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Christmas Day


The Greeting

Prayers of Penitence, and Absolution

Bible Readings, and Sermon

Prayers of Intercession

The Peace

Preparation of the Altar

The Eucharistic Prayer

Breaking of the Bread

The Giving of Communion, and Prayer after Communion

Blessing, and Dismissal


Before the service begins we hear any notices/Banns of Marriage, and then hold a short time of silence.

The Gathering

A Hymn is sung.

Processional Hymn

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.

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 blessèd angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife

the world has suffered long;

beneath the angel-strain have rolled

two thousand years of wrong;

and warring humankind hears not

the love-song which they bring:

O hush the noise, ye men of strife,

and hear the angels sing.

For lo, the days are hastening on,

by prophet-bards foretold,

when, with the ever-circling years

comes round the age of gold;

when peace shall over all the earth

its ancient splendours fling,

and the whole world give back the song

which now the angels sing.

Edmund Hamilton Sears (1810–76)
English traditional melody
adapted by Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900)

The Greeting

In the name of the Father

And of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit


The Lord be with you.

and also with you.

The president introduces the service.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,

to whom all hearts are open,

all desires known,

and from whom no secrets are hidden:

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.


Prayers of Penitence

We are invited to confess our sins in these or other suitable words.

The sun of righteousness has dawned

with healing in his wings.

Let us come to the light of Christ,

confessing our sins in penitence and faith.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,

we have sinned against you

and against our neighbour

in thought and word and deed,

through negligence, through weakness,

through our own deliberate fault.

We are truly sorry

and repent of all our sins.

For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,

who died for us,

forgive us all that is past

and grant that we may serve you in newness of life

to the glory of your name.



May God who loved the world so much

that he sent his Son to be our Saviour

forgive us our sins

and make us holy to serve him in the world,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Gloria in Excelsis

Glory to God in the highest,

And peace to his people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King,

Almighty God and Father,

We worship you, we give you thanks,

We praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God,

You take away the sin of the world:

Have mercy on us;

You are seated at the right hand of the Father:

Receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy one,

You alone are the Lord,

You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,

With the Holy Spirit,

In the glory of God the Father.


The Collect

The president introduces a time of prayer.

Let us pray in the peace of this Christmas celebration

that our joy in the birth of Christ will last for ever.

Silence is kept.

Almighty God,

you have given us your only–begotten Son

to take our nature upon him

and as at this time to be born of a pure virgin:

grant that we, who have been born again

and made your children by adoption and grace,

may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.


The Liturgy of the Word

We sit to hear readings from the Bible.

Old Testament Reading

Isaiah 9.2–7

2 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.

3 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.

4 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.

5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors

and all the garments rolled in blood

shall be burned as fuel for the fire.

6 For a child has been born for us,

a son given to us;

authority rests upon his shoulders;

and he is named

Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 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 onwards and for evermore.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

New Testament Reading

Titus 2.11–14

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all,12training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, 13while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 14He 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.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading

We stand and face the Gospel book to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.
This acclamation may be used.

Alleluia, alleluia.

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,

and we have seen his glory.


When the Gospel is announced the reader says:

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ

According to Luke.

Glory to you, O Lord.

Luke 2.1–14

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph 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. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And 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.

8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

14 ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.


A sermon is preached. A short time of silence may follow.

Nicene Creed

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,

was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and 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,

who with the Father and the Son

is worshipped and glorified,

who 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.

Prayers of Intercession

The president introduces the prayers in these or some other suitable words.

In the power of the Spirit,

and in union with Christ,

let us pray to the Father.

Please sit or kneel to pray.
The prayers may end with:

Merciful Father

Accept these prayers

For the sake of your Son

Our Saviour Jesus Christ.


The Liturgy of the Sacrament


Stand. The president introduces the Peace.

This holy night the angels sang,

‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and on earth peace to all in whom he delights.’

The peace of the Lord be always with you

And also with you.

We share a sign of God’s Peace with one another. The gifts are gathered and the altar is prepared. To give a financial offering, click here. A hymn is sung.

Offertory Hymn

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.

O morning stars, together

proclaim the holy birth,

and praises sing to God the King,

and peace to men on earth.

For Christ is born of Mary;

and, gathered all above,

while mortals sleep, the angels keep

their watch of wondering love.

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.

O holy Child of Bethlehem,

descend to us, we pray;

cast out our sin, and enter in,

be born in us to-day.

We hear the Christmas angels

the great glad tidings tell:

O come to us, abide with us,

our Lord Emmanuel.

Phillips Brooks (1835–93)
Forest Green, English traditional melody

Preparation of the Table

When the altar is prepared, the following prayer is said.

Word made flesh, life of the world,

in your incarnation you embraced our poverty:

by your Spirit may we share in your riches.


Eucharistic Prayer
Prayer B

The Lord is here

His spirit is with us

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

All glory and honour be yours always and everywhere,

mighty creator, ever-living God.

We give you thanks and praise for your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ,

who for love of our fallen race humbled himself,

and was born of the Virgin Mary

by the power of your Spirit,

and lived as one of us.

In this mystery of the Word made flesh

you have caused his light to shine in our hearts,

to give knowledge of your glory in the face of Jesus Christ.

In him we see our God made visible

and so are caught up in the love of the God we cannot see.

Therefore with all the angels of heaven

we lift our voices to proclaim the glory of your name

and sing our joyful hymn of praise:

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.

Lord, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness;

grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit,

and according to your holy will,

these gifts of bread and wine

may be to us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ;

who, in the same night that he was betrayed,

took bread and gave you thanks;

he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying:

Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;

do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper

he took the cup and gave you thanks;

he gave it to them, saying:

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.

Do this, as often as you drink it,

in remembrance of me.

Great is the mystery of faith:

Christ has died:

Christ is risen:

Christ will come again.

And so, Father, calling to mind his death on the cross,

his perfect sacrifice made once for the sins of the whole world;

rejoicing in his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension,

and looking for his coming in glory,

we celebrate this memorial of our redemption.

As we offer you this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving,

we bring before you this bread and this cup

and we thank you for counting us worthy

to stand in your presence and serve you.

Send the Holy Spirit on your people

and gather into one in your kingdom

all who share this one bread and one cup,

so that we, in the company of Mary, the mother of our Lord, and all the saints,

may praise and glorify you for ever,

through Jesus Christ our Lord;

by whom, and with whom, and in whom,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father,

for ever and ever.


The Lord’s Prayer

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,

as our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

Our Father in heaven,

Hallowed be your name,

Your kingdom come,

Your will be done,

On earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

As we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

But deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

And the glory are yours

Now and forever.


Breaking of the Bread

The president breaks the consecrated bread and says:

We break this bread

To share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many, we are one body,

Because we all share in one bread.

The Agnus Dei may be said or sung as the bread is broken:

Lamb of God,

You take away the sin of the world,

Have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,

You take away the sin of the world,

Have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,

You take away the sin of the world,

Grant us peace.

Giving of Communion

We are all invited to receive the sacrament.

Jesus is the Lamb of God

Who takes away the sin of the world.

Blessed are those who are called to his supper.

Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,

But only say the word, and I shall be healed.

All are welcome to come to receive Holy Communion or a Blessing. During the distribution of Communion Anthems and Hymns may be sung. Otherwise, silence is kept.

Communion Hymns

Silent night, holy night:

sleeps the world; hid from sight,

Mary and Joseph in stable bare

watch o’er the Child belovèd and fair

sleeping in heavenly rest.

Silent night, holy night:

shepherds first saw the light,

heard resounding clear and long,

far and near, the angel-song:

‘Christ the Redeemer is here!’

Silent night, holy night:

Son of God, O how bright

love is smiling from thy face!

Strikes for us now the hour of grace,

Saviour, since thou art born!

John Freeman Young c.1859, based on Joseph Mohr (1792-1848)
Stille Nacht, Franz Gruber (1787-1863)

Prayer after Communion

This prayer is said.

God our Father,

whose Word has come among us

in the Holy Child of Bethlehem:

may the light of faith illumine our hearts

and shine in our words and deeds;

through him who is Christ the Lord.


Almighty God,

We thank you for feeding us

With the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ. Through him we offer you our souls and bodies

to be a living sacrifice.

Send us out in the power of your Spirit

To live and work to your praise and glory.


A Hymn is sung.

Post Communion Hymn

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 th’angelic host proclaim,

Christ is born in Bethlehem.

Hark! the herald angels sing

glory to the new-born King.

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 th’incarnate Deity!

Pleased as man on earth to dwell,

Jesus, our Emmanuel.

Hark! the herald angels sing

glory to the new-born King.

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!

Hail the Sun of Righteousness!

Light and life to all he brings,

risen with healing in his wings;

mild he lays his glory by,

born that we no more may die,

born to raise our souls from earth,

born to give them second birth.

Hark! the herald angels sing

glory to the new-born King.

Charles Wesley (1707–88)
Felix Mendelssohn (1809–47)

Blessing and Dismissal

Christ, who by his incarnation gathered into one

things earthly and heavenly,

fill you with peace and goodwill

and make you partakers of the divine nature;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.


Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ. Amen.

Copyright acknowledgement: Material used in this service is copyright: Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England © The Archbishops’ Council 2000; © Common Worship: Times & Seasons.

Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Monkseaton. Registered Charity No. 1131532


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