The Nativity of our Lord, or the Birth-day of Christ, Commonly called Christmas-Day.

December 23, 2008 at 6:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

The following Collect, Epistle, and Gospel for Christmas Day are taken from the 1559 Book of Common Prayer, the Prayer Book of Elizabeth I and the first Prayer Book used in North America.

On June 17, 1579 Captain Francis Drake and the crew of the Golden Hind landed on the west coast of North America and Drake claimed the land in the name of the Holy Trinity for the English Crown. Drake called the land Nova Albion, Latin for “New Britain.”

When Drake and his crew landed, his chaplain celebrated the Holy Communion. It was one of the first, if not the first, Protestant church service in the New World.

The 1559 Prayer Book was also used at the first Christmas at Jamestown on December 25, 1607. Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States of America.

The Ordre for the Administracion of the Lordes Supper, or Holy Communion used on these occasions can be found on the Internet at:

During the “starving time” winter of 1609 only 60 of the original 214 settlers at Jamestown would survive. One of the casualties was the colony’s chaplain.

We are also facing hard times–an economy in recession, foreclosures, and layoffs.

As we read these words from the Elizabethan Prayer Book, let us remember that there is one who truly offers us in hope in the midst of trouble. He is the one whose birth we celebrate. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Collect

ALMYGHTYE God, whiche haste geuen us thy onlye begotten sonne to take our nature upon hym, and this daye to bee borne of a pure Vyrgyn; Graunte that we beyng regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, maye dailye be renued by thy holy spirite, through the same our Lorde Jesus Christe who lyueth and reygneth &c.

The Epistle. Hebrews 1:1-12

GOD in tymes paste dyuerselye and manye waies spake unto the fathers by Prophetes: but in these laste dayes, he hathe spoken to us by his owne sonne, whome he hath made heyre of all thynges, by whome also he made the worlde. Whiche (sonne) beeing the brightenesse of his glorye, and the very image of his substaunce, rulying al thynges wyth the woorde of his power, hath by his owne person pourged our synnes, and sytteth on the righte hande of the Majestye on hygh: being so much more excellent then the Angels, as he hath by inheritaunce obtained a more excellent name then they. For unto which of the Angels said he at anye tyme? Thou arte my sonne, this daye haue I begotten thee. And agayne, I wilbe his father, and he shall bee my sonne. And agayne, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten sonne into the worlde, he sayth: and let all the Angels of God wurship him. And unto the Angels he sayeth, He maketh his Angels spirites, and his ministers a flame of fyer. But unto the sonne he sayeth, thy seate (O God) shalbe for euer and euer. The scepter of thy kingdome is a ryghte scepter. Thou haste loued righteousnes and hated iniquitie; wherfore God, euen thy God, hath anointed thee with oyle of gladnes aboue thy felowes. And thou lorde in the beginning hast layde the foundacion of the yearth; and the heauens are the woorkes of thy handes. They shall perish, but thou endurest. But they al shal waxe old as doeth a garment, and as a vesture shalt thou chaunge them, and they shalbe chaungecl. But thou art even the same, and thy yeares shall not fayle.

The Gospel. John 1:1-14

IN the begynnyng was the woorde, and the woorde was with God: and God was the worde. The same was in the beginning with God. All thinges were made by it, and without it, was made nothyng that was made. In it was life, and the lyfe was the light of men, and the light shineth in darkenes, and the darkenes comprehended it not. There was sente from God a manne, whose name was John. The same came as a witnes to beare witnes of the light, that al men through him might beleue. He was not that light, but was sent to beare witnes of the light. That light was the true lyghte, whiche lighteth euerye man that cometh into the worlde. He was in the world, and the world was made by him; and the worlde knew him not. He came among his owne, and his owne receiued him not: But as many as receiued him, to them gaue he power to be the sonnes of god; even them that beleued on his name, whiche were borne, not of bloud, nor of the will of the fleshe, nor yet of the will of man; but of God. And the same worde became fleshe, and dwelt among us; and we sawe the glory of it, as the glory of the onely begotten sonne of the father, full of grace and trueth.

A very merry Christmas to all readers of the Heritage Anglican Network.

Your brother in Christ,

Robin G. Jordan



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  1. Paragraph 4, I think you meant JAMESTOWN(e) and not just James.

  2. Thanks Robin,

    A Happy and Holy Christmas to you, and everyone else reading here. May the old Prayer Books always be a comfort, and a joy for those of us who use them.


  3. Hi, Robin…

    I thought I might suggest that you place an e-mail subscription to your blog somewhere on the page? I’m not sure how to do this in WordPress since I have not used that service before.

    May the peace of God be with you!


    • Charlie,

      When I have figured out WordPress, I will do that. I had just learned how to use WordPress, when WordPress changed everything.


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