Dec 24, 2022, 8:00 pm9:00 pm


Event Description

Join us in the magnificent University Chapel for a very special Christmas Eve Worship Service with Rev. Alison L. Boden, Ph.D., Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel at Princeton University. The music prelude begins at 7:30pm with the Chapel community choir, chamber orchestra, soprano soloist Lynn Norris, and University Organist Eric Plutz.

This service will be live streamed on the ORL YouTube page available through this link.

The bulletin for this service is below:

Princeton University Chapel, December 24, 2022- Christmas Eve

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


Christmas Intrada by David Conte b. 1955

Le sommeil de l’Enfant Jesus by Henri Büsser (1872-1973)

Lynn Norris, soprano

The bells ring in the night, Their joyous voice leads us toward the Child, who in the humble creche rests on the fresh straw. Sleep, little Jesus! Sleep, sweet cherub! Your mother keeps you and watches over you. Sleep! Our hearts, full of hope, have faith in your love! Rest sweetly, Jesus, dearest child! Sleep! To God we proclaim our joy! We sing Noël! Noël! Blessed feast! Day of deliverance! A Savior is born, here all are on their knees. Noël! Midnight…all is mysterious! All sleeping around us! Rest sweetly, Jesus, dearest child! Sleep, sweet cherub! On their white wings, the angels, crossing their frail hands, Shelter your divine forehead. Sleep, sweet cherub. Noël!

By Charles Raffalli, tr. Nicole Aldrich

Noëls sur les instruments by Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704)

Où s’en vont ces guays bergers Joseph est bien marié

O magnum mysterium by Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943)                                                                                                                       

Noëls sur les instruments by Marc-Antoine Charpentier

Or nous dites Marie A la venue de Noël             

O Holy Night by Adolphe Adam (1803-1856)

Alleluia! A New Work Is Come on Hand - Medieval carol composed by Ghislaine Reece-Trapp (b. 1992)

A new work is come on hand through might and grace of Goddess son, to save the lost of every land, for now is free that erst was bound. We may well sing Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Now is fulfill’d the Prophecy of David and of Jeremy, and also of Isaiah. Sing we therefore both loud and high! Sing we therefore both loud and high Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! This sweete song out of a green branch it sprung. God send the life that lasteth long, now joy and bliss be him among. That thus can sing Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!         

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

All hymns are printed in the bulletin.                                                                                                                                       

*Call to Worship by Dean Boden                                                                                                                                                         


First Reading: Isaiah 9:2-7

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 as with 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, 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.

Anthem : Viderent omnes by Michael Haydn (1737-1806)

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God; Sing joyfully unto God, all the earth. The Lord has made known his salvation; Before all nations he has revealed his justice.

Gradual for the Third Mass of the Nativity

Ps. 98: 3-4, 2

Second Reading : Luke 2:1-20

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.

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: “With-Us-God” by Dean Boden

*Hymn: Now the Green Blade Riseth, Noël Nouvelet

Pastoral Prayer by Dean Thames

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. kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

*Exchange of the Peace

One: The peace of God be always with you.

All: And also with you.

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

Offertory  Sentence                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Music at the Offering: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence by  K. Lee Scott (b. 1950)

*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

Candlelighting: Parents are asked to refrain from giving candles to children. Glowsticks are available for children.

*Hymns :

In the Bleak Midwinter, Cranham

What Child Is This?, Greensleeves

Silent Night, Holy Night, Stille Nacht


*Hymn: Joy to the World! Antioch

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

Chamber Orchestra

Peter Velikonja, Noah Kay, oboes

David Peel, Sara Cyrus, horns

Anna Lim, Fiona Lloyd-Aikman, violins

Shelley Holland-Moritz, viola

Chris Finkel, cello

Brad Aikman, bass

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!

The Office of Religious Life would like to thank the members of the orchestra and everyone who has given of their time to sing in the Christmas Eve Chorus.

The readers are Jeremiah Romagnoli ’25 and Sherry Zhang.

The offering received each year at this Christmas Eve service is divided between a domestic and an international organization, each of which is doing critical faith-based work and has partnered with Princeton University’s Office of Religious Life (ORL).  Our national recipient is Princeton Blairstown Center.  Princeton-Blairstown Center (PBC) helps urban young people through transformative experiential education programs to achieve the new standards for high school graduation and succeed in their lives after high school.  Our international recipient is the Rose Castle Foundation (RCF), based in Cumbria, UK.  RCF brings together people from opposing sides of conflict and strife of every kind to learn skills for faith-based reconciliation.  Their pedagogy creates reconciling leaders who bring transformation to families, communities, institutions, and nations.  Princeton students have participated in a one-week curriculum at Rose Castle, a journey of encountering difference, engaging through conflict, restoring relationships, and reimagining society.  The program engaged deeply with themes of reconciliation, hospitality and conflict, mediation, forgiveness, and investing in leadership development.   There is now an ongoing society of Princeton students who are receiving this training on campus.                        

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; Dr. Nicole Aldrich, Director of Chapel Music; Eric Plutz, University Organist; Elizabeth Powers, Chapel Administrator; Natalie Harvey and Becky Schad, Seminary Interns; Edgar Gomez, Sexton; Lisa McGurr, Sexton

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. If you are interested in making a contribution toward Sunday flowers in the chapel as a memorial please contact Liz Powers for details at 258-3048.

Every Sunday of every month the congregation is invited to bring non-perishable food items to be donated to Arm in Arm.

Calendar of Services:

A Christmas Day Service of Holy Communion: Dean Thames will be the preacher.

December 25, 2022 —11:00 a.m.

A Christmas Festival Service of Lessons and Carols: Presented by Trinity Episcopal Church, Princeton 

Sunday, January 1, 2023 —11:00 a.m.

University Chapel Service, festive hymn sing

Sunday, January 8, 2023 —11:00 a.m.

Event Type
Special Event