Open Air Carols

A Very Warm Welcome

We might be outside in the cold, but a very warm welcome to you to the garden of St Michael’s! It is lovely to have you here for our Open Air Carol service. I very much hope you enjoy our time
 together as we celebrate the Christian message that lies at the heart of Christmas.
As you head home from this evening’s service you might like to take home a small Christmas gift from us - a copy of Rebecca McLaughlin’s excellent short book, Unbelievable, in which she explores the significance of the Christmas story for our world today.

Ed Kendall, Vicar of St Michael’s Fulwell

O come, all ye faithful, 
joyful and triumphant!
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem
Come and behold Him
Born the King of Angels
O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
Christ the Lord!

God of God, Light of Light
Lo, He abhors not the virgin's womb
Very God, Begotten, not created
O come, let us adore Him...

Sing, choirs of angels, 
sing in exultation
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God
All glory in the highest
O come, let us adore Him...

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, 
born of virgin mother
Jesus, to Thee be glory given
Word of the Father
Now in flesh appearing
O come, let us adore Him...
Attributed to John Francis Wade (1711-86)

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie;
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep,
The silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years,
Are met in thee tonight.

O, morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth;
And praises sing to God the King
And peace to men on earth.
For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above;
While mortals sleep the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love.

How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift is giv'n;
So God imparts to human hearts,
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin;
Where meek souls will receive Him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

O, holy child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us we pray;
Cast out our sin and enter in,
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels,
The great glad tidings tell;
O, come to us abide with us,
Our Lord, Emmanuel.
Philips Brooks, 1906

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain;
heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
but his mother only, in her maiden bliss,
worshiped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
yet what I can I give him: give my heart.
Gustav Holst, 1906

Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King.
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heav'n and nature sing,
And heav'n and nature sing,
And heav'n and heav'n and nature sing.
Joy to the earth! the Saviour reigns;
Let men their songs employ.
While fields and floods,
Rocks, hills and plains,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground.
He comes to make His blessings flow,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as the curse is found.
He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove.
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders of His love.
Isaac Watts, 1719

Once in royal David's city,
Stood a lowly cattle shed;
Where a mother laid her baby,
In a manger for His bed.
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ, her little Child. 

He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all;
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall.
With the poor and meek and lowly,
Lived on earth, our Saviour holy. 

And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love,
For that Child so dear and gentle,
Is our Lord in heaven above;
And He leads His children on,
To the place where He has gone. 

Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by;
We shall see Him but in heaven,
Set at God's right hand on high.
There His children gather round,
Bright like stars with glory crowned.
Cecil Frances Alexander, 1848 


Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled."
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With angelic hosts proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem."
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King."
Christ, by highest heav'n adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail, the incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with man to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King."
Hail the heav'n born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris'n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"
Charles Wesley, 1739