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Carols at Kaurihohore Historic Church


A note of introduction

This service is a response to loving the traditional 9 lessons and carols but being aware that starting with ‘the fall of man’ is not the main Good News that our progressive church wants to express to our surrounding community members when they come to church once a year for Christmas carols!

The service gives an ‘history with a thread of meaning’; demonstrating in an hour how our faith tradition traces the activity of God’s liberating grace through the generations of the earth.  It is the Christmas season so the focus of the story is the incarnation: the service explores the meaning of the incarnation in sharing good news, the broad scope of God’s love, and the incarnation of God’s love in charity, in human cultures, and in our place (where Christmas is a summer festival!)

Kaurihohore is a New Zealand historic country church where Scottish settlers arrived in the 1860s after a famine-plagued attempt at settlement in Nova Scotia.  Normally 6 to 8 people gather for Sunday morning worship, but at our carol service before Christmas the church was full with about 100!  So this service is intentionally accessible to people who do not have much knowledge of church things.

The Rev Martin Dickson, Parish Minister.

The italicized parts are for leaders.  The underlined parts are for musicians.  These are all deleted to make an order of service for printing.

Carols at Kaurihohore Historic Church, New Zealand

Monday 19th December 2011

Piper outside to welcome people with a festive air.


NRSV BIBLE in pulpit

The only lights on are the Christmas lights


Music voluntary


Parish minister

Mihi (indigenous welcome), acknowledgement of God, earth and the dead. And the people.

Kia tau ki a koutou,
te atawhai me te rangimarie  o te Atua.

Grace and peace to you from God.

Welcome to whole and diverse community

Welcome to DIGNITARIES; school principal, Kauri Community elders, Youth, school members

– Explain instruments for ** carols

Congregation as hosts –  tikanga (traditions) of the place; honouring strands of history brought together, our real lives, and inclusion of all people according to the gospel

Introduction to the evening, hymns in hymn books, symbols, extra readings, picnic (toilets at school, tea and coffee in back room).

Join us on a story (reading).

Centering Prayer

Parish lay preacher, Methodist Co-Superintendant

Let us pray

All:       Eternal and loving God,
wonderfully creating us in your own image,
becoming human in Jesus,
sharing the flesh and blood of our humanity.

So fill us with your spirit that we may come to share in your divinity;
and that in the company of those who knew your birth among us, we may sing glory and know your peace.

This we pray in the name of Jesus of Bethlehem and Egypt, of Nazareth and Jerusalem.


1.  Creation

Out of love God gave up power and made the world to have a relationship with.  Christians understand that the divine Word became human in Jesus.

Bible Readings: Genesis 1:1-5 & John 1:1-5
(Creation from Jewish and Christian perspectives)

Parish elder

Symbols:  Lights turned on. Crib scene animals

** Hymn:  All creatures of our God and King 13 verses 1,4

xx, organ and xx, accordion.
** When you see this sign, use your percussion instruments!

2.  Covenant

God’s continual love is expressed in covenants with communities; relationships that could always depend on God,.

Bible Readings: Genesis 9:12-16 (Noah)
& Isaiah 9:2,6-7 (Prophecy)

Symbol:  rainbows

Carol:  Love came down at Christmas 62

Tune: Gartan

3.  Conception

“Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, hail the incarnate deity”
The sense of God becoming really human as well as divine is celebrated in the traditional story of Jesus being born of the woman Mary while still a virgin.

Bible Reading: Luke: 1:26-33 (Gabriel & Mary)

Symbol:  Angel wings

** Carol:  Hark the herald angels 59 (verses 1,3)

4.  Birth

God is more than a theory or a story, when God becomes active in human times and places.

Music:  Once in Royal David’s city

xx, clarinet and xx, organ

Bible Reading: Luke: 2:1-7 (Birth of Jesus)

Symbol:  baby in crib

Carol: Once in Royal David’s city 67 (verses 1,2,4)

5.  Telling good news

Christianity has a long history of people getting excited that hopes for a better world are seen to be fulfilled.

Extra reading Luke: 2:8-16   (Angels & shepherds)

Symbol: Instruments (harp?) – on table and played enthusiastically

** Carol:  While shepherds watched  94 (verses 1,2,6)

Prayer of Intercession

We make good news real by joining together in open compassion for one another; making us more fully human, and making visible the possibilities of a better world for others.

A prayer from Iona, Scotland.

6.  Living reminders of God’s life

As people experienced God-with-them in Jesus, so we choose symbols, places and times that remind us to look for God’s love.  We embrace traditions that warm our hearts and remind us of all goodness; the Christmas tree has become a popular international symbol of dependable and exuberant life made true at Christmas.  The simple Stille Nacht demonstrates the oneness of humanity across conflicts and alienation.

Symbol:  potted Christmas tree

Music:  O Christmas tree & Silent night

Music by xx, guitar

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!Thy leaves are so unchanging;O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!Thy leaves are so unchanging;Not only green when summer’s here,But also when ’tis cold and drear.O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

Thy leaves are so unchanging!


O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

Much pleasure thou can’st give me;

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

Much pleasure thou can’st give me;

How often has the Christmas tree

Afforded me the greatest glee!

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

Much pleasure thou can’st give me.


Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,Alles schläft; einsam wachtNur das traute hochheilige Paar.Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh! 

Silent night, holy night

All is calm, all is bright

Round yon Virgin Mother and Child

Holy Infant so tender and mild

Sleep in heavenly peace

Sleep in heavenly peace


Mārie te pō, tapu te pō

Marino, marama

Ko te Whaea, me te Tama

Tama tino, tapu rā

Moe mai i te aio

Moe mai i te aio.

7.  Christmas for everyone

“New life possibilities for all sorts of people” is emphasised with the story of Gentiles coming to celebrate the birth of the Messiah. We pray for refugees and other marginalised people seeking safety.

Extra reading Matthew 2: 1-12

Symbol: Aeroplane

Carol: We three kings

We three kings of Orient are

Bearing gifts we traverse afar

Field and fountain, moor and mountain

Following yonder star

O Star of wonder, star of night

Star with royal beauty bright

Westward leading, still proceeding

Guide us to thy Perfect Light

Accordion only

Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain

Gold I bring to crown Him again

King forever, ceasing never

Over us all to reign

Organ only

Frankincense to offer have I

Incense owns a Deity nigh

Prayer and praising, all folk raising

Worship Him: God most high!

8.  Christmas and sharing

At this festival we participate in God’s generosity by opening our homes, serving food, enjoying people’s abilities and sharing gifts.  At all times we share God’s generosity in hospitality and working for justice because we see God present in each and every person.

Bible Reading: Matthew 22:34-40  The great commandment

Modern Reading: Henri  Nouwen:  Who shows the way to God.

Symbol:  CWS poster

Carol: Good King Wenceslas

A Carol for Saint Stephen’s Day; Dec 26th

Both instruments

All:     Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even.

Accordion only

Women:      Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel.


Organ only

Men:   “Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither.”

Both instruments

All:     Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather.


** All: In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian folk, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing!

Christian World Service Advent Appeal – retiring offering

– CWS is the agency established by New Zealand churches for their development and aid programmes.

–CWS works with partner groups who address the root causes of poverty and injustice in their local communities and countries. People are not viewed as victims who cannot help themselves, but as agents of their own development.

CWS has 66 years of proven achievement and expertise working with overseas partners. They are proud to say many earlier partners do not need them any more.

-In the past year 82% of CWS expenditure went to international partner programmes, making much needed change in their communities.

– You may make a offering at the door when you depart, as your part in this  sharing the good things of the world.

9.  Making Christmas ours

NOTE:  I suggest this section is replaced with a reading, symbol and hymn that best expresses Christmas in your own modern context.  MD

Modern Reading: Joy Cowley:  24th December

Symbol:  boogie board

Carol: Upside-down Christmas

Organ only

Carol our Christmas, an upside-down Christmas;
snow is not falling and trees are not bare.
Carol the summer, and welcome the Christ Child,
warm in our sunshine and sweetness of air.


Accordion only

Sing of the gold and the green and the sparkle,
water and river and lure of the beach.
Sing in the happiness of open spaces,
sing a nativity summer can reach!

Both Instruments

** Right side up Christmas belongs to the universe,
made in the moment a woman gives birth;
hope is the Jesus gift, love is the offering,
everywhere, anywhere, here on the earth.

A New Zealand Christmas carol by Shirley Murray, music by Colin Gibson.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

From the Saint Hilda Community, England.

10.    Going out together as children of God

The summary of the story we have just told.

Bible Reading:  John 1:9-12,14,16-18

A note from the organ

Solo:  verse 1

Both Instruments

** Carol: Angels from the realms of glory 77 (verses 2,3)


Go in peace
to love and serve the world
and may God go before you,
Christ Jesus walk with you
and the Spirit lift up your feet. Amen

Music voluntary

Retiring Offering:  For the Christian World Service Christmas Appeal

Please make your donation at the door, or look at the website to donate and receive a tax receipt.

Picnic on the Lawn

Tea and coffee are available in the room to the back of the church.

Staying Connected –  Contact Information


St Pauls Cooperating Church, Kamo and Kaurihohore.
To join our Kauri contact list, email
or telephone 09 – 4352396,
Post: PO Box 4118, Kamo 0141, Whangarei, New Zealand
Parish Minister, Martin:  h: 09 – 45 94 937

Contact us for baptisms, house blessings, weddings, civil unions, local concerts, funerals and other special occasions.
Website – search for  “Kamo”

Kauri Church Barbeque on Sunday 12th February:
Church service 10:30 am, Lunch 11:50 am.  Come to both or either!

Nollaig chridheil agus bliadhna mhath ùr

Scottish Gaelic

Merry Christmas an a Guid Hogmanay


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