Christmas 1 2020
This page contains all of the resources for our Sunday act of worship. You are encouraged to join us at 9:30am if you are from Widford or Wareside or 11am if you are from Hunsdon because these are the normal times of the services in these villages.
However, if you are unable to make this, please follow in your own time. Our use of common resources means that, though we are separated, we can nonetheless worship together.
If you have not worshipped with us before, you might like to watch our explanatory video guide first… (Actually, there’s good advice within it for everyone!)
Sentence of Scripture
Sing to the Lord, all the earth;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvellous deeds among all peoples.
(1 Chronicles 16:23-24)
Prayer of Preparation
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.
A musical version of the Magnificat, Mary’s Song
Collect for the First Sunday of Christmas
God in Trinity,
eternal unity of perfect love:
gather the nations to be one family,
and draw us into your holy life
through the birth of Emmanuel,
our Lord Jesus Christ.
Prayers of Penitence
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(1 John 1:8-9)
Let us admit to God the sin that always confronts us.
we have sinned against you;
we have done evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us according to your love.
Wash away our wrongdoing
and cleanse us from our sin.
Renew a right spirit within us
and restore us to the joy of your salvation,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(cf. Psalm 51)
Hear the words of comfort our Saviour Christ says to all who truly turn to him:
God so loved the world
that he gave his only-begotten Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish
but have eternal life.
Hear what Saint Paul says:
This saying is true and worthy of full acceptance,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
(1 Timothy 1.15)
“Do not fear”
Luke 2:15-21 Text
Let us affirm our faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Though he was divine,
he did not cling to equality with God,
but made himself nothing.
Taking the form of a slave,
he was born in human likeness.
He humbled himself
and was obedient to death,
even the death of the cross.
Therefore God has raised him on high,
and given him the name above every name:
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
and every voice proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
(cf. Philippians 2.6-11)
To read some prayers click to read.
Almighty God, you alone are worthy of all honour and glory. We praise you for sending your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, that we might have eternal life, and for your wonderful promise made through him to hear us when we pray in faith.
In union with Christ, your Son our Saviour, we pray:
For your church:
Loving Father, we are in awe at the depth of your love which reaches out to us to draw us home to you, no matter how far we have strayed. We remember the people who first introduced us to the saving grace of Jesus and showed us in word and deed what your love looked like. We are so grateful to you for their faith and example, and we pray for ourselves – that we might similarly share your love with those we know.
We pray that you would have mercy on those who are dear to us but, as yet, do not know you. Stir in us such a joy in knowing you that we cannot help ourselves but reveal your love to our friends.
For the world:
Lord of all wisdom and knowledge, we pray for Julie Marson, our Member of Parliament, and for all who serve in our national and local government. Grant them wisdom in the decisions they must take, and, where the burdens are great, give them peace of mind when they do what is right in the face of criticism.
For our communities:
Father God, you are the one from whom every family derives its name. We pray for our families and the families in our communities that they would know your presence and your love as we face continuing uncertainty about our safety in the face of a mutating virus. We remember especially those who have been recently bereaved and those who are facing financial uncertainty or worse.
We commend into your hands the schools in our villages – their headteachers, teachers, governors and all support staff, the pupils and their parents – as they take well-earned rest and wonder what decisions the government will take about their re-opening in January. In your mercy, keep our children and our communities safe and happy.
We pray these things in the name of Jesus.
As our Saviour taught us, so we pray
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.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Christ, who by his incarnation gathered into one
things earthly and heavenly,
fill you with peace and goodwill
and make you partakers of the divine nature;
and the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be with you always.
Some material in this service is from Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000) and is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council. cf. www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/worship-texts-and-resources/common-worship