December 24, 2018




SOLO “The Little Road to Bethlehem”
Words by Margaret Rose. Music by Michael Head
sung by Jane Keller

On such a night as this the mystery of birth happened
This time, we are told, among animals of the earth
Often times, children are born more comfortably, often less so
Mother and child form a new bond, families grow
Fathers rejoice and worry about the future
All the drama of life is here, on such a night as this

PROCESSIONAL HYMN WOV 237 ‘Once in Royal David’s City’
Words: © Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-95) alt
Music: Henry John Gauntlett 1805-76
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 Saviour holy.

He became our lifehood’s pattern
Loving, healing, so he grew
All he met he welcomed freely
Now he welcomes me and you
Round him now we all can meet
diverse people he does greet.

And our world at last shall see him,
Through his own redeeming style;
For that child so dear and gentle,
Walks with all, the second mile
With compassion we must live
his love to all people give.

Kia ora tatou.
Kia ora.

This first candle of hope we light is to remember those whom we have loved and lost. (First candle is lit)

We pause to remember their name, their face,
their voice, the memory that binds them to us
in this season in the hope they will
continue to make a difference to our lives
May God's caring love surround them and us

This second candle of peace we light is to mend the pain of loss; the loss of relationships, loss of jobs, loss of health and home. (Second candle is lit.)

We pause to gather up the pain of the past
and offer it to God,
asking that we receive the gift of peace.
Refresh, restore, renew us we pray,
and lead us peacefully into the future

This third candle of joy we light is for ourselves. (Third candle is lit.)

We pause to remember past weeks and months and years:
the disbelief, anger and ‘down’ times,
the poignancy of reminiscing,
hugs and handshakes of family and friends,
who stood with us.
Let us remember dawn defeats darkness
for ‘joy comes in the morning’

This fourth candle of love we light is to remember
the gift of love which the Christmas story offers us. (Fourth candle is lit.)

We remember Creativity - God companions us,
sharing our life, Being -With -Us, Emmanuel
. Let us look for new possibilities now, in the present.
Spirit of God, calm our hearts
so we can hear your still, small voice.


TIME WITH THE CHILDREN (Children are invited to come to the front)

CAROL COC 34 ‘Open, open, open the stable door’
Words and Music © 1993 Colin Gibson
Open, open, open, the stable door,
welcome, welcome, welcome, the baby's born,
enter, enter, join in the celebration, fear not, here is room for us all.

There's a flock of sheep and a cow and a donkey, welcome, welcome.
Here's a puffing shepherd, three wise men wonky, welcome, welcome. Refrain

What a crowd of folk come to see the baby, welcome, welcome.
One of them is drunk and another's crazy, welcome, welcome.

Fallen off the back of a skip just lately, welcome, welcome
Feel rather bruised, yes, and shook up greatly, welcome, welcome

Can't afford a coat and the kids are crying, welcome, welcome.
Haven't found a friend yet, but I'm still trying, welcome, welcome.

We have waited with hope for justice and righteousness.
We have waited with peace for shalom to be felt.
We have waited with joy, celebrating what has already been done.
We have waited with love, awed by how love has been shown to us.
Tonight we light the Christ candle
to celebrate the light of Love,
coming into the world though Jesus’ birth.
(Christ candle is lit.)
The light of hope and peace, joy and love
shines from that stable so long ago
into every corner of the world,
May we sing the joy of its coming.
May we live by that light today and throughout the year,
so peace and goodwill truly transform the world.

CAROL (sung seated) AA 159 ‘Who is the Child?’
Words © 1992 Shirley Erena Murray
Music by Colin Gibson © 1992 Hope Publishing Co.

Who is the child that is to be born, who is the child?
Less than a wisp of straw in a stable
Brighter than sun, the light from his candle
this is the Christ! this is the Christ! this is the Christ!

Who is to sing the song of his birth, who is to sing?
All whom the story touches and changes
Hopeful and healed, whom love rearranges
These know the song, these know the song, these know the song.

Who is to dance the dance of his birth, who is to dance?
Limbs that are leased a life into freedom,
Hands that will hold the world in a welcome,
These know the dance, these know the dance, these know the dance

Who are to be the bearers of Christ? Who are they now?
All who give birth to lovely compassion
carrying peace as dearest possession
these bear the Christ, these bear the Christ, these bear the Christ.

The Child of peace has come to dwell among us, we share the peace with one another. Feel free to pass the peace with those nearby or move to greet others further away. Passing the peace consists of shaking hands and saying “Peace be with you.” The response is “Peace be with you” or just “And with you.” Or, simply saying ‘Hello” is a good idea. Also feel free to simply observe.

CAROL (sung seated) ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’
Words: Charles Wesley (1707-88) alt.
Music: WOV 227 Felix Mendelssohn (1809-47)
Hark! The herald angels sing
glory to the newborn king,
peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled.
Joyful, all the 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 newborn king.


Hebrew Bible Isaiah 9: 2-7

CAROL (sung seated)

Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that we no more may die,
born to live as one with earth,
born to give us second birth.
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.
Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn king.

Gospel Luke 2:1-14
Read by Marilyn Wallace

ST ANDREW’S SINGERS ‘Christmas Lullaby’
Music and Words by John Rutter
St Andrew’s Singers led by Vivien Chiu

Contemporary reading From Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road by Brian McLaren
Read by Frances Porter
Perhaps in this context, we rediscover Mary as the living icon of receptivity to and participation in the new gospel way of life. Perhaps we also rediscover the social, political, economic, and theological foment of Mary’s Magnificat. And perhaps we re-tradition the idea of virgin birth as a decisive repudiation of the standard patriarchal systems of violent male dominance, evermore associating the saving power of God with the tender care of a mother’s love. Such a celebration would give new meaning to the title Saviour as applied to Jesus—a fitting focal point for Christmas Eve: Jesus, the firstborn of a new generation of humanity characterized by love, nonviolence, and solidarity with all, comes to save humanity from what it has become.

For the Word in scripture, for the Word among us,
for the Word within us, we give thanks

REFLECTION ‘On such a night as this’ Susan Jones


This money is given so those in need in Haiti, Tonga, South Sudan and South India will get the support they need. We pray for the partner organisations in those countries who use the money which is given and make decisions about priorities.
May they have the strength and wisdom they need.
May it be so, AMEN


CAROL ‘O he is born’
Words and Music Felicia Edgecumbe

All are invited to Christ’s table. Wherever you are on your faith's journey, wherever you have come from, wherever you are going to, whatever you believe, whatever you do not believe, you are welcome to participate in communion, a meal for all people.

CAROL COC 52 ‘You are born in us again’
Words & Music Mark Wilson
Music arr. © Shona Murray. Descant © Colin Gibson
You are born in us again.
Like the warmth of the summer wind you come,
to melt away the icicles of vanity and pride;
you come to blow the very doors of loving open wide.
Like the warmth of the summer wind you come, (repeat last line)

You are born in us again.
Like the scent of the summer rain you come.
You come to quench the thirsty and to freshen up the land;
you come to clean away the dust that’s settled in our hand.
Like the scent of summer rain you come, (repeat last line)

You are born in us again.
Like the light of the summer sun you come,
to give light to the places that have never seen the Son:
you come now to embrace us, you’re the holy, holy one.
Like the light of the summer sun you come, (repeat last line)


Note that communion is served by intinction (dipping). You are invited to come to the front of the church and receive the bread, or a gluten-free cracker, taking a piece large enough to dip into the wine (silver cup) or grape juice (pottery cup). Then you are invited to eat the bread/cracker you have dipped in wine or juice. If you find moving difficult a server will roam the church, just raise your hand if you wish to be served. If you don't wish to receive communion, you are welcome to remain in your seat.
We value your presence with us.


The light from the Christ candle is brought to the end of the rows. The first person tips their candle to receive the light. They then hold their candle upright as the next person tips their candle to receive the light and so on….

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

Silent night, holy night: wondrous star, lend your light;
with the angels let us sing ‘Alleluia to our King’;
Christ our Saviour is born, Christ our Saviour is born.

While shepherds watched their flocks by night, all seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down, and glory shone around
‘Fear not,’ said he (for mighty dread had seized their troubled mind),
‘glad tidings of great joy I bring to you and humankind.

‘To you in David’s town this day is born of David’s line
A Saviour, who is Christ the Lord; and this shall be the sign:
‘the heavenly babe you there shall find to human view displayed,
All meanly wrapped in swaddling clothes and in a manger laid.’

COC 47 ‘When Joseph and Mary’
Words and Music © 1996 Colin Gibson
(Music next page)
When Joseph and Mary were turned from the inn
and came to a cattle shed, the animals watched as they drew near
And this is what some of them said
“They don’t belong,” huffed a billy goat strong,
And stretched himself out on his bed;
‘They’re much too big,” squealed a grumbling pig
“let them find somewhere else to be fed.”

When Joseph and Mary were turned from the inn
a barn was their bed that night;
the animals crowded around them both,
and blinked in the bright candlelight.
“Here you may sleep,” baaed a motherly sheep,
“your pillow my wool soft and white,”
“I’ll keep you warm,” hawed the ass, with a yawn,
“for a shelter is everyone’s right.”
When Joseph and Mary are turned from the inn
and look for a room once more,
we watch as they pass to some other stall
or stand in a queue for the poor.
“they don’t belong,” so it’s “hurry along”;
if charity fails, there’s the law.
“Not now,” we say; yes, they will go away
if we shut the indifferent door.

Carol our Christmas, an upside down Christmas;
snow is not falling and trees are not bare.
Carol the summer, and welcome the Christ child,
warm in our sunshine and sweetness of air.

Right side up Christmas belongs to the universe,
made in the moment a woman gives birth;
hope is the Jesus gift, love is the offering,
everywhere, anywhere here on the earth.

May the blessings of life be upon us all.
May the love we share bring strength and joy to our hearts,
as we live into the just reign of God,
and peace be with us all until we meet again. AMEN

RECESSIONAL CAROL WOV 228 ‘O Come, all ye faithful’
Music John Francis Wade. Public Domain
Words C. Frederick Oakeley (alt) Public Domain
O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold him, born above the angels;
O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

O sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,
sing all who celebrate God's holy word.
To the Creator, glory in the Highest;
O come, let us adore Him...

This bright night, we greet you, born this happy season,
Jesus! for evermore your name be adored.
Word spoken truly, now with us appearing;
O come, let us adore Him….

THANK YOU Peter Franklin
Jane Keller, St Andrew’s Singers and Vivien Chiu
Our Musicians today
Unless otherwise stated all hymns are used by permission CCLI Licence 3341550
Any liturgy not acknowledged will be written by Susan Jones. This can be used without permission but please acknowledge the source.

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