Printable services for those unable to attend St C

                                

                                        

        

 

               St Clement Church Community Midnight Mass

 

Good evening to you all, at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve we will be celebrating Midnight Mass in our church building.  I’m aware that a number of folk who usually attend this service are unable to attend this year, so the below is a service of the word for you. 

(You can read it before midnight if you wish!)

May Christ’s love sustain you always.

Much love to you all,

Rev Di and family xx

 

Let us pray;

Eternal God, in the stillness of this night you sent your almighty Word to pierce the world’s darkness with the light of salvation: give to the earth the peace that we long for and fill our hearts with the joy of heaven through our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

 

Our prayers of Penitence

Hear the words of the angel to Joseph: ‘You shall call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their sins.’ Therefore let us seek forgiveness from God through Jesus the Saviour of the world:

 

God our Father, you sent your Son full of grace and truth: forgive our failure to receive him.

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.

 

Spirit of love, your servant Mary responded joyfully to your call: forgive the hardness of our hearts.

Lord, have mercy.

 

May our God, of all healing and forgiveness draw us to himself, that we may behold the glory of his Son, the Word made flesh and be cleansed from all our sins, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

 

The Collect

Let us pray in the peace of this Christmas celebration that our joy in the birth of Christ will last for ever.

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.

 

Carol: ‘Away in a Manger

 

Readings:

Isaiah 9. 2-7

Titus 2. 11-14

 

Carol: ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem

 

Our Reading is taken from the Gospel of Luke 2. 1-14 (15-20)

 

(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke. 

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’

 

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.  All went to their own towns to be registered. 

Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea,  to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 

He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 

This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 

When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

 

(This is the Gospel of the Lord.  Response: ‘Praise to you, O, Christ’)

 

 

Reflection

 My dear friends in Christ, grace to you and peace…especially peace…on this night of our Saviour’s birth. Amen.

Well, the time has finally arrived. Our days of watching, waiting and preparing are finally over, and tonight the celebration begins.

And as I always say this night; if it’s not bought, wrapped, posted, baked or decorated by now, it’s too late.

Mind you, there’s still the Christmas Dinner to prepare isn’t there!

And I bet you had fun doing the shopping for that…..since the pandemic click and collect has certainly come into its own hasn’t it.

Mind you, I couldn’t get everything we needed that way, so still had to take a trip to the supermarket.  During the visit I saw a lady rummaging through the frozen turkeys, she obviously couldn’t find one she liked, so shouted to a nearby assistant; ‘Do these turkeys get any bigger?’ and received the terse reply; ‘No, they’re dead!’ As a vegetarian, I found that quite funny!

Then again, being vegetarian, I am very fussy when buying vegetables, and Ken knows this…..I overheard him saying to our local greengrocer; ‘These Brussel sprouts are for my wife, have they been sprayed with anything dangerous?’  ‘Nope’ was the reply, ‘You’ll have to do that yourself!’

But quite often, we have to admit, with our focus on the origin and meaning of the day, and with due respects to Scrooge, Christians sometimes have to wonder; What transformed the Nativity, our remembrance of Christ’s birth, into an occasion to spend too much, and eat and drink too much?  So this night, let’s focus our attention on where it belongs, on the birth of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God.

Luke’s beautiful narrative is so familiar and straightforward that our time here is better spent probing the significance of the event rather than embellishing on its details.

Of all the wonders recorded by scripture, the singular significance of the Nativity is that in those unlikely circumstances God chose to become man, while remaining God. The God, so awesome that the ancient Hebrews would not even whisper his name, is suddenly among us, Emanuel has come, and he’s so much more than anyone could have expected.

To save us, to shake us out of our self-indulgence, to atone for every sin that ever was or will be, the love of God was made flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. And through him we are reconciled with God. We have a unique window into his purpose, an open channel for his love, and a perfect model of holiness to guide us in all things.

Even before the Infant could speak, the circumstance of his birth was his first sermon to us. Laid in a manger, surrounded by shepherds, God is telling us that his New Covenant won’t be based on power and hierarchy, instead it will be based on service and sacrifice, love and humility.

And in this context, our challenge isn’t to keep Christ in Christmas. He’s not a seasonal ornament that we want included along with all the others.  Instead, Christ is Christmas. And his Nativity is integral to who he is.  In the person of Jesus, God became like us, so that we could become more like him.  Christmas is not an end in itself. It’s a beginning, an initial event in our redemption.

Stripped of its Christian context, you may call it; “The Holidays,” or perhaps: “The over-indulgence festival.” But with all that said, nothing is bigger than the heart of Jesus. He wants us to be happy. So let’s decorate the tree, let’s hang the stockings, let’s sing “White Christmas” along with the carols, let’s eat our special Christmas meals.

But first, last and always, let’s remember the reason for the season, the joy of Christmas is in the miracle, not in the material, it’s in the mystery, not in the myths. The love of God is alive and among us, so that every year we can celebrate anew, Jesus Christ is born today. 

So, we gather this night to celebrate the event that changed the course of human history forever.

It’s Christmas! And my prayer is that Jesus will be born in us, and live in us, and be our reason for living, loving, caring, and giving, not just tonight, but every day of our lives.

Thanks be to God. And a Merry Christmas to you all!

Amen.

 

Carol: ‘While Shepherds Watched

 

Affirmation of our Faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe and trust in God the Father, source of all being and life, the one for whom we exist. 

 

We believe and trust in God the Son, who took our human nature, died for us and rose again. 

 

We believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God and makes Christ known in the world. 

 

This is the faith of the Church. This is our faith.

We believe and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

 

Our Intercessions this night are taken from the book: Times and Seasons

In peace let us pray to the Lord.

Father, in this holy night your Son our Saviour was born in human flesh.  Renew your Church as the Body of Christ.

Holy God Hear our prayer.

 

In this holy night Mary, in the pain of labour, brought your Son to birth.  Hold in your hand all who are in pain or distress.

Holy God Hear our prayer.

 

In this Holy night your Christ came as a light shining in the darkness.  Bring comfort to all who suffer in the sadness of our world.

Holy God Hear our prayer.

 

In this Holy night the angels sang, ‘Peace to God’s people on earth.’  Strengthen those who work for peace and justice in all the world.

Holy God Hear our prayer.

 

In this Holy night shepherds in the field heard good tidings of joy. Give us grace to preach the gospel of Christ’s redemption.

Holy God Hear our prayer.

 

In this Holy night strangers found the Holy family, and saw the baby lying in the manger.  Bless our homes and all whom we love.

Holy God Hear our prayer.

 

In this Holy night heaven is come down to earth, and earth is raised to heaven.  Hold in your hand all who have passed through death in the hope of your coming kingdom.

Holy God Hear our prayer.

 

In this Holy night Christians the world over celebrate Christ’s birth.  Open our hearts that he may be born in us today.

Holy God Hear our prayer.

 

Father, in this Holy night angels and shepherds worshipped at the manger throne.  Receive the worship we offer in fellowship with Mary, Joseph and the saints through him who is your Word made flesh, our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Gathering our prayers and praises into one, let us pray with confidence as Jesus 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.

 

Carol: ‘Silent Night

 

 

The Peace

Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and his name shall be called the Prince of Peace.

May the peace of God be always with us. 

Amen.

 

 

Blessing

May Christ, who by his incarnation gathered into one things earthly and heavenly, fill us with peace and goodwill and make us partakers of the divine nature; and may the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among us, those whom we love, and remain with us always.

 Amen.

 

Carol: ‘Hark! The Herald Angels sing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Page last updated: 22nd December 2021 4:17 PM