Skip to main content

This year we have served 2,185 meals at the Soup Kitchen in Keansburg. Since we began our ministry there in 2012, we have served 24,500 meals.

Soup Kitchen at Keansburg

We regularly provide food for the Food Bank. For Christmas 2023, we provided just over $3,000 in gift cards for the children of the Food Bank.

Foodbank Network of Somerset County

In 2023, $6500 was provided to households in need of emergency help with bills, medical care, and food from the Rector’s Discretionary Fund.

Providing help

The Giving Garden produced 4,350lbs of fresh vegetables to local food pantries in our county

The Giving Garden

Nine children living in extreme poverty in the Third World were supported this year by parishioners of St Mark’s through Compassion International.

Compassion International

38 boxes were provided by parishioners of St Mark’s, and are being sent to children around the world for Christmas

Operation Christmas Child

This year our stitchers made 24 prayer blankets for those who asked for them, for themselves or for a loved one. Ever since we started this ministry they’ve made and blessed 83 blankets.

Prayer Blankets

St Mark’s offers a monthly service at Ridge Oak Senior Housing, Fellowship Village, and Holly Manor Nursing Home in Mendham. We also provided for Christmas gifts for the residents of Holly Manor who don’t have family nearby.

Reaching out to the community

On January 21st through the 28th we will be hosting several homeless families who are in need of emergency housing. We are looking for people to help cook meals for them, greet them, play games with the children, and make them feel welcomed.

HOME of Somerset County

Can we pray for you? Or for someone you love?

We’ll add your prayer intentions into the prayers of this service.

Prelude

It came Upon a Midnight clear

In the bleak Mid-Winter

Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming

Processional Hymn

O Come All Ye Faithful
1 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,
Christ the Lord.

2 God from God,
Light from Light eternal,
lo! he abhors not the Virgin’s womb;
only-begotten
Son of God the Father; Refrain

3 Sing, choirs of angels,
sing in exultation,
sing, all ye citizens of heaven above;
glory to God,
glory in the highest; Refrain

Opening Prayers

Blessed be the One, Holy, and Living God:
Glory to God for ever and ever.

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Song of Praise

Cradle Song
1 Away in a manger, no crib for his bed,
the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

2 The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
I love thee, Lord Jesus! Look down from the sky,
and stay by my side until morning is nigh.

3 Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay
close by me for ever, and love me I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
and fit us for heaven to live with thee there.

The Collect of the Day

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

Almighty God, when Jesus was born in the manger in Bethlehem you gave us your greatest gift, showing us your wondrous love for us; this Christmas we pray that you would pour out your Light so that all darkness would flee away, and that we might find our hope in You; in the Name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

The First Lesson

Isaiah 9:2-7
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;

those who lived in a land of deep darkness–
on them light has shined.

You have multiplied the nation,
you have increased its joy;

they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as people exult when dividing plunder.

For the yoke of their burden,
and the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.

For all the boots of the tramping warriors
and all the garments rolled in blood
shall be burned as fuel for the fire.

For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;

authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

His authority shall grow continually,
and there shall be endless peace

for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it

with justice and with righteousness
from this time onward and forevermore.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Your word is a lantern to our feet.
And a light upon our path.

Gradual Song

The First Nowell
1 The first Nowell the angel did say
was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
in fields as they lay, keeping their sheep,
on a cold winter’s night that was so deep.

Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
born is the King of Israel.

2 They looked up and saw a star
shining in the east beyond them far,
and to the earth it gave great light,
and so it continued both day and night. Refrain

3 And by the light of that same star
three wise men came from country far;
to seek for a king was their intent,
and to follow the star wherever it went. Refrain

The Gospel Lesson

Luke 2:1-14

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.
Glory to you, Lord Christ.

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see– I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon

The Prayers

Let us pray to God, who came among us in the birth of Jesus:

Gracious God, as a star rose, and drew people from great distances to Bethlehem that they might greet the Christ-child; Draw us, your people, to you – that we might be the people who you call us to be. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

As you gave Mary your Holy Spirit, filling her with the delight of your Presence; Fill us with your Spirit, and renew our lives. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

As Gentiles streamed to Jesus’ Light, and Kings to the brightness of his rising; Draw our nation, our President, and all in authority, to His brightness. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

As angels sang ‘glorias’ to you and proclaimed peace on earth, and goodwill among all peoples; Bring us your peace, and bring an end to all terror and strife. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

As shepherds were drawn away from their flocks by night; Draw those who do not know you yet to the knowledge and love of you. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

As Jesus was born in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn; Be especially present with those who have nowhere to lay their head, those who are vulnerable, and those who are hungry. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

As the Holy Family gathered together in Bethlehem, and traveled together to far-off lands; Bless all families, especially the families gathered here today, and protect those who travel. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

As your son came to proclaim the forgiveness of sins, and the gift of Life Eternal; Give to the departed eternal rest and let light perpetual shine on them. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for those who are on our hearts today, especially ___________.

For those who are serving in our armed forces, at home and abroad.

O Lord our God, may the Light and Hope of this day, and of your Son’s Incarnation, reassure our hearts that you are among us, that you hear our prayer, and that you will be with us always, even to the end of the age. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth we pray. Amen.

The Passing of the Peace

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.

Welcome and Announcements

The Blessing of the 60th Anniversary of Dwight and Alice King

Let us know you’re here!

Sign up for a house blessing. Make a New Year’s resolution to help people in need this year. Get info on our winter Bible Study. Ask for more information on St Mark’s.

Would you like to make a contactless Christmas offering?

The Offertory

Hark the Herald Angels Sing
1 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 the angelic host proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem!

Hark! the herald angels sing
glory to the newborn King!

2 Christ, by highest heaven adored;
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
late in time behold him come,
offspring of the 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!

The Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give God thanks and praise.

It is right, and a profound joy to give you thanks, Father Almighty, for you created the universe, forming stars and worlds, creating light and time, and giving life to every creature which teems on the earth, which swims in the deep, and which flies in the skies.

And so we join with the angels and the stars in proclaiming your glory, as we sing,

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

We sing of your glory and grace, for after bringing the universe into being, you came into it, sending your only son to be born of a human mother, to live as one of us, to live among us, to live for us, and to give his life for us.

In a manger in Bethlehem, you united heaven and earth, and you called us to live in you as you already live in us.

On the night he was betrayed he took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread, and gave it to his friends, and said, “Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”

After supper, he took the cup of wine, gave thanks, and said, “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”

And so, Father, we bring you these gifts. Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Gather us by this Holy Communion into one body in your Son Jesus Christ, and into the fellowship of Blessed Mary, St Joseph, and all your saints. 

Remember, Lord, your Church, redeemed by your Son.

Remember all your people, and those who seek your truth and your love.

Remember those who are broken, those who are in need, those who are grieving, those who are lonely, and those who are hungry for your presence.

Nourished with your body and blood, fashion us into heralds of your love, like the angels. Make us shine with the light of your grace, like the Christmas Star. And, shape our hearts and minds to follow the One who was born in the humble manger.

By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever.

Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power,
and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen.

The Fraction

Alleluia! Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;
Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia!

Communion Music

Silent Night
1 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.

2 Silent night, holy night,
shepherds quake at the sight,
glories stream from heaven afar,
heavenly hosts sing alleluia;
Christ, the Savior, is born!

3 Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love’s pure light
radiant beams from thy holy face,
with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

The Post-Communion Prayer

Let us pray,

God our Father,
whose Word has come among us
in the Holy Child of Bethlehem:
may the light of faith illumine our hearts
and shine in our words and deeds;
through him who is Christ the Lord. Amen.

The Blessing

May Almighty God, who sent his Son to take our nature upon him, bless you in this holy season, scatter the darkness of sin, and brighten your heart with the light of his holiness. Amen.

May God, who sent his angels to proclaim the glad news of the Savior’s birth, fill you with joy, and make you heralds of the Gospel. Amen.

May God, who in the Word made flesh joined heaven to earth and earth to heaven, give you his peace and favor. Amen.

And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you for ever. Amen.

Recessional Hymn

Joy to the World
1 Joy to the world! the Lord is come:
let earth receive her King;
let every heart prepare him room,
and heaven and nature sing.

2 Joy to the world! the Savior reigns;
let us our songs employ,
while fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains,
repeat the sounding joy.

4 He rules the world with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of his righteousness,
and wonders of his love.

Postludes

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen