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19 December 2021
We held our Nine lessons and Carol service at 6:00pm on Sunday. The Church was beautifully decorated and lit to welcome those who felt comfortable to join us in the present covid situation. We all wore masks, and sat in family groups the young children and their families in the transepts, the doors were opened for ventilation. 

Father Roger took the service and we had a number of congregational hymns and carols, a great joy after last year when the congregation could not sing at all! We also had the full choir this year  rather than our smaller 'covid choir' of last Christmas!

The Choir sang ;
Adam lay y'bounden                Setting by Peter Warlock (1894-1930)

A virgin most pure                    Arranged by Charles Wood (1866-1926)

The Angel Gabriel                   Words S Baring-Gould (1834-1924) arr Edgar Pettman

Away in a Manger                    Words 19C American  Melody W.J Kirkpatrick arr Wilcocks

Ding dong Merrily on High      Words G.R.Woodward    16thC French arr Willcocks

O little one Sweet                    Trans from German Percy Dearmer  melody harmonized by J S Bach

Welcome Yule                          Trad 15C  Setting C. Hubert Parry. 

We closed our service with a rousing 'Good King Wencelas' sung by choir and congregation.

Although it is still a week to Christmas Day, we left feeling ready for the celebration.

 Genesis 3:8-13

They heard the sound of the Lord God 
walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, 
and the man and his wife hid themselves 
from the presence of the Lord God
among the trees of the garden. 

But the Lord God called to the man, 
and said to him, 
“Where are you?” 

He said, 
“I heard the sound of you in the garden, 
and I was afraid, because I was naked; 
and I hid myself.” 

He said, 
“Who told you that you were naked? 
Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 

The man said, 
“The woman whom you gave to be with me, 
she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” 

Then the Lord God said to the woman, 
“What is this that you have done?” 
The woman said, 
“The serpent tricked me, and I ate.” 

Genesis 22:15-18

The angel of the Lord called to Abraham 
a second time from heaven, 

and said, 
“By myself I have sworn, says the Lord: 
Because you have done this, 
and have not withheld your son, your only son, 

I will indeed bless you, 
and I will make your offspring as numerous 
as the stars of heaven 
and as the sand that is on the seashore. 
And your offspring shall possess the gate of their enemies, 

and by your offspring 
shall all the nations of the earth 
gain blessing for themselves, 
because you have obeyed my voice.” 

Isaiah 9:2.6-7

In days to come
he mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.

For you have forsaken the ways of your people,
O house of Jacob.
Indeed they are full of diviners[b] from the east
and of soothsayers like the Philistines,
and they clasp hands with foreigners.

Their land is filled with silver and gold,
and there is no end to their treasures;
their land is filled with horses,
and there is no end to their chariots.

Isaiah 11:1-9

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear;

but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.

Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.

The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.

They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

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 forever, 
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.

Matthew 1:18-25

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way.
When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, 
but before they lived together, 
she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 

Her husband Joseph, 
being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, 
planned to dismiss her quietly. 

But just when he had resolved to do this, 
an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 
“Joseph, son of David, 
do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, 
for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 

She will bear a son, 
and you are to name him Jesus, 
for he will save his people from their sins.” 

All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
 and they shall name him Emmanuel,”
which means, “God is with us.” 

When Joseph awoke from sleep, 
he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; 
he took her as his wife, 

but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son;
and he named him Jesus.

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 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.

Matthew 2:1-11

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.

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. 

Service Times

First Sunday in the Month:
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Family Service

Second Sunday in the Month
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Parish Eucharist

Third Sunday in the Month
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Sung Matins

Fourth Sunday in the Month
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Parish Eucharist

Variations can be found in the Parish Magazine or the Calendar at the bottom of this page.

Useful links

Here are some links to resources you may find helpful:

  1. St Mary's Facebook page
  2. Chichester Cathedral will be live streaming services. For the Eucharist and order of service Click here before 10:00am Sunday and follow the instructions.
  3. The BBC Daily Service is available here.
  4. Prayer for today.
  5. The C of E youtube channel.
  6. Hearing You is a new phone help line launched by the Diocese of Chichester in partnership with Together in Sussex in response to the impact that Covid 19 has had on Just about the whole community. It aims to provide pastoral support and a listening ear to the recently bereaved and people directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  7. COVID-19 advice from the Diocese of Chichester here.

Please note that St Mary's are not responsible for the contents of external links

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