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By Ronald Ireland
Welcome to the Old Parish Church of Peebles on this, the evening of the 20th December, the last Sunday in Advent and the last Sunday before Christmas.
The music you are hearing is Veni, Veni, Emmanuel arrangedby Rebecca te Veldeand played on the organ of the Old Parish Church by Sarah Brown, our organist and Director of Music.
For decades past, here in the Old Parish Church we have celebrated the coming of Christmas with a service of Lessons and Carols, shared with the whole community of Peebles and beyond. This year we are unable to meet in church, but through the wonders of modern technology we are able to bring you the story of the Incarnation in words and music.
Our service this evening is led by the Very Rev David Arnott.
So, wherever you are, join with us now and let us go even unto Bethlehem.
We begin our service with the processional hymn, Once in Royal David’s City.
Choir: Once in Royal David’s City
(Verse 1 – Solo) 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.
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; Where like stars his children crowned, All in white shall gather round.
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 and meek and lowly Lived on earth our Savior holy.
CALL TO PRAYER
Prayer and Lord’s Prayer
Said by Very Rev David Arnott
Genesis 3:8-15 read by Isabelle Coghill
God tells Adam that he has lost the life of Paradise and that his seed will bruise the serpent’s head.
And they heard the voice 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 amongst the trees of the garden.
And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Carol (Choir): Christ is the Truth
Recorded at the Peebles Old Service of Nine lessons and Carols 2011
Isaiah 9:2,6-7 Read by Fiona Sinclair
The Prophet foretells of the coming of the Saviour
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
Carol : Unto Us a boy is born
Unto us a boy is born! King of all creation, came he to a world forlorn, the Lord of every nation, the Lord of every nation
Cradled in a stall was he with sleepy cows and asses; and the very beasts could see that he all folk surpasses, that he all folk surpasses.
Herod then with fear was filled: ‘A prince’, he said, ‘in Jewry!’ All the little boys he killed at Bethl’em in his fury, at Bethl’em in his fury.
Now may Mary’s son, who came so long ago to love us, lead us all with hearts aflame unto the joys above us, unto the joys above us.
Omega and Alpha he! Let the organ thunder, while we sing our songs with glee and rend the air asunder, and rend the air asunder.