Order of Service for Christmas Morning

Welcome to this in-person service as we celebrate Christmas morning. 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 10:30 pm Friday morning. 

CLICK HERE to join the December 25th livestream.

Service music: Missa puerum – Josef Rheinberger

Prelude:  Festive music for Christmas



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]


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

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.


First Reading: Isaiah 62:6-12

Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have posted sentinels; all day and all night they shall never be silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest, and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it renowned throughout the earth. The Lord has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: I will not again give your grain to be food for your enemies, and foreigners shall not drink the wine for which you have laboured; but those who garner it shall eat it and praise the Lord, and those who gather it shall drink it in my holy courts. Go through, go through the gates, prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway, clear it of stones, lift up an ensign over the peoples. The Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Say to daughter Zion, ‘See, your salvation comes; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.’ They shall be called, ‘The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord’; and you shall be called, ‘Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.’

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

Psalm 96:1-4, 9-13

 Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the whole earth. Sing to the Lord and bless his name; proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations and his wonders among all peoples. For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; he is more to be feared than all gods. Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; let the whole earth tremble before him. Tell it out among the nations: “The Lord is king! He has made the world so firm that it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.” Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea thunder and all that is in it; let the field be joyful and all that is therein. Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy before the Lord when he comes, when he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with his truth.

Second Reading: Titus 3:4-7

But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

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

Gradual   The Little Road to Bethlehem – Michael Head

As I walked down the road at set of sun, the lambs were coming homewards, one by one, I heard a sheep-bell softly calling them along the little road to Bethlehem.  Beside an open door as I drew nigh, I heard sweet Mary sing a lullaby.  She sang about the lambs at close of day and rocked her King among the hay.  Across the air the silver sheep-bell rang, “The lambs are coming home,” sweet Mary sang, “Your Star of gold is shining in the sky, so sleep my little King, go lullaby.”

Godly Play Christmas Morning Story


Hymn       Away in a manger – trad. (arr. David Willcocks)

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 thee, Lord Jesus! Look down from the sky,
and stay by my side until morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay
close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
and fit us for heaven to live with thee there.

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.

The Peace

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

The Offertory Hymn:  Shepherds in the field abiding – Iris

Shepherds in the field abiding,
Tell us, when the seraph bright
Greeted you with wondrous tiding
What you saw and heard that night.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

We beheld (it is no fable),
God incarnate, King of bliss,
Swathed and cradled in a stable,
And the angel strain was this:
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Choristers on high were singing,
Jesus and his Virgin birth
Heavenly bells the while a-ring,
"Peace, good will to all on earth."
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Thanks, good shepherds, true your story,
Let us go to Bethlehem;
Angels hymn the King of glory,
Carol we with you and them.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.


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


Prayer Over the Gifts

God of peace, your Son Jesus Christ has reconciled us to you. May all we offer you today renew us as members of your household. We ask this in his name. 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.

We give you thanks and praise, almighty God, for the gift of a world full of wonder, and for our life which comes from you. By your power you sustain the universe.
Glory to you for ever and ever.

You created us to love you with all our heart, and to love each other as ourselves, but we rebel against you by the evil that we do. In Jesus, your Son, you bring healing to our world and gather us into one great family. Therefore, with all who serve you on earth and in heaven, we praise your wonderful name, as we say: 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 you thanks and praise, loving God, because in sending Jesus, your Son, to us you showed us how much you love us. He cares for the poor and the hungry. He suffers with the sick and the rejected. Betrayed and forsaken, he did not strike back but overcame hatred with love. On the cross he defeated the power of sin and death. By raising him from the dead you show us the power of your love to bring new life to all your people.
Glory to you for ever and ever.

On the night before he gave up his life for us, Jesus, at supper with his friends, took bread, gave thanks to you, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “Take this, all of you, and eat it: this is my body which is given for you.” After supper, Jesus took the cup of wine, said the blessing, gave it to his friends, and said, “Drink this, all of you: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant, which is shed for you and for many, so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.”
Glory to you for ever and ever.

Gracious God, with this bread and wine we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus, and we offer ourselves to you in him. Send your Holy Spirit on us and on these gifts, that we may know the presence of Jesus in the breaking of bread, and share in the life of the family of your children.
Glory to you for ever and ever.

Creator, you call us to be your servants; fill us with the courage and love of Jesus, that all the world may gather in joy at the table of your kingdom. We sing your praise, almighty God, through Jesus, our Lord, in the power of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.
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

Motet:  The virgin’s slumber-song – Max Reger

Amid the roses Mary sits and rocks her Jesus child, while amid the treetops sighs the breeze so warm and mild. And soft and sweetly sings a bird upon the bough: Ah! baby, sleep, dear one, slumber now! Happy is thy laughter, holy is thy silent rest, Lay thy head in slumber fondly on thy mother's breast! Ah! baby, sleep, dear one, Slumber now!


Prayer after Communion

God of all, the child born for us is the Saviour of the world. May he who made us your children welcome us into your kingdom, where he is alive and reigns with you now and for ever. 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

May the hope, peace, joy, and love of the Christ child be in your hearts and in your home this Christmas; and may the blessing of God, Creator, Son and Holy Spirit be upon you always.

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:   Prelude in G (BWV 541) – J.S. Bach


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


Celebrant  Canon Doug Richards
Godly Play Story  Nylah Thompson, Bryn Livingstone
Sung by  Treble Choristers of the Cathedral Choirs 
Organist  James Calkin
Director  Andrew McAnerney
Readers   Hugh Henderson, Judith O’Rourke
Intercessor  Ted Livingstone
Duty Warden    Nicholas Galambos

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.