St. John the Baptist Anglican Church - Duncan St. John the Baptist Anglican Church - Duncan
St. John the Baptist Anglican Church - Duncan is live
Christmas Eve Family Service
Guest Speaker
Friday, December 24, 2021
As we gather, we recognize that we live, work and play in the traditional lands of the Cowichan Tribes and Coast Salish People.  We continue to commit ourselves to the work of reconciliation and relationship-building with our First Nations neighbours. 




“I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day a Saviour, Christ the Lord.”                                                Luke 2.10  

O come, let us worship.  


Opening Carol: O Come, All Ye Faithful

Public Domain


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, (3 x)

Christ the Lord.  


God of God, Light of Light,

Lo! he abhors not the virgin’s womb;

Very God, begotten, not created;

O come let us adore him, (3 x)

Christ the Lord.  


Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,

Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above,

Glory to God in the highest;

O come let us adore him, (3 x)

Christ the Lord.  


See how the shepherds, summoned to his cradle,

Leaving their flocks, draw nigh with lowly fear;

We too, will thither bend our joyful footsteps;

O come let us adore him, (3 x)

Christ the Lord.  




The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

And also, with you.


Almighty God,

to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden.

Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 


Filling & Blessing of the Crèche


Lighting the Christ Candle


We honour Messiah

with the Christ-Candle’s flame;

Our Christmas Eve candles

glad tidings proclaim.

O come, all ye faithful,

rejoice on this night,

As God comes among us,

Creation’s true light.                               


Carol: Away in a Manger

Public Domain


Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,

The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.

The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,

The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.  


The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,

But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.

I love you, Lord Jesus; look down from on high

And stay by my side until morning is nigh.  


Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask you to stay

Close by me forever and love me, I pray.

Bless all the dear children in your tender care,

And fit us for heaven, to live with you there.    


Singing of The Gloria  

Gloria, Gloria, in excelsis Deo!          

Gloria, Gloria.          

Alleluia, alleluia!            


Glory to God, Glory to God,          

Glory in the highest!          

Glory to God, Glory to God,          

Alleluia, alleluia! 


Collect of the Day:

Eternal God,

this holy night is radiant with the brilliance of your one true light.

As we have known the revelation of that light on earth, bring us to see the splendour of your heavenly glory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.   Amen    


The Proclamation of the Word

1st Reading: Isaiah 9:2-7  

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.    


Carol: Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Public Domain

Hark! The herald angels sing,

Glory to the new-born King,

Peace on earth, and mercy mild,

God and sinners reconciled.

Joyful, all ye nations, rise,

Join the triumph of the skies;

With the angelic host proclaim

‘Christ is born in Bethlehem.’

Hark! The herald angels sing

Glory to the new-born King.  


Christ by highest heaven adored,

Christ, the everlasting Lord;

Late in time behold him come,

Offspring of a Virgin’s womb.

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see!

Hail, the Incarnate Deity!

Pleased as Man with man to dwell,

Jesus, our Emmanuel.

Hark! The herald angels sing

Glory to the new-born King.  


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 man no more may die,

Born to raise the sons of earth,

Born to give them second birth.

Hark! The herald angels sing

Glory to the new-born King.      


2nd Reading:  Titus 2: 11-14  

The word of the Lord.  

Thanks be to God.  


Gradual Carol: O Little Town of Bethlehem

Public Domain  


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. 


For Christ is born of Mary;

And gathered all above,

While mortals sleep, the angels keep

Their watch of wondering love.

O morning stars, together

Proclaim the holy birth,

And praises sing to God the King,

And peace to men on earth!    


The Lord be with you.  

And also, with you.


The Good News of Jesus

according To:  Luke 2:1-14, (15-20)


Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.  


The Gospel of Christ,

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.    


How silently, how silently,

The wondrous gift is given!

So, God imparts to human hearts

The blessings of his heaven:

No ear may hear his coming;

But in this world of sin,

Where meek souls will receive him, still

The dear Christ enters in.  


O Holy Child of Bethlehem,

Descend to us, we pray;

Cast out our sin, and enter in;

Be born in us today.

We hear the heavenly angels

The great glad tidings tell:

O come to us, abide with us,

Our Lord Immanuel. 


Christmas Homily:  The Venerable Brian Evans

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be ever acceptable to you, O Lord.  


Do you see what I see?

Do you hear what I hear?

Do you know what I know?  


We have many interpretations of just what was happening in that region, as the biblical writers have said over the generations.

It was so long ago, while at the same time it appears just as if it was tonight.   In our service this evening, we have a very condensed version of all that was taking place. 


It is highly possible the scene was not unlike the scenes we see on our own streets: people driving their horse, donkey or camel; driving modes of transportation, with little attention to the common courtesies of the road.

I am not sure if there were rules of the road being enforced in that day. I do suspect there were practical considerations for others.  

At the same time, there would have been people rushing about the streets, there would be crowded shops, not unlike the past few weeks in our malls and stores.  

Yes, there would have been some muttering in connection with this decree which had gone out from Quirinius, for all to be registered for the census.

In fact, it was very different from today, when we have the privilege of filling out the form in electronic format, OR having an agent come to your door.  

Many had travelled a great distance.

Even for Joseph and Mary, with the time growing near for the birth of their child.

The distance on foot with a donkey would have been no small feat. It is a distance of about 160 kms. 

Just the journey, and the thought of setting out from Nazareth.  

The noise on the streets would have been phenomenal.  

There would be the open market, the haggling and trading. Children would have been playing on the streets. We can see the picture in our minds.  

Not unlike the shopping malls in our time.

People rushing around, some pushing and pulling. Why, even the other night there was a scene in an airport of two people entering into a wrestling match over a baggage cart at an airport.  

Would the people have seen the bright star in the sky; the star we now recognize as the Bethlehem Star?

It would be hard to miss it, or would it?

At the same time, we learn later, the astrologers from a distance sure noticed it. In fact, they were so captured by the scene they set out to find out what it was all about.

Today, we may have thought it was a meteor falling from the sky, and the modern-day astrologers would be chasing it in their cars and trucks.    

Do you think they would have heard the MULTITUDE of angels singing, “Glory To God in the Highest”? The shepherds did.          

Do we expect anyone even noticed Mary and Joseph, wandering about the streets, looking for lodging?  

Who knew?  

For, how we see, how we hear, and how we know, is a matter of our perspective.  

What do we see, hear and know, when we are going about the business of the commercial Christmas scene?         

One of the famous Christmas movies/ stories has to be that of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”

I am fond of the scene where “Christmas Past” visits Ebeneezer Scrooge.

Certainly, Ebeneezer is disturbed by the visit. When he awakens, he thinks it must just be indigestion from the heavy meal he had before going to bed.           

I am sure some of us might think, had I been in Bethlehem, I would have noticed.

Would I?

We might ask ourselves, “when I watched Chek News last night, did I see only chaos, or did I see shepherds abiding in the field?”

Rhetorical question, right!  

Soon, we will return home from this night. In less than 12 hours, the gifts will be opened, the paper packaged up for recycling, the floor vacuumed, and the aroma of food preparations will be floating through the air. 

Then, we may take time to stop and see; stop and hear; stop and know.          

When we sing these familiar hymns on this night, our hearts will be filled with joy, love, hope, and peace, as we are reminded with our Advent candles.          

Then, these are completed as we light the Christ-Candle, honouring the Messiah.  

At the conclusion of our service this evening, we will each hold candle, proclaiming our glad tidings, praising God with song, “O Come, All Ye Faithful”; rejoicing in this night God has come among us.

Metaphorically, we shall each hold the Star of Bethlehem.          

This is why the carol, “DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE” proclaims in the last verse:  

Said the king to the people everywhere, Listen to what I say:

Pray for peace, people everywhere!

Listen to what I say

The Child, the Child, sleeping in the night

He will bring us goodness and light

He will bring us goodness and light. 



  • Isaiah 62:6-12 After years of feeling that God has punished the people of Israel, and abandoned them, for their infidelity, the prophet has foretold a new Jerusalem, and an everlasting covenant with God, a new liaison between God and his people.
    The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. 

  • Titus 3:4-7 The author has just reminded the members of the Christian community to be good citizens; to be ready to perform good works; to speak evil of no one; to be gentle, and to show courtesy to all people.
    He now tells us why Christians should behave in this way. 

  • Luke 2:8-20 Luke has told us about Jesus’s birth in Bethlehem, the city of Joseph’s ancestor, David. Jesus was born in lowly circumstances: in a feeding trough in a stable.
    Now begins the joyful celebration of this marvelous event: God’s Messiah has been born on earth! 

  • Luke 2:1-20 Luke has told us of the miraculous birth of John the Baptist, and, the even more miraculous, pregnancy of Mary.
    Now, as Mary and Joseph must set out on a journey, the time draws near for Mary to give birth.  

Christmas blessings to all,



The Apostles Creed:


Let us confess the faith of our baptism, as we say:  

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.

He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.

He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.  

He descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again.

He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again to judge the living and the dead.  


I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen



The Prayers of the People  


In joy and humility, let us pray to the creator of the universe, saying, “Lord, grant us peace.” 


By the good news of our salvation brought to Mary by the angel,

Hear us, O Lord.

Lord, grant us peace.  


By the mystery of the Word made flesh,

Hear us, O Lord.

Lord, grant us peace.   


By the birth in time, of the timeless Son of God,

Hear us, O Lord.

Lord, grant us peace.  


By the manifestation of the King of glory to the shepherds and magi,

Hear us, O Lord.

Lord, grant us peace.  


By the submission of the maker of the world to Mary and Joseph of Nazareth,  

Hear us, O Lord.

Lord, grant us peace.  


By the baptism of the Son of God in the river Jordan,  

Hear us, O Lord.

Lord, grant us peace.  


Grant that the kingdoms of this world may become the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ;

Hear us, O Lord.

Lord, grant us peace.   Amen. 



Confession and Absolution


Dear friends in Christ,

God is steadfast in love and infinite in mercy; God welcomes sinners and invites them to the table.

Let us confess our sins, confident in God’s forgiveness.  


Most merciful God:

We confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.  

We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.  

For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us, that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your name.  Amen.  



Almighty God have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  




The Celebration of the Eucharist. 


Offertory Carol: Go, Tell It on the Mountain

Public Domain  


Go, tell it on the mountain,

Over the hills and everywhere.

Go, tell it on the mountain

That Jesus Christ is born.  


While shepherds kept their watching

Over silent flocks by night,

Behold throughout the heavens,

There shone a holy light.  

Go, tell it on the mountain,

Over the hills and everywhere.

Go, tell it on the mountain

That Jesus Christ is born.  


The shepherds feared and trembled

When lo! above the earth,

Rang out the angel chorus

That hailed our Saviour’s birth.

Go, tell it on the mountain,

Over the hills and everywhere.

Go, tell it on the mountain

That Jesus Christ is born.  


Down in a lowly manger

Our humble Christ was born,

And God sent us salvation,

That blessed Christmas morn.  

Go, tell it on the mountain,

Over the hills and everywhere.

Go, tell it on the mountain

That Jesus Christ is born!!    


Prayer over the Gifts  


Source of light and gladness,

accept all we offer on this joyful feast.

May we grow up in him, who unites our lives to yours;

for he is Lord now and forever.  Amen. 


Eucharistic Prayer #3    


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 our thanks and praise.  


Blessed are you, gracious God, creator of heaven and earth;

we give you thanks and praise through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who in the mystery of his incarnation,

was made perfect man of the flesh of the Virgin Mary his mother;

in him, we have seen a new and radiant vision of your glory.


Therefore, with all the angels of heaven,

we lift our voices and sing our joyful hymn of praise to proclaim the glory of your name:  


Holy, holy, holy Lord,       

God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.  

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest. 


We give thanks to you, Lord our God, for the goodness and love you have made known to us in creation;

in calling Israel to be your people; in your Word spoken through the prophets;

and above all, in the Word made flesh, Jesus your Son.


For in these last days, you sent him to be incarnate from the Virgin Mary, to be the Saviour and Redeemer of the world.


In him, you have delivered us from evil, and made us worthy to stand before you.

In him, you have brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.  


On the night he was handed over to suffering and death,

a death he freely accepted,

our Lord Jesus Christ took bread;

and when he had given thanks to you,

he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said,


“Take, eat: this is my body which is given for you.

Do this in remembrance of me.”  


After supper he took the cup of wine;

and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said,


“Drink this, all of you: this is my blood of the new covenant,

which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Whenever you drink it, do this in remembrance of me.”  


Therefore, Father, according to his command,

we remember his death,

we proclaim his resurrection,

we await his coming in glory;  


and we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to you, Lord of all;

presenting to you, from your creation, this bread and this wine. 


We pray you, Gracious God, to send your Holy Spirit upon these gifts, that they may be the sacrament of the body of Christ and his blood of the new covenant.

Unite us to your Son in his sacrifice, that we, made acceptable in him, may be sanctified by the Holy Spirit.  


In the fullness of time, reconcile all things in Christ,and make them new,

and bring us to that city of light where you dwell with all your sons and daughters;


through Jesus Christ our Lord, the firstborn of all creation,

the head of the Church, and the author of our salvation;  

by whom, and with whom, and in whom,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

all honour and glory are yours,

almighty Father, now and forever.



The Lord’s Prayer  


As our Saviour taught us, let us pray:


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 that trespass against us;

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.   Amen.    


The Breaking of the Bread  


We break this bread of life,

and that life is the light of the world.  

God here among us,

light in the midst of us,

bring us to light and life.  


The gifts of God for us the people of God.

Thanks be to God. 


The Administration of Communion  


Communion Carol: It Came upon the Midnight Clear

Public Domain

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, to all good-will

from heaven’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 heavenly music floats

o’er all the weary world;

above its sad and lowly plains

they bend on hovering 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 we amid our wars hear not

the words of peace they bring:

O listen now, and still your strife,

to hear the angels sing.  


And you, beneath life’s crushing load,

whose forms are bending low,

who toil along the climbing way

with painful steps and slow;

look now, for glad and golden hours

come swiftly on the wing:

O rest beside the weary road,

and hear the angels sing.  


For lo, the days are hastening on,

by prophets seen of old,

when with the ever-circling years

shall come the time foretold:

when the new heaven and earth shall own

the Prince of Peace their King,

and the whole world send back the song

which now the angels sing. 


Lighting of Candles  


Carol: Silent Night

Public Domain  


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 the dawn of redeeming grace,

Jesus, Lord, at thy birth; 

Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.    


Prayer After Communion


Father of all,

Tonight, you have united earth and heaven in sending your Son to take our human nature.

May we, who have tasted heavenly things, share in the life of his eternal kingdom.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.    


Glory to God,

whose power, working in us,

can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.

Glory to God from generation to generation,

in the Church and in Christ Jesus, forever and ever.  Amen. 


A Christmas Blessing



Closing Carol: Joy to The World

Public Domain  


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 us glad songs employ;

while fields and floods,

rocks, hills and plains

repeat the sounding joy,

repeat the sounding joy,

repeat, repeat the sounding joy;  


No more, let wrongs and sorrows grow,

nor thorns infest the ground:

he comes to make

his blessings flow

far as our sin is found,

far as our sin is found;

far as, far as our sin is found.  


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. 





Go into the world that God so loves.  

We go bearing the light of Christ.



Song/Hymns words used by permission CCLI License #275054    

The recording ends.