• Dec 3, 2023, 11:00 am12:30 pm
  • Dec 10, 2023, 11:00 am12:30 pm
  • Dec 17, 2023, 11:00 am12:30 pm
  • Dec 24, 2023, 11:00 am12:30 pm


Event Description

It's that beautiful, peaceful time of year! The Advent Season Worship Service featuring Rev. Alison Boden, Ph.D., Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel, and Rev. Dr. Theresa Thames, Associate Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel, and includes wonderful guest preachers as well.

The Worship Service is held every Sunday at 11am in the University Chapel. The services are also live streamed on the ORL YouTube page each week.



Princeton University Chapel



Stories of Christmas Faith


December 24, 2023, 11:00 a.m.


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


Prelude                                     Three settings of “Veni, veni, Emmanuel”

                                                                                                                                                                                                               Gerald Near

(b. 1942)


                                                                                                                                                                                                     Edward Bairstow



                                                                                                                                                                                                             Leo Sowerby



Welcome and Announcements                                                                                                                                            Dean Boden


*Hymn No. 110                       Now Bless the God of Israel                                                                                  Forest Green


*Call to Worship                                                                                                                                                                        Dean Thames


                  One                           We have lit a fourth candle as a sign of the coming light of Christ.

                                                      Advent means coming.

                                                      We are preparing ourselves for the days


                                                      When the nations shall beat their swords into plowshares,

                                                      And their spears into pruning hooks;

                                                      Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,

                                                      Neither shall they learn war any more.


                                                      The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,

                                                      The leopard shall lie down with the kid,

                                                      The calf and the lion and the fatling together,

                                                      And a little child shall lead them.


                                                      The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,

                                                      The desert shall rejoice and blossom;

                                                      Like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,

                                                      And rejoice with joy and singing.


                                                      God will give you a sign.

                                                      Look, the young woman is with child

                                                      And shall bear a son,

                                                      And shall name him Emmanuel (God is with us).



                  All Sing                   O come, o come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel

                                                      That mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.

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


                                                      O come, O Key of David, come, and open wide your heavenly home;

                                                      Make safe the path to endless day, to hell’s destruction close the way.

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


                                                      O come, O Dayspring, come and cheer our spirits by your advent here;

                                                      Love stir within the womb of night, and death’s own shadows put to flight.

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


                                                      O come, Desire of Nations, bind all peoples in one heart and mind;

                                                      Make envy, strife, and quarrels cease; fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.

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




                  One                           Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.


                  All                              Have mercy on us, most merciful Creator;

                                                      in your compassion forgive us our sins,

                                                      known and unknown,

                                                      things done and left undone;

                                                      and so uphold us by your Spirit

                                                      that we may serve you in newness of life,

                                                      to the honor and glory of your Name;

                                                      through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.


*Assurance of Pardon

                                                      Friends, hear the Good News of Advent. 

                                                      God's love is known across time, in Jesus Christ, and at this very moment. 

                                                      Hear these words of assurance that God, who makes all things new,

                                                      also covers us with grace, love, and forgiveness. 

                                                      Thanks be to God. Amen.


Reading                                    Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26


                                                      I will sing of your steadfast love, O God, forever;

                                                         with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.

                                                      I declare that your steadfast love is established for ever;

                                                         your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.

                                                      You said, ‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one,

                                                         I have sworn to my servant David:

                                                      “I will establish your descendants forever,

                                                         and build your throne for all generations.” ’


                                                      Then you spoke in a vision to your faithful one, and said:

                                                         ‘I have set the crown on one who is mighty,

                                                         I have exalted one chosen from the people.

                                                      I have found my servant David;

                                                         with my holy oil I have anointed him;

                                                      my hand shall always remain with him;

                                                         my arm also shall strengthen him.

                                                      The enemy shall not outwit him,

                                                         the wicked shall not humble him.

                                                      I will crush his foes before him

                                                         and strike down those who hate him.

                                                      My faithfulness and steadfast love shall be with him;

                                                         and in my name his horn shall be exalted.

                                                      I will set his hand on the sea

                                                         and his right hand on the rivers.

                                                      He shall cry to me, “You are my Sovereign,

                                                         my God, and the Rock of my salvation!”


Solo                                             Blest Mary Walks Amid the Thorns                                                          German folk carol

                                                                                                                                                                                              arr. Todd Marchand

                                                      Nicole Aldrich, soprano


Reading                                    Luke 1:26-28


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 God will give to 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. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of God; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.


Sermon                                     “Poems for Advent and Christmas”                                    Dean Boden and Dean Thames


*Hymn No. 123                       Mary, Woman of the Promise                                                                                     Quen Pastores


Prayers of the People                                                                                                                                                             Dean Thames


                                                      If there are prayer requests that you would like to share, please raise your hand.

                                                      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.



*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         Nun wandre, Maria                                                                                                                     Hugo Wolf


                                                      Saint Joseph sings:

                                                      Journey on, now, Mary,

                                                      Keep journeying.

                                                      The cocks are crowing,

                                                      And the place is near.


                                                      Journey on, beloved,

                                                      My jewel,

                                                      And soon we shall

                                                      Be in Bethlehem.

                                                      Then you shall rest well

                                                      And slumber there.

                                                      The cocks are crowing,

                                                      And the place is near.


                                                      I will see, my lady,

                                                      That your strength is failing;

                                                      I can hardly, alas,

                                                      Bear your agony.

                                                      Courage! We shall find

                                                      Some shelter there.

                                                      The cocks are crowing,

                                                      And the place is near.


                                                      If only your hour of pain

                                                      Were over, O Mary,

                                                      I should handsomely reward

                                                      The happy tidings.

                                                      This little donkey here

                                                      I’d gladly give away!

                                                      The cocks are crowing,

                                                      Come! The place is near.

                                                                        Paul Heyse, trans. Richard Stokes


*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!


*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 No. 122                       Come, O Long-Expected Jesus                                                                                            Stuttgart




Postlude                                   Toccata on “Veni, veni Emmanuel”                                                    Andrew Carter (b. 1939)





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, DMA                          Eric Plutz

                                                               Director of Chapel Music              University Organist


                                                       H. Fitzgerald Robertson II                   Deja Wilson

                                                                         Seminary Intern                            Seminary Intern


Edgar Gomez & Lisa McGurr, Sextons

Patricia Florek, Chapel Administrator


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.



The offering this morning will go to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.  Their mission is to provide free meals as well as free services and programs to those in need in the Trenton area and to enable them to achieve self-sufficiency.

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 Patricia Florek



SUNDAY, December 24, 8:00 p.m. — Christmas Eve Worship ServiceThe prelude starts at 7:30 with organ, strings, and vocalists.  The preacher will be Dean Boden.

MONDAY, December 25, 11:00 a.m. — Christmas Day Worship Service with Celebration of Holy Communion — The preacher will be Dean Thames.



SUNDAY, December 31, 11:00 a.m. — Christmas Festival of Lessons and Carols Presented by Trinity Episcopal Church, Princeton.

SUNDAY, January 7, 11:00 a.m. — University Chapel Service — A special worship service that features festive music of the season.


For additional information, please visit or call 609-258-3047.


Translation of “Nun wandre, Maria” © Richard Stokes, author of: The Book of Lieder (Faber);

 The Complete Songs of Hugo Wolf (Faber), provided via Oxford International Song Festival (


All copyrighted music and texts are reprinted and streamed/recorded by permission under #L-541135.

All rights reserved.



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Event Type
Special Event