Christmas Festival of Lessons and Carols
December 25, 2020
|Pastor: Ralph Wrightstone
||Music Director: Travis Oaks
This service of "Nine Lessons and Carols" adapts the UDM "Christmas Eve Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols" to the style of Bethel's online services during the ongoing pandemic. We hope you will find it to be a welcome addition to your celebration of this Christmas Season.
In the late 1800's, English cathedrals and churches developed a service of worship for the Advent/Christmas season that presented the story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus in Nine short Bible readings alternating with the singing of appropriate hymns and carols. That format of "Nine Lessons and Carols
" for telling the story of Jesus' coming into our world grew in popularity and has become a standard for many denominations over the past 140 years. The UMC Book of Worship
includes a Christmas Eve Service in this format and the UMC Discipleship Ministries (UDM)
has provided services in this format for Advent
and Christmas Eve
A Few Instructions
Each part of this online service consists of an audio file and, for most, a Link to a pdf file of "projection slides". Click on the symbol to play the audio file under a separate browser tab or in a new window. Then select the "Bethel Christmas Festival" browser tab or return to this window to open the Link to the "slides". It is best to stop the playing of one Audio segment and close its tab or window before starting another.
This service provides 10 opportunities for singing a carol, with one carol for each Lesson. It includes all 31 of the songs suggested in the UDM Christmas Eve Festival to leave the choice of "carol" up to you. The songs marked with an asterisk * provide one set of 10 distinct "Carols" to use for the service. Of course, you may choose any one or multiple carols to sing between the lessons...take your time. We will wait for you.
The scripture readings here are from the NIV New International Version of the Bible. We encourage you to read along with your own favorite version of the Bible.
- . Slides - WELCOME
- PROCESSIONAL HYMN
. Verses - "The Snow Lay on the Ground" . (TFWS 2093)
. Verses - * "Once in Royal David's City" . (UMH 250)
- The lighting of the 5th Candle in the Advent Wreath is not part of the UDM Lessons and Carols service but is a regular part of Bethel's Christmas Eve services:
. Slides - Lighting the Christ Candle
- . Slides - The Bidding Prayer & Lord's Prayer
- . BLESSING
The almighty God bless us with divine grace,
Christ give us the joys of everlasting life,
and unto the fellowship of the citizens above
may the King of Angels bring us all. Amen.
- . FIRST LESSON - Genesis 3:8-15,17-19
God announces in the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve's punishment for their rebellion and that the seed of woman shall bruise the serpent's head.
- . Verses - "Star Child" . (TFWS 2095)
- . Verses - * "Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus" . (UMH 196)
- . SECOND LESSON - Genesis 22:15-18
God promises to Abraham that by his descendants all the nations of the earth will obtain blessings.
- . Verses - "Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine" . (TFWS 2099)
- . Verses - "O Come, O Come Emmanuel (vs 1,2,4,7)" . (UMH 211)
- . Verses - * "The God of Abraham Praise (vs 1-3)" . (UMH 116)
- . THIRD LESSON - Isaiah 9:2,6-7
The prophet announces the birth of a king to a people in darkness.
- . Verses - * "Wild and Lone the Prophets Voice" . (TFWS 2089)
- . Verses - "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming (vs 1,2)" . (UMH 216)
- . Verses - "All Earth is Waiting (vs 1,4)" . (UMH 210)
- . FOURTH LESSON - Isaiah 11:1-4a,6-9 or Micah 5:3-5a
The king is coming and will usher in a reign of justice for the poor and peace for all God's creation.
- . Verses - "The King of Glory Comes" . (TFWS 2091)
- . Verses - "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" . (UMH 216)
- . Verses - * "O Little Town of Bethlehem" . (UMH 230)
- . Verses - "All Earth is Waiting (Toda La Tierra)" . (UMH 210)
- . FIFTH LESSON - Luke 1:26-35,38
The angel Gabriel announces to the virgin Mary that she will give birth to God's promised Son, whose kingdom will never end.
- . Verses - "One Holy Night in Bethlehem" . (TFWS 2097)
- . Verses - "My Soul Gives Glory to My God" . (UMH 198)
- . Verses - "Tell Out, My Soul" . (UMH 200)
- . Verses - * "To a Maid Engaged to Joseph" . (UMH 215)
- . Verses - "Ye Who Claim the Faith of Jesus" . (UMH 197)
- . SIXTH LESSON - Luke 2:1-7
Against a backdrop of emperors and taxes, Jesus is born.
- . Verses - "The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy" . (TFWS 2098)
- . Verses - "He Is Born" . (UMH 228)
- . Verses - "Rock-a-Bye, My Dear Little Boy" . (UMH 235)
- . Verses - * "That Boy-Child of Mary" . (UMH 241)
- . Verses - "The First Noel (vs 1)" . (UMH 245)
- . SEVENTH LESSON - Luke 2:8-16
The shepherds go to see the Savior of the world and find him lying in a manger.
- . Verses - "Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow" . (TFWS 2096)
- . Verses - "Infant Holy, Infant Lowly" . (UMH 229)
- . Verses - "In the Bleak Midwinter (vs 1,2)" . (UMH 221)
- . Verses - * "The First Noel (vs 1,2)" . (UMH 245)
- . EIGHTH LESSON - Matthew 2:1-11
The wise men follow a star to find the child Jesus, the King of the Jews.
- . Verses - "Carol of the Epiphany" . (TFWS 2094)
- . Verses - "From a Distant Home (De Tierra Lejana Venimos)" . (UMH 243)
- . Verses - "On This Day Earth Shall Ring" . (UMH 248)
- . Verses - * "We Three Kings" . (UMH 254)
- . Verses - "In the Bleak Midwinter" . (UMH 221)
- . NINTH LESSON - John 1:1-14
John unfolds the great mystery of the Incarnation.
- . Verses - "Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne" . (TFWS 2100)
- . Verses - "O Come, All Ye Faithful" . (UMH 234)
- . Verses - * "Silent Night, Holy Night" . (UMH 239)
- . Slides . COLLECT (All Together)
- . DISMISSAL WITH BLESSING
May the Christ who by his Incarnation
gathered into One, things earthly and heavenly,
fill you with the sweetness of inward peace and goodwill;
and the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.
Go forth in peace and joy.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia!
- . GOING FORTH
Please let us know of any problems you have with or suggestions about this site by sending an email to "email@example.com". You may also contact Pastor Ralph Wrightstone directly at: 850-591-9785.