Christ Church Cathedral Vancouver BC Christ Church Cathedral Vancouver BC
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Mass for The City
Guest Speaker
Friday, December 24, 2021
Service Notes

Join us in prayer on this holy night. The Very Rev. Christopher A. Pappas presides and Bishop John Stephens of the Diocese of New Westminster preaches. 

You can download a pdf version of the service booklet here. A text only version of the order of service is posted below. Continue scrolling to follow along. 


Prelude Brass Quartet

Processional Carol Once in Royal David’s City Words: Cecil Frances Alexander (1818 – 1895), alt.; Music: Henry John Gauntlett (1805 – 1876); vs. 1 – 4 harm. A.H. Mann, vs. 5 arr. David Willcocks Choir

1. Once in royal David’s city Stood a lowly cattle shed, Where a mother laid her baby In a manger for his bed: Mary was that mother mild, Jesus Christ her little child.

Choir 2. He came down to earth from heaven Who is God and Lord of all, And his shelter was a stable, And his cradle was a stall; With the poor and mean and lowly Lived on earth our Saviour holy.

All 3. And through all his wondrous childhood He would honour and obey, Love and watch the lowly maiden, In whose gentle arms he lay: Christian children all must be Mild, obedient, good as he.

The Blessing of the Creche

Bishop Let us keep a moment of silence as we prepare to bless this creche.

Silence is kept

Bishop God of every nation and people, from the very beginning of creation you have made manifest your love. When our need for a Saviour was great, you sent your Son to be born of the Virgin Mary. To our lives he brings joy and peace, justice, mercy, and love. Gracious God, bless all who look upon this manger; may it remind us of the humble birth of Jesus and raise our thoughts to him who is God-with-us and Saviour of all, and who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
All Amen.

Carol Once in Royal David’s City All

4. For he is our childhood’s pattern, Day by day like us he grew, He was little, weak and helpless, Tears and smiles like us he knew: And he feeleth for our sadness, And he shareth in our gladness.

5. Not in that poor lowly stable, With the oxen standing by, We shall see him; but in heaven, Set at God’s right hand on high; Where like stars his children crowned All in white shall gather round.

The Gathering of the Community

Presider In this time and place, we gather on the unceded ancestral lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations. All From many places and peoples we come to this house of prayer.

Presider In this time and place, we give thanks for the light of God that shines in the darkness.

All A light no darkness can quench.

Presider In this time and place, we give thanks for the light and peace of Jesus Christ the Word made flesh.

All The light of all people.

Presider In this time and place, we pray that the Spirit of God will be renewed in our hearts and minds.

All That we might be the light of God in the world.

Presider In this time and place, together, one people of God.

All In the name of God, Source of all being, Eternal Word and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Presider The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

All And also with you.

Gloria   Carol Mass       Rupert Lang

The Collect of the Day

Presider Eternal God,

All Who made this most holy night to shine with the brightness of your one true light: bring us, who know the revelation of that light on earth, to see the radiance of your heavenly glory; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Proclamation of the Word

The Readings
After each reading the reader will say:
Reader Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
All Thanks be to God.

First Reading Isaiah 52:7-10

Choir In Dulci Jubilo   Words: German and Latin, edited and adapted – Reginald Jacques Music: Old German Melody, arr. R.L. Pearsall

In Dulci Jubilo, let us our homage shew; Our heart’s joy reclineth In praesepio, And like a bright star shineth, Matris in gremio. Alpha es et O. O Jesu parvule! I yearn for thee always! Hear me, I beseech thee, O Puer optime! My prayer let it reach Thee, O Princeps gloriae! Trahe me pos te! O Patris caritas, O Nati lenitas! Deeply were we stainèd Per nostra crimina; But thou hast for us gainèd Caelorum gaudia. O that we were there! Ubi sunt gaudia, where, if that they be not there? There are angels singing Nova cantica, There the bells are ringing In Regis curia: O that we were there!

Second Reading Hebrews 1:1-12

The congregation stands.

Carol God Rest Ye Merry Gentlefolk
Words & Music: Traditional English Carol, arranged by David Willcocks All

1. God rest ye merry, gentlefolk, Let nothing you dismay, For Jesus Christ, our Saviour, Was born upon this day, To save us all from Satan’s power When we were gone astray: Refrain O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy; O tidings of comfort and joy!

Choir 2. From God our heav’nly Father A blessed angel came, And unto certain shepherds Brought tidings of the same, How that in Bethlehem was born The Son of God by name: All Refrain

Low voices 3. The shepherds at those tidings Rejoiced much in mind, And left their flocks a-feeding In tempest, storm and wind, And went to Bethlehem straightway This blessed babe to find: All Refrain

High voices 4. But when to Bethlehem they came, Whereat this infant lay, They found him in a manger Where oxen feed on hay; His mother Mary kneeling, Unto the Lord did pray. All Refrain

All 5. Now to the Lord sing praises, All you within this place, And with true love and brotherhood Each other now embrace; This holy tide of Christmas All others doth efface. Refrain

Deacon The Lord be with you.
All And also with you.

Deacon The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.
Before the Gospel Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Deacon John 1:1-14
After the Gospel Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Sermon The Right Rev. John Stephens Bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster

Silence for Reflection

The Nicene Creed

Presider Let us confess our faith, as we say,

All We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Prayers of the People

Presider Christ the light of the world has come to dispel the darkness of our hearts. Let us turn to the light and confess our sins. Silence is kept Presider Most merciful God,

All We confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us, that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your name. Amen.

Bishop May God who loved the world so much that he sent his Son to be our Saviour forgive your sins and make you holy to serve him in the world, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All Amen.

The Peace

Presider Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and his name shall be called the Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9.6

All may exchange a sign of peace.

Celebration of the Eucharist

The Offertory
You are invited to make a financial offering to further God’s mission through the work of the church by texting “Give” to 639.739.0843 and following the instructions; tax receipts are issued annually for gifts totalling $20 or more. Your financial gifts together with the bread and wine are brought forward and presented at the Altar as a sign of thanksgiving to God from whom all blessings flow.

Offertory hymn O Come All Ye Faithful   
Words: John Francis Wade; tr. F. Oakley, W.T. Brooke; Composer unknown, arr. by David Willcocks

All 1. O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem; Come and behold him, born the King of Angels: Refrain O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

High Voices 2. God of God, Light of Light, Lo! he abhors not the Virgin’s womb: Very God, begotten, not created; All Refrain

All 3. See how the shepherds, summoned to his cradle, Leaving their flocks, draw nigh with lowly fear; We too will thither bend our joyful footsteps. Refrain

Choir 4. Child, for us sinners poor and in the manger, Fain we embrace thee, with awe and love; Who would not love thee, loving us so dearly? All Refrain

All 5. Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation, Sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above; Glory to God in the highest;

Refrain 6. Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning; Jesu, to thee be glory giv’n; Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing; Refrain

Prayer over the Gifts

Presider Let us with gladness present the offerings and oblations of our life and labour to the Lord. All Amen The Great Thanksgiving Presider The Lord be with you.

All And also with you.

Presider Lift up your hearts.

All We lift them to the Lord.

Presider Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

All It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Presider Blessed are you, gracious God, creator of heaven and earth; we give you thanks and praise through Jesus Christ our Lord, who in the fullness of time came among us in our flesh, and opened to us the way of salvation. Now we watch for the day when he will come again in power and great triumph to judge this world, that we, without shame or fear, may rejoice to behold his appearing. Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven, who forever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your name:

Sanctus    Carol Mass         Rupert Lang

Presider Holy One, the beginning and the end, the giver of life: Blessed are you for the birth of creation. Blessed are you in the darkness and in the light. Blessed are you for your promise to your people. Blessed are you in the prophets’ hopes and dreams. Blessed are you for Mary’s openness to your will. Blessed are you for your Son Jesus, the Word made flesh. In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: “Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.” Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.” Let us proclaim the mystery of faith: All Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. Presider With this bread and cup we remember your Word dwelling among us, full of grace and truth. We remember our new birth in his death and resurrection. We look with hope for his coming. All Come, Lord Jesus. Presider Holy God, we long for your Spirit. Come among us. Bless this meal. May your Word take flesh in us. Awaken your people. Fill us with your light. Bring the gift of peace on earth.

All Come, Holy Spirit.

Presider All praise and glory are yours, Holy One of Israel, Word of God incarnate, Power of the Most High, one God, now and forever.

All Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Breaking of the Bread

Presider We break the bread of life, and that life is the light of the world. All God here among us, light in the midst of us, bring us to light and life. Presider The gifts of God for the people of God.

All Thanks be to God.

During Communion Puer Natus in Bethlehem
Words: composite: 14th c Latin carol; 16th c German Music: Michael Praetorius

A boy is born in Bethlehem, rejoice Jerusalem! Alleluia! Singing and rejoicing, let us praise and give glory to God in the highest! Three kings saw the star: frankincense, gold and myrrh brought from afar. Alleluia! My dearest Christ-child, my heart's desire, O Jesu: praise him with singing! Praise to the Holy Trinity, now and forevermore. Alleluia!

Share the Gifts
If you know the brokenness of life, its fractures within and its division without, then you have participated in the broken body of Christ and you are invited to share in the breaking of bread. If you desire to know the love of God that overcomes indifference and despair, if you desire the reconciliation that overcomes estrangement and alienation then you are invited to share the cup of the new covenant. The bread is received in the open palm. Gluten-free wafers are available upon request in the East alcove.

Sending Out Into The World
Prayer after Communion

Presider Let us pray. Standing, the community prays in silence Presider Radiant God,

All with our eyes we have seen your salvation, and in this meal we have feasted on your grace. May your Word take flesh in us, so that we may be your holy people, revealing your glory made known to us in Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. Amen.

The Blessing

Bishop 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 ...

Carol   Silent Night
Words: Joseph Mohr, tr. J.M. Campbell; Music: Franz Gruber, arr. Cashmore Choir

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Silent night, Holy night, God’s own Son, oh how bright shines the love in thy holy face, shines the light of redemption and grace, Christ th’incarnate God, Christ th’incarnate God.


Deacon Let us go forth in love to proclaim the birth of Christ.

All Thanks be to God.

Postlude Hodie Nobis Caelorum Rex
Words: Christmas Responsorium Music: Jacob Handl

This is the day the King of heaven chose to be born of a virgin, to call us back from our ways to the Kingdom. The angelic host sings praises, For eternal salvation appears for all generations: Noe, noe, noe