On Thursday 17 December we were privileged to be joined by Deputy Mayor of Croydon and John Fisher Alumnus, Cllr Wayne Trakas-Lawlor for our annual service of lessons and Carols. We were also joined by head masters emeriti Mr Terry King and Mr Pat Liddiard.
This year, to symbolise the specific importance of mother and son to the nativity story, our first four readings were done by four students with their mothers.
Once in Royal David’s City was followed by the opening prayer.
O God, who makest us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of Thy only Son, Jesus Christ. Grant that as we joyfully receive him for our redeemer, so we may with sure confidence behold him, when he shall come to be our judge; who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.
Our first reading, from the prophet Isaiah was read by Sebastian Nye in Year Eight and his mother
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone. For there is a child born for us, a song given to us, and dominion is laid on his shoulders; and this is the name they give him: Wondrous-Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Wide is his dominion in a peace that has no end, for the throne of David and for his royal power, which he establishes and makes secure in justice and integrity. From this time onwards and forever, the jealous love of God will do this.
Joseph Conroy from Year Seven and his mother then read The Visitation
In the sixth month the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David, he will rule over the house of Jacob forever and his reign will have no end. Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin? ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you.’ The angel answered. ‘And the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God.’ ’I am the handmaid of the Lord’ said Mary. ‘Let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.
And at this time Caesar Augustus issued a decree for a census of the whole world to be taken. This census took place whilst Quirinius was Governor of Syria, and everyone went to his own town to be registered. So Joseph set forth from the town of Nazareth in Galilee and travelled up to Judea to the town of David called Bethlehem, since he was of David’s house and line, in order to be registered together with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to a son, her first born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room at the inn.
The Lamb and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen preceded Simon Cardozo and his mother reading the tale of the Shepherds
In the countryside close by there were shepherds who lived in the fields and took it in turn to watch their flocks during the night. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them. They were terrified, but the angel said, ‘Do not be afraid. Listen, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. And here is a sign for you, you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly with the angel there was a great throng of the heavenly host, praising God and singing: ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace to those who enjoy his favour.’ Now when the angels had gone from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which the Lord hath made known to us’. So they hurried away and found Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told.
In the beginning was the Word; the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through him. All that came to be had life in him, and that life was the light of man, a light that shines in the dark, a light that darkness could not overpower.
The Word was the true Light that enlightens all men; and he was coming into the world. He was in the world that had its being through him, and the world did not know him. He came to his own home and his own people did not accept him. But to all who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to all who believe in the name of him who was born not of human stock or urge of the flesh or will of man, but of God himself. The Word was made flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Ding Dong Merrily on High and Hark the Herald Angels Sing rounded off the Service of Carols and Readings. After the the closing prayer
May He who by His Incarnation gathered into one thing earthly and heavenly, fill you with the sweetness of inward peace and goodwill; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be upon you and remain with you always.
the congregation joined in a rousing O Come All Ye Faithful we sat, and stayed sitting, as the choir left, until we could no longer hear them sing Hodie Christus Natus Est.
Mince pies and Mulled wine in the school hall followed where we were grateful to our special guest for being photographed with some of the choir
Matthew, Tom, Cllr Trakas Lawlor, Joseph, Jake, Monty and Joshua