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Duke University Chapel Christmas Eve 2019: Lessons & Carols

Recorded in 2019, the annual Christmas Eve Service of Lessons & Carols at Duke University is a holiday tradition for many families. Come once again to the manger to hear the stories & sing the songs of the season at Duke University Chapel.

AIRED: December 21, 2020 | 0:57:30
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TRANSCRIPT

[gentle music]

[church bells chiming]

- Most years at this time,

we wish each other Merry Christmas.

But this year, I don't know if merry is the right word.

Many of us have been through and are still going through

a year of separation and suffering,

and a year of pandemic and pain.

Because of the current situation,

we might actually be more tuned

to the ancient setting of Christmas.

It happens outside on the margins of society

in the Gospel of Luke,

and it happens in the darkness in the Gospel of John.

But most importantly, Christmas did happen.

2,000 years ago, Jesus was born in a Bethlehem manger

with the herald of an angelic chorus.

A light did shine in the darkness,

and the darkness did not overcome it.

And so this year, we will once again celebrate,

though in new ways, the birth of God's hope into the world.

It is in the spirit of holy hopefulness

that Duke Chapel presents this rebroadcast

of our 2019 Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols.

Through all of the hurt,

may you have a hope-filled Christmas.

[solemn ambient music]

♪ 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 ♪

♪ And through all his wondrous childhood ♪

♪ He would honor and obey

♪ Love and watch the lowly maiden ♪

♪ In whose gentle arms he lay

♪ Christian children all must be ♪

♪ Mild, 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 feeleth for our sadness ♪

♪ And he shareth in 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 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 ♪

♪ Where like stars his children crowned ♪

♪ All in white shall wait around ♪

- A lesson from Genesis, the third chapter.

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden

at the time of the evening breeze.

And the man and his wife hid themselves

from the presence of the Lord

God among the trees of the garden.

But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him,

"Where are you?"

He said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden,

and I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself."

He said, "Who told you that you were naked?

Have you eaten from the tree

of which I commanded you not to eat?"

The man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me,

she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate."

Then the Lord God said to the woman,

"What is this that you have done?"

The woman said, "The serpent tricked me, and I ate."

The Lord God said to the serpent,

"Because you have done this,

cursed are you among all animals

and among all wild creatures.

Upon your belly, you shall go, and dust, you shall eat

all the days of your life.

I will put enmity between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and hers.

He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel."

To the woman, he said,

"I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing.

In pain you shall bring forth children,

yet your desire shall be for your husband,

and he shall rule over you."

And to the man he said,

"Because you have listened to the voice of your wife,

and have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you,

you shall not eat of it,

cursed is the ground because of you.

In toil, you shall eat of it all the days of your life.

Thorns and thistles, it shall bring forth for you,

and you shall eat the plants of the field.

By the sweat of your face,

you shall eat bread until you return to the ground,

for out of it, you were taken.

You are dust, and to dust you shall return."

This is the word of the Lord.

- [Congregation] Thanks be to God.

[gentle instrumental music]

♪ The Lord at first did Adam make ♪

♪ Out of the dust and clay

♪ And in his nostrils breathed life ♪

♪ E'en as the scriptures say

♪ And then in Eden's paradise

♪ He placed him to dwell

♪ That he within it should remain ♪

♪ To dress and keep it well

♪ Now let good Christians all begin ♪

♪ An holy life to live

♪ And to rejoice and merry be

♪ For this is Christmas Eve

♪ Now mark the goodness of the Lord ♪

♪ Which he to mankind bore

♪ His mercy soon he did extend

♪ Lost man for to restore

♪ And then, for to redeem our souls ♪

♪ From death and hellish thrall ♪

♪ He said his own dear Son should be ♪

♪ The Savior of us all

♪ Now let good Christians all begin ♪

♪ An holy life to live

♪ And to rejoice and merry be

♪ For this is Christmas Eve

♪ And now the tide is now at hand ♪

♪ In which our Savior came

♪ Let us rejoice and merry be

♪ In keeping of the same

♪ Let's feed the poor and hungry souls ♪

♪ And such as do it crave

♪ Then when we die, in heaven we ♪

♪ Our sure reward shall have

♪ Now let good Christians all begin ♪

♪ An holy life to live

♪ And to rejoice and merry be

♪ For this is Christmas Eve

[gentle instrumental music]

♪ It came upon the midnight clear ♪

♪ That glorious song of old

♪ From angels bending near the earth ♪

♪ To touch their harps of gold

♪ Peace on the earth, goodwill to men ♪

♪ From heaven's all-gracious King ♪

♪ The world in solemn stillness lay ♪

♪ To hear the angels sing

♪ Still through the cloven skies they come ♪

♪ With peaceful wings unfurled

♪ And still their heavenly music floats o'er ♪

♪ All the weary world

♪ Above its sad and lowly plains ♪

♪ They bend on hovering wing

♪ And ever o'er its Babel sounds ♪

♪ The blessed angels sing

♪ And you, beneath life's crushing load ♪

♪ Whose forms are bending low

♪ Who toil along the climbing way ♪

♪ With painful steps and slow

♪ Look now for glad and golden hours ♪

♪ Come swiftly on the wing

♪ O rest beside the weary road

♪ And hear the angels sing

♪ For lo the days are hastening on ♪

♪ By prophets seen of old

♪ When with the ever-circling years ♪

♪ Shall come the time foretold

♪ When peace shall over all the earth ♪

♪ Its ancient splendors fling

♪ And the whole world give back the song ♪

♪ Which now the angels sing

- Please be seated.

A lesson from Isaiah, the ninth chapter.

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 rejoiced before you as with the 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 Counselor,

Mighty God, Everlasting Father, The 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.

This is the word of the Lord.

- [Congregation] Thanks be to God.

[intense organ music]

♪ O day of peace that dimly shines ♪

♪ Through all our hopes and prayers and dreams ♪

♪ Guide us to justice, truth, and love ♪

♪ Delivered from our selfish schemes ♪

♪ May swords of hate fall from our hands ♪

♪ Our hearts from envy find release ♪

♪ Till by God's grace our warring world ♪

♪ Shall see Christ's promised reign of peace ♪

[intense organ music]

♪ Then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb ♪

♪ Nor shall the fierce devour the small ♪

♪ As beasts and cattle calmly graze ♪

♪ A little child shall lead them all ♪

♪ Then enemies shall learn to love ♪

♪ All creatures find their true accord ♪

♪ The hope of peace shall be fulfilled ♪

♪ For all the earth shall know the Lord ♪

[intense music]

- A lesson from Luke, the first chapter.

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 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 I am, the servant of the Lord,

let it be with me according to your word."

Then the angel departed from her.

This is the word of the Lord.

- [Congregation] Thanks be to God.

[gentle organ music]

♪ My soul proclaims your greatness, Lord ♪

♪ I sing my Savior's praise

♪ You looked upon my lowliness

♪ And I am full of grace

♪ Now ev'ry land and ev'ry age

♪ This blessing shall proclaim

♪ Great wonders you have done for me ♪

♪ And holy is your name

♪ To all who live in holy fear your mercy ever flows ♪

♪ With mighty arm you dash the proud ♪

♪ Their scheming hearts expose

♪ The ruthless you have cast aside ♪

♪ The lowly throned instead

♪ The hungry filled with all good things ♪

♪ The rich sent off unfed

- A lesson from Luke, the second chapter.

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.

This is the word of the Lord.

- [Congregation] Thanks be to God.

[gentle instrumental music]

♪ 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 quake at the sight

♪ Glories stream from heaven afar ♪

♪ Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia

♪ Christ the Savior is born

♪ Christ the Savior is born

♪ Silent night

♪ Holy night

♪ Son of God

♪ Love's pure light

♪ Radiant beams from thy holy face ♪

♪ With the dawn of redeeming grace ♪

♪ Jesus Lord, at thy birth

♪ Jesus Lord, at thy birth

- A lesson from the Gospel of Luke, second chapter.

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.

This is the word of the Lord.

- [Congregation] Thanks be to God.

♪ Sing noel, sing noel, noel, noel ♪

♪ Sing noel, sing noel, noel, noel ♪

♪ Sing noel, sing noel, noel, noel ♪

♪ Sing noel, sing noel, noel, noel ♪

♪ Sing we all noel, sing we all noel ♪

♪ Sing we all noel, sing we all noel ♪

♪ Sing noel, sing noel, noel, noel ♪

♪ Sing noel, sing noel, noel, noel ♪

♪ Sing noel, sing noel, noel, noel ♪

♪ Sing noel, sing noel, noel, noel ♪

♪ Sing we all noel, sing we all noel ♪

♪ Sing we all noel, sing we all noel ♪

♪ Sing we all noel, sing we all noel ♪

♪ Sing we all noel, sing we all noel ♪

♪ Sing noel, sing noel, noel, noel ♪

♪ Sing noel, sing noel, noel, noel ♪

♪ O come, ye people, gather here ♪

♪ To hear the news of good the cheer ♪

♪ The King of kings, the Lamb of God ♪

♪ Is born today in Bethlehem

♪ Sing noel

♪ Sing noel, sing noel, noel, noel ♪

♪ Sing noel

♪ Sing noel, sing noel, noel, noel ♪

♪ Sing noel, noel

♪ Sig noel, noel

♪ Sing

♪ Noel

[intense orchestral music]

♪ Angels we have heard on high

♪ Sweetly singing o'er the plains ♪

♪ And the mountains in reply

♪ Echoing their joyous strains

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

♪ In excelsis Deo

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

♪ In excelsis Deo

♪ Shepherds, why this jubilee

♪ Why your joyous strains prolong ♪

♪ What the gladsome tidings be

♪ Which inspire your heavenly song? ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

♪ In excelsis Deo

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

♪ In excelsis Deo

♪ Come to Bethlehem and see

♪ Him whose birth the angels sing ♪

♪ Come, adore on bended knee

♪ Christ the Lord, the newborn King ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

♪ In excelsis Deo

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

♪ In excelsis Deo

- A lesson from Matthew, the second chapter.

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.

And they told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea."

For so it has been written by the prophet,

"And you, Bethlehem and 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.

And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,

they left for their own country by another road.

This is the word of the Lord.

- [Congregation] Thanks be to God.

[gentle music]

♪ When the song of the angels is stilled ♪

♪ When the song of the angels is stilled ♪

♪ When the song of the angels is stilled ♪

♪ The work of Christmas begins

♪ When the star in the heavens is gone ♪

♪ When the star in the heavens is gone ♪

♪ When the star in the heavens is gone ♪

♪ The work of Christmas begins

♪ When the shepherds are back with their flocks ♪

♪ To find the lost

♪ To heal the broken

♪ To feed the hungry

♪ To release the prisoner

♪ To rebuild the nations

♪ To bring peace among brothers ♪

♪ To make music in the heart

♪ To make music in the heart

♪ To make music in the heart

♪ When the kings and the princes are home ♪

♪ When the kings and the princes are home ♪

♪ The work of Christmas begins

♪ When the shepherds are back with their flocks ♪

♪ When the shepherds are back with their flocks ♪

♪ When the shepherds are back with their flocks ♪

♪ The work of Christmas begins

♪ To find the lost

♪ To heal the broken

♪ To feed the hungry

♪ To release the prisoner

♪ To rebuild the nations

♪ To bring peace among brothers ♪

♪ To make music in the heart

♪ To make music in the heart

♪ To make music in the heart

[choir vocalizing]

[coughs]

[gentle music]

♪ The word was made flesh and dwelt among us ♪

♪ We beheld the glory of the Father ♪

♪ We beheld the glory of the Father ♪

♪ Full of grace and truth

♪ In the beginning was the word ♪

♪ The word was with God

♪ In him was life

♪ And the life was the light of all ♪

♪ He came to his own

♪ And his own received him not

- [Hananiel] A lesson from John, the first chapter.

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 if a father's only son full of grace and truth.

The word of God for the people of God.

- [Congregation] Thanks be to God.

♪ The word was made flesh and dwelt among us ♪

♪ We beheld the glory of the Father ♪

♪ We beheld the glory of the Father ♪

♪ Full of grace and truth

- The Lord be with you.

- [Congregation] And also with you.

- Let us pray.

Almighty God, you made this Holy night shine

with the brightness of the true light.

Grant that here on earth,

we may walk in the light of Jesus's presence,

and in the last day, wake to the brightness of his glory

through your son, Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God now and forever, amen.

Jesus was born into poverty.

And throughout his life,

we hear that he had nowhere to lay his head.

He was a refugee.

He was homeless.

And so, as you leave tonight,

we invite you to consider leaving an offering

for World Relief Durham that provide support for refugees,

and also Family Health Ministries,

which provides medical care and support

to the people of Haiti.

Tonight, as we leave, we want to remember the least of these

because the Christ child was one of them.

And now as you leave,

may the one who was born into the world,

be born in your hearts,

that you might do the work of Christmas

and might experience the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit

now and forever, amen.

[intense orchestral music]

♪ 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 ♪

♪ Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation ♪

♪ Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above ♪

♪ Glory to God, glory in the highest ♪

O come, let us adore him

O come, let us adore him

O come, let us adore him

Christ the Lord

♪ See how the shepherds

♪ Summoned to his cradle

♪ Leaving their flocks

♪ Draw nigh with lowly fear

♪ We too will thither

♪ Bend our joyful footsteps

♪ O come, let us adore him

♪ O come, let us adore him

♪ O come, let us adore him

♪ Christ the Lord

♪ Child, for us sinners

♪ Poor and in the manger

♪ We would embrace thee with love and awe ♪

♪ Who would not love thee

♪ Loving us so dearly

♪ O come, let us adore him

♪ O come, let us adore him

♪ O come, let us adore him

♪ Christ the Lord

♪ Yea, Lord, we greet thee

♪ Born this happy morning

♪ Jesus, to thee be glory given ♪

♪ O come, let us adore him

♪ O come, let us adore him

♪ O come, let us adore him

♪ Christ the Lord

[intense classical music]

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