The prophecy of the Messiah’s birth (Isaiah 9:2,6-7)
Read by Lucy Haydon, LCC student
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness —
on them light has shined.
For a child has been born for us, a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
The ‘Sans Day Carol’ or ‘St. Day Carol’ was first transcribed in the nineteenth century from the singing of Thomas Beard, a villager in St Day in the parish of Gwennap, Cornwall. However, the song is also traditionally sung by Appalachian communities in the United States, which suggests it is much older.
A promised ruler from Bethlehem (Micah 5:2-4)
Read by Louise Higgs, UAL Disability Adviser and Art Therapist
But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labour has brought forth; then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people 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 live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; and he shall be the one of peace.
The Angel Gabriel announces the Good News (Luke 1:26-38)
Read by Rotimi Akinsete,
UAL Associate Dean of Students (Wellbeing and Inclusion)
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.
‘O Holy Night’ (also known as ‘Cantique de Noël’) was composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem ‘Minuit, chrétiens’ (Midnight, Christians) by Placide Cappeau.
The birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:18-23)
Read by Marie Kan,
Head of Counselling, Health Advice & Chaplaincy
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel’,
which means, ‘God is with us.’
The Mystery of the Incarnation (John 1:1-14)
Read by Juliette Sargeant,
Interim Director of Library and Student Support Services
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.
The words for ‘Shepherds in The Fields Abiding’ are based on a Latin text from the Sarum Rite, used liturgically from the late eleventh century until the English Reformation. The music is from an old French carol.
The shepherds visit the manger (Luke 2: 4-16)
The shepherds visit the manger (Luke 2: 4-16)
Read by Sir Nigel Carrington, Vice-Chancellor
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.”
We pray for peace, justice, and healing in our world, and for all members of our university community, remembering especially those we have lost this year:
December 2019 – Michelle Telesford, UAL Human Resources Consultant
January 2020 – Kate Love – CSM Critical Studies Coordinator
February 2020 – Jungeun Kim – LCF International Prep for Fashion student
July 2020 – Junaed Amin, CSM MRes Art: Theory and Philosophy student
August 2020 – Elie Che Williams – LCF Fashion PR and Communication student
September 2020 – Veronica Hendry, LCF Short Courses Tutor
November 2020 – Manaal Tahir – LCF BA Fashion Textiles: Embroidery student
We commend all whom we love, or who have asked for our prayers, to the unfailing love of our heavenly Father, and say together, as Christ taught his disciples:
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.
We wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
We usually take a collection in support of the homeless after the service, and this year we are suggesting that people can make online donations to our chosen charity for 2020:
Centrepoint provides homeless young people with accommodation, health support and life skills in order to get them back into education, training and employment. If you can, please give at https://centrepoint.org.uk/
With special thanks to
Tim Roe (musical director)
Emily Jennings (soprano)
Helen Hughson (alto)
Alexander MacLaren (tenor)
Jonathan Hedley (bass)
David Leal (camera)
Jack Cortvriend (sound)