Bulletin – 12/22 Fourth Sunday in Advent
PRELUDE MUSIC (a time for silent reflection)
WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT WREATH
SIGN OF THE CROSS
People ☩ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Celebrant May your hearts be filled with love 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 three candles, representing hope, peace and joy. (The first three candles are relighted.) Today, we light the fourth candle of Advent, the candle of Love, as we contemplate Emmanuel—God with us—as we prepare ourselves for the coming of the Christ child.
In the ancient text of the bible, we read in Isaiah, “For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders, and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onwards and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
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 in the gift of God’s love for humanity. Grant that we who have seen your glory may daily be renewed in your image. Blessed be God in love for ever. (The fourth 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 #74 BLUE Blest Be the King Whose Coming v. 1-3
Blest be the King whose coming is in the name of God! For him let doors be opened, no hearts against him barred! Not robed in royal splendor, in power and pomp, comes he; but clad as are the poorest, such his humility!
Blest be the King whose coming is in the name of God! By those who truly listen his voice is truly heard; pity the proud and haughty, who have not learned to heed the Christ who is the Promise, who has atonement made.
Blest be the King whose coming is in the name of God! He only to the humble reveals the face of God. All power is his, all glory! All things are in his hand, all ages and all peoples, till time itself shall end!
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.
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation. May your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, find in us a mansion prepared for him. Who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
The First Reading
A reading from Romans 1:1-7
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David, according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God, with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead; Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Reader The Word of the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.
Reader Let us say together from Psalm 80
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might and come to save us! Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
O LORD God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.
You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.
Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.
Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.
Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
Gradual Hymn: #324 BLUE Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent
Let all mortal flesh keep silence, and with fear and trembling stand; ponder nothing earthly minded, for with blessing in his hand. Christ our God to earth descendeth, our full homage to demand.
King of kings, yet born of Mary, as of old on earth he stood, Lord of lords in human vesture, in the Body and the Blood. He will give to all the faithful his own self for heavenly food.
Rank on rank the host of heaven spreads its vanguard on the way, as the Light of Light descendeth from the realms of endless day. That the powers of hell may vanish as the darkness clears away.
At his feet the six-winged seraph; cherubim with sleepless eye,
veil their faces to the Presence, as with ceaseless voice they cry,
“Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia, Lord Most High!”
THE GOSPEL Matthew 1:18-25
Celebrant The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.
People Glory to you, Lord Christ.
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.
But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”
When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
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#521 RED I Want Jesus to Walk with Me
I want Jesus to walk with me; I want Jesus to walk with me. All along my pilgrim journey, Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.
In my trials, Lord, walk with me; in my trials, Lord, walk with me. When my heart is almost breaking, Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.
When I’m troubled, Lord, walk with me; when I’m troubled, Lord, walk with me. When my head is bowed in sorrow, Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.
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 #100 Blue Joy to the World
Joy to the world! The Lord is come: let earth receive her King; let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.
Joy to the world! The Savior reigns; let us our songs employ, while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains, repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy, repeat, repeat the sounding joy.
No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground; he comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found, far as, far as the curse is found.
He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of his righteousness, and wonders of his love, and wonders of his love, and wonders, wonders of his love.
Celebrant Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.
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