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Advent Holy Communion Sunday Worship Worship

Holy Communion for Advent 4

Listen to or read a service of Holy Communion for 20 December 2020, the Fourth Sunday of Advent, and take part in an act of Spiritual Communion

Hymn

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord!
Unnumbered blessings, give my spirit voice;
tender to me the promise of his word;
in God my Saviour shall my heart rejoice.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his name!
Make known his might, the deeds his arm has done;
his mercy sure, from age to age the same;
his holy name, the Lord, the mighty one.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might!
Powers and dominions lay their glory by.
Proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight,
the hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

Tell out, my soul, the glories of his word!
Firm is his promise, and his mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
to children’s children and for evermore!

Timothy Dudley-Smith (b. 1926)
based on Luke 1.46-55 (Magnificat, The Song of Mary)

The Gathering and Greeting

In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

When the Lord comes, he will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness, and will disclose the purposes of the heart.
Therefore in the light of Christ let us confess our sins.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name.
Amen.

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon you,
pardon and deliver you from all your sins,
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,
and keep you in life eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Collect

God our redeemer,
who prepared the Blessed Virgin Mary
to be the mother of your Son:
grant that, as she looked for his coming as our saviour,
so we may be ready to greet him
when he comes again as our judge;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading:
2 Samuel 7.1-11, 16

A reading from the second book of Samuel.

Now when David, the king was settled in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, ‘See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.’ Nathan said to the king, ‘Go, do all that you have in mind; for the LORD is with you.’

But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the LORD: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’ Now therefore you shall say to my servant David:
Thus says the LORD of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you, David, that the Lord will make you a house. Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever.    

This is the word of the Lord.              
Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm:
Psalm 89.1-4, 19-26

Your love, O Lord, for ever will I sing.
Your love, O Lord, for ever will I sing.

Your love, O Lord, for ever will I sing;
from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever;
you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.
Your love, O Lord, for ever will I sing.

‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
“I will establish your line for ever,
and preserve your throne for all generations.”’
Your love, O Lord, for ever will I sing.

You spoke once in a vision
and said to your faithful people:
‘I have set the crown upon a warrior
and have exalted one chosen out of the people.
I have found David my servant;
with my holy oil have I anointed him.
Your love, O Lord, for ever will I sing.

‘My hand will hold him fast
and my arm will make him strong.
No enemy shall deceive him,
nor the wicked bring him down.
I will crush his foes before him
and strike down those who hate him.
Your love, O Lord, for ever will I sing.

‘My faithfulness and love shall be with him,
and he shall be victorious through my name.
I shall make his dominion extend from the Great Sea to the River.
He will say to me, “You are my Father,
my God and the rock of my salvation.”’
Your love, O Lord, for ever will I sing.

Second Reading:
Romans 16.25-27

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans.

To God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith – to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory for ever! Amen.

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading:
Luke 1.26-38

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.
Glory to you, O Lord.

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, favoured 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 favour 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 for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’

Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘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.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon

The Creed

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,
was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and 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,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who 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 Intercession

Let us pray to the Lord who has brought salvation to all who will hear his word.

Bless all the places where your people meet for worship, but keep us from valuing them more highly than the knowledge that you are present everywhere. Grant us the faith and trust that was in Mary, to be always ready to receive your word.
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

By the Holy Spirit who came to Mary, bring peace and good will among all nations. Lead the rulers of this world to acknowledge your lordship and to exercise their power in the obedience of faith.
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Give to us, our families, friends and neighbours, ears eager to hear you and eyes open to perceive you. Be with those expecting new babies, bringing them to safe and joyful birth.
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Have mercy on the homeless, the refugees and the wanderers of this world, and grant them secure shelter. Be with those who are sick in body, mind and spirit, that they may know the consolation and joy of your healing love.
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

We remember those who have died, and especially those who had no settled home in this world. Give them rest in the heavenly home where in your mercy there is space for all.
Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Rejoicing in the good news brought to the blessed Virgin Mary, we offer our prayers.

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

The Liturgy of the Sacrament

The Peace

In the tender mercy of our God,
the dayspring from on high shall break upon us,
to give light to those who dwell in darkness
and in the shadow of death
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you.

Hymn

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here,
until the Son of God appear:
Rejoice! Rejoice!

Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Rod of Jesse, free
thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
from depths of hell thy people save,
and give them victory o’er the grave:
Rejoice! Rejoice!

Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer
our spirits by thine advent here;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
and death’s dark shadows put to flight:
Rejoice! Rejoice!

Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Key of David, come,
and open wide our heavenly home;
make safe the way that leads on high,
and close the path to misery:
Rejoice! Rejoice!

Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, thou Lord of Might,
who to thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
in ancient times didst give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe:
Rejoice! Rejoice!

Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

John Mason Neale (1818–1866)
translated from Latin Advent Antiphons

Prayers at the Preparation of the Table

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:
through your goodness we have this bread to set before you,
which earth has given and human hands have made.
It will become for us the bread of life.
Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:
through your goodness we have this wine to set before you,
fruit of the vine and work of human hands.
It will become for us the cup of salvation.
Blessed be God for ever.

The Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord is here.
His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is indeed right and good to give you thanks and praise,
almighty God and everlasting Father,
through Jesus Christ your Son.

He is the one foretold by all the prophets,
whom the Virgin Mother bore with love beyond all telling.

John the Baptist was his herald
and made him known when at last he came.

In his love Christ fills us with joy
as we prepare to celebrate his birth,
so that when he comes again he may find us watching in prayer,
our hearts filled with wonder and praise.

And so, with angels and archangels,
and with all the company of heaven,
we proclaim your glory,
and join in their unending hymn of praise:
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

We praise and bless you, loving Father,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord;
and as we obey his command,
send your Holy Spirit,
that broken bread and wine outpoured
may be for us the body and blood of your dear Son.

On the night before he died he had supper with his friends
and, taking bread, he praised you.
He broke the bread, gave it to them and said:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

When supper was ended he took the cup of wine.
Again he praised you, gave it to them and said:
Drink this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

So, Father, we remember all that Jesus did,
in him we plead with confidence
his sacrifice made once for all upon the cross.
Bringing before you the bread of life and cup of salvation,
we proclaim his death and resurrection
until he comes in glory.

Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died:
Christ is risen:
Christ will come again.

Lord of all life,
help us to work together for that day
when your kingdom comes
and justice and mercy will be seen in all the earth.

Look with favour on your people,
gather us in your loving arms
and bring us with all the saints
to feast at your table in heaven.

Through Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honour and glory are yours,
O loving Father, for ever and ever
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

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,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Breaking of the Bread

We break this bread
to share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in the one bread.

The Agnus Dei

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world,
grant us peace.

Giving of Communion

Jesus is the Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world.
Blessed are those who are called to his supper.
Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,
but only say the word, and I shall be healed.

Today communion is received for and on behalf of all who are participating in this service. This is a time when you are invited to make your own Spiritual Communion.

Hymn

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 favoured lady.’ Gloria!

‘For known a blessèd Mother thou shalt be,
all generations laud and honour thee,
thy son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold;
most highly favoured lady.’ Gloria!

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,
‘To me be as it pleaseth God,’ she said,
‘My soul shall laud and magnify his holy name’:
most highly favoured 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 favoured lady.’ Gloria!

Birjina gaztetto bat zegoen (Basque Carol)
paraphrased by Sabine Baring-Gould (1834–1924)

Prayer after Communion

Let us pray.

Heavenly Father,
who chose the Blessed Virgin Mary
to be the mother of the promised saviour:
fill us your servants with your grace,
that in all things we may embrace your holy will
and with her rejoice in your salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Almighty God,
we thank you for feeding us
with the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ.
Through him we offer you our souls and bodies
to be a living sacrifice.
Send us out
in the power of your Spirit
to live and work
to your praise and glory.
Amen.

The Blessing and Dismissal

The peace of God, which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always
Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.