Carols in the Car Park


Welcome and Introduction


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 meek and lowly lived on earth our Saviour holy.

And through all His wondrous childhood He would honour and obey,
love and watch the gentle mother in whose tender arms He lay: Christian children all should be 
kind, obedient, good as He.

For He is our childhood's pattern: day by day like us He grew;
He was little, weak and helpless - tears and smiles like us He knew: and He feels for all our 
sadness, and He shares in all our gladness.

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 our children on
to the place where He has 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: there His children gather round
bright like stars, with glory crowned.

C F Alexander (1818 - 1895)




FIRST READING: Isaiah 9: 2, 6-7.
The prophecy of the Messiah's birth

2       The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep 
darkness a light has dawned.

     For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His 
And He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

     Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice 
and righteousness
from that time on and for ever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.


O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light;
the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

O morning stars, together proclaim the holy birth,
and praises sing to God the king, and peace to men on earth;
for Christ is born of Mary; and, gathered all above,
while mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.

How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming; but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive Him, still the dear Christ enters in.

O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray;
cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell:
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Immanuel.

P Brooks (1835 - 1893)


SECOND READING:  Luke 1: 26 - 38.
The Annunciation to Mary

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David.   The virgin’s  name  was  Mary.   28   The  angel  went  to  her  and  said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favoured!  The Lord is with you.’
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.  30  But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call Him Jesus.  32  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of his father David,  33  and He will reign over Jacob’s descendants for ever; His kingdom will never end.’
34  ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’
35 The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.  So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.   36  Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.  37 For no word from God will ever fail.’
38 ‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’  Then the angel left her.



IN THE BLEAK MID-WINTER  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 mid-winter  long ago.

Heaven cannot hold Him  nor earth sustain heaven and earth shall flee away
when He comes to reign:
in the bleak mid-winter  a stable place sufficed God, the Lord almighty,  Jesus Christ.

What can I give Him,  poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd  I would give a lamb, if I were a wise man  I would do my part; yet what I can 
I give Him -  give my heart.

C G Rossetti (1830 - 1894)


THIRD READING:   Luke 2: 1 - 7.
The birth of Jesus

1  In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  2  (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
6  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.


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 first saw the sight:
glories stream from heaven afar, heavenly hosts sing alleluia:
Christ the Saviour is born, . . .

Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love's pure light; radiance beams from Thy holy face, with the dawn of redeeming grace, 
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth, . . .

After  J Möhr (1792 - 1848)  J F Young (1820 - 1885)


FOURTH READING:  Luke 2: 8 - 16.
The shepherds go to the manger

8   And  there  were  shepherds  living  out  in  the  fields  near  by, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  9  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10  But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  11  Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.  12 This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.'
13  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14     ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.'
15   When  the  angels  had  left  them  and  gone  into  heaven,  the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.'
16  So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.


their flocks by night, All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down, And glory shone around.

"Fear not," said he, (for mighty dread Had seized their troubled minds);

"Glad tidings of great joy I bring,
To you and all mankind.

"To you in David's town this day Is born of David's line
A Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, And this shall be the sign:
"The heav'nly Babe you there shall find To human view displayed,
All meanly wrapped in swathing bands, And in a manger laid."

Thus spake the Seraph; and forthwith Appeared a shining throng
Of angels praising God, who thus Addressed their joyful song:
"All glory be to God on high, And to the Earth be peace;
Goodwill henceforth from Heav'n to men Begin and never cease."

N Tate (1652 - 1715)


FIFTH READING: Matthew 2.1-11
Wise men are led by the star to Jesus

1  After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?  We saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.'
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.   4  When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born.  5 ‘In Bethlehem in Judea,' they replied, ‘for this is what the prophet has written:
6       ‘"But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel."'

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 
8  He sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search carefully for the child.  As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.'
9  After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star  they  had  seen  when  it  rose  went  ahead  of  them  until  it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.  11  On coming to the house, they saw the  child  with  His  mother  Mary,  and  they  bowed  down  and worshipped Him.  Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

THE FIRST NOWELL the angel did say
was to Bethlehem's shepherds in fields as they lay;

in fields where they lay, keeping their sheep
on a cold winter's night that was so deep:

Nowell, nowell, nowell, nowell, born is the King of Israel!

Then wise men from a country far looked up and saw a guiding star; they travelled on by night and 
day to reach the place where Jesus lay:

Nowell, nowell, ...

At Bethlehem they entered in,
on bended knee they worshipped Him; they offered there in His presence
their gold and myrrh and frankincense:

Nowell, nowell, ...

Then let us all with one accord sing praises to our heavenly Lord;
for Christ has our salvation wrought
and with His blood mankind has bought:

Nowell, nowell, ...

Unknown © 17ᵗʰ century


SIXTH READING:   John 1: 1 - 5, 9 - 14.
The Incarnation of the Word of God

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the  Word  was  God.   2   He  was  with  God  in  the  beginning.   3 Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.  In Him was life, and that life was the light of  all  mankind.    5  The  light  shines  in  the  darkness,  and  the darkness has not overcome it.

9  The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.  10  He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognise Him.  11 He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.  12  Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the  right  to  become  children  of  God  –  13   children  born  not  of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.  We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING glory to the new-born King;
peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful all you nations rise, join the triumph of the skies;
with the angelic host proclaim, ‘Christ is born in Bethlehem':
Hark! The herald angels sing glory to the new born King.

Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord:
late in time behold Him come, offspring of a virgin's womb; veiled in flesh the Godhead see, hail 
the incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with us to dwell, Jesus our Immanuel:
Hark! The herald . . .

Hail the heaven-born Prince of peace, hail the Sun of righteousness;
light and life to all He brings, risen with healing in His wings:
mild He lays His glory by, born that we no more may die;
born to raise us from the earth, born to give us second birth:
Hark! The herald . . .

C Wesley (1707 - 1788) and others


incl.    The Lord’s Prayer

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.


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,     x 3
Christ the Lord!

God of God,
Light of Light,
lo, He abhors not the virgin's womb; very God,
begotten, not created:
O come, let us adore ...

See how the shepherds summoned to His cradle,
leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze; we too will thither
bend our joyful footsteps:
O come, let us adore ...

Lo, star-led chieftains, magi, Christ adoring,
offer Him incense, gold, and myrrh; we to the Christ-child
bring our hearts' oblations:
O come, let us adore ...

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,
sing all ye citizens of heaven above: "Glory to God
in the highest:"
O come, let us adore ...

F. Oakley and W.T. Brooke (tr. with others)




CCL #46427

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