A Festival of Lessons and Carols

Once in David's Royal City

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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.

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 Savior holy.

And, through all His wondrous childhood,
He would honor and obey,
Love and watch the lowly maiden,
In whose gentle arms He lay:
Christian children all must be
Mild, obedient, good as He.
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 feeleth for our sadness,
And He shareth in our gladness.Carol

And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love,
For that Child so dear and gentle
Is our Lord in Heav’n above,
And He leads His children on
To the place where He is gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see Him; but in Heaven,
Set at God’s right hand on high;
Where like stars His children crowned
All in white shall wait around.

Opening Prayer:

Eternal God, this day is radiant with the brilliance of Your one true light, Jesus Christ. As we hear the story of Christmas again, in readings and carols, we thank you for Your gift of Jesus, born in Bethlehem to be our Savior. We pray that you will open our hearts to Your word, and that Your Holy Spirit will help us hear afresh the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray.

Click on links below for Lessons with reading, art work, and carol.

FIRST LESSON: Genesis 3:8-15,17-19 
(The Disobedience of Adam and Eve)
Carol: In the Bleak Midwinter
SECOND LESSON: Genesis 22:15-18
(Abraham's Obedience and blessing)
Carol: Creator of the Stars of Night
THIRD LESSON: Isaiah 9:2,6-7
(God Promises a Messiah)
Carol: Lo, How a Rose E'r Blooming
FOURTH LESSON: Isaiah 11:1-3a,4a,6-9
(The Peace That Christ Will Bring)
Carol: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
FIFTH LESSON: The Gospel of Luke 1:26-35,38
(The Angel Gabriel Salutes Mary)
Carol: Gabriel's Message
SIXTH LESSON: The Gospel of Luke 2:1,3-7
(Jesus is Born in Bethlehem)
Carol: Good Christian Men Rejoice
SEVENTH LESSON: The Gospel of Luke 2:8-16
(The Good News Comes to the Shepherds)
Carol: Angels We Have Heard on High
EIGHTH LESSON: The Gospel of Matthew 2:1-12
(The wise men come to worship Jesus)
Carol: We Three Kings
NINTH LESSON: The Gospel of John 1:1-14
(The great mystery of the incarnation)
Carol: Joy to the World

Prayer for Peace:

Lord God, you are glorious in the highest heavens. You send peace on earth among those whom you favor. As we have heard again your plan of salvation and the good news of Jesus' birth, we pray: give peace to your church, peace among the nations, peace in our homes, and peace in our hearts; through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.



O Little Town of Bethlehem (Tune, Forest Green)

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 Acknowledgments (Click here for sources of texts and music).