Carol Service at St Laurence 18th December

Hymn  – Once in Royal David’s City

  1. 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.
  2. 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 mean, and lowly,
    Lived on earth our Saviour holy.
  3. For He is our childhood’s pattern;
    Day by day, like us, He grew;
    He was little, weak, and helpless,
    Tears and smiles, like us He knew;
    And He cares when we are sad,
    And he shares when we are glad.
  4. And our eyes at last shall see Him,
    Through His own redeeming love;
    For that Child so dear and gentle,
    Is our Lord in heaven above:
    And He leads His children on,
    To the place where He is gone.

Bidding Prayer    

Beloved in Christ, at this Christmas-tide let it be our care and delight to hear again the message of the angels, and in heart and mind to go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing which is come to pass, and the Babe lying in a manager.

Therefore let us read and mark in Holy Scripture the tale of the loving purposes of God from the first days of our disobedience unto the glorious Redemption brought to us by this Holy Child.

But first, let us pray for the needs of the whole world; for peace on earth and goodwill among all his people; for unity and brotherhood within the Church he came to build, and especially in this our community. And because this would rejoice his heart, let us remember, in his name, the poor and helpless, the cold, the hungry, and the oppressed; the sick and them that mourn, the lovely and the unloved, the aged and the little children; all those who know not the Lord Jesus, or who love him not, or who by sin have grieved his heart of love.                         

 First Reading  – Genesis Chap: 3                           

God tells sinful Adam that he has lost the life of Paradise and that his seed will bruise the serpent’s head. 

8) 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.

9) And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

10) And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

11) 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?

12) And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

13) 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.

14) 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:

15) 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. 

16) Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

 17) And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

18) Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

19) In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return

All: Thanks be to God. 

Hymn –      “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing 

  1. Hark the herald angels sing
    “Glory to the new-born King!
    Peace on earth and mercy mild
    God and sinners reconciled”
    Joyful, all ye nations rise
    Join the triumph of the skies
    With the angelic host proclaim:
    “Christ is born in Bethlehem”
    Hark! The herald angels sing
    “Glory to the new-born King!”
  2. Christ by highest heaven adored
    Christ the everlasting Lord!
    Late in time behold Him come
    Offspring of a Virgin’s womb
    Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
    Hail the incarnate Deity
    Pleased as man with man to dwell
    Jesus, our Emmanuel
    Hark! The herald angels sing
    “Glory to the new-born King!”
  3. Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
    Hail the Son of Righteousness!
    Light and life to all He brings
    Risen with healing in His wings
    Mild He lays His glory by
    Born that man no more may die
    Born to raise the sons of earth
    Born to give them second birth
    Hark! The herald angels sing
    “Glory to the new-born King!”

 Second Reading  – Genesis Chap: 22 

From all humanity God chooses one man, Abraham. All nations will be blessed because of his faith.

15) And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,

16) And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:

17) That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

18) And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

All: Thanks be to God. 

Hymn – “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

  1. It came upon the midnight clear,
    That glorious song of old,
    From angels bending near the earth,
    To touch their harps of gold:
    “Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
    From heavens all gracious King!”
    The world in solemn stillness lay
    To hear the angels sing.
  2. Still through the cloven skies they come,
    With peaceful wings unfurled;
    And still their heavenly music floats
    O’er all the weary world:
    Above its sad and lowly plains
    They bend on hovering wing,
    And ever o’er its Babel sounds
    The blessed angels sing.
  3. O ye beneath life’s crushing load,
    Whose forms are bending low,
    Who toil along the climbing way
    With painful steps and slow;
    Look now, for glad and golden hours
    Come swiftly on the wing;
    Oh rest beside the weary road
    And hear the angels sing.
  4. For lo! the days are hastening on,
    By prophets seen of old,
    When with the ever-circling years
    Shall come the time foretold,
    When the new heaven and earth shall own
    The Prince of Peace, their King,
    And the whole world send back the song
    Which now the angels sing.

 Third Reading  – Isaiah Chap: 9        

To a world lacking just and righteous leaders comes the promise of a Prince of Peace.

2) 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.

6) 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.

7) 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.

Thanks be to God. 

A Time of Silent Prayer

Hymn – “O Little Town of Bethlehem 

  1. O little town of Bethlehem
    How still we see thee lie
    Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
    The silent stars go by
    Yet in thy dark streets shineth
    The everlasting Light
    The hopes and fears of all the years
    Are met in thee tonight
  2. For Christ is born of Mary
    And gathered all above
    While mortals sleep, the angels keep
    Their watch of wondering love
    O morning stars together
    Proclaim the holy birth
    And praises sing to God the King
    And Peace to men on earth
  3. How silently, how silently
    The wondrous gift is given!
    So God imparts to human hearts
    The blessings of His heaven.
    No ear may his His coming,
    But in this world of sin,
    Where meek souls will receive him still,
    The dear Christ enters in.
  4. O holy Child of Bethlehem
    Descend to us, we pray
    Cast out our sin and enter in
    Be born to us today
    We hear the Christmas angels
    The great glad tidings tell
    O come to us, abide with us
    Our Lord Emmanuel.

Forth Reading       Micah Chap: 5

A world in despair is told where to look for a new beginning.

2) But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

3) Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.

4) And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.

All: Thanks be to God.


Hymn – “Silent Night 

  1. Silent night, holy night
    All is calm, all is bright
    Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
    Holy Infant so tender and mild
    Sleep in heavenly peace
    Sleep in heavenly peace
  2. Silent night, holy night!
    Shepherds quake at the sight
    Glories stream from heaven afar
    Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
    Christ, the Saviour is born
    Christ, the Saviour is born
  3. Silent night, holy night
    Son of God, love’s pure light
    Radiant beams from Thy holy face
    With the dawn of redeeming grace
    Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
    Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth “

Poem – Christmas 2022 – By Roy Taylor 

! think It must be Christmas

I can feel it in the air

People speeding all about

They’ve got no time to spare.


Black Friday and cyber Monday

It’s a very good time to spend

But isn’t it someone’s birthday

Won’t they realise it in the end.


Christmas is a peaceful time

To remember the story of old

I never tire to hear it

However many times its told


There were three wise old eastern men

Who studied a bright new star

I has Jupiter and Venus conjoined

And they had to travel far


They set off on their camels

Caspar, Melchoir and Balshaza

They carried presents for anew king they were told,

Frankinsence, gold and myrrh.


Mary and Joseph had travelled far

To find a place at the inn.

Their faithful old donkey was really a star

And I know he would help them again.


Frightened shepherds were told by the angel

Jesus had been sent down to help us all

So they all set of to see him in Bethlehem

Fast asleep in the hay in a stall.


The message is love and forgiveness

And not what money can buy.

We may often have chance in our life ahead

To give help as the time goes by.


Happy Christmas to my friends in Jesus

Remember that wonderful day

I wish you happiness and affection.

 And also good health I pray.

Hymn -“In the Bleak Midwinter 

  1. In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
    Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
    Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
    In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
  1. Our God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
    Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
    In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
    The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
  1. Enough for Him, Whom cherubim, worship night and day,
    Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
    Enough for Him, Whom angels fall before,
    The ox and ass and camel which adore.
  1. Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
    Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
    But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
    Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.
  1. What can I give Him, poor as I am?
    If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
    If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
    Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

 Fifth reading  – Luke Chap: 1 

A young girl is told by the angel that she will be the mother of God’s Son.

26) And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

27) To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

28) And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

29) And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

30) And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 

31) And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

32) He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

33) And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34) Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

35) And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

36) And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

37) For with God nothing shall be impossible.

38) And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. 

All: Thanks be to God.

Hymn –         “Away In a Manger

  1. Away in a manger,
    No crib for His bed
    The little Lord Jesus
  2. Laid down His sweet head 
  1. The stars in the bright sky
    Looked down where He lay
    The little Lord Jesus
    Asleep on the hay
  1. The cattle are lowing
    The poor Baby wakes
    But little Lord Jesus
    No crying He makes
  1. I love Thee, Lord Jesus
    Look down from the sky
    And stay by my side,
    ‘Til morning is nigh.
  1. Be near me, Lord Jesus,
    I ask Thee to stay
    Close by me forever
    And love me I pray

 Bless all the dear children

In Thy tender care
And take us to heaven
To live with Thee there.

Sixth Reading  from – Luke Chap:  2                     

 The prophecies are fulfilled but no-one can find space for Jesus. He has to be born in a stable. 

  • 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.

    All: Thanks be to God.

Church of England – Intercessional Prayer for Christmas

Holy Jesus,
by being born one of us,
and lying humbly in a manger,
you show how much God loves the world.
Let the light of your love always shine in our hearts,
until we reach our home in heaven,
and see you on your throne of glory.

All: Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ,
your birth at Bethlehem
draws us to kneel in wonder at heaven touching earth:
accept our heartfelt praise
as we worship you,
our Saviour and our eternal God.

All: Amen.

Loving Jesus,
you were born in a stable but worshipped by the angels.
Be with (N. and) all who are lonely,
and with all who feel distant from celebrations.
Be for us a living hope that lightens their hearts.

All: Amen.

Jesus, as you healed the sick,
bring healing to those in our families who are ill today.
Jesus, Lord of love,

All: In your mercy, hear us.

Christ born for us,
Son of God, given for us,
help us to know you,
to worship and to serve you.

All: Amen.

The kings, Lord,
brought myrrh, frankincense, and gold.
Lord, we have nothing of our own to bring;
we bring you what you have given:
our lives for your life.

All: Amen.

.Jesus, Saviour, son of Mary,
you know us and love us,
you share our lives
and hear our prayer.
Glory to you for ever.

All: Amen.

May God, who has called us out of darkness
into his marvellous light,
bless us and fill us with peace.

All: Amen.

Christ, for whom there was no room in the inn,
give courage to all who are homeless;
in your mercy

All: Hear our prayer.

Christ, who fled into Egypt,
give comfort to all refugees;
in your mercy

All: Hear our prayer.

Christ, who fasted in the desert,
give relief to all who are starving;
in your mercy

All: Hear our prayer.

Christ, who hung in agony on the cross,
give strength to all who suffer;
in your mercy

All: Hear our prayer.

Lord of the Church

All: Hear our prayer,
and make us one in heart and mind
to serve you with joy for ever.


Hymn – “Angels, From the Realms of Glory 

  1. Angels from the realms of glory
    Wing your flight over all the earth
    Ye, who sang Creation’s story
    Now proclaim Messiah’s birth
    Come and worship, come and worship
    Worship Christ the new-born King
  1. Shepherds in the fields abiding
    Watching over your flocks by night
    God with man is now residing
    Yonder shines the Infant light
    Come and worship, come and worship
    Worship Christ the new-born King
  1. Sages leave your contemplations
    Brighter visions beam afar
    Seek the great Desire of Nations
    Ye have seen His natal star
    Come and worship, come and worship
    Worship Christ the new-born King
  1. Saints before the altar bending
    Watching long in hope and fear
    Suddenly the Lord, descending,
    In His temple shall appear
    Come and worship, come and worship
    Worship Christ the new-born King

Seventh Reading – Luke 2                             

Angels bring the message of Jesus’ birth not to priests or princes, but to working shepherds.

8) And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9) 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.

10) And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12) And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13)And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15)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.

16) And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

All: Thanks be to God.

Hymn – “While Shepherds Watched 

  1. While shepherds watched their flocks by nightAll seated on the groundThe angel of the Lord came downAnd glory shone around
  2. “Fear not”, said he, for mighty dreadHad seized their troubled mind“Glad tidings of great joy I bringTo you and all mankind”
  3. “To you, in David’s town this dayIs born of David’s lineThe Savior who is Christ the LordAnd this shall be the sign”
  4. “The heavenly Babe you there shall findTo human view displayedAll meanly wrapped in swathing bandsAnd in a manger laid”
  5. Thus spake the seraph, and forthwithAppeared a shining throngOf angels praising God, who thusAddressed their joyful song
  6. “All glory be to God on highAnd on the earth be peaceGoodwill henceforth from heaven to menBegin and never cease”

     Eighth Reading Matthew Chap: 2                          

 A star leads pagan astrologers to worship the child-King.

  • 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.

All: Thanks be to God. 

 “Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning” 

  1. Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
    Dawn on our darkness and lend us Thine aid;
    Star of the East, the horizon adorning,
    Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.
  1. Cold on His cradle the dewdrops are shining;
    Low lies His head with the beasts of the stall;
    Angels adore Him in slumber reclining,
    Maker and Monarch and Saviour of all!
  1. Say, shall we yield Him, in costly devotion,
    Odours of Edom and offerings divine?
    Gems of the mountain and pearls of the ocean,
    Myrrh from the forest, or gold from the mine?
  1. Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
    Vainly with gifts would His favour secure;
    Richer by far is the heart’s adoration,
    Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.

 Ninth Reading – John Chap:  1

Through Jesus the whole world was created. Yet when he came into the world few welcomed him. Those who did were given the right to be called children of God. 

  • 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.

All: Thanks be to God. 

    “The First Noel

  1. The First Noel, the Angels did say
    Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
    In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
    On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
    Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
  2. Born is the King of Israel! 
  1. They looked up and saw a star
    Shining in the East beyond them far
    And to the earth it gave great light
    And so it continued both day and night.
    Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
    Born is the King of Israel!
  1. And by the light of that same star
    Three Wise men came from country far
    To seek for a King was their intent
    And to follow the star wherever it went.
    Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
    Born is the King of Israel!
  1. This star drew nigh to the northwest
    O’er Bethlehem it took its rest
    And there it did both Pause and stay
    Right o’er the place where Jesus lay.
    Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
    Born is the King of Israel!
  1. Then entered in those Wise men three
    Full reverently upon their knee
    And offered there in His presence
    Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
    Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
    Born is the King of Israel!
  1. Then let us all with one accord
    Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
    That hath made Heaven and earth of nought
    And with his blood mankind has bought.
    Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
    Born is the King of Israel!

Prayer and Benediction.                            

 May he who by his Incarnation gathered into one things earthly and heavenly, fill you with the sweetness of inward peace and goodwill; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be upon you and remain with you always

All: Amen

  “O Come, All Ye Faithful” 

  1. O Come All Ye Faithful
    Joyful and triumphant,
    O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
    Come and behold Him,
    Born the King of Angels;
    O come, let us adore Him,
    O come, let us adore Him,
    O come, let us adore Him,
    Christ the Lord.
  1. O Sing, choirs of angels,
    Sing in exultation,
    Sing all that hear in heaven God’s holy word.
    Give to our Father glory in the Highest;
    O come, let us adore Him,
    O come, let us adore Him,
    O come, let us adore Him,
    Christ the Lord.
  1. All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
    Born this happy morning,
    O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
    Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
    O come, let us adore Him,
    O come, let us adore Him,
    O come, let us adore Him,
    Christ the Lord

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year. 

© 702211