December 24, 2023

We are happy to know that many people new to worship in the Episcopal Church come to St. Stephen’s, and we welcome you!

This year, Advent 4 and Christmas Eve fall on the same day. The first part of our service is still an Advent service. At the pageant, it becomes a Christmas Eve service.

Prelude

Announcements

The people stand for the Processional Hymn.

Processional Hymn #56 (Hymnal 1982), verses 1-3

Lucernaria for Advent

Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
And blessed be God’s kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.

Come and save us, O Lord God of hosts. 
Come and save us, O Lord God of hosts. 
Show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved: 
O Lord God of hosts. 
Glory to the One, Holy, & Undivided Trinity. 
Come and save us, O Lord God of hosts. 

Collect of the Day

God be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray. 

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Reading of the Magnificat

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, 
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; * 
    for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: * 
    the Almighty has done great things for me, 
    and holy is his Name. 
He has mercy on those who fear him * 
    in every generation. 
He has shown the strength of his arm, * 
    he has scattered the proud in their conceit. 
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
    and has lifted up the lowly. 
He has filled the hungry with good things, * 
    and the rich he has sent away empty. 
He has come to the help of his servant Israel, * 
    for he has remembered his promise of mercy, 
The promise he made to our fathers, * 
    to Abraham and his children for ever.

The people stand for the Gospel

Gospel Hymn #83 (Hymnal 1982) verses 1-3

The Gospel

The Holy Gospel of Our Savior Jesus Christ According To Luke
Glory to You, O Christ.

God
sent
an
angel
named
Gabriel
with
a
message
for
a
young
woman
named
Mary
in
Nazareth.
She was
engaged
to
Joseph,
who
was
a
descendant
of
King
David.

Here
was
the
message,
“Greetings
from
God
himself,
Mary.
You
are
special
in
God’s
eyes.
And God
holds
you
close
to
his
heart.”
Mary
couldn’t
figure
out
what
was
going
on
and
what
the
angel could
possibly
mean
by
that.
Gabriel
told
her
not
to
be
afraid,
that
God
had
only
good
things
in mind.
“Here
is
the
plan,
Mary.
You
will
conceive
a
baby
boy
and
name
him
Jesus
when
he’s
born. He
will
be
great,
the
Son
of
the
Most
High,
and
he
will
reign
over
God’s
people
like
King
David
did, but
his
kingdom
will
never
end.”

Mary
said,
“But
I’m
not
married.
Why
would
you
choose
me
to
be
Jesus’
mother?”

Gabriel
said,
“The
Holy
Spirit
will
make
this
happen,
and
you
will
be
surrounded
by
God’s power
as
if
it
were
incense.
Your
child
will
be
holy.
He
will
be
called
the
Son
of
God.
And
guess what
else?
Your
older
cousin
Elizabeth,
who’s
never
been
able
to
have
children,
is
already
six months
pregnant.
So
you
see,
nothing
is
impossible
with
God.”

Then
Mary
said,
“Okay.
I
am
willing
to
work
with
God
on
this
plan.
I
trust
that
God
can
do
what he
says
he
will
do.”
And
then
the
angel
left
her
alone
to
think
about
things.

The Gospel of Our Savior.
Praise to you, O Christ.

The people sit for the Pageant.

The Pageant

Throughout the pageant, you will be invited to sing along when the children break into song. The words of each song are included below.

Ave Maria (Hail Mary, Full of Grace) – Dan Kantor

Hail Mary, Full of Grace
The Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among all women.
Blessed is the fruit of your womb.

Jesus, formed in your faith.
Ave Mari-Alleluia
Jesus, born in your love
Ave Mari-Alleluia

Sing out my Soul (Taize)

Sing out my soul!
Sing out my soul!
Sing out and glorify the Lord who sets us free!

Sing out my soul!
Sing out my soul!
Sing and and glorify the Lord God!

Silent Night #111 (Hymnal 1982)

The Prayers of the People

With all our heart and with all our mind, let us pray to the Lord, saying, “Lord, have mercy.”  

For the peace of the world, for the welfare of the holy Church of God, and for the unity of all peoples, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. 

Silence

Lord, have mercy.

For our Bishop, and for all the clergy and people, let us pray to the Lord.

Silence

Lord, have mercy.

For our President, for the leaders of the nations, and for all in authority, let us pray to the Lord.

Silence

Lord, have mercy.

For this city of Columbus, for every city and community, and for those who live in them, let us pray to the Lord.

Silence

Lord, have mercy.

For the good earth which God has given us, and for the wisdom and will to conserve it, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. 

Silence

Lord, have mercy.

For the aged and infirm, for the widowed and orphans, and for the sick and the suffering, let us pray to the Lord.

Silence

Lord, have mercy.

For the poor and the oppressed, for the unemployed and the destitute, for prisoners and captives, and for all who remember and care for them, let us pray to the Lord.

Silence

Lord, have mercy.

For all who have died in the hope of the resurrection, and for all the departed, let us pray to the Lord.

Silence

Lord, have mercy.

For deliverance from all danger, violence, oppression, and degradation, let us pray to the Lord.

Silence

Lord, have mercy.

That we may end our lives in faith and hope, without suffering and without reproach, let us pray to the Lord. 

Silence

Lord, have mercy.

In the communion of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Stephen, St. Hilda, and all the saints, let us commend ourselves, and one another, and all our life, to Christ our God.

Celebrant: Your word is a lamp for our feet. In darkness and in light, in trouble and in joy, help us, Divine One, to trust your love, to serve your purpose, and to praise your name, through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Please stand for the peace.

The Peace

The peace of God be with you.
And also with you.

Offertory Hymn #87 (Hymnal 1982)

Doxology

As the offering plates are brought forward, we sing…

Praise God from whom all blessing flow, Praise God all creatures here below, Praise God above, ye heavenly hosts, Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

The Holy Eucharist

Please stand.

We praise you and we bless you, holy and gracious God, source of life abundant. From before time you made ready the creation. Your Spirit moved over the deep and brought all things into being: sun, moon, and stars; earth, winds, and waters; and every living thing. You made us in your image, and taught us to walk in your ways. But we rebelled against you, and wandered far away; and yet, as a mother cares for her children, you would not forget us. Time and again you called us to live in the fullness of your love.
And so this day we join with Saints and Angels in the chorus of praise that rings through eternity, lifting our voices to magnify you as we sing:

The Sanctus

Glory and honor and praise to you, holy and living God. To deliver us from the power of sin and death and to reveal the riches of your grace, you looked with favor upon Mary, your willing servant, that she might conceive and bear a son, Jesus the holy child of God. Living among us, Jesus loved us. He broke bread with outcasts and sinners, healed the sick, and proclaimed good news to the poor. He yearned to draw all the world to himself yet we were heedless of his call to walk in love. Then, the time came for him to complete upon the cross the sacrifice of his life, and to be glorified by you.

On the night before he died for us, Jesus was at table with his friends. He took bread, gave thanks to you, broke it, and gave it to them, and said: “Take, eat. This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”

As supper was ending, Jesus took the cup of wine. Again, he gave thanks to you, gave it to them, and said: “Drink this, all of you. This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is poured out for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”

Now gathered at your table, O God of all creation, and remembering Christ, crucified and risen, who was and is and is to come, we offer to you our gifts of bread and wine, and ourselves, a living sacrifice. Pour out your Spirit upon these gifts that they may be the Body and Blood of Christ. Breathe your Spirit over the whole earth and make us your new creation, the Body of Christ given for the world you have made.

In the fullness of time bring us, with all your saints, from every tribe and language and people and nation, to feast at the banquet prepared from the foundation of the world. Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, to you be honor, glory, and praise, for ever and ever. Amen.

And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.

Alleluia! Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;
Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia.

The Gifts of God for the People of God. Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving.

Communion Song – My Soul in Stillness Waits by Marty Haugen

The song leader will teach the refrain and sing the verses. The people will sing the refrain.

Refrain:

For you, O Lord, my soul in stillness waits,
Truly my hope is in you.

O Lord of Light, our only hope of glory,
Your radiance shines in all who look to you,
Come, light the hearts of all in dark and shadow. Refrain.

O Spring of Joy, rain down upon our spirits,
Our thirsty hearts are yearning for your Word,
Come, make us whole, be comfort to our hearts. Refrain.

O Root of Life, implant your seed within us,
And in your advent draw us all to you,
Our hope reborn in dying and in rising. Refrain.

O Key of Knowledge, guide us in our pilgrimage,
We ever seek, yet unfulfilled remain,
Open to us the pathway of your peace. Refrain.

Postcommunion Prayer

Eternal God, you have graciously accepted us as living members of our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have fed us with spiritual food in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Savior. Amen. 

Blessing

May Christ the sun of righteousness shine upon you and scatter the darkness before your path, and the blessing of God Almighty, the One, Holy, and Undivided Trinity, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.

Closing Hymn #100 (Hymnal 1982)

Dismissal

Go forth confident in hope; 
praise God in all creation; 
follow Christ through whom all things are made; 
and in the power of the Spirit, become a
beacon of hope to the world.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia!

Postlude