Order of Service below for
– Christmas Eve 11pm St Mary’s Church, Shalford –
Covid Safety – Most Vital Guidelines
Sadly please do not mix/chat/mingle with any households except your own * Keep at least 2 metres distance from others * Please wear masks * Hand sanitiser on entry to church
* Stewards/welcomers will be kept to a minimum to avoid mixing – please find your seats safely on arrival
Welcome to this special Holy Night
– the first celebration of Holy Communion at Christmas –
A warm welcome to you,
to St Mary’s Church tonight,
as we celebrate together the birth of Christ,
the Light of the World, light in the darkness
the great festival of Christmas
Most of our service will be held with lights dimmed
and the light of your candle (please keep safe!)
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light.
For to us a child is born
to us a Son is given.
His name will be called
Wonderful counsellor, mighty God,
the everlasting Father,
the Prince of Peace.
Glory to God in the highest
and peace to his people on earth.
Lighting of the Christmas Candle
God our Father, today the Saviour is born
and those who live in darkness are seeing a great light.
Help us, who greet the birth of Christ with joy,
live in the light of your Son
and share the good news of your love.
We ask this through Jesus Christ,
the light who has come into the world. Amen.
Lighting of all individual peoples’ candles
Humming Carol: O Little Town of Bethlehem
We come from scattered lives to meet with God
Let us pause to recognize his presence with us on this Holy night
Prayers of Penitence
Christ the light of the world has come
to dispel the darkness of our hearts.
In his light let us examine ourselves and confess our sins. Silence is kept.
God our Father, you sent your Son full of grace and truth:
forgive our failure to receive him.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Jesus our Saviour, you were born in poverty and laid in a manger:
forgive our greed and rejection of your ways.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Spirit of love, your servant Mary responded joyfully to your call:
forgive the hardness of our hearts.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
May the God of all healing and forgiveness draw you to himself,
that you may behold the glory of his Son, the Word made flesh,
and be cleansed from all your sins,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Eternal God, who made this most holy night
to shine with the brightness of your one true light:
bring us, who have known the revelation of that light on earth,
to see the radiance of your heavenly glory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Liturgy of the Word
A reading from the prophet Isaiah 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
This is the word of the Lord. All: Thanks be to God.
Humming Carol: It came upon the midnight clear
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John (John 1:1-14) Glory to you, O Lord.
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 came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth
This is the Gospel of the Lord. All: Praise to you, O Christ
Prayers of Intercession
On this holy night, in this troubled world,
let us pray to Jesus Christ our Lord.
Christ, born in a stable, give courage to all who are homeless,
all who are in any kind of pain, anybody who lacks human love
Christ, for whom the angels sang, give the song of the kingdom to
all who weep, give the glory of your resurrection to all who rest in you.
Christ, whose radiance filled a lowly manger,
worshipped by the shepherds, and before whom the wise men knelt
give humility and wisdom to all who govern; give peace on earth to all who are oppressed or living in conflict or poverty in our hurting world
Jesus, Saviour, child of Mary, you know us and love us, you share our lives
be born in us today, lead us by your light every day of our lives, Amen
Hum Carol: Silent Night
The Liturgy of the Sacrament
This holy night the angels sang, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to all in whom he delights.’
The peace of the Lord be always with you, and also with you.
Please extinguish your individual candles as lights in the church go up
Hum Caro: Hark, the Herald Angels Sing
Preparation of the Table
Word made flesh, life of the world,
in your incarnation you embraced our poverty:
by your Spirit may we share in your riches. Amen.
The Eucharistic Prayer
The Lord is here.
All His Spirit is with us.
Lift up your hearts.
All We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
All It is right to give thanks and praise.
And now we give you thanks
because, in the incarnation of the Word,
a new light has dawned upon the world;
you have become one with us
that we might become one with you in your glorious kingdom.
Therefore with all the angels of heaven
we lift our voices to proclaim the glory of your name
in our joyful hymn of praise:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and 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.
God of new birth, as you laid your Son in Mary’s arms
you place these gifts of bread and wine in our hands.
Sanctify your church to be as fragile and tender and true
as the infant Saviour.
Send your Holy Spirit upon this bread and wine
and make them be for us the body and blood of Jesus.
Who at supper with his disciples, took bread, gave you thanks
he broke the bread, and gave it to them saying,
‘Take, eat: this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me’.
After supper he took the cup.
again he gave you thanks, and gave it to his disciples saying,
‘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
Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me’.
Great is the mystery of faith.
Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.
Shepherd king, as you drew the magi to the place of your epiphany,
Call us to yourself and bring your creation to its consummation.
Lift your whole church, living and departed,
To the vision of your glory, once made flesh in a humble family,
Now exalted and reigning with justice and mercy.
In this banquet restore us in your image,
Surround us with your company and prepare us for your freedom,
After the pattern of your Son,
Through whom and with whom and in whom,
In the unity of the Holy Spirit,
All honour and glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen
The Lord’s Prayer
Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us
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, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Breaking of the Bread
We break the bread of life, and that life is the light of the world.
God here among us, light in the midst of us, bring us to light and life.
Giving of Communion
So come, not because you are strong but because you are weak.
Come, because you love the Lord a little and want to love him more.
Come, because Christ loves you and gave his life for you.
The body of Christ broken for you Amen
All are invited to come up with mask on and receive communion (the bread only), carefully consuming under your mask. Please sanitise your hands on the way & take extra care to remain 2m distance from others. Sadly no words can be spoken when giving or receiving Communion at present, and no words for a blessing either so please only come forward if you wish to receive the bread. All welcome.
Carol during Communion: O Holy Night
Prayer after Communion
God our Father,
in this night you have made known to us again
the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
confirm our faith and fix our eyes on him until the day dawns
and Christ the Morning Star rises in our hearts.
To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Hum Carol: O Come, All Ye Faithful (choir sing only)
May God be a bright flame before you
be a guiding star above you
be a smooth path below you
be a kindly shepherd behind you
today, tomorrow and for ever,
and the blessing of God almighty…….Amen
Go in peace, Proclaim the Word made flesh.
All Glory, thanks and praise to God.
Please leave promptly without mingling, taking great care to wait until others are distant before going into the aisles, through the porch or out the west door.
A blessed, peaceful, joyful Christmas to you amidst all.
Christ is born among and within us
Go bearing Christ’s light, peace, and hope into your world
If you would like to donate to the life and work of St Mary’s Shalford, please donate online here:
or anytime via the special box built into the wall just inside St Mary’s church door. Thank you so much.
St Mary’s, Shalford – Christmas Services 2020
Usually we would be welcoming you all into the church for a bursting with life Christmas Eve nativity, a peace-filled candle-lit Midnight Mass, and an all age great celebration together on Christmas Day. This year, with everybody’s safety as our top priority, we have tried to offer all of these in slightly different ways:
St Mary’s Shalford Nativity: The Movie
showing on St Mary’s Youtube channel Christmas Eve & thereafter
11pm Christmas Eve candle-lit Midnight Mass
10am Christmas Day Family Communion
Don’t forget St Mary’s remains open everyday for peace and prayer and with Christmas trees until 6th January, and the Knitivity trail too.