Christmas Day Worship Service

Dec 25, 2021, 11:00 am12:00 pm
Princeton University Chapel
Attend in person* & virtual option



Event Description

A Christmas Day Worship Service with Rev. Dr. Theresa S. Thames, Associate Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel at Princeton University. This is a service of Holy Communion. Music by soprano Jennifer Borghi '02 and University Organist Eric Plutz. This service will be live streamed on the ORL YouTube page available through this link.

*All persons, including members of the broader community, are welcome to attend this event if they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 if over age 12. Face coverings must be worn at all times by everyone over age 2. Registration is required for contact tracing purposes. In-person registration will be available, but lines may be long. We recommend visitors pre-register to obtain free tickets for admission through this link . PUID holders may prox in.

The bulletin for this service is below

Princeton University Chapel, Christmas Day, December 25, 2021, 11:00 a.m – a Service of Holy Communion

You are invited to rise, in body or spirit, for those parts of the service marked with an asterisk (*)

Invitatory: Three settings of “In dulci jubilo” - From Six Carol Settings by Wilbur Held (1914-2015); From 79 Chorales, Op. 28 by Marcel Dupré (1886-1971); BWV 608 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750); La Nativité by Jean Langlais (1907-1991)

*Hymn: O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)

*Welcome: Dean Boden

*Call to Worship

One: The True Light that enlightens everyone has come into the world!

All: Therefore let us live as the Children of Light!

One: The glory of God is made known in the face of a child!

All: Let us join the shepherds and angels in the worship of him!


First Reading: Psalm 97

One: God is sovereign! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!

All: Clouds and thick darkness are all around God; righteousness and justice are the foundation of God’s throne.

One: Fire goes before God, and consumes God’s adversaries on every side.

All: God’s lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles.

One: The mountains melt like wax before God, before the God of all the earth.

All: The heavens proclaim God’s righteousness; and all the peoples behold God’s glory.

One: All worshipers of images are put to shame, those who make their boast in worthless idols; all gods bow down before the Almighty.

All: Zion hears and is glad, and the towns of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O God.

One: For you, O God, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.

All: God loves those who hate evil; God guards the lives of the faithful and rescues them from the hand of the wicked.

One: Light dawns for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.

All: Rejoice in God, O you righteous, and give thanks to God’s holy name!

Solo: Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) by Jennifer Borghi '02, soprano

Second Reading: Luke 2:8-20 - 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, 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 God 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 God 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; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Sermon: “Hidden Treasure” by Dean Thames

*Hymn: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (Mendelssohn)

Intercessory Prayers:  Dean Boden

After each petition:

One: God of love and mercy,

All: Hear our prayer.

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, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

*Exchange of the Peace

Leader: The peace of God be always with you.

People: And also with you.

(The people may exchange the peace with one another.)

Offertory Sentence

Music at the Offering: In the Bleak Midwinter by Gustav Holst (1874-1934) with Jennifer Borghi '02, soprano

Doxology: (Sung to the tune of hymn no. 27- Lasst Uns Erfreuen) - Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise God all creatures here below, alleluia, alleluia! Praise God above ye heavenly hosts, Creator, Christ, and Holy Ghost, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


Invitation to Communion

Kyrie: Text: Ancient Greek; Music: Russian Orthodox tradition

One: This is the joyful feast of the people of God.

All: Let us rejoice and be glad.

Gloria: Music: Pablo Sosa. 1988 (Cueca dance rhythm)

One: Creator God, We bless you and praise you, you spoke and the Earth was formed. You drew a breath and the sea rose.

All: All of creation sings your praises.

Sanctus: Text and music: Anon, Argentina

One: From the dust of the Earth, you created our bodies. You gave us our senses and blessed us with the power of reason and love. Yet we turned against you and one another.

All: Have mercy on us, mighty God.

One: And so you sent us Jesus, the incarnate one, to show us how to love you. He announced good news to the poor, release to the captive, sight to the blind, and freedom to the oppressed.

All: Through all his life and death, He reconciled us to you and to one another.

Agnus Dei: Music: Kirchenordnung, Braunschweig, 1528

One: Witnessing to that reconciliation, on the night he was arrested, in company with his good friends, Jesus took bread. After giving thanks, he broke it and said:

All: Take. Eat. This is my body, which is given for you. Do this, remembering me.

One: After supper, he took a cup of wine and said:

All: “Drink this, all of you. This is the new covenant, sealed in my blood; whenever you drink it, do this, remembering me.”

All: Remembering Jesus, we ask you to send the power of the Holy Spirit upon this bread and this wine that these gifts may be for us the sacrament of your healing presence among us in a broken and bleeding world. Feed us with your power; fill us with your peace; lead us, reconciled and redeemed, into the world, to work for the liberation and reconciliation of all peoples.

All: In the name of God, Creating, Redeeming, and Sanctifying, we pray, Amen.

One: The gifts of God for the people of God.

All of God’s People are Welcome at God’s Table. Please come forward to receive Communion. After receiving the bread, you may either eat it and then drink from the cup, or dip the bread in the cup. You are then invited to return to your seats to keep silence for meditation and prayer.

Music during Communion: Come unto Him by George Frideric Handel with Jennifer Borghi '02, soprano; Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

*Thanksgiving: (To be said by all.) - Eternal God, we thank you for graciously calling us into community with Jesus and one another, and for beginning in us the age that is to come. Grant us courage and send us forth to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you as faithful witnesses of Jesus Christ. To Christ, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and forever. Amen.

Prayer for Princeton: _(To be said by all.) -_O Eternal God, the source of life and light for all peoples, we pray you would endow this University with your grace and wisdom: give inspiration and understanding to those who teach and to those who learn; grant vision to its trustees and administrators; to all who work here and to all who bear her name give your guiding Spirit of sacrificial courage and loving service. Amen.

*Hymn: Go Tell It On The Mountain (African-American spiritual)


Voluntary: Toccata on “Vom Himmel hoch” by Garth Edmundson (1892-1971)

The University Chapel is a welcoming community of faith. We gather to sing God's praises, to hear God's living Word, to seek justice, and to proclaim God's love for all people.

University Chapel Staff: The Rev. Alison L. Boden, Ph.D., Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel; The Rev. Dr. Theresa S. Thames, Associate Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel; Nicole Aldrich, Director of Chapel Music and of the Chapel Choir; Eric Plutz, University Organist; Elizabeth Powers, Chapel Administrator; Otis Byrd, Jr. Seminary Intern; Edgar Gomez, Sexton; Lisa McGurr, Sexton

Every Sunday of every month the congregation is invited to bring non-perishable food items to be donated to Arm in Arm. If you are interested in making a contribution toward Sunday flowers in the chapel as a memorial please contact Liz Powers for details at 609-258-3048. The offering this morning will go to the Princeton Senior Resource Center. The Princeton Senior Resource Center is a private non-profit organization founded in 1974 to provide programs and services to promote healthy aging for Princeton area older adults.

Calendar of Services

Christian worship is offered at Princeton University Chapel every Sunday morning at 11:00. It is a warm and welcoming community of faith. If you would like more information about our services, please speak with a minister or an usher. We hope you will join us!

A Christmas Festival Service of Lessons and Carols - Sunday, December 26, 2021, 11:00 a.m.- presented by Trinity Episcopal Church, Princeton

Hymn Sing and Worship Service - Sunday, January 2, 2022, 11:00 a.m - festive hymn sing for the season.

Office of Religious Life