Christmas Lessons and Carols

The custom of Our Savior congregation is a Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols. The customary hour is 11:00 P.M., however, we will also have Lessons and Carols at 6:00 P.M. for those who cannot make the late hour.

What we do is based on the famous Cambridge Lessons and Carols, heard on Public Radio stations across our country. If we had an active choir, we would intersperse the service with choir pieces. Alas, our numbers don’t allow us to have a decent sized choir at this time.

Lessons and Carols is a devotional exercise. I vest in cassock and surplice; no stole. There is no sermon as the readings and hymns preach.

All hymns are keyed to Lutheran Service Book. Here’s what we do:

Processional Hymn: LSB 376, “Once in Royal David’s City”

Bidding Prayer (not the one in LSB but the one for the Lessons and Carols)

Lord’s Prayer

LSB 377, “On Christmas Night All Christians Sing”

First Reading: Genesis 3:1-23

LSB 381, “Let Our Gladness Have No End”

Second Reading: Genesis 22:1-18

LSB 367, “Angels from the Realms of Glory”

Third Reading: Isaiah 9:2-7

LSB 366, “It Came upon the Midnight Clear”

Fourth Reading: Isaiah 11:1-9

LSB 359, “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”

Fifth Reading: Luke 1:26-38

LSB 356, “The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came”

Sixth Reading: Luke 2:1-7

LSB 386, “Now Sing We, Now Rejoice”

Seventh Reading: Luke 2:8-16

LSB 369, “Where Shepherds Lately Knelt”

Eighth Reading: Matthew 2:1-12

LSB 397, “As with Gladness Men of Old”

Ninth Reading: John 1:1-14

LSB 379, “O Come, All Ye Faithful”

Salutation, Collect, and Benediction

LSB 363, “Silent Night, Holy Night” (Customarily would be LSB 380, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”)

If you wish to see the texts of the Bidding Prayer, Collects, etc., please click here. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

You may adapt as necessary. The readings should stay the same, but at Cambridge the hymns and carols change with a few exceptions.

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4 Responses to Christmas Lessons and Carols

  1. Mark Schlamann says:

    I had been using the service prepared by the WELS Commission on Worship. The hymns are keyed to CW, but you can transpose. It’s at http://www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?2601&collectionID=908

    Under “Christmas,” click on “Christmas Lessons and Carols.”

    It was very well received when I served in North Dakota. It may have been the only thing I did right. ;-)

  2. Mark Schlamann says:

    I forgot to mention that the Service of Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge, is available on CD. Aside from a couple of lectorettes, it is well worth listening to.

  3. pastorjuhl says:

    I have the Cambridge Lessons and Carols as a digital download from Amazon. It’s their custom to have members of the Cambridge community read Scripture.

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