Nativity Carol Service

Liturgy for the Nativity of Christ – 25th December 2021 – St Paul’s Athens

Welcome to St. Paul’s Athens especially if you are here for the first time or visiting Athens for Christmas. Happy Christmas! The presiding priest and the preacher is Fr. Leonard, assisted by Angelos Palioudakis and Nelly Paraskevopoulou.


Entrance Hymn    36   The first Nowell


Priest:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen

The Lord be with you.

 All:      and also with you

 Priest:   Christ the light of the world has come to dispel the darkness of our hearts. Let us turn to the light and confess our sins.                     A period of silent stillness follows


Minister: God our Father, you sent your Son, full of grace and truth: forgive our failure to

receive him.  Kyrie eleison.

All:           Kyrie eleison.

Minister: Jesus our Saviour, you were born in poverty and laid in a manger: forgive our

greed and rejection of your ways.  Christe eleison.

All:           Christe eleison

Minister: Spirit of love, your servant Mary responded joyfully to your call: forgive our

hardness of heart.  Kyrie eleison.

All:          Kyrie eleison


Absolution we hear the words of God’s forgiveness to those who are truly penitent

Song for the Gloria      Angels from the realms of glory

                                        wing your flight through all the earth;

                                         heralds of creation’s story

                                         now proclaim Messiah’s birth


                                                  Come and worship

                                                  Christ the new born King;

                                                  Come and worship,

                                                  worship Christ the new born King.


                                         Shepherds in the field abiding,

                                         watching by your flocks at night,

                                         God with man is now residing:

                                         see, there shines the infant light.  Refrain


                                         Wise men, leave your contemplation

                                         brighter visions shine afar:

                                         seek in him the hope of nations,

                                         you have seen his rising star.  Refrain 


                                         Though an infant now we see him

                                         He will share his father’s throne,

                                         gather all the nations to him:

                                         every knee shall then bow down.   Refrain


Collect:  Let us pray    (remain standing as the priest sings the Collect of the Day) 

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 in your Holy Spirit; through Jesus christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen 


First Reading    (please sit)         Isaiah 9, 2-7  

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 all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. For a child has been born for us a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, 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.                            

Reader: This is the word of the Lord

All:        Thanks be to God


Gospel Hymn    42  While shepherds watched their flocks


Gospel   (turn to face the Gospel Book)

Minister: The Lord be with you

All:           and also with you

Minister: Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Luke       (Luke 2, 1-14)

All:           Glory to you, O Lord.

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. 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 favours!”

Minister: This is the gospel of the Lord

All:           Praise to you, O Christ


Sermon  (please sit)  Sermons are available to read on our website


Creed  (please stand as we declare our historic faith in the Trinitarian God)

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father: through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.


Intercessions:  Lord in your mercy.  Hear our prayer.


The Peace: (please stand)    The priest introduces the peace then says,

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

All:              and also with you


Offertory Hymn    26   Hark the herald angels sing

                                (During this hymn your donations will be collected)


Priest: Word made flesh, life of the world, in your incarnation you embraced our poverty; by your Spirit may we share in your riches.

All:  Blessed be God forever!


The Great Thanksgiving Prayer (please remain standing for this)

Priest:  The Lord be with you

All:        and also with you

Priest:  Lift up your hearts

All:        We lift them to the Lord

Priest:  Let us give thanks to the Lord our God

All:        It is right to give thanks and praise


The priest then continues singing the prayer to which we all listen with prayerful hearts until

‘for evermore praising you and singing’…    (tune:  Nicea)

Holy, holy, holy, God ever reigning, filling  all  the universe with glory, power and light.

Blest is our Redeemer, sent from God to save us. Hail and hosanna, glory in the height.


The prayer continues until the Acclamation:

Great is the mystery of faith

All:                 Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.


At the end of the Thanksgiving Prayer Amen.


The Lord’s Prayer:  (to be prayed in your own language)

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.


Priest:  We break this bread to share in the body of Christ

All:       Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread.


Sung:    Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

               Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

               Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.


Priest:  God’s holy gifts for God’s holy people

All:        Jesus Christ is holy, Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father


All may receive Holy Communion.

During the distribution we will sing: Hymn 22  Away in a manger


Post Communion Prayer: Let us pray     (please stand)

Priest: God our Father, whose word has come among us in the holy child of Bethlehem: may the light of faith illumine our hearts and shine in our words and deeds; through him who is Christ the Lord.   Amen.

All: Almighty God, we thank you for feeding us with the body and blood of your Son                  Jesus Christ. Through him we offer you our souls and bodies to be a living sacrifice. Send us out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory.  Amen


Post Communion Hymn   30   O come all ye faithful 


Priest:   May the Father, who has loved the eternal Son from before the foundation

of the world, shed that love upon you, his children.

All:        Amen

Priest:   May Christ, who by his incarnation gathered into one, all things earthly and

heavenly, fill you with joy and peace.

All:        Amen

Priest:   May the Holy Spirit, by whose overshadowing Mary became the God-bearer,

give you grace to carry the good news of Christ.

All:        Amen

Priest:   And the blessing of God almighty…

Minister: Go in the peace of Christ

All:           Thanks be to God.


Closing carol     Ding, dong! Merrily on high

                             in heav’n the bells are ringing

                             Ding, dong! Verily the sky

                             is riv’n with angels singing,

                             Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis!


                            E’en so here below, below

                            let steeple bells be swungen,

                            and io, io, io

                            by priest and people sungen.

                            Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis!


                            Pray you, dutifully prime

                            your matin chime, ye ringers:

                            may you beautifully rime

                            your evetime song, ye singers.

                            Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis!


Please come forward to the Christmas crib to say your prayers and light a candle as you leave the church.



December 26th: St. Stephen  10.00am Liturgy

December 27th  St. John the Evangelist  10.00am Liturgy

December 28th  The Holy Innocents 10.00am Liturgy

December 30th  St. Thomas Becket  10.00am


A very Happy and Blessed Christmas to you all and to your families, and a healthy and blessed New Year. Thanks to all who make sure all through the year that St. Paul’s church is a beacon of the gospel here in the heart of the city, especially in another very difficult year.


The Anglican Church in Greece (including St. Paul’s) is self financing, and receives no income other than from the generosity of those who worship here. We are a legal body and we pay tax. Our tax number is 997073090. If you wish to donate direct to our bank the account with Piraeus Bank is:  The Anglican Church in Greece, St. Paul’s Athens  GR 820172 0500 0050 5008 6327 479




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