Order of Service for Christmas Eve 10:00 pm

Welcome to this in-person service as we celebrate Christmas Eve. This week the service will be live broadcast for those of you participating from home. Because it is a live broadcast it will not be available until 10:00 pm Thursday evening. 

CLICK HERE to join the December 24th livestream.

Service music:   Messe de Minuit pour Noël - Marc-Antoine Charpentier

Prelude:  Noëls divers – Louis-Claude d’Aquin & Nicolas Lebègue



Hymn    O come, all ye faithful – Adeste fideles

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.

God of God, Light of Light,
lo, he abhors not the virgin's womb;
very God, begotten not created: [Refrain]

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,
sing, all ye citizens of heaven above;
glory to God, glory in the highest: [Refrain]

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning,
Jesus, to thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing: [Refrain]


Dear friends, we gather this morning on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Nation, and we recognize the continuing presence of First Nations, Métis and Inuit in this region.
May we dwell on this land with respect and peace.

Here let heaven and earth embrace;
here may God’s people find home.

Advent Wreath Liturgy

Because injustice, despair, and illness threaten to overwhelm us,
we pray for hope.

Because so many swords have not yet been beaten into ploughshares,
we pray for peace.

Because grief and loss weigh so heavily,
we pray for joy.

Because hatred is still so strong, and because people all over the world are suffering,
we pray for love.

God has come to us as a child,
to dwell with us, and to walk with us.

May the light and the fire from these candles
burn away everything that is preventing the God of hope, peace, joy, and love from being born among us.

Brothers and sisters, be not afraid, even now the light of Christ is overwhelming the world, on earth as it is in heaven!


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 for ever. Amen.


First Reading:  Isaiah 52:7-10

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’ Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy; for in plain sight they see the return of the Lord to Zion. Break forth together into singing, you ruins of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Thanks be to God.

Psalm 98

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things. With his right hand and his holy arm has he won for himself the victory. The Lord has made known his victory; his righteousness has he openly shown in the sight of the nations. He remembers his mercy and faithfulness to the house of Israel, and all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. Shout with joy to the Lord, all you lands; lift up your voice, rejoice, and sing. Sing to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the voice of song. With trumpets and the sound of the horn shout with joy before the King, the Lord. Let the sea make a noise and all that is in it, the lands and those who dwell therein. Let the rivers clap their hands, and let the hills ring out with joy before the Lord, when he comes to judge the earth. In righteousness shall he judge the world and the peoples with equity.

Second Reading: Hebrews 1:1-4

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Thanks be to God.

Gradual    Sir Christèmas – William Mathias

Nowell, nowell. Who is there that singeth so, I am here, Sir Christèmas. Welcome, my lord Sir Christèmas! Welcome to all, both more and less! Come near, come near, come near, Nowell, nowell. Dieu vous garde, beaux sieurs, Tidings I you bring: A maid hath borne a child full young, Witch causeth you to sing: Nowell, nowell. Christ is now born of a pure maid, Born of a pure maid; In an ox-stall he is laid, Wherefore sing we at a brayde:  Nowell, nowell. Buvez bien, buvez bien Par toute la compagnie. Make good cheer and be right merry, And sing with us now joyfully Nowell, nowell!

Holy Gospel:  John 1:1-14

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.
Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

The Gospel of Christ.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


Motet:   Quelle est cette odeur agréable – trad (arr. David Willcocks)

Quelle est cette odeur agréable, Bergers, qui ravit tous nos sens? S’exhale-t’il rien de semblable Au milieu des fleurs du printemps? Quelle est cette odeur agréable Bergers, qui ravit tous nos sens? Mais quelle éclatante lumière Dans la nuit vient frapper nos yeux! L’astre du jour, dans sa carrière, Fut-il jamais si radieux? Mais quelle éclatante lumière Dans la nuit vient frapper nos yeux! A Bethléem, dans une crèche, ll vient de vous naître un Sauveur; Allons, que rien ne vous empêche D’adorer votre Rédempteur. A Bethléem, dans une crèche, ll vient de vous naître un Sauveur. Dieu tout-puissant, gloire éternelle Vous soit rendue jusqu’aux cieux; Que la paix soit universelle, Que la grâce abonde en tous lieux. Dieu tout-puissant, gloire éternelle Vous soit rendue jusqu’aux cieux. | What is this pleasant fragrance, shepherds, which delights all our senses? Does anything like this breathe amongst the flowers of Spring? But what a brilliant light in the darkness beats upon our eyes! The star of day, in its course, was it ever as radiant as this? At Bethlehem, in a crib, there has just been born to you a Saviour. Come, let nothing prevent you from worshipping your Redeemer. All-powerful God, may eternal glory be paid to you in the highest heaven. May peace reign universal, and may grace abound in all lands.

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.

Prayers of the People

In the name of the Holy Child of Bethlehem, let us pray to the Lord, saying: Lord, graciously hear us.

Most Holy God, we gather before you in prayer, celebrating the birth of Jesus, and giving thanks for your presence in our lives and in the life of our beloved Church. Lord hear us:
Lord, graciously hear us.

As we enter this joyous season of Christmas, we pray that the light of your Christ will shine upon all nations, all people and all Creation, leading us in love, peace and joy. Lord hear us:
Lord, graciously hear us.

We pray for Elizabeth our Queen, Julie our Governor General, and Justin our Prime Minister; and we pray that your grace and your wisdom will be with all the leaders of the world: may their hearts be softened to your ways of compassion and hope, may their reasoning and deliberations be sound and fair, and may peace and justice prevail across the Earth. Lord hear us:
Lord, graciously hear us.

We pray for all who are affected by conflict, violence and exploitation. We hold before you all combatants, all casualties, all refugees, all victims, all perpetrators. May your presence and your peace surround all children, women, and men whose humanity has been damaged or distorted by war, cruelty or greed. Lord hear us: Lord, graciously hear us.

We pray for all who suffer in body, mind, or spirit: for those who ache with pain or hunger; those who tremble in fear or anxiety; those who feel emptiness or despair; those who feel unloved or unwanted; and for every person on earth as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll. Lord hear us:
Lord, graciously hear us.

We pray for all who have died; and we pray for all who mourn – that they will feel your comfort and your hope – especially those whom we name in the silence of our hearts. Lord hear us:
Lord, graciously hear us.

As we join with Christians all over the world to celebrate Christ’s birth, we pray that you will give guidance and wisdom to each of us; encouraging and strengthening us to serve others with love and courage wherever we live, work or play, and filling us with hope and determination as we wait for the end of the pandemic. Lord hear us:
Lord, graciously hear us.

We thank you loving God, for shining the light of your Messiah upon us. Hear our prayers on this holy night, and give us grace to trust in you every day and every night. This we ask in the name of Jesus our Saviour. Amen.

Confession and Absolution

Dear friends in Christ, God is steadfast in love and infinite in mercy; welcoming sinners and inviting us to this 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. Amen. 

The Peace

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.

The Offertory Hymn:  It came upon the midnight clear – Noel

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 all,
from heaven's most-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.

For, lo! the days are hastening on,
by prophet-bards foretold,
when with the ever-circling years
comes round the age of gold;
when peace shall over all the earth
its ancient splendours fling,
and the whole world send back the song
which now the angels sing.

We invite you to make your offering to the Cathedral at this time by CLICKING HERE.


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 for ever. Amen.

The Great Thanksgiving

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.

It is right to give you thanks and praise, O Lord, our God, sustainer of the universe, you are worthy of glory and praise.
Glory to you for ever and ever.

At your command all things came to be: the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our island home; by your will they were created and have their being.
Glory to you for ever and ever.

From the primal elements you brought forth the human race, and blessed us with memory, reason, and skill; you made us the stewards of creation.
Glory to you for ever and ever.

But we turn against you, and betray your trust; and we turn against one another. Again and again you call us to return. Through the prophets and sages you reveal your righteous law. In the fullness of time you sent your Son, born of a woman, to be our Saviour. He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities. By his death he opened to us the way of freedom and peace.
Glory to you for ever and ever.

Therefore we praise you, joining with the heavenly chorus, with prophets, apostles, and martyrs, and with those in every generation who have looked to you in hope, to proclaim with them your glory, in their unending hymn: 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.

Blessed are you, Lord our God, for sending us Jesus, the Christ, who on the night he was handed over to suffering and death, took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread, gave it to his friends, and said, “Take this, and eat it: this is my body which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after supper, he took the cup of wine; he gave you thanks, 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 for the remembrance of me.”
Glory to you for ever and ever.

Gracious God, we recall the death of your Son Jesus Christ, we proclaim his resurrection and ascension, and we look with expectation for his coming as Lord of all the nations. We who have been redeemed by him, and made a new people by water and the Spirit, now bring you these gifts. Send your Holy Spirit upon us and upon this offering of your Church, that we who eat and drink at this holy table may share the divine life of Christ our Lord.
Glory to you for ever and ever.

Pour out your Spirit upon the whole earth and make it your new creation. Gather your Church together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom, where peace and justice are revealed, that we, with all your people, of every language, race, and nation, may share the banquet you have promised; through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, all honour and glory are yours, creator of all. People Glory to you for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

And now, as our Saviour Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,
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, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Breaking of the Bread

We break the 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 the People of God.
Thanks be to God.

Agnus Dei

Carol    Silent night! Holy Night! – Franz Gruber

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,
heav’nly hosts sing, “Alleluia!
Christ the Savior is born, 
Christ the Savior 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!

Motet:  The Sussex Carol – trad. (arr. David Willcocks)

On Christmas night all Christians sing, To hear the news the angels bring, On Christmas night all Christians sing, To here the news the angels bring, News of great joy, news of great mirth, News of our merciful King’s birth. Then why should men on earth be so sad, Since our Redeemer made us glad, Then why should men on earth be so sad, Since our Redeemer made us glad, When from our sin he set us free, All for to gain our liberty? When sin departs before his grace, Then life and health come in its place; When sin departs before his grace, Then life and health come in its place; Angels and men with joy may sing, All for to see the new-born King. All out of darkness we have light, Which made the angels sing this night: All out of darkness we have light, Which made the angels sing this night: Glory to God and peace to men, Now and for evermore. Amen.


Prayer after Communion

Creator 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, for ever and ever. Amen.

Blessing and Dismissal

Go forth in the light of Christ.
Thanks be to God.

Hymn        Joy to the World – Antioch

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 world! The Savior reigns
Let men 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.

Postlude:  Noël Parisienne – Charles Quef


We invite you to make your offering to the Cathedral at this time by CLICKING HERE  


Celebrant  Dean Beth Bretzlaff
Gospeller Canon Hilary Murray
Preacher  Bishop Shane Parker
Organist  Nicholas Walters
Director  James Calkin
Sung by Abigail Potter, Miriam Rosberg, Andrew McAnerney, Gary Dahl
Readers Sally Gomery, Jane Coutts
Intercessor  Madeleine Gomery
Duty Warden    Gillian Wheeler, Joe Holland

Advent Wreath: www.saltproject.org ©2020. Liturgy: The Book of Alternative Services ©1985 by the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada. Readings: New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV) Anglicized Edition, ©1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Prayers: Feasting on the Word Worship Companion, Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, Kindle Edition.


Book of Alternative Services copyright © 1985 and Common Praise copyright © 1998 by the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada. All rights reserved. Reproduced under license from ABC Publishing, Anglican Book Centre, a ministry of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, from Anglican Liturgical Library. Further copying is prohibited. Readings from New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, © copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.