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CAROLS OF PRAISE 

Welcome to Christmas Day with a seasonal offering from the Benefice of Higham Ferrers with Chelveston who host our regular Meeting Point online services.

This special edition for Christmas week is an edited version of our Carols of Praise service in the village church of St John’s, Chelveston.

Our service starts with a welcome and introduction from our Vicar,

Mother Louise

CAROL PRAISE-FOR-CHRISTMAS-DAY---25.12.23
00:00 / 50:53

Opening Carol

1 Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King:
peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
join the triumph of the skies;
with th'angelic hosts proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem!"

Refrain:
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King"

2 Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
late in time behold him come,
offspring of the Virgin's womb:
veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
hail th'incarnate Deity,
pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus, our Immanuel.

[Refrain]

3 Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
born that we no more may die,
born to raise us from the earth,
born to give us second birth.

[Refrain]

The Christmas story begins – A reading from Luke 1: 26 - 39

Carol – The Angel Gabriel from heaven came

Sung by the “Vicarage Four”

CAROL

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold;
“Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From Heav’n’s all-gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heav’nly music floats
O’er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains,
They bend on hov’ring wing,
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring;
Oh, hush the noise, ye men of strife
And hear the angels sing.

For lo! the days are hast’ning on,
By prophet-bards foretold,
When with the ever-circling years
comes round the age of gold;

when peaceshall over all the earth

its ancient splendours fling,

and the whole world give back the song

which now the angels sing.

POEM:     Advent 1955  by Sir John Betjamen

Not so much a carol but a popular favourite – Little Donkey

 

Little donkey, little donkey on the dusty road
Got to keep on plodding onwards with your precious load
Been a long time, little donkey, through the winters night
Don’t give up now, little donkey,
Bethlehem’s in sight

Ring out those bells tonight
Bethlehem, Bethlehem
Follow that star tonight
Bethlehem, Bethlehem

 

Little donkey, little donkey, had a heavy day
Little donkey, carry Mary safely on her way
Little donkey, little donkey, journey's end is near
There are wiseman waiting for a sign to bring them here

Do not falter little donkey, there's a star ahead
It will guide you, little donkey, to a cattle shed

Ring out those bells tonight…

Little donkey, little donkey, had a heavy day
Little donkey, carry Mary, safely on her way
Little donkey, carry Mary, safely on her way

Composed: Eric Boswell. (1921-2009)

photo-1650869749905-28647c472f11_edited.jpg

The Calypso Carol – See him lying on a bed of straw

 

See him lying on a bed of straw:
a draughty stable with an open door;
Mary cradling the babe she bore
the prince of glory is his name.

O now carry me to Bethlehem
   to see the Lord of love again:
    just as poor as was the stable then,
    the prince of glory when he came.

 

Star of silver, sweep across the skies,
show where Jesus in the manger lies;
shepherds, swiftly from your stupor rise
to see the saviour of the world!
    O now carry me...

 

Angels, sing again the song you sang,
sing the glory of God's gracious plan;
Sing that Bethl'em's little baby can
be the saviour of us all.
    O now carry me...

 

Mine are riches, from your poverty,
from your innocence, eternity;
mine, forgiveness by your death for me,
child of sorrow for my joy.
   O now carry me...

 

Michael Perry (1942 - 1996)   © Mrs B Perry/Jubilate Hymns

A CHELVESTON CHRISTMAS?   

The traditional story in Northamptonshire dialect

ONE CAROL AND 3 TUNES 

We sing just 3 of the many tunes to accompany this one!

While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
all seated on the ground,
the angel of the Lord came down
and glory shone around.

“Fear not,” said he – for mighty dread
had seized their troubled mind –
“Glad tidings of great joy I bring
to you and all mankind:

“To you in David’s town this day
is born of David’s line
a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be the sign:

“The heavenly babe you there shall find
to human view displayed,
all meanly wrapped in swathing bands
and in a manger laid.”

Thus spoke the seraph, and forthwith
appeared a shining throng
of angels praising God, who thus
addressed their joyful song:

“All glory be to God on high,
and to the earth be peace;
goodwill henceforth from highest heaven
begin and never cease!”

THE FOUR FAVOURITES MEDLEY

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
O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
Christ the Lord!

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God
All glory in the highest
O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
Christ the Lord!

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.

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 wait around.

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel
O come to us, abide with us.

our Lord Emmanuel.

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.

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

Silent night, holy night!
Son of God love’s pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth

THE BIRTH OF JESUS – Reading Luke 2: 1-8

 

CHRISTMAS PRAYERS

A Psalm of Praise Verses from Psalm 98

CAROL

Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let Earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And Heaven and nature sing
And Heaven and nature sing
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing

Joy to the Earth, the Saviour reigns

Let all their songs employ

While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains

Repeat the sounding joy

Repeat the sounding joy

Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

He rules the world with truth and grace

And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness

And wonders of His love 

And wonders of His love  

And wonders, wonders of His love

THE CHRISTMAS BLESSING

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