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The Benedirtion

Then shall the Minister say:

Bow your hearts to God, and receive the Benediction.

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee. The Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Minister shall turn to the Altar, and the Congregation shall sing:
Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany Beasons.

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The Serrice shall close with silent prayer, while the Congregation remains standing and the Minister kneels before the Altar.

Matins on Christmas Day

The Service shall begin with an appropriate Hymn. During the singing the Minister shall proceed to the Altar and kneel in prayer. After the singing he shall rise, turn to the Congregation, and say:

Grace be unto you and peace from God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker, for He is our God.

The Minister, turning to the Altar, shall kneel and pray:

O God, Who hast made this most holy night to shine with the brightness of the true light: We praise Thy Holy Name. Above all things do we give thanks and praise to Thee, that Thou hast suffered Thine only begotten Son to become man for our salvation. We pray Thee, merciful Father, to keep us by Thy Spirit in a living knowledge of our Saviour, that we may ever be comforted by His incarnation and serve Thee as Thy children, till finally with all angels and the saints in light we may praise Thee forevermore; through Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

The Minister, rising, shall continue;

Blessed be the Name of Jehovah from this time forth and forevermore. From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same Jehovah's Name is to be praised. Jehovah is high above all nations, and His glory above the heavens. Who is like unto Jehovah our God, That hath His seat on high, That humbleth Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth! (Psalm 113. 2-6.)

Gloria Patri

The Congregation shall rise, and with the Minister, still turned to the Altar, sing:

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After the singing, the Minister shall turn to the Congregation and say:

Hear the Word of God as it is recorded in the prophecy of Isaiah, the ninth chapter, beginning at the second verse:

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Thou hast multiplied the nation, thou hast increased their joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

For the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, thou hast broken as in the day of Midian.

For all the armor of the armed man in the tumult, and the garments rolled in blood, shall be for burning, for fuel of fire.

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9. 2–7.)

The Apostles' Creed

The Minister and the Congregation shall then make the following Confession of Faith:

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin Mary; Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit; The Holy Christian Church, the Communion of saints; The Forgiveness of sins; The Resurrection of the body; And the Life everlasting. Amen.

An Anthem in harmony with the Day may here be sung. Then shall follow one or more verses of a Hymn as an introduction to the Sermon. In the meantime the Minister shall enter the Pulpit.

The Sermon

The Sermon shall conclude with the following Prayer:

Lord God, our heavenly Father: Through Thy holy angels Thou didst announce to the shepherds in the field the birth of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, and didst bid them not to be fearful, but to rejoice that Christ the Saviour was born in the city of David. Remove, we pray Thee, through Thy Holy Spirit all fear from our hearts and grant us true and lasting joy. And though we be despised and suffer much in this present time, grant that with a firm faith we may embrace Thy Son Jesus Christ, Who for our sake became man to save us from death and all evil, and gain for us eternal salvation. Amen.

The Church Notices may then be given. The Pulpit Office shall conclude with the following:

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the com. munion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

Then shall an Offertory be played, or an Anthem sung, during which the offering shall be made, The Minister, having received the offering, shall place it upon the Altar and pray as follows:

O God, Thou Giver of all good gifts, graciously receive and bless this offering, which we Thy people place upon Thine Altar, for Jesus' sake.

Amen. *

Then shall the Congregation sing a Hymn, during which the Minister shall proceed to the Altar.

*A short offertory sentence (see pp. 554, 555) may then be sung by the Choir.

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Then the Minister shall say:

Let us pray.

The Lord's Prayer
The Minister shall turn to the Altar and with the Congregation shall pray:

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, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Benedicamus
The Minister shall turn to the Congregation and sing or say:

Preussische Kirchenordnung, 1525.

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