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Christmas Candlelight Service - December 24, 2022 - "The Lord is Come" by Pr. Josh

Christmas Candlelight Service

December 24, 2022

The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor

The Festival of Lessons and Carols has been sung for more than 80 Christmases at King’s College—Cambridge University in England. The Order of Service was developed by E. M. Milner-White, Dean of King’s College, who drew on several ancient sources.

The basic structure of the service has been adapted for use on this Christmas Eve and is quite simple. The Good News of Christmas is relayed through Six Lessons. Each Lesson is then followed by a hymn or carol which serves as a commentary on or a response to the lesson.

May God use this Festival of Lessons and Carols to allow you to join your heart and your

voice to those of the angels and of all the faithful Christians throughout the ages who celebrate the birth of God’s promised Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord.

+ Soli Deo Gloria! +

+ The Nativity of Our Lord +

A Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols with Holy Communion


As shepherds and wise men found welcome in a stable, find welcome in this place, you

who have come to worship The Christ. He is no less here than in a manger, more here

than in a stable. There he was a “little Baby-thing,” here he is Lord and King. Tiptoe, if

you must, to see The Baby in your imagination, but remember you stand here in the presence of The Son of God by faith.

AS WE GATHERThe Time Came”

“This Night did God become a Child.” Christmas Eve celebrates this simple but profound statement from a contemporary Christmas hymn, which touches the power and wonder, the joy and delight of the Christmas Gospel. This is, indeed, the Good News: God comes to us in Jesus—The Savior of the world is born! The Lord comes to dwell with us in human form.


Our loving God, you have come to us. You have made it possible for us to come to you to receive your love, and to submit to your will for our lives. May your Son, who was born in Bethlehem, be born anew in our hearts and accomplish his purpose through us; through

your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


PRELUDE O Come, All Ye Faithful — By John F. Wade

Tatsiana Asheichyk, Piano


[Following the Proclamation, please rise to face the Cross at the entrance of the nave. At each Service of Light responsive reading verse, light is passed to those nearest the center aisle. They in turn will pass it on to others in the pew. Tip only the unlit candle; do not tip the lighted candle. Please hold the candle upright to avoid dripping wax.]


Jesus is the Light of the world,

                   the Light no darkness can overcome.

Stay with us Lord, for it is evening,

                   and the night is almost over.

Let your light scatter the darkness,

                  and illumine your Church.

CAROL     Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful


Beloved in Christ, we come to this service to prepare ourselves to hear again the message of the angels, and to go in heart and minds even unto Bethlehem to see the loving kindness of our God, and the Babe lying in a manger:

Let us therefore open the Holy Scriptures and read the story of the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord, to save us from our sins and to make us pure and happy; and let us thank Him with carols of praise;

But first let us pray for the needs of His whole world, and especially for peace and goodwill among all peoples, that we may learn to love one another, as children of one God and Father of all;

And because this would most rejoice His heart, let us remember before Him the poor and the helpless, the cold, the homeless, the hungry and the oppressed; the shut-in, the sick and those who mourn; the lonely and the unloved; the aged and the little children; and all who know not the Lord Jesus, or who love Him not, or who by sin have grieved His heart;

Lastly, let us remember before God all those who rejoice with us, but upon another shore and in a greater light, that multitude which none of us can number, with whom, in this Lord Jesus, we forevermore are one:

These prayers let us humbly offer up to the throne of heaven, in the words Christ Himself has taught us:

Our Father who art in heaven;

hallowed be Thy Name,

Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses

as we forgive those

who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil;

For thine is the kingdom

and the power and the glory

forever and ever. Amen

The Almighty God bless us with His grace; Christ give us the joys of everlasting life; and unto the fellowship of the citizens above may the King of angels bring us all. Amen!

[The candles are extinguished, and the congregation is seated.]

 FIRST LESSON Isaiah 9:2-7

[This poem promises deliverance—a hope based on the birth of a child with a name full of promise.]

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of the oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God!  

CAROL I Wonder as I Wander


[Through the prophet Micah, Bethlehem is singled out as the Messiah’s birthplace.]

But you, Bethlehem, Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.

Therefore, Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And he will be their peace.

The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God!  

CAROL O Little Town of Bethlehem

THIRD LESSON Luke 1:26-35, 38

[The angel Gabriel appears to Mary.]

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not

be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel

answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God!  

SONG Holy Is Your Name


[The birth of Jesus.]

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the

entire Roman world. [This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was

governor of Syria.] And everyone went to his own town to be registered.

So, Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God!  

CAROL That Boy-Child of Mary

FIFTH LESSON Luke 2:8-20

[St. Luke tells of the birth of Christ, the shepherds and the angels.]

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So, they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God!

CAROL     Angels We Have Heard on High

SIXTH LESSON John 1:1-14

[St. John describes the mystery of The Incarnation … The Word made flesh.]

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of the men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning the light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the

right to become the children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Gospel of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

SPECIAL MUSIC Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus — By Mark Hayes

Tatsiana Asheichyk, Piano

CHRISTMAS HOMILY The Lord Is Come Pr. Josh Text: Luke 2:1-20


(At this time the offerings are brought forward.)


The Lord be with you.

And also, with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give him thanks and praise.

Holy God, creator, and source of all life,

at the birth of time your Word brought light into the world.

In the fulness of time, you sent your Word, born of Mary,

To shine in our darkness and to make us your daughters and sons.

In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus Christ 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 in remembrance of me.

In the same way also, he took the cup after supper,

and when he had given ☩ thanks, he gave it to them saying:

Take drink, this cup is the new covenant in my blood,

which is shed for you and for all people.

Do this in remembrance of me.

Remembering, therefore, his birth and life among us,

his death and resurrection, we await his coming again

when all things will be restored to him.

By your Holy Spirit bless us and this bread and cup,

that held and nourished by you, we may live as your children,

shining with the light of your Son.

                     Come, Lord Jesus, live in us that we may live in you.

Through him all glory and honor are yours, Almighty Father,

With the Holy Spirit, in your holy Church, both now and forever. Amen


[The Distribution of The Sacrament is continuous. Maintaining proper social distancing, those desiring to receive The Sacrament are asked to present themselves in the center aisle, forming a single line and returning to their seat by the side aisle.]

Distribution hymn Of the Father’s Love Begotten (See back of the Worship folder)


[The ushers light their candles from the pastor’s candle. They in turn will pass the light to each worshiper nearest the center aisle. Tip only the unlit candle into the flame; do not tip the lighted candle. Please hold the candle upright.]

SPECIAL MUSIC Christmas Lullaby — By John Turner

Tatsiana Asheichyk, Piano

As the light of these candles illumines our faces, it symbolizes the light of Christ, seen in the Child lying in the manger at Bethlehem, on the face of the Savior, suffering our death on the Cross, and soon to be revealed again when he comes from his throne on high to be the Judge of all. He is our Light here on earth and

the Eternal Light who enlightens heaven, where there is no need of candles or sun. Rejoice on this night for the Light of the world has come, the Light who transforms us to shine with the brightness of his glory.

With unveiled faces we reflect the Lord’s glory and are being transformed into his likeness, with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord.

CAROL Silent Night


May He who by His Incarnation gathered into one, things earthly and heavenly,

grant you the fullness of inward peace and goodwill; and may the blessings of

God Almighty, the Father, the ☩ Son, and the Holy Spirit be and remain with us always. Amen

CAROL Joy to the World



+ The Worship Is Over … Let the Service Begin! +

Advent and Christmas at a Glance

ChristMass Day, December 25th

  • No worship service.

First Sunday after ChristMass, January 1st

  • Worship and Holy Communion                         10:00 am

Be sure to get your copy…

  • Adult and Children’s Advent Devotional Booklets
  • December Grace Connections Newsletter
  • Lutheran Women’s Quarterly Magazine
  • January Portal’s of Prayer

Copies can be found on the table in the back of the Sanctuary

or on the table in the main entry way.

Grace Notes

THE PRESENCE of CHRIST is celebrated in The Lord’s Supper. He comes to us in a real and present way with his life-giving body and blood in the bread and wine of The Sacrament to assure us of our forgiveness and to strengthen us in faith and service. All who trust and believe the words “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins” are welcome. Come, receive Christ’s presence in the meal prepared for you. Enjoy his presence. Children are encouraged to come forward with their parents and/or grandparents and receive a blessing.

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY   Reminder, the Women’s Bible Study will not be meeting in December. Please plan on joining us when we resume in January/2023.

Bible Study Our Bible study, “Who is Jesus” will not be meeting on Wednesday, December 28th, 2022. Please plan on joining us when we resume in January/2023.

This Week at Grace

        SUNDAY the 25th: ChristMass Day No Worship Service

SUNDAY the 1st: Worship & Holy Communion 10:00 am

Grace Lutheran Church

660 Frances Lane

Ashland, OR 97520


Pastor Joshua Heimbuck —


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