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2014 Festival of Lessons & Carols

 

Welcome to our Festival of Lessons & Carols on December 24, 2014 at 4:00 – 5:15 PM.

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Through readings from God’s Holy Word, we will recount the dramatic history of salvation. We will survey the whole panorama of redemptive history from the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2-3, through the promises to the Patriarchs, the Prophets, the Psalms, and to their climactic fulfillment in the Gospels: the Incarnation of the Eternal Word. Finally, we look forward to the return of the God-Man to this earth in Revelation 21-22.

Patterned after Scriptures’ covenantal dialogue between God and his people, God speaks in the Scripture read and briefly explained; then the people respond in songs of praise.

This service is modeled after the Anglican “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” first drawn up for a Christmas Eve service in 1880. This “festival” was later modified in 1918 for King’s College in Cambridge, England. Since then, this service has been adapted for use in Christian churches all over the world.

You can listen live online to the Festival at King’s College on BBC Radio 4 on 24 December at 11:00 PM Philippine time.

We hope this service causes you to reflect with wonder and awe upon the great significance of the incarnation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to trust in Him alone for salvation, and to look forward with hope to His second coming.

Below is our liturgy.

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THE BIRTH OF JESUS IN THE PROPHETS, PSALMS AND GOSPELS

God Calls Us to Worship

Call to Worship: Psalm 98:1-4; Galatians 4:4-5
Prayer of Invocation

The Birth of Jesus in the Prophets and the Psalms

First Lesson: After Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, God announces that the Seed of the woman shall crush the head of the serpent.

Scripture: Genesis 3:14-15; Psalm 2:7-9
Song: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” (Blue Psalter Hymnal #331:1, 3, 5)

Second Lesson: God promises to faithful Abraham that in his seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.

Scripture: Genesis 22:15-18; Psalm 110:1-4
Song: “Joy to the World!” (Blue #337:1-4)

Third Lesson: The prophet Isaiah foretells the coming of the Savior, the Son of God.

Scripture: Isaiah 9:6-7, 53:7-10; Psalm 72:17
Song: “To Us a Child of Hope is Born” (tune only: “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night” #338)

1 To us a child of hope is born,
To us a son is giv’n,
Him shall the tribes of earth obey,
Him all the hosts of heaven. (Repeat last line)

2 His name shall be the Prince of Peace,
For evermore adored,
The Wonderful, the Counselor,
The great and mighty Lord. (Repeat last line)

3 His power, increasing, still shall spread,
His reign no end shall know;
Justice shall guard his throne above,
And peace abound below. (Repeat last line)

Fourth Lesson: The Lord promises to raise up a righteous branch from the tree of David who will be the Good Shepherd of his people.

Scripture: Jeremiah 23:2-6; Psalm 23:1-3, 6
Songs:

“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” (Blue #331:2, 4)

“The LORD’s My Shepherd” (Blue #38:1, 2, 5)

The Birth of Jesus in the Gospels

Fifth Lesson: The angel Gabriel announces to the blessed virgin Mary the birth of Jesus, the Son of the Most High God.

Scripture: Luke 1:30-35; Psalm 132:11
Song: “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” (Blue #335:1-2)

Sixth Lesson: The Gospel of Luke narrates the birth of Jesus.

Scripture: Luke 2:1-16; Psalm 148:4
Song: “Angels We Have Heard on High”

Seventh Lesson (Sermon): True Comfort for God’s People

Scripture: Isaiah 40:1-5; Luke 2:22-36

1. The Serious Need for Comfort
2. Israel’s Fleeting Comfort
3. The Christian’s Eternal Comfort

Song: “Fairest Lord Jesus” (Blue #373:1, 3, 4)

Eighth Lesson: The apostle John unfolds the great mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God.

Scripture: Psalm 18:27-28; John 1:1-14 (Responsive Reading)

Minister: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

Congregation: All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

M: In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

C: There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

M: The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.

C: He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.

M: But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

ALL: And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Our Blessed Hope

Ninth Lesson: Our blessed hope is the Second Coming of Christ with the new heaven and new earth.

Scripture: Psalm 48:1-3; Revelation 21:1-4; 22:20
Song: “O Come, All Ye Faithful” (Blue #341:1-3)

We Go Forth Glorifying and Praising God

Prayer of Thanksgiving
Benediction: 2 Corinthians 13:14
Doxology: “Angels, from the Realms of Glory” (Blue #340:5)

Saints and angels join in praising
Thee, the Father, Spirit, Son,
Evermore their voices raising
To th’ Eternal Three in One.
Come and worship, come and worship!
Worship Christ, the newborn King!

Amen! Three-fold Amen

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