2013 Christmas Celebration


2013

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# Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose

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# And if you ever saw it

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# You would even say it glows... #

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Half an hour to go until Christmas Day, I'm so glad you could join us

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here in Dunfermline for this festive celebration.

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Let's enjoy these last minutes as Christmas morning approaches.

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-# ..Had a very shiny nose

-Shiny nose

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# And if you ever saw it

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-# You would even say it glows

-Say it glows

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# All of the other reindeer

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-# Used to laugh and call him names

-Call him names

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# They never let poor Rudolph

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-# Join in any reindeer games

-Reindeer games

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# Then one foggy Christmas Eve

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# Santa came to say

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# "Rudolph, with your nose so bright won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"

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# Then how the reindeer loved him

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# As they shouted out with glee

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# "Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, you'll go down in history!"

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# Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer

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# Rudolph, he's Santa's reindeer

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# He saved his sleigh from flight delay

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# You'll go down in history! #

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That was a brand-new arrangement of a familiar Christmas song -

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sung there on television

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for the very first time by the National Youth Choir of Scotland.

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We'll be hearing more from them a bit later on.

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We'll also be getting readings from around the town,

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from the city chambers and the high school

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and singing some great hymns and carols,

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starting with one of the best loved carols of all,

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Hark The Herald Angels Sing.

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Dunfermline is, of course, the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie,

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who made his fortune in America, and then gave it all away.

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His charitable trusts are still doing that today,

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and to mark its centenary,

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the UK Trust has decided to help people enjoy singing in choirs.

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They've commissioned seven composers to write new arrangements to carols,

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and we'll be hearing four of them tonight.

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The first is about the Angel who brought Mary the news

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that she was going to give birth to Jesus.

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But first, let's hear that story.

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In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy,

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God sent the angel Gabriel to a town in Galilee named Nazareth.

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He had a message for a young woman

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promised in marriage to a man named Joseph,

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who was a descendant of King David.

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Her name was Mary.

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The angel came to her and said, "Peace be with you!

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"The Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you!"

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Mary was deeply troubled by the angel's message,

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and she wondered what his words meant.

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The angel said to her, "Don't be afraid, Mary.

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"God has been gracious to you.

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"You will become pregnant and give birth to a son,

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"and you will name him Jesus.

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"He will be great and will be called the Son of the most high God.

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"The Lord God will make him a king, as his ancestor David was,

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"and he will be the king of the descendants of Jacob for ever.

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"His kingdom will never end."

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"I am the Lord's servant," said Mary,

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"may it happen to me as you have said." And the angel left her.

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# The angel Gabriel from heaven came

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# With wings as drifted snow his eyes as flame

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# "All hail," said he, "Thou lowly maiden Mary"

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# Most highly favoured lady

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# Gloria!

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# "For know, a blessed mother thou shalt be

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# "All generations laud and honour thee

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# "Thy son shall be Emmanuel by seers foretold"

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# Most highly favoured lady

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-# Gloria!

-Gloria! Gloria!

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# Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head.

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# "To me, be as it pleaseth God," she said

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# "My soul shall laud and magnify his holy name"

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# Most highly favoured lady

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# Gloria!

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# Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ, was born

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# In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn

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# And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say

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# Most highly favoured lady

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# Gloria!

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# Mmmm

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# Gloria! #

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About that time, Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire.

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This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

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Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for.

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So, Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth

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up to Bethlehem in Judah, David's town, for the census.

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As a descendant of David, he had to go there.

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He went with Mary, his fiancee, who was pregnant.

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While they were there, the time came for her to give birth.

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She gave birth to a son, her first-born.

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She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger,

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because there was no room in the hostel.

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There were shepherds camping in the neighbourhood.

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They had set night watches over their sheep.

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Suddenly, God's angel stood among them

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and God's glory blazed around them.

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They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid.

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"I'm here to announce a great and joyful event

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"that is meant for everybody, worldwide.

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"A Saviour has just been born in David's town,

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"a Saviour who is Messiah and Master.

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"This is what you're to look for -

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"a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."

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At once, the angel was joined

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by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises,

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"Glory to God in the heavenly heights!

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"Peace to all men and women on earth who please him!"

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As the angel choir withdrew into heaven,

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the shepherds talked it over.

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"Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can

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"and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us."

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They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph,

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and the baby lying in the manger.

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The traditional Bible nativity story has shepherds in one of the gospels - Luke,

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and Wise Men or Kings, in another - Matthew.

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This favourite carol builds on the story of the Wise Men.

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# We three kings of Orient are

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# Bearing gifts we traverse afar

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# Field and fountain, moor and mountain

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# Following yonder star

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# O star of wonder, star of night

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# Star with royal beauty bright

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# Westward-leading, still proceeding

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# Guide us to thy perfect light

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# Born a King on Bethlehem's plain

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# Gold, I bring, to crown him again

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# King for ever, ceasing never

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# Over us all to reign

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# O star of wonder, star of night

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# Star with royal beauty bright

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# Westward-leading, still proceeding

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# Guide us to thy perfect light

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# Frankincense to offer have I

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# Incense owns a deity nigh

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# Prayer and praising All men raising

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# Worship him, God most high.

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# O star of wonder, star of night

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# Star with royal beauty bright

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# Westward-leading, still proceeding

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# Guide us to thy perfect light

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# Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume

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# Breathes a life of gathering gloom

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# Sorrowing, sighing

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# Bleeding, dying

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# Sealed in the stone-cold tomb

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# Glorious now, behold him arise

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# King and God and Sacrifice

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# Heav'n sings alleluia

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# Alleluia, the Earth replies

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# O star of wonder, star of night

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# Star with royal beauty bright

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# Westward-leading, still proceeding

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# Guide us to thy perfect light

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# Guide us to thy perfect light

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# Westward-leading, still proceeding

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# Guide us to thy perfect light. #

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Watched by shepherds,

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he is lying in wool. He is gurgling, laughing, crying, wetting himself,

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wearying his mother.

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It is a very old man who recognises the very young baby.

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This child has been chosen by God

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for the destruction of some and the salvation of many.

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He is speaking in the synagogue. He is preaching from the prophets.

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He is discovering how his words do not please religious people.

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-Who does he think he is?

-I think we've heard enough!

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-Show him the door!

-Show him the hill!

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He is walking through the streets which most decent folk avoid.

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He is listening to the cries of all those who go unheard.

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-Touch me, Jesus!

-Heal me, Jesus!

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-Lord, let me see again!

-Lord, make me well again!

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Jesus, it's my child!

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He is confronting his fiercest critics.

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They have tongues as sharp as razors.

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They have plans in case their tongues are not enough.

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-Why do you eat with the riff-raff?

-Why do you call yourself God's son?

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-Why do you violate our traditions?

-Why don't you take us seriously?

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Judas! Judas! We've a job for you.

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This is him, from Bethlehem to Bethany,

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from Jerusalem to Jericho, from Capernaum to Calvary,

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from Golgotha to the grave.

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From Heaven to Hell and back again, saying,

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"I am the Way, follow me.

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"I am the Truth, believe me.

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"I am the Life, receive me."

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# Sing lullaby

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# Lullaby, baby, now reclining

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# Sing lullaby

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# Hush, do not wake the infant king

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# Angels are watching

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# Stars are shining

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# Over the place where he is lying

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# Sing lullaby

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# Sing lullaby

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# Sing lullaby

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# Lullaby, baby, now a-sleeping

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# Sing lullaby

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# Hush, do not wake the infant king

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# Soon will come sorrow with the morning

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# Soon will come bitter grief and weeping

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# Sing lullaby

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# Sing lullaby

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# Sing lullaby

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# Sing lullaby

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# Lullaby, baby, now a-dozing

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# Sing lullaby

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# Hush, do not wake the infant king

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# Soon comes the cross, the nails, the piercing

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# Then in the grave, at last, reposing

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# Sing lullaby

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# Sing lullaby

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# Lullaby, is the babe a-waking?

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# Sing lullaby

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# Hush, do not stir the infant king

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# Dreaming of Easter Gladsome morning

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# Conquering Death Its bondage breaking

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# Sing lullaby

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# Mm-mm-mm-mm

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# Sing lullaby. #

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In the street, people rushing,

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pushing and jostling, all concern for others lost.

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Frantically seeking the last present,

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thoughtlessly passing the ardent carol singers,

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not even noticing the young man selling The Big Issue.

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And I wonder - what does Christmas mean?

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In the world, children crying at the sound of sirens.

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People looking up to the sky, fearful not of angel choirs,

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but the thunder of jets.

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Parents wondering, not at good tidings,

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but whether sons and daughters will come home again

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from bomber cockpits or army barracks.

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And I wonder - what does Christmas mean?

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In the corridors of power, corruption and lies,

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politics and partisanship.

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Old scores settled, anger and bitterness.

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And I wonder - what does Christmas mean?

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And I remember.

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In Bethlehem, few heard angels.

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They were busy with other things.

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And Jesus, from his birth, was homeless,

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and, as a man, he depended for shelter on others.

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And I remember Herod and recall that lies,

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as the weapons of power, oppression, and the death of innocents,

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are part of the story which we have sanitised into insignificance.

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This was yesterday's news.

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Here is today's news.

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In this world of selfishness and sin,

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of politics and pain, Christ was born.

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For this world, he died on a cross and was raised.

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God is with us.

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In this world, we have hope.

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In this darkness, we have light.

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A love which will never die and eternal life.

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Glory to God!

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Who would think that what was needed

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To transform and save the Earth

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Might not be a plan or army

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Proud in purpose, proved in worth?

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Who would think, despite derision

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That a child should lead the way?

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God surprises Earth with Heaven

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Coming here on Christmas Day

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Shepherds watch, and wise men wonder

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Monarchs scorn, and angels sing

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Such a place as none would reckon

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Hosts a holy, helpless thing

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Stable beasts and bypassed strangers

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Watch a baby laid in hay

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God surprises Earth with Heaven

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Coming here on Christmas Day

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Centuries of skill and science

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Span the past from which we move

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Yet experience questions whether

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With such progress we improve

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While the human lot we ponder

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Lest our hopes and humour fray

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God surprises Earth with Heaven

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Coming here on Christmas Day.

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Now, here's another of the new carols.

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It's written by Paul Mealor, one of the judges on The Choir.

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And, as you'll see, he's cleverly woven in

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some familiar words and music.

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# I think of you at Christmas

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# Of all the times we shared

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# And I pray for you at Christmas time

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# And I pray that I will see you some day

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# At Christmas

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# At Christmas, I pray

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# Silent night

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# Holy night

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-# Tonight, I put

-All is calm

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-# My fears aside

-All is bright

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-# I sing the songs

-Silent night

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-# Of peace and of love

-Holy night

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# And I pray for you at Christmas time

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# And I pray that I will see you some day

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# And I pray for you at Christmas time

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# And I pray that I will see you some day

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# At Christmas

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# At Christmas

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# I pray

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# Silent night

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# Holy night

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-# So, sleep awhile

-All is calm

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-# My baby

-All is bright

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-# Until we meet again

-Sleep in heavenly peace

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# Sleep in heavenly peace

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-# So, sleep tight, I pray

-Sleep in heavenly peace

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# Heavenly peace

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-# So, sleep tight

-Sleep in heavenly peace

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# I pray. #

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In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan

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Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone

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Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow

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In the bleak midwinter, long ago

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Our God, Heaven cannot hold him, nor Earth sustain

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Heaven and Earth shall flee away when he comes to reign

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In the bleak midwinter, a stable place sufficed

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The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ

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Angels and archangels may have gathered there

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Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air

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But his mother only, in her maiden bliss

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Worshipped the beloved with a kiss

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What can I give him, poor as I am?

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If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb

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If I were a wise man, I would do my part

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Yet what I can, I give him

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Give my heart.

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Child of Bethlehem,

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we pray like shepherds waiting on the hilltop under the velvet sky,

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alone and sometimes fearful of the shadows.

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We pray like strangers from foreign lands,

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leaving the safety and security of home

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to search with troubling questions.

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We pray like a huddled host of angels,

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hidden in the heavens,

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preparing harmonies that will herald the excitement of your arrival.

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When the cloak of our fears

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weighs us down with loneliness and isolation,

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with poverty and indignity,

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may we nestle in the silence of this dark hour,

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with the warmth of our longing

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waiting for the new light of fresh ideas and hope

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and the beginning of the peace that ends wars

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between nations, in relationships and within our minds.

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Child of Bethlehem, we pray for you,

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to be present in our time, our lives and our hearts.

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And in the silence of the midnight hour,

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our longing calls to you.

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Breaking the silence, Infant King, with the newborn cries of life.

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It's not the trumpets that herald your arrival,

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but instead the anxious whispers of uncertain parents

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and the watchful eyes of nature

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that have seen the rise and fall of the sun, the daily toil of life,

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and wait expectantly for God's new realm to take hold.

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Within your tiny frame, the fragile nature of our world is displayed.

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In these first few moments, you embody the needs of all humanity

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as you cry in hunger, longing for the tenderness of human love.

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Within your tiny frame,

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the wisdom of eternal love will take faltering infant steps

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to transform the world in which we live

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as the healing of relationships, bodies and minds,

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gives glimpses of the kingdom of Heaven.

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In this Christmas moment, Infant King, we welcome you,

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as the presence of Heaven howls in a manger

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and declares that God is in our midst. Amen.

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May yours be joyful and peaceful, wherever you are.

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Happy Christmas from Dunfermline.

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# O come, let us adore Him!

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# O come, let us adore Him!

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# O come, let us adore Him!

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# Christ the Lord! #

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Sally Magnusson introduces A Christmas Celebration from Dunfermline Abbey Church, with favourite carols including O Come All Ye Faithful and Once In Royal David's City.

Popular tenor and BBC Scotland presenter Jamie MacDougal joins the National Youth Choir of Scotland to sing a brand new carol written by Paul Mealor, a judge on the BBC series The Choir, and Professor of Composition at Aberdeen University.

The Christmas story and poems are read by pupils from Dunfermline High School, and to bring in Christmas at midnight, a prayer by Rev MaryAnn Rennie, Dunfermline Abbey's minister.


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