WELCOME – Carolle

Welcome to our Christmas Eve Celebration, we are grateful to share this space and time with you. 

Let us pray, 

Dear Lord, all those who are weary please grant rest, hope, peace and faith now and forever.  Remind us to lean not on our own understanding but to trust in your perfect plan. 

Knowing you are the light for our path and a lamp for our feet.  Amen

As we gather here tonight we must remember the hidden history that has brought most of us here to a land not new but captured in colonization. 

The United Church of Canada officially apologized on August 15, 1986, for its role in the schools.  

We must as we have committed live the path of right relations and reconciliation with our Indigenous neighbours.  

https://united-church.ca/social-action/justice-initiatives/reconciliation-and-indigenous-justice/truth-and-reconciliation  (Link to more information)

Huron Carol – Video https://youtu.be/fnWZ7M2dLlM

T’was in the moon of wintertime when all the birds had fled That mighty Gitchi Manitou sent angel choirs instead;
Before their light the stars grew dim and wondering hunters heard the hymn,
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

Within a lodge of broken bark the tender babe was found;
A ragged robe of rabbit skin enwrapped his beauty round
But as the hunter braves drew nigh the angel song rang loud and high
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

The earliest moon of wintertime is not so round and fair
As was the ring of glory on the helpless infant there.
The chiefs from far before him knelt with gifts of fox and beaver pelt.
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

O children of the forest free, O seed of Manitou
The holy Child of earth and heaven is born today for you.
Come kneel before the radiant boy who brings you beauty, peace and joy.
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE LANDS

We acknowledge, honour and respect this land and the Anishnabeg/Mississauga peoples with whom Treaty 20, Williams treaty, was signed, on the lands where I am, and we acknowledge also and give thanks for the lands and people of treaties and unceded territories of all who are worshiping. It is up to all of us to live into truth, respect and reconciliation with all our relations.

THE CHRISTMAS STORY Luke 2 (Good News Translation)

Luke 1: 26-38

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Luke 2: 1-7

2 At that time Emperor Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Roman Empire. When this first census took place, Quirinius was the governor of Syria. Everyone, then, went to register himself, each to his own hometown.

Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, the birthplace of King David. Joseph went there because he was a descendant of David. He went to register with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him. She was pregnant, and while they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her baby. She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger—there was no room for them to stay in the inn.

HYMN: “Away in a Manger” VU #69

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.

The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes, but little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.

I love you, Lord Jesus; look down from the sky, and stay by my side until morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask you to stay close by me for ever, and love me, I pray.

Bless all the dear children in your tender care, and fit us for heaven, to live with you there.

HYMN: “O Come, All Ye Faithful” VU #60

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:  R

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation, sing, all ye citizens of heaven above;

glory to God in the highest:  R

See how the shepherds summoned to his cradle, leaving their flocks, draw nigh with lowly fear;

we too will thither bend our joyful footsteps;  R

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning; Jesus, to thee be glory given;

word of the Father, now in flesh appearing:  R

Luke 2: 8-14 The Shepherds and the Angels

There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, 10 but the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. 11 This very day in David’s town your Savior was born—Christ the Lord! 12 And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great army of heaven’s angels appeared with the angel, singing praises to God:

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!”

HYMN: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” VU #48

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 host proclaim, ‘Christ is born in Bethlehem!’

Refrain:          Hark! the herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the newborn King!’

Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord,

late in time behold him come, offspring of a virgin’s womb.

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail, the incarnate deity,

pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel!  R

Hail, the heavenborn Prince of Peace! Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!

Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings.

Mild he lays his glory by, born that we no more may die,

born to raise us from the earth, born to give us second birth.  R

Luke 2:15 

15 When the angels went away from them back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us.”

HYMN: “O Little Town of Bethlehem” VU #64

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.

For Christ is born of Mary; and gathered all above,

while mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.

O morning stars, together proclaim the holy birth,

and praises sing to God the King, and peace to all on earth.

How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given!

So God imparts to human hearts the blessed gift of 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.

Luke 2:16-21

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger. 17 When the shepherds saw him, they told them what the angel had said about the child. 18 All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said. 19 Mary remembered all these things and thought deeply about them. 20 The shepherds went back, singing praises to God for all they had heard and seen; it had been just as the angel had told them.

Jesus is Named

21 A week later, when the time came for the baby to be circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name which the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

HYMN: “Good Christian Friends Rejoice” VU #35

Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice!

Give ye heed to what we say: News! News! 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 Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice!

Now ye hear of endless bliss: Joy! Joy! Jesus Christ was born for this!

He hath opened heaven’s door, and we are blest forevermore.

Christ was born for this! Christ was born for this!

Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice!

Now ye need not fear the grave: Peace! Peace! Jesus Christ was born to save! 

Calls you one and calls you all to gain his everlasting hall.

Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save!

HYMN: “Joy to the World” VU#59

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.

Joy to the earth! the Saviour reigns: let all their songs employ,

while fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains repeat the sounding joy,

repeat the sounding joy, repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground:

he comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found,

far as the curse is found, far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the earth with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove

the glories of his righteousness and wonders of his love,

and wonders of his love, and wonders, wonders of his love.

MINISTRY OF MUSIC: “Ave Maria” Solo by Sylvia Van Belle

CLOSING: Aryanna and family

We light the Christ candle,  

(the Christ candle is lit)

a symbol:

for hope for us and for the world;

for peace in our hearts and on earth;

for joy within our whole being and to the whole world;

for the promise of God’s love for us and all of creation.

We welcome and celebrate The Bethlehem Babe, the infant king, our Prince of Peace.

         Christ be our Light!

As we sing Silent Night we invite you to illuminate your light physically and spiritually to be the light.  

HYMN: “Silent Night, Holy Night”

Silent night! Holy night!
All is calm, all is bright
round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.

2 Silent night! Holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight:
glories stream from heaven afar,
heavenly hosts sing Hallelujah,
Christ the Saviour is born, Christ the Saviour is born.

3 Silent night! Holy night!
Son of God, love’s pure light
radiant beams from thy holy face,
with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

CLOSING AND BENEDICTION

CHORAL RESPONSE: “Go Now in Peace” (Words: Don Besig and Nancy Price)

Go now in peace, never be afraid.  God will go with you each hour of every day.

Go now in faith, steadfast, strong and true. Know He will guide you in all you do.

Go now in love and show you believe. Reach out to others so all the world can see

God will be there watching from above. Go now in peace, in faith, and in love.

Amen, Amen, Amen

Thank you to all who helped make tonight’s service possible, Abigail Campbell, Carolle Boyce, Gloria Thurston, Sylvia Van Belle


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