Choral:  It Came Upon the Midnight Clear by Sir Arthur Sullivan/arr. by David Willcocks

It came upon the 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 over all the weary world; above its sad and lowly plains they bend on hovering wing; and ever over its Babel sounds the blessed 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!  For lo!  The days are hastening on, by prophet-bards foretold, when, with the ever-circling years come round the age of gold; when peace shall over all the earth its ancient splendors fling, and the whole world send back the song which now the angels sing. [E. H. Sears]

Choral:   Nativity Carol by John Rutter

Born in a stable so bare, born so long ago; born ‘neath light of star He who loved us so.  Far away silent he lay, born today, your homage to pay, for Christ is born for aye, born on Christmas Day.  Cradled by mother so fair, tender her lullaby; over her son so dear, angel hosts fill the sky.  Wise men from distant far land, shepherds from starry hills worship this babe so rare, hearts with warmth he fills. Love in that stable was born into our hearts to flow; innocent dreaming babe, make me thy love to know.

Organ:  A Christmas Pastorale (a duet for two organists) by Charles Callahan

Solo:  Where is the Child? by John Ness Beck; Mark Waters, tenor

Where is the child?  When I was a child, He seemed much closer to me.  I’ve wandered afar with no guiding star from the child of Galilee.  Where is the joy of that tiny boy?  And where’s the laughter and glee?  And where’s the delight of this holy night?  And where’s the child in me?  Why should we lose all the happiness of caroling, and who should refuse all the joy the season’s love can bring?  When did I grow too old to remember all of the glow of home in December?  Where is the child?  The innocent child?  Can I be beguiled to let Him find me? What do I hear?  A sound, faint but clear; do angels still sing their song?  I know I can find that child’s peace of mind.  Make me a child again for tonight, and all my life long.

Choral:  O Little Town of Bethlehem by Walford Davies; Maria Schafer, soprano solo

Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign to you; ye shall find the Babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.  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.  How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given!  So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his 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. [Luke2:11-12 and Phillips Brooks]

Choral:  A Stable Lamp is Lighted by “Andújar” by David Hurd; Emily Lacina, piano

A stable lamp is lighted whose glow shall wake the sky; the stars shall bend their voices, and every stone shall cry.  And every stone shall cry, and straw like gold shall shine; a barn shall harbor heaven, a stall become a shrine.  This child through David’s city shall ride in triumph by; the palm shall strew its branches, and every stone shall cry.  And every stone shall cry, though heavy, dull, and dumb, and lie within the roadway to pave his kingdom come.  He shall be forsaken and yielded up to die; the skies shall groan and darken, and every stone shall cry.  And every stone shall cry for stony hearts of men: God’s blood upon the spearhead, God’s love refused again.  But now, as at the ending, the low is lifted high; the stars shall bend their voices and every stone shall cry.  And every stone shall cry in praises of the child, by whose descent among us the worlds are reconciled. [Richard Wilbur “A Christmas Hymn” from Advice to a Prophet and Other Poems]

Solo:  I Wonder as I Wander Appalachian Carol/arr. by John Jacob Niles; Myles Mineer, bass

I wonder as I wander, out under the sky, how Jesus the Savior did come for to die for poor ornery people like you and like I … I wonder as I wander, out under the sky.  When Mary birthed Jesus, ‘twas in a cow’s stall, with wise men and farmers and shepherds and all.  But high from God’s heaven a star’s light did fall, and the promise of ages it then did recall.  If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing, a star in the sky, or a bird on the wing, or all of God’s angels in heaven for to sing, He surely could have it, ‘cause he was the King.

Choral:  On This Day, Earth Shall Ring (Personent Hodie) from “Piae Cantiones” arr. Gustav Holst

On this day earth shall ring with the song children sing to the Lord, Christ our King, born on earth to save us; him the Father gave us.  Ideo-o-o Gloria in excelsis Deo! His the doom, ours the mirth; when he came down to earth Bethlehem saw his birth; ox and ass beside him from the cold would hide him. God’s bright star, over his head, wise men three to him led; kneel they low by his bed, lay their gifts before him, praise him and adore him.  On this day angels sing; with their song earth shall ring, praising Christ, heaven’s King, born on earth to save us; peace and love he gave us. [from “Piae Cantiones”, trans. Jane Marion Joseph]




INTROIT:   On Christmas Night  Sussex Carol/arr. by Philip Ledger

On Christmas night all Christians sing, to hear the news the angels bring, news of great joy, news of great mirth.  News of our merciful King’s birth.  Then why should men on earth be so sad, since our Redeemer made us glad, when from our sin he set us free, all for to gain our liberty?  When sin departs before His grace, then life and health come in its place; angels and men with joy may sing, all for to see the newborn King.  All out of darkness we have light, which made the angels sing this night: “Glory to God and peace to men, now and forevermore, evermore.  Amen.” [Trad. English The Rev. Luke Wadding]


HYMN:  Love Has Come [Bring a Torch]



ANTHEM:  Unto Us is Born a Son from “Piae Cantiones” arr. by David Willcocks

Unto us is born a Son, King of quires supernal: see on earth his life begun, of lords the Lord eternal. Christ, from heaven descending low, comes on earth a stranger; ox and ass their owner know, be-cradled in the manger. This did Herod sore affray, and grievously bewilder, so he gave the word to slay, and slew the little childer.  Of his love and mercy mild this the Christmas story; and O that Mary’s gentle Child might lead us up to glory! O and A, and A and O, cum cantibus in choro, let our merry organ go, benedicamus Domino. [G. R. Woodward]


HYMN:  Angels, from the Realms of Glory [Regent Square]


SERMON:  “Eyes to See, Hearts to Believe”

INTERPRETATIVE REFLECTION: O Holy Night by Placide Cappeau, John Sullivan Dwight; Oh Holy Night Instrumental No Copyright Royal Corner; Soloist:  Desiree Flores; Liturgical Dancers:  Dezarae Anderson, Kayma Cochran, Temwani Woods


HYMN:  Silent Night, Holy Night [Stille Nacht]


HYMN:  Go, Tell It on the Mountain [Go Tell It]


POSTLUDE:  Go Tell It by Wayne Wold

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