Christmas Pilgrimage

Welcome to the Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea

For everyone’s safety, please keep your mask on at all times and greet one another at a safe distance.


 Proceed to Upper Cluett Garden


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray.

O God, you make us glad by the yearly festival of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that we, who joyfully receive him as our Redeemer, may with sure confidence behold him when he comes to be our Judge; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Luke 1:26—38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Proceed to Garden Chapel 


a. The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came

The angel Gabriel from heaven came,
his wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
“All hail,” said he, “thou lowly maiden Mary,
Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

“For know a blessed Mother thou shalt be,
all generations laud and honor thee,
thy Son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold,
most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ, was born
In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,
And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say–
“Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

— tr. Sabine Baring-Gould (1834–1924)


b. Now in Holy Celebration

Now in holy celebration
sing we of that Mother blest,
in whose flesh for our salvation
God incarnate deigned to rest,
when a kindred salutation
named in faith the mystic Guest.

Lo, the advent Word confessing,
spake for joy the voice yet dumb,
through his mother’s lips addressing
her, of motherhood the sum,
bow’r of beauty, blest and blessing,
crowned with fruit of life to come.

“Whence,” she cried, at that fair meeting,
“comes to me this great reward?
For when I first heard the greeting
of the Mother of my Lord,
in my womb, the joy repeating,
leapt my babe in sweet accord.”

Triune Godhead, health supplying,
Ruler of eternity,
on the Fount of Grace relying,
we uplift our hearts to Thee,
praying that in realms undying
we at one with Life may be.

— Festum Matris gloriosae, 15th century, tr. Laurence Housman (1865–1959)

Proceed to Columbarium


Luke 1:39—56

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

Proceed to Barton Ave. Entrance


Luke 2:1—7

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.

Prayers of the People

(Adapted from Christ Church Cranbrook)

The Leader and People pray responsively.

On this holy night in which God joins heaven and earth, let us offer our prayers for the church, the world, and all those in need.


Mighty God, bless all those who are entrusted with Christian ministry—especially for Michael, our Presiding Bishop; Peter, our Bishop; and the clergy of this parish—that your Word might be proclaimed with truth and courage.

O Come, let us adore him.

God of Peace, bestow your wisdom on all who govern—especially for Donald, our President; Joe, our President-elect; Ron, our Governor; and the Mayor and members of the Town Council—that in honoring the earth and its diverse races, cultures, and religions, we may celebrate the light of this holy night.

O Come, let us adore him.

Merciful God, grant reconciliation to those surrounded with conflict and violence, that they may live in the peace of this holy night.

O Come, let us adore him.

Compassionate God, embrace with your tender care all who wander alone or have no place to lay their head, that they may experience the hope of this holy night.

O Come, let us adore him.

God of Healing, draw near to those who find this season a source of pain or grief, and to all who are sick, especially those suffering or separated from their families as a result of the pandemic, and those on our parish prayer list. May they feel the comfort of this holy night.

O Come, let us adore him.

Nurturing God, strengthen us your children in the bonds of love and commitment, that we may delight in the joy of this holy night.

O Come, let us adore him.

Loving God, open our hearts to your presence, that we may be transformed by the new birth of this holy night.

O Come, let us adore him.

God of Hope, give us grace to follow your holy ones in lives of faith and commitment, that we may join with the hosts of heaven in singing the praises of this holy night.

O Come, let us adore him.

Good and gracious God, on this holy night you gave us your Son, the Savior of all, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. On this holy night draw us into the mystery of your love. Join our voices with the heavenly host, that we may sing your glory on high. Give us a place among the shepherds, that we may find the one for whom we have waited, Jesus Christ, your Word made flesh, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, in the splendor of eternal light, God forever and ever. Amen.

Proceed to Narthex


Ushers will greet each group at the entrance to the church, gratefully receiving all offerings to support our ministry and giving instructions for communion.


Luke 2:8—14

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!”


Proceed to Front Lawn



While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
all seated on the ground,
the angel of the Lord came down,
and glory shone around.

“To you, in David’s town, this day
is born of David’s line
a Savior, who is Christ the Lord;
and this shall be the sign:

“The heavenly babe you there shall find
to human view displayed,
all meanly wrapped in swathing bands,
and in a manger laid.”

Thus spake the seraph, and forthwith
appeared a shining throng
of angels praising God, who thus
addressed their joyful song:

“All glory be to God on high
and on earth be peace;
good will henceforth from heaven to me
begin and never cease.”  

— Nahum Tate (1652–1715)


Luke 2:15—19

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 Christmas Blessing

May the Babe of Bethlehem bring you joy; may the Boy of Nazareth bring you hope; may the Man from Galilee bring you love; may the Risen Lord of Jerusalem bring you peace; and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be with you always. Amen.


O Come, All Ye Faithful

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,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Christ, the Lord!

Lo! star led chieftains,
Magi, Christ adoring,
offer Him incense, gold, and myrrh;
we to the Christ Child
bring our hearts’ oblations.

Sing, choirs of angels,
sing in exultation, 
sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above:
“Glory to God
in the highest!”

— att. John Francis Wade (c. 1711–1786)

The Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The altar trees are given to the glory of God by

The Jordan Family

Christmas Memorial Flowers
Christmas decorations in the Church and Columbarium are given by members and friends of the parish to the glory of God and in loving memory of

Andrew Henderson Allen
Anthony Allen
John Kober Allen
William Robert Allen
Frances Andrica
John Andrica
Graham Stranahan Anderson
Armand A. Angelone
Peter T. Angelone
Theodora P. Angelone
Aluarie Arnold
William Bowen Astrop
Annie Bell Barton
Eric Brook Barton
Jennie D. Birdsall
John H. Birdsall, Jr.
Mary Driscoll Birmingham
Robert E. Bissett
Winifred M. Bissett
Harold Bowman
Marcelle Bowman
Gustave T. Broberg
Stewart C. Broberg
James Henry Brodeur
A. Parker Bryant
Elizabeth Dixon Bryant
George Douglas Buckner II
J. Perry Burkhead
Lillian M. Burkhead
Enrico Caruso
Jane Ann Hadley Caruso
Hunsdon Cary, Jr.
Lucy Sheridan Cheney
Marie Cherny
Ted Cherny
Craig Warner Clark
Ann M. Cole
Harriet Cole
Loren F. Cole
Anthony Edward Crean
Lorraine Meister Crean
Bonnie Dunielson Crispin
Maximilian A. Crispin
Diane H. Crummer
Alexander Cumnock
Frances Cumnock
Dorothy S. S. Darlington
Oakley Gage Debbs
Florice Jones Dellard
Howard William Dellard
Patricia Parrish Diffenderfer
Richard Leonard Diffenderfer
Grace Ditman
Norman Ditman
Warren R. Dix
F. Eugene Dixon, Jr.
Louis Alexander Dommerich
Louis F. Dommerich
Margaret Whitehead Dommerich
Jessie Donahue
Jane Dunbar
Norman A. Eckert
Irene G. Ehrhart
Leo John Ehrhart, Jr.
Leo John Ehrhart, Sr.
David Ray Evans
Nancy S. Eversmann
Edward Fletcher Eyster
Louise Fletcher Eyster
William Westley Eyster
Harold Farrington
David Lord Fitzgerald
Diane Kirskey Flova
Thomas Austin Ford
Dawn Marie H. Frankel
Gladys Birmingham Frankel
Charles James Frankel II
James A. Fricker
Charles Gentry
Robert Matthew Gillin, Jr.
Robert Matthew Gillin, Sr.
Paul Harrison Gilman, Sr.
Richard H. Grant, Jr.
Alice J. Green
Andrew Peter Grives
Patricia Louise Guerrieri
Kay Harlan
Donald L. Harlan, Sr.
Deborah McGavin Harris
Elizabeth Baldwin Hastey
John Haynsworth
Robert Hebble
Bernard Heeke
Annie Crane Henkel
George Elmer Henkel, Jr.
George Elmer Henkel, Sr.
George Hern
Robert Boesch Hornung
Eleanor Gambill Hoyt
George Linus Hoyt
Alverta Hall Hughes
Mary Gerstenberg Hulitar
Philip Hulitar
Agnes Hutchison
William Hutchison
Gloria Jean Ilnicki
Andrew Innocenzi
Catharine Quinn Johnson
Richard G. Johnson
Richard S. Johnson
William Johnson
Anna Livingston Jones
Gus W. Jones
George H. Kahle
Gratia Underhill Kahle
Alice Kassatly
Sam Kassatly
Alfred G. Kay
Elizabeth D. Kay
Warren W. Kay
Robert Kelley
Ruth Kelley
Anne S. Keresey
Alvin L. Kraatz
Marianne LaMariana
John Charles Vincent Lammerding
Mary Margaret Amos Lammerding
Allan B. Lane
Marion Burvenick Lang
Wesley Warren Lang, Sr.
Aubrey G. Lanston
Helene P. Lanston
Christopher K. Lawford
Patricia K. Lawford
Gavin G. K. Letts
Barbara Bangs Levin
Donald Charles Levin
David Whitney Lewis, Jr.
Pearl Duncan Littleton
John Lorenz
Thomas Penny Losee, Jr.
Lynn Hornung Lynch
Helen Nold Lyon
Roy Montgomery Lyon
Webster Graham MacCartee, Sr.
Richard E. Madden
Susan S. Madden
Paul LaCoste Maddock, Sr.
Robert Anderson Magowan
Robert Marcantonio
David Martin
William Anthony Mayer
C. Edward McCracken
Shirley Newbaker McCracken
Shirley Haynes McGill
Charles Harry McGill, Jr.
George Thomas McGrath
Joanne McGill McGrath
Charles Edward Merrill
Elizabeth Church Merrill
Eleanore Jane Micelli
Florence F. Miegel
Eric Ocoma Miessau
Carmelita Birmingham Miller
Craig Moore
Vickie Moore
Edward James Moore II
Alexander Bradford Morgan
Kathryn Shipp Morgan
Robert Eugene Mueller
Paul Muller
Nancy Ryan Muniot
Bunny T. Nelson
Shirley S. Newbern
Walter R. Newbern
Audrey Meadow Newsom
Fred Newsom
Flora P. Nicholas
Lawrence E. Nicholas
Clare Nordback
Jean M. O’Brien
Cameron Rodney O’Connor
John M. O’Mara
Helen R. Holton Osborn
Phyllis Osmaston
Evelyn Parker
John Parker
Genevieve Pazda
J. Archie Peck
Jean McNeil Peck
John Wheeler Peck
Derek Dawson Penfold
Hope Penfold
Ida Peterson
John David Peterson
Virginia Garhart Peterson
Lucille M. Petrarca
Celedonia Caridad Piñeiro
Damaso Jesus Piñeiro
Helen W. Priem
Louis C. Priem
Windle Priem
Louis Pryor
Robert E. Pysher
Craig Robert Pysher
Alfred J. Raber
Elsie M. Raber
Jo Oliver Read
Walter Frank Read
Elizabeth B. Reddy
Margaret Woodruff Rewey
Robert Livingston Rewey, Jr.
Robert Livingston Rewey, Sr.
John V. Reynolds, Jr.
Helen Shaw Roberts
Joseph Loughrey Roberts, Jr.
Helen Bernice Burley Salmon
Walter Thomas Salmon
Edward Lloyd Salmon, Sr.
John W. Sanders III
Lizzie Lea Keene Sartin
Walter Frank Sartin
Mary E. Schenk
Bertha Schiller
Luise B. Schoen
Clare Scott
Elizabeth M. Scott
Clyde H. Seaton
Lillian Roe Seaton
Francis A. Shields
Scott Simone
Frank H. Sleuman
David Shiverick Smith
Edimay Smith
Jonathan Kevin Hartley Smith
Mildred L. Smyser
Bailey B. Sory III
Bell Searcy Spell
Frank Spell
Ann Stachelberg
Peter B. Stachelberg
E. M. Stark
Prudie Stark
Barbara Steward
Grace Steward
Louis J. Trunk
Frederick Tuck
Merle Tuck
Barbara Wells Turner
Richard Blackmore Turner
Malcolm S. Van de Water
Margaret S. Van de Water
Charles B. P. Van Pelt
Margaret Varga
Stephen Varga
Marian Wandoff
Janet Moore Ware
Patricia Long Weck
Barbara Whitfield
John S. Wilbur, Jr.
S. George T. Williams
William Wellington Wolbach
Pauline Elfrieda Wolfe
Kurt Wolfgruber
Dorothy Hankins Wood
Marshall B. Wood, Jr.
Marshall B. Wood, Sr. 

In honor of….
Carolyn Sharp Brodsky
Enny Cramer
Theodore Masson
Kenlynne Mulroy
Kenlyn Rini
Louis Rini

In Thanksgiving for….
Rose Mary Stamler Dow

Christmas Blessings to All