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Musical Musings: Christmas Page 2

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- Lessons & Carols (Part 2)

Service of Lessons and Carols
(Traditional Version)

Organ Processional

Something solemn, festive... perhaps a setting of a traditional carol or a trumpet voluntary.


[Oxford Carols for Choirs offers this]
Beloved in Christ, at this Christmastide let it be our care and delight to hear again the message of the angels, and in heart and mind go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing which has come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. Let us meditate on the Babe lying in a manger as we read and mark in Holy Scripture the tale of the loving purposes of God from the first days of our disobedience unto the glorious Redemption brought us by this Holy Child.

Opening Prayer

[perhaps the Collect from Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent]
O God, who have shown forth your salvation to all the ends of the earth, grant, we pray, that we may look forward in joy to the glorious Nativity of Christ. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Lesson

Genesis 3:8-15
[God announces in the Garden of Eden that the seed of woman shall bruise the serpent's head.]

First Carol

Adam Lay Y-bounden -- or --
The Lord At First Did Adam Make

Second Lesson

Genesis 22:15-18
[God promises to faithful Abraham that in his seed shall the nations of the earth be blessed.]

Second Carol

The Truth from Above

Third Lesson

Isaiah 9:1,5-6
[Christ's birth and kingdom are foretold by Isaiah.]

Third Carol

Unto Us A Boy Is Born

Fourth Lesson

Isaiah 11:1-4a,6-9
[The peace that Christ will bring is foreshown.]
-- or --
Micah 5:1-3
[The prophet Micah foretells the glory of little Bethlehem.]

Fourth Carol

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Fifth Lesson

Saint Luke 1:26-38
[The Annunciation of the Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary.]
-- or --
Isaiah 60:1-6,19
[The prophet in exile foresees the coming glory of the Lord.]

Fifth Carol

The Angel Gabriel from God Was Sent

Sixth Lesson

Saint Matthew 1:18-23
[Saint Matthew tells of the birth of Jesus.]
-- or --
Saint Luke 2:1-7
[Saint Luke tells of the birth of Jesus.]

Sixth Carol

All Poor Men and Humble

Seventh Lesson

Saint Luke 2:8-16
[The shepherds go to the manger.]

Seventh Carol

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

Eighth Lesson

Saint Matthew 2:1-11
[The wise men are led by the star to Jesus.]

Eighth Carol

As with Gladness Men of Old

Ninth Lesson

Saint John 1:1-14
[Saint John unfolds the great mystery of the Incarnation.]

Ninth Carol

Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day

Closing Prayer

[Oxford Carols for Choirs]
O God, who makest us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of thine only Son, Jesus Christ; Grant that as we joyfully receive him for our redeemer, so may we with sure confidence behold him, when he shall come to be our judge; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.


[Oxford Carols for Choirs]
May he who by his Incarnation gathered into one all things earthly and heavenly, fill you (us) with the sweetness of inward peace and goodwill. May the blessings of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be upon you (us) and remain with you (us) always. Amen.

Organ Recessional

Another festive, seasonal piece as the choir and participants leave.

 Back to Part 1: Introduction

Part 3: Simplified Service

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