Shared Prayers

Christmas Eve, 11pm (Covid-tide)

7 December 2020

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Christmas Eve

24 December 2020, 11pm
according to the Book of Common Prayer (p. 355ff.)

Preparing for the Liturgy

During this season of coronavirus infections, please demonstrate your love for your friends and neighbors by:

  1. Wearing a mask (covering both mouth and nose)
  2. Remaining six feet apart from anyone you don’t live with
  3. Refraining from touching, hugging and shaking hands – even during the Peace
  4. Singing is only permitted outdoors, six feet apart, wearing masks
  5. Service bulletins you have touched must be taken home
  6. After the service everyone must disperse with no lingering
  7. No sharing of common objects such as pens, paper, water bottles, etc.

If you are feeling ill or think you may have been exposed to someone ill within the last two weeks, please stay home and participate with us online instead of in person.


We Gather in God’s Name

Lighting the Candles of the Advent Wreath

Today we light all the candles of the Advent wreath. Each candle has a meaning. The first candle is HOPE, the second candle is PEACE, the third candle is JOY, and the fourth candle is LOVE. The center candle is the Christ candle.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

O God of hope, peace, joy, and love. As Mary and Joseph welcomed you into the world, now help us welcome you into our lives. Give us courage to hope; strength to seek peace. Fill our spirits with joy; and our hearts with love. Through Jesus Christ, the Lord of all. Amen.

BCP 355

The people stand as able.

Greeting

Officiant:

Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

People:

And blessed be God’s kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.

The Collect for Purity

Officiant:

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Hymn will only be sung at liturgies meeting outdoors.

Hymn of Praise

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 hear his coming,
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him, still
the dear Christ enters in.

The Collect of the Day

Officiant:

The Lord be with you.

People:

And also with you.

Officiant:

Let us pray.

O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting.

People:

Amen.

The people are seated.

We Hear God’s Word

The First Lesson
Isaiah 9:2-7

Lector:

A reading from the prophet Isaiah.

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.

You have multiplied the nation,
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as people exult when dividing plunder.

For the yoke of their burden,
and the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.

For all the boots of the tramping warriors
and all the garments rolled in blood
shall be burned as fuel for the fire.

For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, 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.

Lector:

The word of the Lord.

People:

Thanks be to God.

The Psalm 96
Cantate Domino

1 Sing to the Lord a new song; *
sing to the Lord, all the whole earth.
2 Sing to the Lord and bless his Name; *
proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day.

3 Declare his glory among the nations *
and his wonders among all peoples.
4 For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; *
he is more to be feared than all gods.

5 As for all the gods of the nations, they are but idols; *
but it is the Lord who made the heavens.
6 Oh, the majesty and magnificence of his presence! *
Oh, the power and the splendor of his sanctuary!

7 Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples; *
ascribe to the Lord honor and power.
8 Ascribe to the Lord the honor due his Name; *
bring offerings and come into his courts.

9 Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; *
let the whole earth tremble before him.
10 Tell it out among the nations: “The Lord is King! *
he has made the world so firm that it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity."

11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
let the sea thunder and all that is in it; *
let the field be joyful and all that is therein.
12 Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy
before the Lord when he comes, *
when he comes to judge the earth.

13 He will judge the world with righteousness *
and the peoples with his truth.

The Second Lesson
Titus 2:11-14

Lector:

A reading from Paul’s letter to Titus.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

Lector:

The word of the Lord.

People:

Thanks be to God.

Sequence Hymn

Away in a Manger

1
Away in a manger, no crib for his bed,
the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay;
the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

2
The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
but little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.
I love thee, Lord Jesus! Look down from the sky,
and stay by my side until morning is nigh.

3
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 fit us for heaven to live with thee there.

The people stand as able.

The Holy Gospel
Luke 2:1-20

Deacon:

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.

People:

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

Deacon:

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. 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 Savior, 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 favors!”

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. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Deacon:

The Gospel of the Lord.

People:

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The people are seated.
A brief homily, spiritual conversation, or moment of silence may be placed here.
Silence follows the homily.

We Respond in Faith

BCP 358

The Nicene Creed

The people stand as able.
Officiant and People:

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God,
Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Prayers of the People

Deacon:

As we join the angels and celebrate with joy the birth of the Son of God, let us offer prayers to God who gives new birth to sons and daughters in every place, saying: Glory and praise to you, O living God.

Leader:

By the birth of the timeless Son of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary, let us pray.

People:

Glory and praise to you, O living God.

Leader:

For all believers who put their trust in the incarnate Son of God, remembering especially our sister churches in the Anglican Communion and in the Diocese of New Jersey, let us pray.

People:

Glory and praise to you, O living God.

Leader:

For Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury; Michael, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church; William, our Diocesan Bishop; John, our Deacon; Todd, our Rector; and for all the holy people of God, let us pray.

People:

Glory and praise to you, O living God.

Leader:

For all nations and their leaders, including Donald, our president; Joseph, our president-elect; Phil, our Governor; and John, our mayor; and leaders of all our surrounding communities, let us pray.

People:

Glory and praise to you, O living God.

Leader:

For the Borough of Glassboro and its residents including students, faculty and staff of Rowan University and Glassboro Public Schools; and for all we love, let us pray.

People:

Glory and praise to you, O living God.

Leader:

For travelers, and those in desperate need: the poor, the hungry, homeless, and oppressed, victims of violence and abuse, orphans, prisoners, refugees, captives, and their families, let us pray.

People:

Glory and praise to you, O living God.

Leader:

For the sick and suffering, the dying and the dead, and our loved ones whom we remember either silently or aloud, let us pray.

People:

Glory and praise to you, O living God.

Leader:

Remembering our most glorious and blessed Virgin Mary, blessed Thomas and all the saints, let us offer ourselves and one another to the living God through Christ.

People:

To you, O Lord.

Celebrant:

Source of light and gladness, accept the prayers we offer on this joyful feast. May we grow in Jesus Christ who unites our lives to yours and who is Lord for all eternity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Passing the Peace is primarily a liturgical practice, not a social one. While the threat of Covid-19 is prominent, the peace will be brief. Please do not move around or make contact (shaking hands, hugs) with others. Instead you are invited to look to the person on either side of you and wish them peace with a bow or a wave.

The Peace

Presider:

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

People:

And also with you.

We greet one another in the name of the Lord.
The people are seated.

The Announcements

We Offer Ourselves to God

An offering basin will not be passed around. It may be found on the Safety Coordinator’s table, and donations left there as you exit.

Offertory 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, good will to men,
from heaven’s 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
bend on hovering wing,
and ever o’er its Babel sounds
the blessed angels sing.

BCP 361

The Great Thanksgiving: Eucharistic Prayer A

Presider:

The Lord be with you.

People:

And also with you.

Presider:

Lift up your hearts.

People:

We lift them to the Lord.

Presider:

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

People:

It is right to give God thanks and praise.

The Presider continues:

It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

Because you gave Jesus Christ, your only Son, to be born for us; who, by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, was made perfect Man of the flesh of the Virgin Mary his mother; so that we might be delivered from the bondage of sin, and receive power to become your children.

Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:

Sanctus

Presider and People:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

The Presider continues:

Holy and gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us for yourself; and, when we had fallen into sin and become subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent Jesus Christ, your only and eternal Son, to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of all.

He stretched out his arms upon the cross, and offered himself in obedience to your will, a perfect sacrifice for the whole world.

On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”

After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”

Presider:

Therefore we proclaim the mystery of faith:

People:

Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.

The Presider continues:

We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O Father, in this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Recalling his death, resurrection, and ascension, we offer you these gifts.

Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him. Sanctify us also that we may faithfully receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom.

Presider:

All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ. By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever.

People:

AMEN.

The Lord’s Prayer

Presider:

And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,

Officiant and People:

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.

The Breaking of the Bread

Presider:

Alleluia. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

People:

Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia.

Presider:

The Gifts of God for the People of God.

We Receive the Gift of God

Receiving Communion during Covid:

Please remain where you are, standing or seated in prayer. After the presider has received the Sacrament in both kinds, donned a mask, and carefully sanitized hands, the presider will bring the sacrament to each person in turn.

If you wish to receive communion physically:

  1. Hold out your cupped hands to receive the bread. The presider will drop the host into your hands without making contact. (If you prefer to receive gluten-free bread, please tell the presider so.)
  2. Wait until the presider has moved away to remove your mask, consume the host, and replace you mask.
  3. Communion will be offered in one kind only (just the bread). This is still full communion.
If a person desires to receive the Sacrament, but, by reason of extreme sickness or physical disability, is unable to eat and drink the Bread and Wine, the Celebrant is to assure that person that all the benefits of Communion are received, even though the Sacrament is not received with the mouth. (BCP, 457)

If you do not wish to receive communion physically:

  1. Cross your arms over your chest. The presider will offer you a blessing instead, again without touching.
  2. You are invited to utter the Prayer for Spiritual Communion while communion is being distributed.

Prayer for Spiritual Communion

In union, O Lord, with your faithful people at every altar of your Church, where the Holy Eucharist is now being celebrated, I desire to offer to you praise and thanksgiving. I remember your death, Lord Christ; I proclaim your resurrection; I await your coming in glory. Since I cannot receive you today in the Sacrament of your Body and Blood, I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart. Cleanse and strengthen me with your grace, Lord Jesus, and let me never be separated from you. May I live in you, and you in me, in this life and in the life to come. Amen.
(from The Prayer Book for the Armed Services)

If a person desires to receive the Sacrament, but, by reason of extreme sickness or physical disability, is unable to eat and drink the Bread and Wine, the Celebrant is to assure that person that all the benefits of Communion are received, even though the Sacrament is not received with the mouth. (BCP, 457)

BCP 365

The Post-communion Prayer

Presider:

Let us pray.

People:

Eternal God, heavenly Father,
you have graciously accepted us as living members
of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ,
and you have fed us with spiritual food
in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood.
Send us now into the world in peace,
and grant us strength and courage
to love and serve you
with gladness and singleness of heart;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Christmas Blessing

Presider:

May Almighty God, who sent his Son to take our nature upon him, bless you in this holy season, scatter the darkness of sin, and brighten your heart with the light of his holiness.

People:

Amen.

Presider:

May God, who sent his angels to proclaim the glad news of the Savior’s birth, fill you with joy, and make you heralds of the Gospel.

People:

Amen.

Presider:

May God, who in the Word made flesh joined heaven to earth and earth to heaven, give you his peace and favor.

People:

Amen.

Presider:

And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you for ever.

People:

Amen.

Processional 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 Savior, is born!
Christ, the Savior, 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.

The Dismissal

Deacon:

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People:

Thanks be to God.

In order to minimize the possibility of infecting others,
please exit the campus immediately.


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