Stratford's Christmas Story Songs of Praise


Stratford's Christmas Story

The story of the first Christmas seen through the eyes of people living in Stratford-upon-Avon. With carols and readings, and music from Joe McElderry.


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CHEERING

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BELL RINGS

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Christmas isn't just coming, it's almost here.

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Are you in a panic with only six days to go?

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Well, however busy the coming week is going to be,

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why don't you just take half an hour out

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to relax and look forward

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to Christmas Day with its promise of peace and goodwill to all men,

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brought about by the birth of that very special baby,

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2000 years ago?

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This week, a feast of candlelit carols

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from Stratford-upon-Avon.

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We tell the story of the first Christmas.

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And joyful, festive music, from Joe McElderry.

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Welcome to Stratford-upon-Avon,

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where here in Holy Trinity Church,

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people from across the town, are taking a breather

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from their Christmas preparations, to come and enjoy

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some of their favourite carols together,

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and to hear again the story

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of Christ's birth, in readings that we turn to,

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year after year.

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As we're in Shakespeare's hometown,

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we've asked people living and working locally,

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to help us tell the Christmas story.

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And we begin, with a much loved carol

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that reminds us of that very first Christmas

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in David's town, Bethlehem.

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# Once in Royal David's city

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# Stood a lowly cattle shed

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# Where a mother laid her baby

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# In a manger for His bed

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# Mary was that mother mild

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# Jesus Christ

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# Her little child. #

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In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy,

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God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth,

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a town in Galilee,

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to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph,

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a descendant of David.

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The virgin's name was Mary.

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The angel went to her and said,

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"Greetings, you who are highly favoured.

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"The Lord is with you."

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Mary was greatly troubled at his words,

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and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.

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But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary.

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"You have found favour with God.

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"You are to conceive and give birth to a son,

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"and you are to call him Jesus.

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"He will be great and will be called

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" 'the son of the most high'.

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"The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David,

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"and he will reign over Jacob's descendants forever.

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"His kingdom will never end."

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"But how will this be...", Mary asked the angel,

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"since I am a virgin?"

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The angel answered, "The holy spirit will come on you,

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"and the power of the most high will overshadow you.

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"So, the holy one to be born will be called 'the son of God'."

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"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May your word to me be fulfilled."

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Then, the angel left her.

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In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that

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a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

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This was the first census that took place

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while Quirinius was governor of Syria.

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And everyone went to their own town to register.

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So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea,

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to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and the line of David.

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He went there to register with Mary,

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who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

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While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,

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and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.

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And she wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger,

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because there was no guest room available for them.

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# Mm-mm-mm-mm

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# Mm-mm-mm-mm

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# A ray of hope

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# Flickers in the sky

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# A tiny star

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# Lights up way up high

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# All across the land

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# Dawns a brand new morn

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# This comes to pass

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# When a child is born

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# A silent wish

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# Sails the seven seas

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# The winds of change

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# Whisper in the trees

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# And the walls of doubt

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# Crumble, tossed and torn

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# This comes to pass

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# When a child is born

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# A rosy hue

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# Settles all around

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# You've got the feel

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# You're on solid ground

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# For a spell or two

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# No-one seems forlorn

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# This comes to pass

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# When a child is born

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-# It's all a dream

-It's all...

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-# And illusion now

-..a dream

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-# It must come true

-It must come true

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-# Sometime, soon, somehow

-Sometime, somehow

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# All across the land

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# Dawns a brand new morn

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# This comes to pass

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# When a child is born

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# This comes to pass

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# When a child is born. #

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# We wish you a Merry Christmas

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-# We wish you... #

-It's a parent's most treasured memory.

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Their child's starring role in the school nativity play.

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And here in Stratford, as you might expect,

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even the tots are word perfect.

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-Have you any room?

-No, sorry.

-Follow me to the stable.

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And Joseph helped Mary to sit down in the...

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Christmas is really exciting at school.

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We do lots of things in the classroom, making crafts,

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and things, but most especially,

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the children start their nativity preparations.

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We give presents, just like the three Kings that brought Jesus very special presents.

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We like to do a bit of modern and a bit of traditional.

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The Christmas story, for the children,

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is part of the curriculum, but it is also a very special part of the year.

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Well, it's normally quite stressful,

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cos they never really want to do the role they've been given.

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And this year, although Bo was Mary, she really wanted to be Angel Gabriel,

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so I've had to, kind of, bribe her, and coax her into being Mary.

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It's the pinnacle of the year, and seeing how they perform, cos they are

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all slightly different, anyway, and some, like Lily, sing very loudly.

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And others are much quieter. It's just lovely to see them all.

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Trying to get boys into brown tights

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and white tights hasn't always been easy.

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But, no, it's lovely. Just practising the songs really makes you more Christmassy.

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We tend to forget that Christmas is about Jesus,

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and we just go for the presents.

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I am angel Gabriel.

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I think it's such good for her to be part of something like they

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because she can then understand the meaning of Christmas

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behind the presents, and everything else.

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# Silent night

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# Holiest night

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# Darkness flies

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# All is light

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# Shepherds hear the Angels sing

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# Hallelujah, hail the King

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# Jesus the Saviour is here!

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# Jesus the Saviour is here!

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-# Silent night

-Silent night

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-# Holiest night

-Holiest night

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-# Guiding star

-Ah-ah-ah

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-# Lend thy light

-Ah

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# See the Eastern Magi bring

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# Gifts and homage to their King

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# Jesus the Saviour is here!

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# Jesus the Saviour is here!

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# Silent night

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# Holiest night

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# Wond'rous star

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# Lend thy light

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# With the Angels let us sing

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# Hallelujah to the King

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# Jesus our Saviour is here

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# Jesus our Saviour is here! #

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Well, from the sweetness of children's voices, telling us

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of that Silent Night, our next carol is a joyful call to prayer that will

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have voices across the world singing out loud and clear this Christmas.

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O Come, All Ye Faithful.

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And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby,

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keeping watch over their flocks at night.

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An angel of the Lord appeared to them,

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and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

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But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid.

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"I bring you good news that will cause great joy to all the people.

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"Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you.

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"He is the Messiah. The Lord.

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"This will be a sign to you.

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"You will find a baby wrapped in cloths,

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"lying in a manger."

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Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel,

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praising God and saying,

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"Glory to God in the highest heaven,

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"and on Earth peace to those on whom his favour rests."

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When the angels had left them and gone into heaven,

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the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem

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"and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

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So they hurried off and they found Mary and Joseph,

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and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

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After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod,

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Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?

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"We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."

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When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.

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When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law,

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he asked them where the Messiah was to be born.

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"In Bethlehem, in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written."

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Then Herod called for the Magi, secretly, and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.

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He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search for the child.

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"As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I, too, may go and worship him."

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After they had heard the king, they went on their way,

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and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them

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until it stopped over the place where the child was.

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When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

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And on coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary,

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and they bowed down and worshiped him.

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Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

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# Come they told me Pa rum pum pum pum

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# A new born King to see Pa rum pum pum pum

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# Our finest gifts we bring Pa rum pum pum pum

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# To lay before the King Pa rum pum pum pum

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# Rum pum pum pum Rum pum pum pum

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# So to honour Him Pa rum pum pum pum

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# When we come

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# Baby Jesus Pa rum pum pum pum

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# I am a poor boy too Pa rum pum pum pum

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# I have no gift to bring Pa rum pum pum pum

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# That's fit to give our King Pa rum pum pum pum

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# Rum pum pum pum Rum pum pum pum

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# Shall I play for you Pa rum pum pum pum

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# On my drum?

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# Mary nodded Pa rum pum pum pum

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# Mary nodded Pa rum pum pum pum

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# The ox and lamb kept time Pa rum pum pum pum

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# Ox and lamb kept time Pa rum pum pum pum

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# I played my drum for Him Pa rum pum pum pum

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# Played my drum for Him Pa rum pum pum pum

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# I played my best for Him

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-# Played my best

-Pa rum pum pum pum

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-# Rum pum pum pum

-Rum pum pum pum

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-# Rum pum pum pum

-Rum pum pum pum

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# Then He smiled at me Pa rum pum pum pum

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# Me and my drum. #

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God, we thank you for the message of peace,

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that Christmas brings to our distracted world.

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Give to us peace in our land, peace in our town,

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peace in our hearts, and peace in our homes,

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as we celebrate the birth at Bethlehem of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

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Amen.

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So, at the start of this last week before Christmas,

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we hope that that blessing

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and those much loved readings will stay with you in the days to come,

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and carry you through to a joyful and a peaceful Christmas.

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So, as we finish with Charles Wesley's most glorious carol,

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everyone here, and all of your friends on the songs of praise team, wish you a very happy Christmas.

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Next week, Aled introduces a spectacular Christmas Day Big Sing from the Royal Albert Hall.

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They'll be carols aplenty for everyone to sing,

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and festive songs from star guest, Chris de Burgh.

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So, put your feet up for a very special Songs Of Praise,

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and join Aled and 5,000 singers for the perfect way to celebrate Christmas.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

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Email: [email protected]

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