Advent Carol Service, Order of Service

In these strange times the light that advent brings into our homes is even more welcome and needed than before. We welcome you as you join our streamed service, here is the Order of Service so that you may follow.

Order of Service

Choir: “Matin Responsory”(adapted from a Magnificat by Palestrina)
followed by “Come, Thou redeemer of the earth” (arr.D.Willcocks)

Choir: “Advent Wreath Prayer: Blessed are you,Sovreign Lord,
God of our ancestors,to you be praise and glory for ever.
You called the patriarchs to live by the light of faith
and to journey in the hope of your promised fulfilment.
May we be obedient to your call and be ready and watchful to
receive your Christ, a lamp to our feet and a light to our path;
for you are our light and our salvation, Blessed be God for ever.


Hymn: O Come, O come, Emmanuel (arr. John Rutter)

Ladies: 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.

Men: O come, thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell thy people save,
And give them victory o’er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Choir: O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by thine advent here ;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Men: 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

All: 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


Bidding Prayer


Choir: Remember, O thou man. (Thomas Ravenscroft)

Remember, O thou man, O thou man, O thou man
remember, O thou man, thy time is spent.
Remember, o thou man, how thou art dead and gone,
and I did what I can: therefore repent.

Remember Adam’s fall, O thou man, O thou man
remember Adam’s fall from heaven to hell.
Remember Adam’s fall, how we were condemned all
in hell perpetual, therefore to dwell.

Remember God’s goodnesse, O thou man, O thou man
remember God’s goodnesse, and his promise made,
remember God’s goodnesse, how he sent his Sonne,doubtlesse,
our sinnes for to redresse: be not afraid.

The angels all did sing, O thou man, O thou man
the angels all did sing upon the shepheards’hill,
the angels all did singe praises to our heavenly King,
and peace to man living with a good will.

Lesson I    The Prophet proclaims good news to a people in exile.


Choir: “O Radiant Dawn” (James MacMillan)

O Radiant Dawn, O Radiant Dawn, O Radiant Dawn,
Splendour of eternal Light, Sun of Justice, Sun of Justice,
Sun of Justice: come, come, come, come, come, come,
shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.
Isaiah had prophesied, The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land
of gloom a light has shone. Amen

Lesson 2   The Lord promises to send his people a righteous King


Hymn: 6  “Hark, the glad sound, the Saviour comes”


Lesson 3 The Lord promises that the King will come to Israel in peace


Choir: “How beautiful upon the mountains” (John Stainer)

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him
that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth salvation,
that saith unto Zion, thy God reigneth.


Hymn: 10  “Long ago, prophets knew”


Lesson 4 The Prophet foretells the advent of the desire of all nations


Choir: “A tender shoot” (Otto Goldschmidt)

A tender shoot hath started up from a root of grace,
as ancient seers imparted from Jesse’s holy race.
It blooms without a blight,blooms in the cold bleak winter
turning our darkness into light.
This shoot, Isaiah taught us,from Jesse’s root should spring,
The Virgin Mary brought us the branch of which we sing.
Our God of endless might gave her this child to save us,
thus turning darkness into light.


Lesson 5 The Prophet foretells the glory of the kingdom of God


Hymn: 15   “The Lord will come and not be slow”


Choir: “The Angel Gabriel from heaven came” (M.Archer)

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 favour’d lady”, Gloria.
For known a blessed Mother thou shalt be, All generations laud and honour thee,
Thy Son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold, Most highly favour’d 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 favour’d lady, Gloria
Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ was born in Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,
And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say: Most highly favour’d lady, Gloria


Lesson 6 The angel Gabriel salutes the Blessed Virgin Mary


Choir: “I sing of a maiden” (Lennox Berkeley)
(words from 15th Century)
I sing of a maiden, that is makeless
King of all kinges, to her son she ches

He came also stille, there his mother was
as dew in Aprille, that falleth on the grass

He came also stille, to his mother’s bow’r
as dew in Aprille, that falleth on the flow’r

He came also stille, there his mother lay
as dew in Aprille that falleth on the spray

Mother and maiden was never none but she,
well may such a lady Goddes mother be.


Hymn: 32 verses 1, 3, 5, “O little town of Bethlehem”
please stand:


Lesson 7  Jesus proclaims the coming of the Kingdom of God


Hymn: 9  “Lo he comes with clouds descending”


Choir: “Zion, at thy shining gates” (George Guest)

Zion, at thy shining gates, Lo, the King of Glory waits,
Haste thy monarch’s pomp to greet, strew thy palms before his feet.
Christ, for thee their triple light, faith and hope and love unite;
This the beacon we display to proclaim thine advent day.
Come and give us peace within, loose us from the bands of sin,
take away the galling weight laid on us by Satan’s hate.
Give us grace thy yoke to wear, give us strength thy cross to bear,
Make us thine in deed and word, thine in heart and life, O Lord.
So, when thou shalt come again, judge of angels and of men,
we with all thy saints shall sing: Alleluias to our King.

Choir: “Vesper Responsory” (Palestrina; adapted by Ph.Ledger)
Cantor: Judah and Jerusalem, fear not, nor be dismayed.
Choir: Tomorrow go ye forth, and the Lord, he will be with you.

Cantor: Stand ye still, and ye shall see the salvation of the Lord.
Choir: Tomorrow go ye forth, and the Lord, he will be with you.

Cantor Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost
Choir: Tomorrow go ye forth, and the Lord, he will be with you.

The Collect for the First Sunday in Advent

Almighty God,
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen. 

The Blessing


Hymn: 30  verses 1, 2 & 6 “O come all ye faithful”