Bulletin – 12/15 Third Sunday in Advent
PRELUDE MUSIC (a time for silent reflection)
WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT WREATH
SIGN OF THE CROSS
All ☩ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Celebrant May our hearts be filled with hope as we meditate on the promises God has made to bless all the peoples on earth through countless generations until this present age and beyond.
People Thanks be to God
Celebrant Last Sunday we lit the candles of hope and peace. (The first two candles are relighted.) Today we light the third candle of Advent, the candle of joy, as we contemplate Emmanuel—God with us—as we prepare ourselves for the coming of the Christ child.
In the ancient book of the Bible, 1 Samuel, we read the hymn of Hannah, Samuel’s mother, who sings: “My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in my God. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory. There is no Holy One like the LORD, no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry are fat with spoil. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and on them he has set the world. He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness; for not by might does one prevail. The LORD! His adversaries shall be shattered; the Most High will thunder in heaven. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the power of his anointed.”
Blessed are you, sovereign Lord, merciful and gentle: to you be praise and glory forever. Your light has shone in our darkness, through the coming of Jesus. Grant that we who have seen your glory may daily be renewed in your image. Blessed be God for ever. (The third candle is now lighted.)
Celebrant Let us pray.
People Almighty God, we give you thanks for surrounding us with brilliant light. We implore that you would enfold us with the light of your Holy Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Opening Hymn #715 RED Rejoice, The Lord is King
Rejoice, the Lord is King! Your Lord and King adore; mortals, give thanks and sing, and triumph evermore. Lift up your heart, lift up your voice; rejoice; again, I say, rejoice.
Jesus the Savior reigns, the God of truth and love; when he had purged our stains, he took his seat above. Lift up your hearts, lift up your voice; rejoice; again, I say, rejoice.
His kingdom cannot fail; he rules o’er earth and heaven; the keys of earth and hell are to our Jesus given. Lift up your heart, lift up your voice; rejoice; again, I say, rejoice.
Rejoice in glorious hope! Jesus the Judge shall come, and take his servants up to their eternal home. We soon shall hear th’archangel’s voice; the trump of God shall sound, rejoice!
Celebrant Blessed be the one, holy, and living God.
People Glory to God for ever and ever.
Beloved God, as we approach your presence, guide and stir us with your Holy Spirit, that we may become one body, one spirit in Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
SONG OF PRAISE #72 BLUE Hark the Glad Sound v. 1
Hark! The glad sound! The Savior comes, the Savior promised long; let every heart prepare a throne, and every voice a song.
THE COLLECT OF THE DAY
Celebrant The Lord be with you.
People And also with you.
Celebrant Let us pray.
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us. Let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us, raising us from our darkness. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and forever. Amen.
The First Reading
A reading from Luke 1:46b-55
And Mary, Jesus’ mother, sang, “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, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
Reader The Word of the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.
Reader Let us say together Psalm 146
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!
Gradual Hymn: #427 BLUE When Morning Gilds the Skies, v. 1-3
When morning gilds the skies, my heart, awaking, cries, may Jesus Christ be praised! When evening shadows fall, this rings my curfew call, may Jesus Christ be praised!
When mirth for music longs, this is my song of songs: may Jesus Christ be praised! God’s holy house of prayer hath none that can compare with: Jesus Christ be praised!
No lovelier antiphon in all high heaven is known than, Jesus Christ be praised! There to th’eternal Word th’eternal psalm is heard: may Jesus Christ be praised!
THE GOSPEL Matthew 11:2-11
Celebrant The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew
People Glory to you, Lord Christ.
When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”
As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Celebrant The Gospel of the Lord.
People Praise to you, Lord Christ.
SERMON Pastor Neil
THE NICENE CREED (please stand)
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
In readiness and joyful expectation of Christ’s reign of peace, let us pray for our needs and the needs of others.
Pour out your life-giving Spirit on your holy church throughout the world and equip its members to boldly proclaim their common faith and your bountiful blessings to the world. Lord, in your mercy: Come, O Lord, and save us.
Let your Spirit move over our unruly time and heal its people broken in spirit and body. Bring peace to a weary and struggling world. Protect Mother Earth from human neglect. Lord, in your mercy: Come, O Lord, and save us.
Burn out all that is evil in us; consecrate us for holy service and empower us to work toward the salvation of the world. Give us energy and insight for the mission. Lord, in your mercy: Come, O Lord, and save us.
Renew the faith of all those who call you Lord, so that we may devote ourselves to worship, teaching, and prayer—all to reveal your grace, mercy, and healing to a fragile humanity. Give noble purpose to our secular leaders, and a desire to do justice in the land and in the world. Lord, in your mercy: Come, O Lord, and save us.
Be with those who are dying and ill, and their families and loved ones. Bless the pastoral ministries of this congregation. Safeguard immigrants and refugees. Provide solace and healing to those beleaguered by hurricanes, floods, and fires. Lord, in your mercy: Come, O Lord, and save us.
We especially pray for those we name now… (please add your petitions). Lord, in your mercy:
Come, O Lord, and save us.
Rouse up your power and come, O God, and put a new and right spirit within us. Do not cast us away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from us. Give us ears to hear, O God, and eyes to watch and wait, that we may know your presence in our midst during this holy season of Advent, as we anticipate the coming of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Let us confess our sins to God (Silence may be kept).
Celebrant and People
God of all mercy, we confess that we have sinned against you,
opposing your will in our lives. We have denied your goodness in each other, in ourselves, and in the world you have created. We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf. Forgive, restore, and strengthen us through our Savior Jesus Christ, that we may abide in your love and serve only your will. Amen.
Almighty God have mercy on you ☩, forgive you all your sins
through the grace of Jesus Christ. Strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. Amen.
Celebrant The peace of the Lord be always with you.
People And also with you.
[Please greet one another in the name of the Lord.]
Let us with gladness present the offerings and gifts of our life and labor to the Lord. [Please be seated]
OFFERTORY HYMN#206 RED I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light
I want to walk as a child of the light. I want to follow Jesus. God set the stars to give light to the world. The star of my life is Jesus.
Refrain: In him there is no darkness at all. The night
and the day are both alike. The Lamb is the light of the
city of God. Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.
I want to see the brightness of God. I want to look at Jesus. Clear sun of righteousness, shine on my path, and show me the way to the Father. (Refrain)
I’m looking for the coming of Christ. I want to be with Jesus. When we have run with patience the race, we shall know the joy of Jesus. (Refrain)
Celebrant Please stand as you are able.
PRESENTATION HYMN #66 BLUE Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus v. 1
Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.
THE HOLY COMMUNION
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
Celebrant The Lord be with you.
People And also with you.
Celebrant Lift up your hearts.
People We lift them to the Lord.
Celebrant Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Celebrant will chant:
It is indeed right and salutary … (preface continues, chanted by Celebrant) …we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest, Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed are you, O Lord our God. You alone do wondrous deeds and keep your promises forever. You founded the earth upon the seas, and made it firm upon the rivers of the deep. You love the righteous and give justice to those who are oppressed. Through Abraham and Sarah and Hagar, you promised to raise up children in every nation who would bless your glorious name.
You prepared a way through the sea and saved your people Israel. Through the prophets you renewed your promise and you sent your messenger, to prepare the way for the coming of your Son, who baptizes with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
It is he, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of Mary, who became a servant to show forth your truthfulness, to confirm your promises, and to lead all nations to glorify you for your mercy. He gave sight to the blind, made the lame to walk and the deaf to hear. Jesus cleansed lepers, raised the dead, and brought good news to the poor.
And thus so, Jesus in the night in which he was handed over, took bread and gave thanks. He broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body given for you.
After supper, he took the cup, again gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sins. Do this for the remembrance of me. For as often as we eat of this bread and drink from this cup, we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
People Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
We remember then, his suffering and death, his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension to the heavenly throne. With patience and steadfast hope, we await the day of his coming, when the wolf shall live with the lamb; when the righteous shall flourish, and there shall be an abundance of peace; and when he shall share with us the great and promised feast.
Send now, we pray, your Holy Spirit, upon your redeemed and holy people, ☩ and upon these your gifts of bread and wine, that we may bear fruit worthy of repentance. Bless us to abound in hope, be filled with all joy and peace in believing, and receive our inheritance with all your saints in light.
People Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, to you be honor, glory, and praise, for ever and ever. Amen.
And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to pray:
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is 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, and the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
PRE-COMMUNION ANTHEM S-164
Jesus, Lamb of God: have mercy on us. Jesus, bearer of our sins: have mercy on us. Jesus, redeemer, redeemer of the world: give us your peace, give us your peace.
The gifts of God for the people of God. Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving.
WELCOME TO THE TABLE
All are welcome to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, without exception. The usher will direct you when to come forward (those in the back of the room come first). Cup your hands together to receive the bread and when the wine is offered, either dip your wafer in the wine or assist the chalice bearer to guide the cup to your lips. Alternately, you may cross your hands over your chest to indicate you wish a blessing from the priest. The elements will be brought to those who are unable to come forward.
Loving God, we give you thanks for restoring us in your image and nourishing us with spiritual food in the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood. Now send us forth a people forgiven, healed, renewed; that we may proclaim your love to the world and continue in the risen life of Christ our Savior. Amen.
Sisters and brothers, we go out into the world in peace, as part of God’s beloved community. May God help us all to be of good courage, hold on to what is good, return to no one an evil for an evil. Strengthen the faint-hearted, support the weak, aid the suffering, do justice and hope, honor all people, and let our gentleness be known by everyone. May God, who raised our Lord Jesus from death, lift us up and restore us to wholeness. And may God bless us all, ☩ in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Amen.
RECESSIONAL #616 BLUE Hail to the Lord’s Anointed
Hail to the Lord’s Anointed, great David’s greater Son! Hail, in the time appointed, his reign on earth begun! He comes to break oppression, to set the captive free; to take away transgression, and rule in equity.
He comes with succor speedy to those who suffer wrong, to help the poor and needy, and bid the weak be strong; to give them songs for sighing, their darkness turns to light, whose souls, condemned and dying, were precious in his sight.
He shall come down like showers upon the fruitful earth, and love, joy, hope, like flowers, spring in his path to birth; before him on the mountains shall peace, the herald, go; and righteousness in fountains from hill to valley flow.
Celebrant Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.
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