Nativity Carol Service

Service for December 26th St. Stephen, Deacon, First Martyr

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 is Fr. Leonard and Deacon Christine is the preacher.


Entrance Hymn  

Good King Wenceslas looked 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
Gathering winter fuel


Hither, page, and stand by me,
If thou knowst 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 shall see him dine
When we bear them thither.
Page and monarch, forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude winds 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 shall find the winters rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.


In his masters step he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye, who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing.


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:  Hark! the herald angels sing

All:       Glory to the newborn King.

 Priest:   St. Stephen and the martyr saints were faithful unto death and now dwell in the heavenly kingdom for ever. As we celebrate their joy, let us bring to the Lord our sins and weaknesses, and ask for his mercy.

A period of silent stillness follows


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

receive him.  Kyrie eleison.

All:           Kyrie eleison.

Deacon:  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

Deacon:  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) 

Gracious Father, who gave the first martyr Stephen grace to pray for those who took up stones against him: grant that in all our sufferings for the truth we may learn to love even our enemies and to seek forgiveness for those who desire our hurt, looking up to heaven to him who was crucified for us, Jesus Christ our mediator and advocate, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen 

First Reading    (please sit)         Acts 7, 51-end  

When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen. But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died.

Reader: This is the word of the Lord

All:         Thanks be to God


2nd Reading:      Galatians 2, 16-20

We know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law. But if, in our effort to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have been found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! But if I build up again the very things that I once tore down, then I demonstrate that I am a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Reader: This is the word of the Lord

All:         Thanks be to God


Gospel Hymn    39  Unto us a boy is born!



Deacon:  Alleluia, Alleluia. I have called you friends, says the Lord, for all that I have heard

from my Father I have made known to you.

All:           Alleluia

Deacon:  The Lord be with you

All:           and also with you

Deacon:  Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Matthew (Mt 10, 17-22)

All:           Glory to you, O Lord.

Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

 Deacon:  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)  May the God of peace sanctify you; may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before him at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with the saints. The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

All:              and also with you


Offertory Hymn:  32  O little town of Bethlehem 

                                (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 for ever!

 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.

After the distribution we will sing:  29  It came upon the midnight clear


Post Communion Prayer: Let us pray     (please stand)

Priest: Merciful Lord, we thank you for the signs of your mercy revealed in birth and death: save us by the coming of your Son, and give us the joy of honouring Stephen, first martyr of the new Israel; through Jesus Christ our 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:   25 God rest you merry


Priest:   God give you grace to follow his saints in faith and hope and love: and the blessing….

Deacon:   Go in the peace of Christ

All:           Thanks be to God.



December 27th  St. John the Evangelist  10.00am Liturgy

December 28th  The Holy Innocents 10.00am Liturgy

December 30th  St. Thomas Becket  10.00am

January 2nd         Liturgy of the Word


Christmas Star Appeal : You can still donate to St. Paul’s via the website, by donating a star to appear around the manger. Thanks to those who have already donated.


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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