Nine Lessons and Carols
After I wrote the poems to parallel the Nine Lessons and Carols, I thought I might have some fun placing them among hymns and carols, so that is what is included in this posts.
As you read this, you'll find some of the music which floated through my Advent and Christmas season, music that I just like, and music that I found for just this post. Not all of them are carols. I don't imagine that any congregation could actually sing all of these songs -- probably way to0 much, but I did have fun picking them.
Scripture and poems are hyperlinked. Some music is. Hymn numbers are from the United Methodist Hymnal unless otherwise specified.
Holy Creator, we come to the incarnation of your son as a people in darkness. We are broken, sinful and lost. We are in need of grace. Fill our worship this day with light and joy, inhabit our praises, encourage our confessions and affirm our forgiveness. You are the source of every blessing. Awaken our realization of your grace. In the name of the son you sent to bring us into the light, Amen.
Call To Worship:
Leader: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of Power and might, come to us today. We lived in darkness, and yet you have graced us with light.
People: Sing verse 1 of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing using tune Hyfrydol (Hymn 400 (Robert Robinson); tune found with hymn 196)
Come, thou fount of every blessingLeader: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of Power and might, light for us your way. Teach us your Word, lead us in songs of praise.
Tune my heart to sing thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it
Mount of thy redeeming love.
All: Come, Emmanuel, joy of every longing heart.
First Lesson from Genesis 3: 8–15; 17–19 (Adam and Eve, hiding in the garden)
Poem: Walking into DarknessSecond Lesson from Genesis 22: 15–18 (Abraham and Issac)
Hymn: I want to walk as a Child of light (Kathleen Thomerson) (206)
Reading: Canticle of Light and Darkness (205) using Response 2
Poem: Can You Even Imagine?Transition: Sing verse 1, In the Bleak Midwinter (Christina G. Rossetti, Gustav Holst) (221)
Hymn: Lord of the Dance, Verse 1 (Sydney Carter) (261)
Hymn: Love came down at Christmas (Christina G. Rosetti) (242)
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moanThird Lesson from Isaiah 9: 2; 6–7 (Light in darkness)
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
Poem: Could We Dare Dream of This?Fourth Lesson from Isaiah 11: 1–3a; 4a; 6–9 (Lion and Lamb)
Carol: O Little Town of Bethlehem (Phillips Brooks, Lewis H. Redner) (230)
Hymn: Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus (Charles Wesley, Rowland H. Prichard) (196)
Poem: PeaceTransition: Sing verse 2, In the Bleak Midwinter (221)
Carol: Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming (Theodore Baker +) (216)
Hymn: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (211)
Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain;Time of Prayer
Heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
Prayer Response from Congregation:
Emmanuel, Emmanuel (Bob McGee) (204)
Fifth Lesson from the Luke 1: 26–35; 38 (Mary’s dream)
Poem: ExpectationsSixth Lesson from Luke 2: 1; 3–7 (the Birth of Jesus)
Solo Anthem: Breath of Heaven – Words & Music by Amy Grant and Chris Eaton
Carol: To a Maid Engaged to Joseph (Gracia Grindal, Rusty Edwards) (215)
Poem: His Wife SleptTransition: Sing verse 3, In the Bleak Midwinter (221)
Carol: What Child is this? (William C. Dix) (219)
Solo Anthem: Joseph’s Song – Music and Lyrics by Michael Card
Angels and archangels may have gathered there,Seventh Lesson from Luke 2: 8–16 (The Shepherds and the Angels)
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air
But his mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.
Poem: Light in a MangerEighth Lesson from the Matthew 2: 1–12 (Wise men)
Carol: O come, all ye faithful (John F. Wade) (234)
Responsive Singing: Rise up Shepherd and Follow (Afro-American Spiritual) (TFWS, 2096)
Poem: Star Leading to LightNinth Lesson from the John 1: 1–14 (Word)
Carol: Sing we now of Christmas (Traditional French Carol) (237)
Poem: Word With UsOffertory: Trombone and piano duet of Sing we now of Christmas/God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Hymn: Go Tell it on the Mountain (Afro-American Spiritual) (251)
Prayer of Dedication:
Response: Sing verse 4, In the Bleak Midwinter (221)
What can I give him, poor as I am?Benediction:
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can give him: give my heart.
Rise up, people of God. You are blessed beyond imagination. Christ is alive in this world and in you! You are a people transformed by Grace. Go forth, as one blessed by God, and be the light in the world. Amen.
Response: Sing Verse 4 of Hidden Christ, Alive for Ever to Hyfrydol
(Hymn 102 in Upper Room Worship Book (Brian Wren); Tune found with hymn 196)
Christ our hope, alive among us, take our love, our work, our prayerPostlude
We will trust and tell your purpose, braving evil and despair;
In your name befriending, mending, making peace and setting free,
Showing, giving, and acclaiming signs of joy and jubilee.