Daily Devotions Carol Service – 21 December 2023

Order of Service

Below you will find the Order of Service, prayers, hymns and sermon for today’s service.   You can either simply read this or you can
 

to listen to the service and sing along with the hymns.  This will open up a new screen, at the bottom of the screen you will see a play symbol.  Press that, then come back to this window so you can follow along with the service.

Carol Service from the United Reformed Church
21 December 2023

 
The Carol Service is led by the Revd Andy Braunston

 
Introduction

The stories we tell at this time of the year are best encapsulated in music.  Christmas carols are loved by many people regardless of religious perspective or commitment.  They originated as tunes that ordinary people would sing and maybe their earthiness is what makes them still appeal.   My name is Andy Braunston and I am the URC’s Minister for Digital Worship.  I live up in Orkney, which is very dark but rather magical at this time of the year.  The streets in our towns and villages twinkle with Christmas lights and despite the short days and very long nights we’re getting ready, as you all are too, to prepare to celebrate Christmas.  

As we gather around our screens and devices we listen again to those ancient stories and music and prepare, again, to celebrate Christmas when Jesus, the light of the world, pierced the darkness of his age and illuminates our own.   We start our service by listening to the Ukrainian Carol of the Bells and, in the midst of our Christmas joy remember the people of Ukraine.

Introit    Carol of the Bells
Words Peter J. Wilhousky © 2004, Carl Fischer Music sung by the group Clamavi De Profundis.  All rights reserved. Reprinted & Podcast permission under ONE LICENSE # A-734713.   

The Long Promised Messiah

Through long years of exile and renewal of their national life, the Jewish people longed for a Messiah who would restore their fortunes.  This hope sustained them during the dark days of Greek and then Roman oppression.  Here Isaiah foretells of better days to come when facing the might of Assyria:

Reading    Isaiah 9:2-6

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.

Those long years of longing are encapsulated in the ancient hymn O Come O Come Emmanuel where a variety of Old Testament metaphors are used to describe Christ.  Christians use this hymn to express our longing for Christ to return at the end of the Age.

Hymn    O Come O Come Emmanuel
Ancient Latin text translated by J. M. Neale (1851) Public Domain sung by the virtual choir of St Augustine by the Sea Santa Monica, California conducted by John-Kevin Hilbert and used with their kind permission.

O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, 
that mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! 
Emmanuel shall come to thee, 
O Israel! O come, 

O Come Thou Wisdom from on high, who orderest all things mightily; 
to us the path of knowledge show, and teach us in her ways to go. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! 
Emmanuel shall come to thee, 
O Israel! O come, 

O come, O come, thou Lord of might, who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height 
in ancient times didst give the law, in cloud and majesty and awe. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! 
Emmanuel shall come to thee, 
O Israel! O come, 

O come, Thou branch of Jesse’s tree, free them from Satan’s tyranny 
that trust thy mighty power to save, and give them victory o’er the grave. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! 
Emmanuel shall come to thee, 
O Israel! O come, 

O come, Thou Key of David, come, and open wide our heavenly home; 
make safe the way that leads on high, and close the path to misery. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! 
Emmanuel shall come to thee, 
O Israel! O come, 

O come, Thou Day-spring from on high, and cheer us by thy drawing nigh; 
disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! 
Emmanuel shall come to thee, 
O Israel! O come, 

O come, Desire of nations, bind in one the hearts of all our kind; 
bid Thou our sad divisions cease, and be Thyself our King of Peace. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! 
Emmanuel shall come to thee, 
O Israel! O come, 

O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, 
that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! 
Emmanuel shall come to thee, 
O Israel! O come, 
 

Prayer

Eternal God of light, 
coming to us in our darkness,  we worship You.
Wonderful Counsellor, 
sharing our darkness and our longing,
You put death’s dark shadows to flight.
Majestic Spirit, 
breaking through the clouds, You shatter Satan’s tyranny.
Eternal Trinity,
we bring our prayers and our praises,
our pain and our protest,
and passion and our perseverance.
Inspire us as we listen again to ancient story,
bless us as we sing Your praises,
move us to live and proclaim Your coming Kingdom.  Amen.

The Fall

In recent years we’ve recovered some medieval carols and these have become popular.  We listen now to the 15th Century English hymn Adam Lay Y Bounden which relates to the events in Genesis Chapter 3 where, in the story, humanity fell from grace.  

Hymn    Adam lay y bounden?
Text Public Domain.  Sung by the Medieval Babes  PRS LOML licence: LE-0032076

Adam lay ybounden bounden in a bond 
foure thousand winter thought he not too long. 

And all was for an apple. An apple that he tok .
As clerkes finden. Wreten in here book. 

Ne hadde the apple take ben .The apple taken ben. 
Ne hadde never our lady. A ben hevene queen. 

Blissed be the time. That apple take was. 
Therefore we moun singen “Deo gracias!”

 

Mary’s Choice

In the fullness of time God’s own self came to share our pain in the person of Jesus and to teach us how to live well despite our fallen nature.  We listen to the story of Gabriel bringing this news to Mary – news which surprised and puzzled her.

Reading    St Luke 1:26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth,  to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.  And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.  The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God.  And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.  He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’  Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.  And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren.  For nothing will be impossible with God.’  Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

Our next carol tells and reflects on this passage.  We sing the Basque Carol, The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came.

Hymn    The Angel Gabriel From Heaven Came
13th or 14th Century Basque carol translated by S. Baring-Gould (1834-1924) Public Domain sung and performed by Ruth and Joy Everingham and used with their kind permission.

The angel Gabriel from heaven came,
his wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
“All hail,” said he thou lowly maiden Mary,
“most highly favoured lady.” Gloria!

“For known a blessed mother thou shalt be.
all generations laud and honour thee,
thy Son shall be Immanuel, by seers foretold,
most highly favoured lady.” Gloria!

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head;
“To me be as it pleaseth God,” she said.
“My soul shall laud and magnify his holy name.”
Most highly favoured lady, Gloria!

Of her, Immanuel, the Christ, was born
in Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,
and Christian folk throughout the world will ever say,
“Most highly favoured lady.” Gloria!
 
Prayer

How can this be dear God?
Virgins don’t conceive; angels don’t appear out of nowhere;
and old women don’t bear children. How can this be?
How could Mary have known all generations would call her  eveale 
and be inspired by her radical vision of Your reign? How can this be?
How could Joseph, in that day and age, done the right thing instead of casting his pregnant fiancé off and leaving her to her fate?  
How can this be?

My child, nothing is impossible with me.  Leave your questions and, like Mary, trust and follow.

The Birth of Jesus

As we know Joseph accepted Mary and then travelled to Bethlehem to register as per the emperor’s decree.  At Bethlehem he looked for somewhere for Mary to give birth.

Reading    St 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.

Christina Rossetti’s lovely hymn, In the Bleak Mid Winter, responds to the Christmas story and muses on what we can offer back to the One who gave us everything.

Hymn    In the Bleak Mid Winter 
Christina Georgina Rossetti (c. 1872) Public Domain sung by Annie Lennox  
PRS LOML licence: LE-0032076
 
In the bleak midwinter
frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron,
water like a stone:
snow had fallen,
snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter,
long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold him,
nor earth sustain;
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. 

What can I give him,
poor as I am?
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 I give him,
give my heart.

Prayer

We don’t know, O God, if you were born when the wind made moan,
when earth was hard of iron and water was like a stone;
we don’t know much about Quirinius – 
is he remembered for anything else other than this Lord?
You know, of course; all is present in your memory.
We can’t imagine the effect of imperial edicts,
moving whole populations so taxes can be levied,
and we can’t imagine the poverty of having nowhere to lay a baby
other than a feeding trough for cattle.
Bless those, this night, O God,
who have to sleep outside as winds moan and water freezes;
uphold those who won’t be remembered for much,
strengthen those blown around senselessly by today’s empires 
and bless the poor and despised who struggle to find bread, life & dignity,
for these You came to earth.  Amen

Glory Announced to Poor Shepherds

Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth takes care to include the shepherds, out in the cold on the hills tending their sheep.  Shepherds were always a little on the edge – they had to work on the sabbath to follow their flocks and so were a bit nomadic and unsettled.  They were outsiders, yet the first to hear the news of Christ’s birth.

Reading    St 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 Saviour, 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 favours!’ 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.

For a long time in church history it was thought proper only to sing the Psalms and other Scriptural passages.  Our next hymn is a paraphrase of the Gospel passage we’ve just heard but sung to its proper tune…a tune from Yorkshire!

Hymn    While Shepherds Watched 
Nahum Tate (1700) Public Domain sung by amiscellany

While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
all seated on the ground,
an 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 all your kind.

“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.”

Thus spoke the seraph  and forthwith
appeared a shining throng
of angels praising God, who thus
addressed their joyful song:

“All glory be to God on high,
and to the earth be peace;
Goodwill henceforth from heaven to earth
begin and never cease.”
 
Prayer

Shepherds Lord?  You sent your angels to tell shepherds?
Why on earth did you think that was a good idea?
Who would they tell – well I suppose the sheep would have listened.
Who would believe them if they said they’d seen angels?
But shepherds?  Smelly shepherds for heaven’s sake.
Haven’t you heard of social influencers or communications teams?
There’s always politicians’ spin doctors looking for work – especially now as many of them might be out of a job soon enough.  
And then there’s what the angels said – bit dodgy if you ask me!
Peace on earth? Fat chance. 
Have you met Mr Putin and his religious cronies? 
A baby in a feeding trough?  Social services won’t like that.  
No Lord, You should have been born in a palace,
got Herod’s people to handle the announcement, 
what could have gone wrong?
got the Roman governor, that Quirinius bloke, to proclaim the news.  
He’d have sent some soldiers to come and escort the Holy Family 
to somewhere better suited to their status – 
mind You, Your mother would have objected to that wouldn’t she?
I’d not want to argue with her.
But shepherds, Lord.  They knew no one.  
They had no power, no influence, no status.
Why on earth would you send the angels to them?  Why?

The Horror of Christmas

In our carol services and Christmas celebrations, as well as in our Christmas Carols, we focus on joy and wonder, peace and goodness but forget that part of the story is about horror and repression just as we forget our questions and bewilderment with the story.  We don’t like to dwell on this yet if we believe that at Christmas God became human in the person of Jesus it follows that Jesus took on all of human experience – it’s glory and its tragedy.  We hear now of the terror and tragedy of Christmas.

Reading    St Matthew 2:1-18

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,  asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’  When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him;  and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.  They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: “And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.”’ Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared.  Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’  When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was.  When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.  On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.   Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’  Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt,  and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son.’ When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men.  Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.’

As those words ring in our ears we hear again the Coventry Carol, a gentle lullaby reflecting on dreadful events.

Hymn    The Coventry Carol 
unknown medieval source, public domain.
Sung and played by Michael Lining and used with his kind permission.  www.michaellining.com

Lully, lullay, thou little tiny child, 
by by, lully, lullay.

O sisters too, how we may do
for to preserve this day.
This poor youngling for whom we do sing,
“By by, lully, lullay”?

Herod the king, in his raging,
eveale he hath this day
his men of might in his own sight
all young children to slay.

That woe is me, poor child, for thee.
And ever mourn and may
for thy parting neither say nor sing,
“By by, lully, lullay.”

Lully, lullay, thou little tiny child, 
by by, lully, lullay.
 
Reflection

Christmas is a time of stories and song.  We are surrounded by music – religious and secular – retelling the story, finding meaning in how we celebrate, cheering us at this darkest part of the year.  The songs, like the story, tell of joy and wonder, horror and terror, and pain and exile.  Through the events these songs and stories tell God became one of us.  In great love God decided to become intimately connected with our story; to experience human life – its pain as well as its joy.  These stories have a power that extends way beyond believers:

  • the vulnerability of Mary having to tell Joseph she was pregnant with a child that was not his reflects the vulnerability of women still who fall pregnant in precarious circumstances;
  • the wisdom of Joseph able to see past his sex and culture and offer love and support to Mary and her child offers a sense that we can all see past our own limitations; 
  • the weakness of God incarnate as a baby dependent on others for love, nurture and sustenance shows us not to be afraid of weakness;
  • the glory of high heaven being revealed to poor shepherds reminds us that the down and out won’t be so forever – and neither will the up and in!
  • the machinations of the rich and powerful being confounded by outsiders and dreams gives hope in a world where the cruelty of despot and dictator needs to be challenged.  

These stories enthral, delight, and horrify us in equal measure.  They also give us hope.  Hope that God has not forsaken us and will not forsake us now.  Hope that God’s purposes are seen in the weak and vulnerable, not the rich and powerful.  Hope that our own weaknesses are seen by God as strengths to be used to change our world.  So, hear these stories and have hope.  Sing the carols, old and new, and wonder how the world could be if we really believed God is found on the edge. 

Prayer

Hopeful God,
we pray for those who work for change, 
those who uphold justice, 
those who honour the weak and 
those draw in those on the edge.  

Exiled God,
we pray for those on the move this night,
fleeing war and persecution, poverty and climate change,
seeking sanctuary as once Your Mother and Joseph did.

Weeping God,
we pray for those who mourn,
those who weep for lost children,
those mourning people killed by agents of the state,
and for those lonely voices who cry for justice.

Incarnate God,
help us be the change you dream of.
Amen.

Rejoice!

In every age we’ve tried to contextualise the Christmas stories, here the author tried to do so in music.  We sing The Virgin Mary Had A Baby Boy.

Hymn    The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy
West Indian traditional; Taken down from the singing of the Negro James Bryce in 1942 when Bryce was 92 years old.  Public domain sung by Flynn Everard and used with his kind permission.

The virgin Mary had a baby boy,
the virgin Mary had a baby boy,
the virgin Mary had a baby boy,
and they say that his name was Jesus.
He come from the glory,
he come from the glorious kingdom.
He come from the glory,
he come from the glorious kingdom.
Oh, yes! believer! 
Oh, yes! believer!
He come from the glory,
he come from the glorious kingdom.

The angels sang when the baby born,
the angels sang when the baby born,
the angels sang when the baby born,
and they say that his name was Jesus.
He come from the glory,
he come from the glorious kingdom.
He come from the glory,
he come from the glorious kingdom.
Oh, yes! believer! 
Oh, yes! believer!
He come from the glory,
he come from the glorious kingdom.
 

The wise men saw where the baby was born,
the wise men saw where the baby was born,
the wise men went where the baby was born,
and they say that his name was Jesus. 
He come from the glory,
he come from the glorious kingdom.
He come from the glory,
he come from the glorious kingdom.
Oh, yes! believer! 
Oh, yes! believer!
He come from the glory,
he come from the glorious kingdom.

The Word Made Flesh

The writer of the work we know as the Gospel of John wrote, in the beautiful prologue to the book, some stunning poetic theology which tries to encapsulate our faith in God’s work in Jesus.

Reading    St 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.

Hymn    Of the Father’s Heart begotten
Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (born 348); Translator: R. F. Davis (1906)  Performed by Christ Church Cockfosters Orchestra & Chorus Soloist Neil Maxfield Conductor: David Gibson
 
Of the Father’s heart begotten
ere the world from chaos rose,
he is Alpha: from that Fountain,
all that is and hath been flows;
he is Omega, of all things
yet to come the mystic Close,
evermore and evermore.

By his word was all created;
He commanded and ‘twas done;
earth and sky and boundless ocean,
universe of three in one,
all that sees the moon’s soft radiance,
all that breathes beneath the sun,
evermore and evermore.

He assumed this mortal body,
frail and feeble, doomed to die,
that the race from dust created
might not perish utterly,
which the dreadful Law had sentenced
in the depths of hell to lie,
evermore and evermore.

O how blest that wondrous birthday,
when the Maid the curse retrieved,
brought to birth our kind’s salvation,
by the Holy Ghost conceived,
and the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
in her loving arms received,
evermore and evermore.
 
This is he, whom seer and sybil
sang in ages long gone by;
this is he of old revealed
in the page of prophecy;
lo! he comes, the promised Saviour;
let the world his praises cry!
evermore and evermore.

Sing, ye heights of heaven, his praises;
Angels and Archangels, sing!
wheresoe’er ye be, ye faithful,
let your joyous anthems ring,
every tongue his name confessing,
countless voices answering,
evermore and evermore.
 
Prayer

Eternal God,
You see all beneath the moon’s soft radiance,
You love all that breathes beneath the sun,
yet You assumed a mortal body, in love for all of creation,
evermore and evermore.
We celebrate Your wondrous birthday foretold by seer and sybil,
knowing that You are with us evermore and evermore.  Amen.

Carol      Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Charles Wesley (1739) altered by George Whitefield.  Public Domain sung by the Northern Baptist Association and used with their kind permission.

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King:
peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
join the triumph of the skies;
with th’angelic hosts proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King”

Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
late in time behold him come,
offspring of the Virgin’s womb:
veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
hail th’incarnate Deity,
pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus, our Immanuel. 
Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King”

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
born that we no more may die,
born to raise us from the earth,
born to give us second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King”

Blessing

May the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds,
the perseverance of the wise men, the obedience of Joseph and Mary,
and the peace of the Christ-child be yours this Christmas;
and the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
be with you now and always, Amen.

Closing Music     Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day
English Traditional Public Domain Sung by the choir of Christ Church, Southgate and used with their kind permission.  Conductor – Richard Brain.  Organ – David Hinitt Podcast under the terms of ONE LICENSE # A-734713.
 
Tomorrow shall be my dancing day;
I would my true love did so chance
to see the legend of my play,
to call my true love to my dance;
Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love, my love, my love,
this have I done for my true love

Then was I born of a virgin pure,
of her I took fleshly substance.
Thus was I knit to man’s nature
to call my true love to my dance.
Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love, my love, my love,
this have I done for my true love

In a manger laid, and wrapped I was.
So very poor, this was my chance
betwixt an ox and a silly poor ass
to call my true love to my dance.
Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love, my love, my love,
this have I done for my true love

Then afterwards baptized I was;
the Holy Ghost on me did glance,
my Father’s voice heard from above,
to call my true love to my dance.
Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love, my love, my love,
this have I done for my true love

 

 

This material is only for use in local churches not for posting to websites or any other use.  Local churches must have copyright licences to allow the printing and projection of words for hymns.

 

 

Where words are copyright reproduced and streamed under the terms of  ONE LICENSE A-734713
PRS Limited Online Music Licence LE-0019762
 

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