Lessons and Carols 2021, December 19, 2021

The Holy Eucharist  

Lessons and Carols

Bidding Prayer

Dear people of God: In this Christmas Season let it be our duty and delight to hear once more the message of the Angels, to go to Bethlehem and see the Son of God lying in a manger.

Let us hear and heed in Holy Scripture the Story of God’s loving purpose from the time of our rebellion against him until the glorious redemption brought to us by his holy Child Jesus, and let us make this place glad with our carols of praise.

But first, let us pray for the needs of his whole world, for peace and justice on earth, for the unity and mission of the Church for which he died, and especially for his Church in our country and in this city.

And because he particularly loves them, let us remember in his name the poor and helpless, the cold, the hungry and the oppressed, the sick and those who mourn, the lonely and unloved, the aged and little children, as well as all those who do not know and love the Lord Jesus Christ.

Finally, let us remember before God his pure and lowly Mother, and that whole multitude which no one can number, whose hope was in the Word made flesh, and with whom, in Jesus, we are one for evermore.  

And now, to gather up all these petitions, let us pray in the words which Christ himself has taught us saying:

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, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen

Presider:

The Almighty God bless us with his grace; Christ give us the joys of everlasting life; and to the fellowship of the citizens above, may the King of Angels bring us all.  Amen

The Lessons

Lesson I 
Isaiah  9:2-7
“Christ’s birth and kingdom are foretold by Isaiah”

Bells “O Come all Ye Faithful”

Lesson II Luke 1:26-38 “The angel Gabriel salute the Blessed Virgin Mary”

Bells “He is Born”

Lesson III
Luke 2:1-7
“St. Luke tells of the birth of Jesus”

Bells “Christmas Lullaby”

Lesson IV
Luke 2:8-15
“The Shepherds go to the manger”

Bells  “ Angels we have heard on high”

Lesson V
Matthew 2:1-12
“The wise men are led by the star to Jesus”

Bells “The First Nowell”

Lesson VI
John 1:1-18
“St. John unfold the great mystery of the Incarnation”

Bells “Joy to the World”

Sermon

The Closing Collect and blessings

Bells “Silent Night”

Presented by our Hand Bell Choir 

Augustine
First Archbishop of Canterbury, 605
RCL:  2 Corinthians 5:17–21, Psalm 66:1–8, Luke 5:1–11

Collect:
O Lord our God, who by your Son Jesus Christ called your servant Augustine to preach the Gospel to the English people: We pray that all whom you call and send may do your will, bide your time, and see your glory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Once there was a boy called Augustine. He grew up living in a monastery in Rome, Italy. When he was old enough, he became a Benedictine monk and planned to live a life of prayer, church work and quiet contemplation.

But Pope Gregory had other plans for Augustine. In the year 595, Pope Gregory chose Augustine for a special role; to bring the Catholic Church to England. Now, Augustine had to leave his life of comfort and take on a dangerous mission to an unknown land.

He set off with a group of 40 other missionaries on horseback, along with books, relics and a few clothes. It was long and perilous journey of 844 miles. On the way, Augustine heard many stories of how terrible England was and how uncivilized the people were. The weary travelers were so afraid that when they reached France, they were too scared to go on. Augustine decided to turn back and return to Rome.

But Pope Gregory wrote letters to Augustine, encouraging him to be brave and carry on and reach England because the people needed him.

Eventually, in the Spring of 597, the group arrived on the shores of the isle of Thanet. They were greeted by Ethelbert of Kent and Queen Bertha, personally, who welcomed them. They invited Augustine to the capital city, Canterbury and said he could establish his church there. Ethelbert told Augustine he was free to convert as many people as he could persuade to the truth of the Gospel.

The king gave him a little church building called St. Martin’s and so Augustine began preaching and teaching the local people. Augustine was successful and he sent news back to Pope Gregory in Rome about how well it was going.

One day, to his surprise, Augustine was overjoyed that Ethelbert asked him to baptize him in the Christian faith. And once the king converted, many of his people too wanted to become Christians. And so on Christmas Day in 597, 10,000 people were baptized as followers of Jesus.   

This news reached Rome and Pope Gregory made Augustine the first Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the new Catholic church in England, in communion with the Bishop of Rome.

Augustine stayed in England and became a wise and clever Bishop. He never returned to Rome and died in 604.

He sowed the seeds of Christianity in the British Isles and became known as ‘the Apostle of England.’ His bravery and commitment as a missionary disciple of Jesus is a shining example to us all to spread the good news wherever we go.

 

[from St. Augustine Academy website]
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