An event to benefit St. Mark Lutheran Church

Sponsored by Tulips on Troost

Music by Octarium

Opening Anthem

Veni, veni Emmanuel – arr. Hamilton

First Lesson Isaiah 9:2-6a

read by The Rev. Thomas B. Curran

Those Who Saw the Star by Julia Esquivel

read by Chancellor Leo E. Morton


Most Highly Favored Lady – arr. Massey

Second Lesson Luke 1:26-31

read by The Rev. Donna J. Simon

People of Ceaseless Hope by Walter Burghardt

read by Arzelia Gates


What Child Is This – arr. Parker/Shaw

Third Lesson Matthew 1:18-21

read by The Rev. Thomas B. Curran

First Coming by Madeleine L’Engle

read by Gayle Krigel



The Wexford Carol – arr. Rutter

Fourth Lesson Luke 2:1-7

read by The Rev. Donna J. Simon

In the Middle of the Night by Dom Helder Camara

read by Alvin Brooks



Lo, How a Rose – arr. Gawthrop

Fifth Lesson Luke 2:8-14

read by The Rev. Thomas B. Curran

Aztec Story of the Nativity

read by Councilwoman Beth Gottstein    



O Magnum Mysterium – Lauridsen

Sixth Lesson Matthew 2: 1-2

read by The Rev. Donna J. Simon

In Choosing to Be Born by Peter Chrysologus, 5th Century

read by Bambi Shen



Wide, Wide, in the Rose’s Side – Martinson

Seventh Lesson Che Jesus, Anonymous, Argentina

read by Nelson Hopkins, Sr.


Closing Anthem

Alleluia – Manuel



Anthem –  Veni, veni Emmanuel – arr. Hamilton

First Lesson Isaiah 9:2-6a

Those Who Saw the Star by Julia Esquivel

Veni, veni Emmanuel – arr. Hamilton

Veni, veni Emmanuel,

Captivum salve Israel

Qui gemit in exilio

Privatus Dei Filio

Gaude, gaude Emmanuel,

Nascetur prote Israel.

O Come, o come Emmanuel

And ransom captive Israel

That mourns in lowly exile here

Until the Son of God appear

Rejoice, rejoice Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O Come, thou wisdom from on high

And order all things far and high

To us the path of knowledge flow,

And cause us in her ways to go.

Rejoice, rejoice Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Isaiah 9:2-6a

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

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 a child has been born for us, a child given to us;

Those Who Saw the Star by Julia Esquivel

The Word became Light,

The Word became History.

The Word became Conflict,

The Word became Indomitable Spirit,

and sowed its seeds …

and those-of-good-will, heard the angels sing.

Tired knees were strengthened, trembling hands were stilled, and the people who wandered in darkness saw the light!


The Word became flesh in a nation-pregnant-with-freedom,

The Spirit strengthened the arms which forged Hope,

The Verb became flesh in the people who perceived a new day…

The Word became the seed-of-justice and we conceived peace.

The Word made justice to rain and peace came forth from the furrows in the land.

Grace and Truth celebrated together in the laughter of the children rescued by life.

And the Word shall continue sowing futures in the furrows of Hope.

And on the horizon the Word made light invited us to relive a thousand dawns

toward the Kin-dom that comes…


Anthem – Most Highly Favored Lady – arr. Massey

Second Lesson Luke 1:26-31

People of Ceaseless Hope by Walter Burghardt

Most Highly Favored Lady – arr. Massey

Of Mary, the Christ was born,

In Bethlehem on Christmas morn,

A blessed mother she became.

All generations laud her name,

Most highly favored lady. Gloria.

The angel Gabriel from heaven came,

His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;

“All hail,” said he, “thou lowly maiden Mary,

Most highly favored lady.” Gloria.

“For know a blessed mother thou shalt be.”

“A blessed mother I shall be?”

“All generations laud and honor thee.”

“All generations honor me?”

“Thy son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold,

Most highly favored lady.” Gloria.

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,

“To me be as it pleaseth God,” she said.

“My soul shall laud and magnify His holy name.”

Most highly favored lady. Gloria.

Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ, was born

In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,

And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say,

“Most highly favored lady. Gloria!”

Luke 1:26-31

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a young woman engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The woman’s name was Mary. And Gabriel came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! Our God is with you.’* But she was much perplexed by these words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a child, whom you will name Jesus.

People of Ceaseless Hope by Walter Burghardt

[We] must be [people] of ceaseless hope…Every human act, every Christian act, is an act of hope. But that means [we] must be [people] of the present, [we] must live this moment – really live it, not just endure it – because this very moment, for all its imperfection and frustration, because of its imperfection and frustration, is pregnant with all sorts of possibilities, is pregnant with the future, is pregnant with love.

Anthem What Child Is This – arr. Parker/Shaw

Third Lesson Matthew 1:18-21

First Coming by Madeleine L’Engle

What Child Is This – arr. Parker/Shaw

What Child is this who, laid to rest

On Mary’s lap is sleeping?

Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet,

While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King,

Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;

Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,

The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate,

Where ox and ass are feeding?

Good Christians, fear, for sinners here

The silent Word is pleading.

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,

The cross be borne for me, for you.

Hail, hail the Word made flesh,

The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,

Come peasant, king to own Him;

The King of kings salvation brings,

Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

Raise, raise a song on high,

The virgin sings her lullaby.

Joy, joy for Christ is born,

The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Matthew 1:18-21

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When Jesus’ mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of God appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a child, whom you are to name Jesus, for your child will save God’s people.

First Coming by Madeleine L’Engle

God did not wait till the world was ready, till…the nations were at peace.

God came when the heavens were unsteady, and prisoners cried out for release.

God did not wait for the perfect time. God came when the need was deep and great.

God dined with sinners in all their grime, turned water into wine. God did not wait

Till hearts were pure. In joy God came to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.

To a world like ours of anguished shame God came, and god’s light would not go out.

God came to a world which did not mesh, to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.

In the mystery of Word made Flesh the Maker of the stars was born.

We cannot wait til the world is sane to raise our songs with joyful voice,

for to share our grief, to touch our pain, God came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!

Anthem – The Wexford Carol – arr. Rutter

Fourth Lesson Luke 2:1-7

In the Middle of the Night by Dom Helder Camara

The Wexford Carol – arr. Rutter

Good people all, this Christmas-time,

Consider well and bear in mind

What our good God for us has done

In sending his beloved Son.

With Mary holy we should pray

To God with love this Christmas day;

In Bethlehem upon that morn

There was a blessed Messiah born.

The night before that happy tide

The noble Virgin and her guide

Were long time seeking up and down

To find a lodging in the town.

But mark how all things came to pass;

From every door repelled alas!

As long foretold, their refuge all

Was but an humble ox’s stall.

Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep

Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep;

To whom God’s angels did appear,

Which put the shepherds in great fear.

‘Prepare and go,’ the angels said.

‘To Bethlehem, be not afraid:

For there you’ll find, this happy morn,

A princely babe, sweet Jesus born.

With thankful heart and joyful mind,

The shepherds went the babe to find.

And as God’s angel had foretold,

They did our saviour Christ behold.

Within a manger he was laid,

And by his side the virgin maid,

Attending on the Lord of life,

Who came on earth to end all strife.

Luke 2:1-7

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 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 child, wrapped the child in bands of cloth, and laid the child in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In the Middle of the Night by Dom Helder Camara

Then you chose to come.

God’s resplendent first-born sent to make us one.

The voices of doom protest:

“All these words about justice, love and peace—

All these naïve words will buckle beneath the weight

of a reality which is brutal and bitter, ever more bitter.”

It is true, Lord, it is midnight upon the earth,

moonless night and starved of stars.

But can we forget that You, the son of God, chose to be born

precisely at midnight?

Anthem – Lo, How a Rose – arr. Gawthrop

Fifth Lesson Luke 2:8-14

Aztec Story of the Nativity

Lo, How a Rose – arr. Gawthrop

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!

Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as seers of old have sung.

It came, a blossom bright, amid the cold of winter,

When half spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;

With Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind.

To show God’s love aright, she bore to us a Savior,

When half spent was the night.

O Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,

Dispel with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;

True Man, yet very God, from sin and death now save us,

And lighten every load.

Luke 2:8-14

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of God stood before them, and the glory of God 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. 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 God favors!”

Aztec Story of the Nativity

The angels came down from the sky like birds. Their voices were bells. They sounded like flutes.

“Praise God in heaven Alleluia!” They came flying out of the sky, singing, “Peace on earth, alleluia!”

Sweet smelling song flowers were scattering everywhere, falling to earth in a golden rain.

“Let’s scatter these golden flowers, alleluia!” The flowers are heavy like dew, and the dew is filled with light, shining like jewels in Bethlehem. “Alleluia!”

Heart flowers , plumlike bell flowers, red cup flowers.

They’re beaming with dawn light, they’re shining like gold. “Alleluia!”

Emeralds, pearls, and red crystals are glowing. They’re glistening. It’s dawn.

“Alleluia!” Jewels are spilling in Bethlehem, falling to earth, “Alleluia!”


Anthem – O Magnum Mysterium – Lauridsen

Sixth Lesson Matthew 2: 1-2

In Choosing to Be Born by Peter Chrysologus, 5th Century

Anthem – O Magnum Mysterium – Lauridsen

O magnum mysterium

O great mystery

et admirabile sacramentum

and wondrous sacrament

ut animalia viderent Dominum

that animals should see the Lord

natum, jacentem in praesepio.

born, lying in a manger.

Beata Virgo, cujus viscera

Blessed is the Virgin whose womb

meruerunt portare

was worthy to bear the

Dominum Christum. Alleluia!

Lord Jesus Christ. Alleluia!

Matthew 2: 1-2

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw this One’s star in the east and have come to worship this child.”

In Choosing to Be Born by Peter Chrysologus, 5th Century

In choosing to be born for us, God chose to be known by us. God therefore reveals God’s own self in this way, in order that this great sacrament of love may not be an occasion for us of great misunderstanding. Today the Magi find, crying in a manger, the one they have followed, shining in the sky. Today the Magi see clearly, in swaddling clothes, the one they have long awaited, laying hidden among the stars. Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder at what they see: heaven on earth, earth in heaven, humanity in God, God in humanity, one whom the whole universe cannot contain now enclosed in a tiny body.


Anthem – Wide, Wide, in the Rose’s Side – Martinson

Seventh Lesson Che Jesus, Anonymous, Argentina

Wide, Wide, in the Rose’s Side – Martinson

Wide, wide in the rose’s side

Sleeps a child without sin.

And any man who loves in this world

Stands here on guard over him.

Che Jesus, Anonymous, Argentina

They told me that you came back to be born every Christmas.

Man, you’re crazy! … with this stubborn gesture of coming back every Christmas you are trying to tell us something:

That the revolution that all proclaim begins first of all in each one’s heart.

That it doesn’t mean only changing structures but changing selfishness for love.

That we have to stop being wolves and return to being brothers and sisters,

That we have to begin to work seriously for individual conversion and social change

That you have a message that’s called the Gospel, and a Church, and that’s us — A Church that wants to be servant of all, a Church that knows that because God became human one Christmas there is no other way to love God but to love all people.

If that’s the way it is, Jesus, come to my house this Christmas, Come to my country, Come to the world of humanity.

And first of all, come to my heart.


Closing Anthem – Alleluia – Manuel


All of the non-canonical readings were taken from 

Imaging the Word: An Arts and Lectionary Resource, Vol. 1-3 (

United Church Press, 1994).

Special thanks to Cambridge Welcoming Ministries