25 December 2020_Christmas Day Virtual Gathering_The Service of Nine Lessons and Carols

24 Dec 2020 by Seungjae Yeon in: Worship Online




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The Processional Hymn: Once in Royal David’s City (TiS 312)

1 Once in royal David's city
stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby
in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ, her little child.

2 He came down to earth from heaven
who is God and Lord of all,
and his shelter was a stable,
and his cradle was a stall:
with the poor, despised and lowly,
lived on earth our Saviour holy.

3 And through all his wondrous childhood
day by day like us he grew;
he was little, weak, and helpless,
tears and smiles like us he knew;
and he feels for all our sadness,
and he shares in all our gladness.

4 And our eyes at last shall see him,
through his own redeeming love;
for that child so dear and gentle
is our Lord in heaven above:
and he leads his children on
to the place where he is gone.

5 Not in that poor lowly stable,
with the oxen standing by,
we shall see him, but in heaven,
set at God's right hand on high;
when his children gather round
bright like stars, with glory crowned.

Cecil Frances Alexander

CCLI #260394


The Invitation Prayer

The congregation, wherever they are, shall be invited to prayer in these words:

Let us pray:

Beloved in Christ, at this Christmastide, let it be our care and delight to hear again the message of the angels, and in heart and mind to go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing which is come to pass, and the babe lying in a manger.

Therefore let us read and mark in holy Scripture the tale of the loving purposes of God from the first days of our disobedience unto the glorious redemption brought us by this holy Child.

But first, let us pray for the needs of the whole world; for peace on earth and goodwill among all his people as all God’s creation would suffer from the pandemic and climate change; for unity and brotherhood within the church he came to build, and especially in this, our own community.

And because this would rejoice his heart, let us remember, in his name, the poor and helpless, the cold, the hungry, and the oppressed; the sick and them that mourn, the lonely and the unloved, the aged and the little children; all those who know not the Lord Jesus, or who love him not, or who by sin have grieved his heart of love.

Lastly, let us remember before God all those who rejoice with us, but upon another shore, and in a greater light, that multitude which no man can number, whose hope was in the Word made flesh, and with whom in the Lord Jesus we are one forevermore.

These prayers and praises let us humbly offer up to the throne of heaven, in the words which Christ himself has taught us:


Our Father, which art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy Name.


Thy Kingdom come.

Thy will be done in earth,

As it is in heaven.


Give us this day our daily bread.


And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive them that 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.




Bidding Carol: Joy to the World (TiS 268)

1 Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive its king;
let ev’ry heart prepare him room,
and heav’n and nature sing,
and heav’n and nature sing,
and heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.

2 Joy to the earth, the Saviour reigns!
Let us our songs employ
while fields and streams, rocks, hills, and plains,
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

3 He rules the world 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.

Isaac Watts

CCLI #260394


The Nine Lessons


First Lesson:

God announces in the Garden of Eden that the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head.

Genesis 3:8—15.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

13 And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 So the Lord God said to the serpent:

“Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”



Carol: Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus (TiS 272)

Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.


Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.


Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.


By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.

Charles Wesley

CCLI #260394



Second Lesson:

God promises to faithful Abraham that in his seed shall the nations of the earth be blessed.

Genesis 22:15–18.

15 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son 17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”


Carol: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (TiS 265)

1 O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

2 O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to the tribes on Sinai's height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe.


3 O come, O Key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe the way that leads on high
and close the path to misery.


4 O come, O Branch of Jesse, free
your own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o'er the grave.


5 O come, O dayspring, come and cheer
our spirits by your advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
and death’s dark shadows put to flight.


Tr. John Mason Neale

CCLI #260394


Third Lesson:

Christ’s birth and kingdom are foretold by Isaiah.

Isaiah 9:2,6–7.

The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.



Carol: The North Wind (TiS 322)


1 The north wind is tossing the leaves,

the red dust is over the town,

the sparrows are under the eaves,

and the grass in the paddock is brown,

as we lift up our voices and sing

to the Christ-child, the heavenly King.


2 The tree-ferns in green gullies sway,

the cool stream flows silently by,

the joy-bells are greeting the day,

and the chimes are adrift in the sky,

as we lift up our voices and sing

to the Christ-child the heavenly King.


Words and music: John Wheeler/William Garnet James

© Copyright Chappel Music Limited

CCLI #260394



Fourth Lesson:

The prophet Micah foretells the glory of little Bethlehem.

Micah 5:2–4.

The Coming Messiah

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.”


Therefore He shall give them up,
Until the time that she who is in labour has given birth;
Then the remnant of His brethren
Shall return to the children of Israel.

And He shall stand and feed His flock
In the strength of the Lord,
In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God;
And they shall abide,
For now He shall be great
To the ends of the earth;


Carol: Silent night, holy night (TiS 311)


1 Silent night, holy night:

all is calm, all is bright

round the virgin mother and child,

holy infant so tender and mild,

sleep in heavenly peace,

sleep in heavenly peace.


2 Silent night, holy night:

shepherds quakeat the sight;

glories stream from heaven afar,

heavenly hosts sing, ‘Alleluia!

Christ the Saviour is born,

Christ the Saviour is born.’


3 Silent night, holy night:

wondrous star, lend your light;

with the angels let us sing

Alleluia to our King;

Christ our Saviour is born,

Christ our Saviour is born.


Joseph Mohr

tr. John Freeman Young

CCLI #260394




Fifth Lesson:

The angel Gabriel salutes the virgin Mary.

Luke 1:26–38.

Christ’s Birth Announced to Mary

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favoured one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

35 And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”

38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.


Hymn: Magnificat (TiS 173)


Verse 1

My soul gives glory to the Lord,

in God my Saviour I rejoice.

My lowliness he did regard,

exalting me by his own choice.

From this day all shall call me blest,

for he has done great things for me;

of all great names his is the best,

for it is holy; strong is he.


Verse 2

His mercy goes to all who fear,

from age to age and to all parts.

His arm of strength to all is near;

he scatters those who have proud hearts.

He casts the mighty from their throne,

and raises those of low degree;

he feeds the hungry as his own;

the rich depart in poverty.


Verse 3

He raised his servant Israel,

remembering his eternal grace,

as from of old he did foretell

to Abraham and all his race.

O Father, Son and Spirit blest,

in three-fold name are you adored;

to you be every prayer addressed,

from age to age the only Lord.


Words: Version by John T. Mueller

Music: Michael Joncas

CCLI #260394


Christmas Message – Rev'd Simon Hansford (Moderator of the Synod of NSW and the ACT)


Imagine a God, who,

from the very beginning,

was always for us,

in love and hope.


A God, who,

in shaping light from dark,

dry land from water,

and placing humanity at the heart of it all,

says Yes.


Who, despite our frailty and failures,

seeks us out,

calls our name,

and welcomes us home.


Imagine a God,

always hopeful, forever faithful,

and never distant.


This is the God we know in Jesus Christ.


Our story begins,

and is made complete in Jesus.


As we consider how we can celebrate Christmas

after this strugglesome, rigorous year,

we begin where we have always needed to begin –

with Jesus, the promise of God.


It is precisely because of years like this one,

drought and bushfires,

coronavirus and its wake,

that Christmas is vital.


When we have been told

that we need to be isolated from each other

in order to be safe

we discover why Christmas is so important;


because at Christmas,

with the birth of Jesus,

God closes the distance between us.


God comes close in order to give us life,

each one of us,  

and all creation.


The promise of our God who is not distant,

Who has never been far from us,

is a baby born,

for us to embrace.


Christmas is the assurance

of a never too distant God.


A God with us.

Saying Yes.


Simon Hansford,

Christmas 2020



Sixth Lesson:

Matthew tells of the birth of Jesus.

Matthew 1:18–23.

Christ Born of Mary

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”



Carol: Hark! the Herald Angels Sing (TiS 303)


Verse 1

Hark! the herald angels sing

glory to the new-born King,

peace on earth, and mercy mild,

God and sinners reconciled.

Joyful, all you nations, rise,

join the triumph of the skies;

with the angelic host proclaim,

‘Christ is born in Bethlehem’.



Hark! the herald angels sing

glory to the new-born King.


Verse 2

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 in human flesh to dwell,

Jesus, our Immanuel.



Verse 3

Hail the heaven-born 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 need die,

born to raise us from the earth,

born to give us second birth.



Charles Wesley

CCLI #260394




Seventh Lesson:

The shepherds go to the manger.

Luke 2:8–16.

Glory in the Highest

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 


Carol: Away in a manger (TiS 318)


1 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.

2 The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
I love you, Lord Jesus! Look down from on high,
and stay by my side until morning is nigh.


Arrangement © L. E. Bartlett

CCLI# 260394



Eighth Lesson:

The wise men are led by the star to Jesus.

Matthew 2:1–11

Wise Men from the East

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:

‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ 

Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”

When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.




Ninth Lesson:

John unfolds the great mystery of the incarnation.

John 1:1–14

The Eternal Word

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 were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.


John’s Witness: The True Light

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.


The Word Becomes Flesh

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.



Hymn: O Come, All Ye Faithful (TiS 304)


O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,

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!


True God of true God,Light of light eternal,

lo, he abhors not the Virgin’s womb;

Son of the Father,begotten, not created:

O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, ...


Child, for us sinnerspoor and in the manger,

fain we embrace thee with love and awe;

who would not love thee,loving us so dearly? 

O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, ...


Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,

sing all ye citizens of heaven above,

‘Glory to God, glory in the highest’:

O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, ...



John Francis Wade

CCLI Licence # 260394





The Prayer and Blessing

Let us pray:

O God, who makes us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of your only Son, Jesus Christ: Grant that as we joyfully receive him for our Redeemer, so we may, with sure confidence behold him when he shall come to be our Judge; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

May he who by his incarnation gathered into one thing earthly and heavenly, fill you with the sweetness of inward peace and goodwill; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be upon you and remain with you always.



The Recessional Song: O Christmas Tree


O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
Thy leaves are so unchanging
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
Thy leaves are so unchanging
Not only green when summer's here
But also when it's cold and drear
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
Thy leaves are so unchanging

O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
Such pleasure do you bring me
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
Such pleasure do you bring me
For every year this Christmas tree
Brings to us such joy and glee
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
Such pleasure do you bring me

O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
You'll ever be unchanging
A symbol of goodwill and love
You'll ever be unchanging
Each shining light, each silver bell
No one alive spreads cheer so well
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
You'll ever be unchanging


O Christmas Tree, o Christmas Tree
How steadfast are your branches!
Your boughs are green in summer's clime
And through the snows of wintertime
O Christmas Tree, o Christmas Tree
How steadfast are your branches!

O Christmas Tree, o Christmas Tree
What happiness befalls me
When oft at joyous Christmas-time
Your form inspires my song and rhyme
O Christmas Tree, o Christmas Tree
What happiness befalls me

O Christmas Tree, o Christmas Tree
Your boughs can teach a lesson
That constant faith and hope sublime
Lend strength and comfort through all time
O Christmas Tree, o Christmas Tree
Your boughs can teach a lesson

Aretha Franklin