December 24, 2013 - Christmas Eve Candlelight Service


Carol Sing  (1st stanza only)

151. Go, Tell It on the Mountain
152. Angels We Have Heard on High
155. O Little Town of Bethlehem
157. Good Christian Friends, Rejoice
162. The First Noel, the Angel Did Say

ORGAN PRELUDE:  Weinachten, Max Reger

* HYMN No. 173:  O Come, All Ye Faithful


Minister:  Let us go, in heart and mind, to see what has come to pass.  Let us go with the shepherds:
People:  Let us go to find the Savior!
Minister:  Let us go with the wise ones:
People:  Let us go to find God’s promise, born for us!
Minister:  Let us go with the poor and humble:
People:  Let us go to find our King, born in a lowly manger.
Minister:  Let us go with all the world, with all the peoples of the nations. Come, let us worship; come, let us adore him:
People:  Christ the Lord!

* HYMN No. 145Of the Father’s Love Begotten


FIRST LESSON:  Isaiah 9: 2-7

The people who walked in darkness
   have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
   on them light has shined. 
You have multiplied the nation,
   you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
   as with joy at the harvest,
   as people exult when dividing plunder. 
For the yoke of their burden,
   and the bar across their shoulders,
   the rod of their oppressor,
   you have broken as on the day of Midian. 
For all the boots of the tramping warriors
   and all the garments rolled in blood
   shall be burned as fuel for the fire. 
For a child has been born for us,
   a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
   and he is named
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 
His authority shall grow continually,
   and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
   He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
   from this time onwards and for evermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. 

ANTHEM:  Candlelight Carol, John Rutter

How do you capture the wind on the water?  How do you count all the stars in the sky?  How can you measure the love of a mother, or how can you write down a baby's first cry?  Candlelight, angel light, firelight and starglow shine on his cradle til breaking of dawn.  Gloria in excelsis Deo!  Angels are singing; the Christ child is born.

Shepherds and wise men will kneel and adore him, seraphim round him their vigil will keep; nations proclaim him their Lord and their Savior, but Mary will hold him and sing him to sleep.  Candlelight, angel light, firelight and starglow shine on his cradle til breaking of dawn.  Gloria in excelsis Deo!  Angels are singing; the Christ child is born.

Find him at Bethlehem laid in a manger; Christ our Redeemer asleep in the hay.  Godhead incarnate and hope of salvation: a child with his mother that first Christmas Day.  Candlelight, angel light, firelight and starglow shine on his cradle til breaking of dawn.  Gloria in excelsis Deo!  Angels are singing; the Christ child is born.

SECOND LESSON:  Luke 2: 1-7

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

ANTHEM:  Sing We Now of Christmas, arr. John Leavitt

Sing we now of Christmas, Noel sing we here.  Hear our grateful praises to the Babe so dear.  Sing we Noel, the King is born, Noel!  

Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Angels called to shepherds, “Leave your flocks at rest, journey forth to Bethlehem, find the lambkin blest.”

From the eastern country came kings from afar, bearing gifts to Bethlehem, guided by a star.

THIRD LESSON:  Luke 2: 8-20

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child;and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them

ANTHEM:  All My Heart This Night Rejoices, Z. Randall Stroope

The Chamber Choir

All my heart, all this night rejoices, as I hear far and near sweetest angel voices, "Gloria in excelsis Deo!"  All the air, and everywhere, "Gloria!"  Come let us all both great and small sing "Gloria!"  Hail the star where hope is burning, "Gloria!"  Love Who with love is yearning, ever yearning, "Gloria! 

All my heart, all this night rejoices, as I hear, far and near sweetest angel voices, "Gloria in excelsis Deo!"  All the air, and everywhere, "Gloria!"  Come and dwell in glory forever and ever.  Far on high in joy that can alter never.  Dwell in the house of Love forever, ever and ever gloria!

FOURTH LESSON:  John 1: 1-14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

ANTHEM:  Christmas Lullaby, John Rutter

Clear in the darkness a light shines in Bethlehem: angels are singing, their sound fills the air.  Wise men have journeyed to greet their Messiah; but only a mother and and baby lie there.  “Ave Maria”: hear the soft lullaby the angel hosts sing.  “Ave Maria, maiden, and mother of Jesus our King”.

Where are his courtiers, and who are his people?  Why does he bear neither sceptre nor crown?  Shepherds his courtiers, the poor for his people, with peace as his sceptre and love for his crown.  “Ave Maria”: hear the soft lullaby the angel hosts sing.  “Ave Maria, maiden, and mother of Jesus our King”.

What though your treasures are not gold or incense?  Lay them before him with hearts full of love.  Praise to the Christ child, and praise to his mother who bore us a Saviour by grace from above.  “Ave Maria”: hear the soft lullaby the angel hosts sing.  “Ave Maria, maiden, and mother of Jesus our King”.

* HYMN No. 146:  Joy to the World! The Lord is Come

MEDITATION:  Meeting God, Meeting Us, Rev. Thomas C.Goodhart

* HYMN No. 152:  Angels We Have Heard on High

    Offertory Prayer 
    Lord’s Prayer
    Offertory:  On This Day Earth Shall Ring, H. C. Stewart

On this day earth shall ring with the song children sing to the Son, Christ the King.  Born on earth to save us, Him the Father gave us, Ideo.  Gloria in excelsis Deo.  His the doom, ours the mirth, when He came down to earth, Bethlehem saw His birth, ox and ass beside Him, from the cold would hide Him.  Ideo.  Gloria in excelsis Deo. God’s bright star o’er His head, wise me three to Him led, kneel thy low by His bed, lay their gifts before Him, praise Him and adore Him. Ideo.  Gloria in excelsis Deo.  On this day angels sing, with their song earth shall ring praising Christ, Heaven’s King.  Born on earth to save us, peace and love He gave us.  Ideo.  Gloria in excelsis Deo.

* HYMN No. 155:  O Little Town of Bethlehem

ANTHEM:  Still, Still, Stillarr. Norman Luboff

Still, still, still, one can hear the falling snow.  For all is hushed, the world is sleeping, Holy Star its vigil keeping.  Sleep, sleep, sleep, ‘tis the eve of our Saviour’s birth.  The night is peaceful all around you, Close your eyes, let sleep surround you.  Dream, dream, dream of the joyous day to come.  While guardian angels without number watch you as you sweetly slumber. 

SOLO:  O Holy Night, Adolphe Adam

Glenn D. Alamilla, tenor



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!  Shepherds quake at the sight.  Glories stream from heaven afar, Heavenly hosts sing: “Alleluia, Christ the Saviour is born, Christ the Saviour is born.”

Silent night! holy night!  Son of God, love’s pure Light, Radiant beams from Thy holy face, With the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

Silent night!  holy night!  Wondrous Star, lend thy light, With the angels let us sing, Alleluia to our King; Christ the Saviour is born, Christ the Saviour is born.


WE WELCOME to the pulpit the Rev. Thomas C. Goodhart, minister of the Trinity Reformed Church in Ridgewood, Queens.  Pastor Tom is our Classis Supervisor until we have a permanent minister in place.

A SPECIAL SOCIAL HOUR will be held downstairs in Gessner Hall following the service.  Hosting this Wassail Hour are the young people of our church.

OUR USHERS are Marion Durney, Jerry Good, Rhoda Jabbour, Buck and Judie Kellaway, Gary LiBert, Jeanne and Steve Sarran