9:30AM Sunday School
11AM & 7PM Worship

2203 San Antonio St.
Austin, TX 78705

A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols

UPC Chancel Choir

December 17, 2017

(Low archival quality recording – not for commercial uses)

Order of Worship
Third Sunday in Advent
December 17, 2017

A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols


Adeste Fidelis  setting by Charles Ives

Ives asks that the opening chords be like “distant sounds from a Sabbath horizon.” A melody enters, soft and melancholy. It is the Adeste Fidelis tune, played upside down! Later, the true Adeste Fidelis melody is overlaid, loud and confident. Does this perhaps represent our wandering and longing for the redemption of our Savior?


Light One Candle to Watch for Messiah                                                                                       Congregation (seated), verses 1 through 3

Light one candle to watch for Messiah: let the light banish darkness. He shall bring salvation to Israel, God fulfills the promise.

Light two candles to watch for Messiah: let the light banish darkness. He shall feed the flock like a shepherd, gently lead them homeward.

Light three candles to watch for Messiah: let the light banish darkness. Lift your heads and lift high the gateway for the King of glory.


Once In Royal David’s City
arr. D. Willcocks

Once in royal David’s city stood a lowly cattle shed, where a mother laid her baby in a manger for his bed: Mary was that mother mild, Jesus Christ her little child. He came down to earth from heaven who is God and Lord of all, and his shelter was a stable, and his cradle was a stall; with the poor, and mean, and lowly, lived on earth our Savior holy.

Congregation now stands and sing with the Choir

And our eyes at last shall see him, through his own redeeming love,
For that child so dear and gentle is our Lord in heaven above;
And he leads his children on to the place where he is gone.
Not in that poor lowly stable, with the oxen standing by,
We shall see him; but in heaven, set at God’s right hand on high;
When like stars his children crowned all in white shall wait around.
– C. F. Alexander

Bidding Prayer & Welcome     

Matt Gaventa

Time with the Younger Church

Children are invited to return to their parents for the remainder of the service.
Children ages 3-6 may remain with their parents or be taken to the nursery on the lower level.


Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus 

Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us; let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a king,
born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal Spirit rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all-sufficient merit raise us to thy glorious throne.

First Lesson         

Genesis 1:1-5

God separates the light from the darkness.

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.


Sussex Carol                        
English trad., arr. D. Willcocks

On Christmas night all Christians sing, To hear 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?  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; 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: ‘Glory to God and peace to men, Now and for evermore.  Amen.’

Second Lesson                          

Genesis 22:15-18

God promises to faithful Abraham that in his seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.

The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, “By myself I have sworn, says the Lord: Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of their enemies, and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.”


In the Bleak Midwinter   
Gustav Holst

In the bleak midwinter Frosty wind made moan, Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone; Snow had fallen, snow on snow, Snow on snow, In the bleak midwinter Long ago.  Our God, Heav’n cannot hold him Nor earth sustain; Heav’n and earth shall flee away When he comes to reign: In the bleak midwinter A stable-place sufficed The Lord God Almighty Jesus Christ. Enough for him, whom cherubim Worship night and day, A breastful of milk And a mangerful of hay; Enough for him, whom angels Fall down before, The ox and ass and camel Which adore.  What can I give him, Poor as I am?  If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb, If I were a Wise Man I would do my part, – Yet what I can I give him, Give my heart. – Christina Rossetti

Third Lesson 

Isaiah 9:2-4,6-7

The prophet foretells the coming of the Savior.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined. You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.


The Holly and the Ivy       
English trad., arr. H. Walford Davies

The holly and the ivy When they are both full grown; Of all the trees that are in the wood The holly bears the crown.  O the rising of the sun And the running of the deer, The playing of the merry organ, Sweet singing in the choir.  The holly bears a blossom As white as any flower; And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ To be our sweet Saviour.  O the rising . . . .  The holly bears a berry as red as any blood; And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ To do poor sinners good.  O the rising . . . .  The holly bears a prickle As sharp as any thorn; And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ On Christmas Day in the morn.  O the rising . . . .  The holly bears a bark As bitt’r as any gall; And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ For to redeem us all.  O the rising . . . .

Fourth Lesson                                                                                                                        

Isaiah 11:1-4a,6-9

The peace that Christ will bring is foreshown.

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.


Good King Wenceslas  
16th C., arr. D. Willcocks

Good King Wenceslas look’d out on the Feast of Stephen, when the snow lay round about, deep, and crisp, and even:  Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel, when a poor man came in sight, gath’ring winter fuel. ‘Hither, page, and stand by me, if thou know’st it, telling, yonder peasant, who is he?  Where and what his dwelling?’  Sire, he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain, right against the forest fence, by Saint Agnes’ fountain.’  ‘Bring me flesh, and bring me wine, bring me pine-logs hither: Thou and I will see him dine, when we bear them thither.’  Page and monarch, forth they went, forth they went together: through the rude wind’s wild lament and the bitter weather.  “Sire, the night is darker now, and the wind blows stronger; fails my heart, I know not how; I can go no longer.’  ‘Mark my footsteps, good my page; tread thou in them boldly: thou shalt find the winter’s rage freeze thy blood less coldly.’  In his master’s steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted; heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed.  Therefore, Christian folk, be sure, wealth or rank possessing, ye who now will bless the poor, shall yourselves find blessing.                    – J. M. Neale


I Saw Three Ships   
English trad., arr. Craig Curry

I saw three ships come sailing in On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day, I saw three ships come sailing in On Christmas Day in the morning.  And what was in those ships all three? . . . . Our Savior Christ and his lady . . . . Pray, whither sailed those ships all three? . . . . O, they sailed into Bethlehem . . . . On Christmas Day in the morning.

Fifth Lesson    

Luke 1:26-35,38

The angel Gabriel salutes the Virgin Mary.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.


Mary’s Magnificat     
Andrew Carter

Softly the light is stealing, sweetly a maiden sings ever wakeful, ever wistful, watching faithfully, thankfully, tenderly her king of kings.  My soul doth magnify, doth magnify the Lord and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.  Mary sang to Jesus, softly the Lady sings, I will love you, I will serve you, make my lullaby glorify, magnify the King of Kings.  Lullaby, lullaby, lullaby.                                                             – A. C.

Sixth Lesson

Luke 2:1-7

Luke tells of the birth of Jesus.

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.The morning offering will be received during the next carol.

Please sign and pass the red friendship registers.


Dormi Jesu  
Kim André Arnesen

Sung in Latin translation from original English poem:  Sleep, sweet babe! My cares beguiling: Mother sits beside thee  smiling; Sleep, my darling, tenderly!  If thou sleep not, mother mourneth, Singing as her wheel she turneth: Come, soft slumber, balmily! – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Seventh Lesson

Luke 2:8-18

The shepherds go to the manger.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child;and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.


God Rest You Merry 
English trad., arr. D. Willcocks

All:           God rest you merry, our good friends, let nothing you dismay,
For Jesus Christ our Savior was born upon this day,
To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray:
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy, O tidings of comfort and joy.

Choir:      From God our heav’nly Father a blessed angel came,
And unto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same,
How that in Bethlehem was born the Son of God by name:

All:           O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy, O tidings of comfort and joy.
Now to the Lord sing praises, all you within this place,
And with true love and servanthood each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas all others doth deface:
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy, O tidings of comfort and joy.


Eighth Lesson
Matthew 2:1-11

The wise men are led by the star to Jesus.

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’” Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.”

When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.


We Three Kings of Orient Are    
arr. Richard Drakeford

Please stand and join the choir to sing Verse 5, then remain standing for the Ninth Lesson.

We three kings of Orient are; bearing gifts we traverse afar, field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star.

O star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light!

Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain, gold I bring to crown him again, King forever, ceasing never over us all to reign. (Refrain)

Frankincense to offer have I; incense owns a deity nigh; prayer and praising gladly raising,
worshiping God Most High. (Refrain)

Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume breathes a life of gathering gloom; sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, sealed in the stone-cold tomb. (Refrain)

Glorious now behold him arise, King and God and Sacrifice: Alleluia! Alleluia! sounds through the earth and skies. (Refrain)

*Ninth Lesson                                                         

John 1:1-14

John unfolds the great mystery of the Incarnation.

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.


His Light In Us   
Kim André Arnesen

God’s distant call flares in the night, so long expected, so longed for; and all my life, Christ called my name, And now at last, I’ll answer Him.  Renewed, his hope, his light in us,, fragile, our Lord appears, Alleluia, alleluia!  Eternal, so perfect, his cry of changeless love.  Alive, awake, His call is here: it is the crying of the Child; I know Christ’s call, its hidden flame, it makes my spirit flare with hope!  Renewed, his hope . . . .  This root, this stem, this flowering Love, this mustard seed, it grows to the greatest tree, the birds of souls have nested there.  The light of the night Now blazes at dawn!  You’ve lead me here, O little child, your being singing with God’s life.  The kingdom sings, it choirs
with earth, all creation lives Christ’s peace.  Renewed, his hope . . . .                           – Euan Tate


O Come, All Ye Faithful   
J. F. Wade, arr. D. Willcocks

All:           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 . . . . Christ the Lord!

Choir:      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 . . . . Christ the Lord!

All:           Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above;
Glory to God in the highest:
O come, let us adore him . . . . Christ the Lord!

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning,
Jesus, to thee be glory giv’n;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing:
O come, let us adore him . . . . Christ the Lord!

– J. F. Wade, tr. F. Oakeley, W. T. Brooke

*Prayer & Blessing                         


Adeste Fidelis 
setting by Jacobus Kloppers



Readers are Krystal Leedy, Erica Nelson, Jasiel Hernandez, Alex Pappas, John Leedy, Jessica Greenway, Adrielle Chew, Ara Carapetyan, and Matt Gaventa. Soloists are Nicole Taylor, Patricia Combs, Paul Hooker, and Curt Vaughan.

Austin Bradley directs Laudate Children’s Choir. Kim Vitray is pianist. Keith Womer is Organist. Ara Carapetyan directs the Chancel Choir.

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