Welcome to the Advent and Christmas resources page.
This page is regularly updated with resources and ideas to help you prepare for Advent and Christmas.
Preparing for Advent & Christmas 2020: Comfort and Joy
Comfort and Joy holds together the hope that Christmas will bring joy and celebration after a uniquely difficult year with an acknowledgement that – for those who have lost loved ones or livelihoods, or who are potentially still not able to be together with loved ones – it may be the Church’s role, both nationally and locally, to provide consolation, rather than assume everyone will be ready to join in jubilation. We also have to anticipate there may be further spikes.
Between 30 November 2020 and 24 December 2020, Bishop Libby invites you to join her each week for an hour of prayer and reflection based upon seasonal Bible passages and collects as together we look for the coming of Christ and the hope that gives us of his kingdom.Advent Hope is open to all and will be held on Mondays from Monday 8am-9am and repeated on Thursday 8pm-9pm. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for the access link.
Sermons to Go for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany
Following the success of the “Sermons To Go” over the summer holiday period, we are delighted to announce that Senior Clergy will be releasing more “Sermons To Go” covering Advent, Christmas and Epiphany for use in online streaming or recordings. The sermons will cover Sunday, 29 November 2020 through to Sunday, 24 January 2021.
Advent 2 - December 2020
>> Download mp4 file (to incorporate in online streaming service)
>> Download mp3 file (audio only)
>> Download text (PDF file)
Be part of our Diocesan Christmas Carol video
There’s nothing quite like singing carols together at Christmas. Sadly, this year, we can’t hold our usual carol services – so we’re going to try to make a special version of O Come, All Ye Faithful to get us all singing as a diocese, in the spirit of hope and togetherness … and we’d love you to take part, by videoing yourself(selves) singing this most well-known of carols!
The CofE national team is currently preparing music for Advent and Christmas. We will advise you when these downloads are available via the A Church Near You Resource Hub.
A number of Cathedral Choir carol CDs are available that can be used for services (live or virtual). These can be collected from the Cathedral Music Office by appointment or can be posted out to churches. The cathedral is willing to offer these for free to churches in the Diocese of Derby, but a donation to go towards the work of Derby Cathedral Choir would be most gratefully received. Contact Alex Binns.
Hymns for use during Advent and Christmas streaming services
The CofE national team is currently preparing music for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany which can be downloaded from the A Church Near You Resource Hub. We will advise you when these downloads are available. The selection includes:
A great and mighty wonder
Come, thou long-expected Jesus
Hills of the North, rejoice
Lo, he comes with clouds descending
Long ago, prophets knew
O come, O come Emmanuel
On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry
People look east
The angel Gabriel to heaven came
Crib and Christingle Services
Away In A Manger
Sweet Little Jesus Boy
The Angel Gabriel
God rest ye merry, gentlemen
In the bleak midwinter
It came upon the midnight clear
Joy to the World
Hark the herald-angels sing
O come all ye faithful
O holy night
O little town of Bethlehem
As with gladness men of old
Bethlehem, of noblest cities
Brightest and best are the sons of the morning
Hail to the Lord’s anointed
O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness
Songs of thankfulness and praise
The race that long in darkness pined
We three Kings of Orient are
What child is this?
Community Carol Evening
Put together a booklet of carols and designate a community carol evening (this could be a great churches together event). Small groups of people (6 or fewer, depending on restrictions) could gather in various parts of a parish and each of the groups would sing the same carol at the same time, so that throughout the parish people were singing carols together though physically apart. People could be invited to come out to their front gardens or steps and join in.
>> Download a Carol words sheet
Send a Christmas Card
Send a card to everyone on your street with a teabag or sweet.
Join in at home Nativity
For many churches a Nativity or Crib service, perhaps on Christmas Eve, is a special event for children and their carers. For December 2020 the probability is that most churches won't be able to invite households to attend a service in person. This JOIN IN AT HOME NATIVITY is designed for an online event with children and those they are with being able to take part at home.
>> Download the Join in at home Nativity information sheet
Christingle in a Bag
Resources for actual or virtual Christingle service and videos etc. Encourage the making of a home Christingle to place in windows or on dining table to light the week before Christmas and on Christmas Eve.
>> Children's Society Christingle in a Bag
Zoom Crib Service
St Albans Diocese have produced a resource for Zoom Crib Service.
>> Zoom Crib Service
Outdoors Christmas Tree Festival
If allowed, maybe do this outside/around church building instead of inside – should have a booking system.
Risk assessment is necessary.
J John (Philo Trust)
is offering free resources which can be incorporated into services.
>> J John resources
Bible society - Advent at Home
The Bible Society have resources for advent at Home.
>> Bible society resources
Christian Aid has some worship resources including a video sermon by Paula Gooder.
>> Christian Aid resources
RSCM has resources around Covid-19 and Christmas.
>> RSCM resources
Praxis has some seasonal resources and links to other sites.
>> Praxis resources
Doorstep Carol Initiative
>> Doorstep carol initiative
BSL translated Carols
>> Six Carols translated into BSL.
The CofE website now has a section to help clergy and lay leaders prepare for All Saints' Day, All Souls’ Day and Remembrance in 2020. The page has sections on downloadable and printable resources, liturgies and prayers, and digital plans.
Derby City Council
The Diocese of Derby worship resilience group have provided these ideas:
All Souls/memorial services
- Gather pictures to display in church or on screen of people to be remembered.
- Liturgy to be used in the home to remember loved ones over a meal.
- Light candles in memory as names read out during a service or done virtually.
- Monthly, light candles for those who have died in the previous month.
- Use of liturgy at home during the funeral service for those who cannot attend by simply giving a copy of service being used to family for them to distribute (can be done via email).
- Pre-record a service that can be livestreamed/YouTubed.
- Get the youth group/school to put a video together to be used in streaming of services.
- Encourage people to lay poppies/ wreaths on memorials during week of Remembrance (before 5 November 2020).
- Encourage poppies to be placed in windows for a memorial display.
- Light a candle in a window at 11am on 11 November.
- Watch the national service from the Cenotaph, hosted by the British Legion, on BBC1.
Diocese of Derby Remembrance Service
Download mp3 music files
Here are various recordings of music for Remembrance, arranged by Alexander Binns, Director of Music at Derby Cathedral and recorded and sung by Derby Cathedral Choir.
The Last Post - played on the trumpet by Edward Turner, Assistant Director of Music, Derby Cathedral
Rouse/Reveille - played on the trumpet by Edward Turner, our Assistant Director of Music, Derby Cathedral
Images for use
The National Anthem | First verse |
For the Fallen (Douglas Guest) | They shall not grow old |