Resources for Worship – Christmas Day 2020, the Year of the Great Pandemic

These are worship resources for Christmas Day, December 25, 2020. The resources are gathered from a variety of sources and, while assembled mainly for The Anglican Church of St Thomas the Apostle, Kefalas, on the island of Crete in Greece, others may find them useful.

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The government of Greece is allowing services on Christmas Day, with a maximum of nine persons in attendance. We will have three services of Holy Communion on Christmas Day at the Tabernacle of St Thomas, Kefalas:

  • 9:15 am Said Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion
  • 10:00 Said Common Worship Holy Communion
  • 11:00 Said Common Worship Holy Communion with Hymns (also on Zoom)

If you wish to attend you must register in advance. To register please contact Pat Worsley by phone at +30 28257 71001 or by email at peter.worsley@btinternet.com; registration is on a first come, first served basis. As of Thursday evening, December 16, we have two spaces available at the 9.15 service, one at the 10.00am service and the 11.00am service is full.

You can attend the 11:00 am virtually on Zoom, by clicking this link or by entering the following into your Zoom application: Meeting ID: 850 4483 9927 Passcode: 010209.

Read

There are different readings at the three services, more or less.

Reflect

An old sermon of mine is here: The Christmas You Need: Choose From Five.

Pray

Collect
Almighty God,
you have given us your only-begotten Son
to take our nature upon him
and as at this time to be born of a pure virgin:
grant that we, who have been born again
and made your children by adoption and grace,
may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

(or)

Lord Jesus Christ,
your birth at Bethlehem
draws us to kneel in wonder at heaven touching earth:
accept our heartfelt praise
as we worship you,
our Saviour and our eternal God. Amen.

Biddings
I bid your prayers for the leaders and people of the nations; especially

  • Katerini Sakellaropoulou, President of Greece, and
  • Elizabeth, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and her other realms, and also in her role as Governor of the Church of England;
  • In the European Union,
    • Charles Michel, President of the European Council; and
    • Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy;
  • For the United Nations and its work, and its Secretary General, António Guterres;
  • for the closing negotiations around Brexit;
  • for the peoples of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland facing uncertainty over the fate of the Good Friday Accord;
  • the peoples of Belarus, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Peru, and Thailand as they continue to demonstrate for democracy and justice;
  • for the maintaining of peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and between Russia and Ukraine, North and South Korea, and for a final, just resolution to their conflicts;
  • for the President-elect and peoples of the United States;
  • for peace and justice between Palestinians and Israelis;
  • for advocates of Indigenous rights and the adoption and implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
  • prisoners and captives, especially the over one million Uygers being held in detention in China;
  • the over 79.5 million refugees and nearly 4 million stateless person, remembering especially the crucial situation of Greece, and the work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (“UNHCR”);
  • for a lessening of tensions between Turkey and Greece; and
  • for peace in Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, and Ethiopia.

I bid your prayers for the sick and suffering and all who minister to their needs;

  • remembering the 20.8 million active cases of the novel coronavirus, and mourning with the families of the 1.67 million who have died in the pandemic;
  • for the 1.97 million people in the UK who have had covid-19 or are recovering from it, the over 66,000 who have died of it there, and the over 115,000 active cases here in Greece, and the families of the over 4000 dead here;
  • remembering those ill with other diseases, and those whose operations have been postponed;
  • all those having issues with mental health;
  • those suffering from addiction, and those in recovery;
  • those who have been affected severely by the economic effects of the pandemic, especially in food services and tourism;
  • and giving thanks for the efforts of researchers in finding vaccines, and the rollout of vaccines across the world.

I bid your prayers for the Church:

  • for Robert Innes & David Hamid, our bishops;
  • for Justin Welby our archbishop, Stephen Cottrell the Archbishop of York, and the General Synod of the Church of England;
  • for our beloved in Christ in other denominations, especially the leadership in:
    • The Orthodox Church: Bartholomaĩos, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople; and Irinaios Athanasiadis, Archbishop of Crete; and the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece in Athens;
    • The Roman Catholic Church, especially Pope Francis, and the bishop for Crete, Petros Stefanou;
    • the Greek Evangelical Church, the independent Greek Pentecostal churches, and the various Lutheran, Reformed, and other Protestant churches ministering to foreign populations;
  • we pray especially for congregations that have been obliged to cease in-person services;
  • for the churches and peoples of Japan, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan (World Council of Churches Ecumenical Prayer Cycle);
  • in the Anglican Communion, we pray for the Peace of Jerusalem and the people of Bethlehem (Anglican Cycle of Prayer);
  • (from the Prayer Diary of the Diocese in Europe) give thanks for:
    • the chaplaincy of Montreux: (Also serves Villars-sur-Ollon) and its chaplain, Paul Ormrod, and
    • the chaplaincy of Vevey: (Also serves Château D’Oex, Neuchâtel) and its chaplain, Clive Atkinson; their Reader, Michael Cotton; and
    • the Diocesan Environment Officer, Elizabeth Bussman.

Intercessions
Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.
Let us bring before God the needs of the world.

Wonderful counsellor,
give your wisdom to the rulers of the nations.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Mighty God,
make the whole world know
that the government is on your shoulders.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Everlasting Father,
establish your reign of justice and righteousness for ever.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Prince of peace,
bring in the endless kingdom of your peace.
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Almighty Lord,
hear our prayer
and fulfil your purposes in us,
as you accomplished your will
in our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sing

On Christmas Day at the 11:00 am service we will sing four hymns from Mission Praise:

  1. Opening Hymn 491: O Come, All You Faithful
  2. Before the Gospel Reading, Hymn 749: What Child Is This?
  3. As the Table is Prepared, Hymn 196: Good Christian Men, Rejoice!
  4. At the end, Hymn 114: Ding, Dong, Merrily On High

If you cannot remember how these carols go, here are some past occasions when they were sung.

If you don’t know Puddles Pity Party, you might want to. He’s a sad clown in the big city with an amazing voice.

While this is the CBC Choir, it is not the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Choir (if such a thing ever existed) but the Canada Bay Community Choir in Sydney, Australia (hence the green grass and shirt sleeves weather). Canada Bay, part of the city of Sydney, is named after French Canadians rebels deported to Australia by British authorities after the Lower Canada Rebellion of 1837-1838.

About Bruce Bryant-Scott

Canadian. Husband. Father. Christian. Recovering Settler. A priest of the Church of England, Diocese in Europe, on the island of Crete in Greece. More about me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/bruce-bryant-scott-4205501a/
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