Readings for This Sunday - Christmas Lessons & Carols:

The First Lesson:  Genesis 2:4b-9, 15-25

The Second Lesson:  Genesis 3:1-15, 22-23

The Third Lesson:  Isaiah 35:1-10

The Fourth Lesson:  Isaiah 61:10 – 62:3

The Fifth Lesson:  Luke 1:26-58

The Sixth Lesson:  Galatians 3:23-25, 4:4-7

The Seventh Lesson:  John 1:1-18


Please PRAY for the following:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

  • In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, pray for the congregations & clergy of Zululand - (Southern Africa)
    • In the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, pray for all the baptized in their daily life and work
    • For Shannon, Ted, and Susan, our own Bishops in the Diocese of Virginia
  • For Tom, our rector; Michael, our seminarian
  • In our Parish Cycle of Prayer, we pray for our Altar Guild
  • For St. Peter’s Church, Caldwell, Liberia
  • For Persecuted Christians in China and Djibouti
  • For our President, Donald; Congress, and Judges
  • For our Governor, Terry, and Governor-Elect, Ralph
  • For U. S. troops throughout the world, our foreign service personnel and contractors: Jason Powers, Annie Adams, David Crowley; Jason Gillis; Carl Engstrom
  • For those who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other conflicts and are suffering from the invisible wounds of posttraumatic stress
  • For our Federal, State, & Local Police Officers and Loudoun Valley Fire and Rescue Departments
  • In our Community Cycle of Prayer, we pray for our Teachers
  • For Mary Kay DeMarce; Marsha Price; George Thompson; The Bucknor Family; Ann Neely; Michael & Maggie Snyder; Shawn Miltz; Brad Lafferty; The Harmon Family; Katy Rubarth; Geri Booras

PRAYER NEEDS:  Individuals and families may choose to have their names placed on the public and/or private prayer lists. The names on the public prayer list are included during the Prayers of the People during worship on Sunday and in the bulletin.  St. Peter’s Prayer Quilt members spquilt(at)stpetes(dot)net pray for the people on the private list.  Names are listed for four weeks. If you would like someone to remain on our list, please send us an update every 4 weeks.


In our continuing efforts to communicate the finances of our church home, here is the information from last Sunday:  Thank you for many contributions to building Christians for service!

Annual Income Budget Target


Wk #







 $ 9,923

Note: If you use the Amazon Link on St. Peter's Website [ – under Support] when you make purchases Amazon will donate at least a 6% cut of your purchase price to St. Peter’s Church.  It adds up!


Christian Formation classes for all ages will resume January 7

JANUARY ADULT FORMATION: A Roadmap to the Old Testament. Roughly 70% of the Bible is the Old Testament.  Want to have the tools to bring greater understanding to your reading of the Old Testament?  Beginning January 7, 2018 a new class begins!  This is aimed each week to discuss specific portions of the Old Testament and how they fit into the bigger Story of what God has done!  What a great way to start off the year!  Very easily coupled with a personal Bible reading plan for you to read through the Bible in 2018 (We’ll offer a daily plan that can achieve this!)    9:30 McCray Hall – Taught by Jon Corbett

Assisting THIS WEEK  (December 31)

8:00 am

10:30 am


Calvin Smith, Dell Nunaley

Liz Tuohy, Peter & Erin Schellhase


Adam & Eric Gibson,

Mark Matthews

Jonathan LaPre,

Grace Falatko, Scarlett Daly


Todd & Pam Johnston

Billy Dillon, Jimmy Eddinger


Dell Nunaley

Tom Coate

Coffee Hour Hosts

Tim & Judy Hall






Altar Guild

Bobbie Wilhelm, Jean Kuhns, Ruth Ensor, Mari Campbell

Assisting NEXT WEEK  (January 7, 2018)

8:00 am

10:30 am


Buddy Andrews

Linda Stoutenburgh


Judy Hall, Tanya Matthews

Randy Stoutenburgh, Dan LaPre


Mark Baker

Linda Stoutenburgh


Kelly Cockrill

Jon Coate


Josh, Megan & Olivia Smith,

John Matthews

Dan LaPre, Jon Coate,

Lauren Hunt


Mark & Nancy Baker

Keith & Regina Brzozowsky


Bill Gibson

Steve Schultz

Coffee Hour Hosts

Paul & Gail Donohue


Tom & Michelle Adair



Pat Long & Sven Johnson

Altar Guild

Bobbie Wilhelm, Jean Kuhns, Ruth Ensor, Mari Campbell

Happening This Week:


Dec. 31



8:00 AM

10:30 AM


Jan. 1

Office Closed


Jan. 2

Vestry Ministry Mtg.  (Trillium Gathering Building)

7:00 PM


Jan. 3


Mission Team Mtg.  (Library)

11:30 AM

5:00 PM


Jan. 4

Next Step Community  (TBD)

7:00 PM


Jan. 6

Purcellville Men’s Breakfast  (McCray Hall)


7:00 AM

5:00 PM


Jan. 7


Sunday School & Christian Formation Classes


Bible Study  (Nunaley’s home)

Youth Group  (Youth Room)

8:00 AM

9:30 AM

10:30 AM

5:00 PM

7:00 PM

A Bit of History

The Festival of Lessons and Carols was first held at King’s College, Cambridge, England on Christmas Eve 1918.  It was planned by Eric Milner-White, who, at the age of thirty-four, had just been appointed Dean of King’s College after experience as an army chaplain which had convinced him that the Church of England needed more imaginative worship.

A revision of the Order of Service was made in 1919, involving rearrangement of the lessons, and from that date the service has always begun with the hymn ‘Once in royal David’s city’.  The backbone of the service, the lessons and the prayers, has remained virtually unchanged.  The original service was, in fact, adapted from an Order drawn up by E. W. Benson, later Archbishop of Canterbury, for use in the wooden shed, which then served as his cathedral in Truro, at 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1880.  

A. C. Benson recalled: ‘My father arranged from ancient sources a little service for Christmas Eve – nine carols and nine tiny lessons, which were read by various officers of the Church, beginning with a chorister, and ending, through the different grades, with the Bishop.’  Almost immediately other churches adapted the service for their own use.  A wider frame began to grow when the service was first broadcast in 1928 and, with the exception of 1930, it has been broadcast annually, even during the Second World War, when the ancient glass (and also all heat) had been removed from the Chapel.  Sometime in the early 1930s the BBC began broadcasting the service on overseas programs.  It is estimated that there are millions of listeners worldwide.  In recent years it has become the practice to broadcast a digital recording on Christmas Day on Radio Three, and since 1963 a shorter service has been filmed periodically for television.

In these and other ways the service has become public property.  From time to time the College receives copies of services held, for example, in the West Indies or the Far East, and these show how widely the tradition has spread.  The broadcasts, too, have become part of Christmas for many far from Cambridge.  One correspondent writes that he heard the service in a tent on the foothills of Everest; another, in the desert.  Many listen at home, busy about their own preparations for Christmas.  Visitors from all over the world are heard to identify the Chapel as ‘the place where the Carols are sung’.

Wherever the service is heard and however it is adapted, whether the music is provided by choir or congregation, the pattern and strength of the service, as Dean Milner-White pointed out, derive from the lessons and not the music.  ‘The main theme is the development of the loving purposes of God …’ seen ‘through the windows and words of the Bible’.  Local interests appear, as they do here, in the bidding prayer; and personal circumstances give point to different parts of the service.  Many of those who took part in the first service must have recalled those killed in the Great War when it came to the famous passage ‘all those who rejoice with us, but on another shore and in a greater light’.  The center of the service is still found by those who ‘go in heart and mind’ and who consent to follow where the story leads.

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