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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.
Luke 2:1-7 Read by Julian Birchall
St.Luke tells of the birth of Jesus
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Poem: The Oxen by Thomas Hardy – Read by Margaret Ireland
Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock. “Now they are all on their knees,” An elder said as we sat in a flock By the embers in hearthside ease.
We pictured the meek mild creatures where They dwelt in their strawy pen, Nor did it occur to one of us there To doubt they were kneeling then.
So fair a fancy few would weave In these years! Yet, I feel, If someone said on Christmas Eve, “Come; see the oxen kneel,
“In the lonely barton by yonder coomb Our children used to know,” I should go with him in the gloom, Hoping it might be so.
Carol (Choir): Infant Holy Infant Lowly
Poem: To the baby God by Kathy Galloway – Read by Rachel Forsyth
To the baby God
You are dearer than death you are gentler than breathing, in the smallness of being, in the nearness of you, in the movement of limbs in the stillness of sleeping in the anguish of care is the wonder of you.
You are precious to me there is nobody like you, every day holds delights as I greet it with you. What the future will bring I have no way of telling, but I trust you to show me all the wonder of you.
I am filled with such awe for I know my own weakness, How can I do what’s best for the treasure of you? But you give me your love without question or doubting so I know you’ll forgive that’s the wonder of you.
Go to sleep now my darling, even you need your resting, I will care by your side for the world that you love. You have given your life, so frail and so trusting into my human hands, that’s the wonder of you.
Luke 2: 1-7, 8-20
Head Prefect PHS
Head Prefect PHS
The shepherds go to the manger
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
Carol(Choir): Love came down at Christmas
Matthew 2:1-12 Read by Geoff Goldstraw
The wise men are led by the star to Jesus.
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
Carol(Choir): We Three Kings
John 1:1-14 Read by Rev Pamela Strachan
St John unfolds the great mystery of the Incarnation
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Said by Very Rev David Arnott
Carol: O Come All Ye Faithful
0 come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, 0 come ye, 0 come ye to Bethlehem; come and behold him, born the King of angels; 0 come, let us adore him, 0 come, let us adore him, 0 come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.
God of God, Light of light, Lo! he abhors not the Virgin’s womb; very God, begotten, not created; 0 come, let us adore him, 0 come, let us adore him, 0 come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.
Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation, sing, all ye citizens of heaven above, ‘Glory to God in the highest’: 0 come, let us adore him, 0 come, let us adore him, 0 come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.
Said by Very Rev David Arnott
THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US
USUALLY THE CHOIR INVITES YOU TO JOIN THEM AND ENJOY SOME MINCE PIES AND MULLED WINE. REGRETFULLY THAT CANNOT HAPPEN THIS YEAR.
SO PLEASE HAVE A MINCE PIE AND A GLASS OF MULLED WINE IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOME AND THINK ABOUT US. JOIN US AGAIN NEXT YEAR HOPEFULLY IN THE CHURCH
THE OFFERINGS COLLECTED DURING PREVIOUS SERVICES WERE GIVEN TO A LOCAL CHARITY. LAST YEAR IT WAS THE PEEBLESSHIRE FOODBANK. WE ARE THEREFORE SUGGESTING THE SAME ONE THIS YEAR. THERE IS NO PHYSICAL COLELCTION POSSIBLE OF COURSE, BUT, IF YOU WISH YOU CAN STILL MAKE A CONTRIBUTION BY USING THE LINK BELOW TO GO TO THE FOODBANK WEBSITE.