Sunday, November 29, 2020

Sunday Worship - November 29, 2020, 10:30 a.m. - First Sunday of Advent

 The livestream may be found here.

The order of worship is below.





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



You have hidden your face from us,

and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.

Do not be exceedingly angry, O LORD,

and do not remember iniquity forever.                                           Isaiah 64:7b, 9a


Silence for reflection and self-examination.


God for whom we wait,

  we confess to you our sin in thought, word, and deed,

  in what we have done and in what we have left undone.

  We have not loved you with our whole heart;

  we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

  For the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, forgive us our sins.

  Restore us, O LORD God of hosts,

  show us the light of your countenance,

  and we shall be saved. Amen                                                               Psalm 80:3


Hear Paul’s words to the church in Corinth,

and hold fast to their promise:

‘God will strengthen you to the end,

so that you may be blameless

on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.’                                              1 Corinthians 1:8

As a called and ordained minister of the Church of Christ,

and by his authority,

I declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins,

in the name of the Father, and of the + Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.







The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,

and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

  And also with you.




In peace, let us pray to the Lord.                                 Lord, have mercy.

For the peace from above,

and for our salvation, let us pray to the Lord.       Lord, have mercy.

For the peace of the whole world,

for the well-being of the Church of God,

and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.    Lord, have mercy.

For this holy house,

and for all who offer here their worship and praise,

let us pray to the Lord.                                                   Lord, have mercy.

Help, save, comfort and defend us, gracious Lord.                       Amen


' Blessing OF THE ADVENT WREATH     

First Sunday of Advent


We praise you, Father, for this evergreen crown

that marks our days of preparation for Christ’s advent.

  Rouse us from sleep, that we may be made ready

  to greet our Lord when he comes with all the saints and angels.

  Enlighten us with your grace,

  and prepare our hearts to welcome him with joy.

Grant this through Christ our Lord,

whose coming is certain and whose day draws near.





The Lord be with you.

  And also with you.


Stir up your power, O Lord, and come.

  Protect us by your strength

  and save us from the threatening dangers of our sins,

for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.




Strengthen the testimony of Christ among us, O God,

that we may not lack in any spiritual gift

as we wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.          1 Corinthians 1:6-7

  Let us hear the Word of the Lord.                    



First READING                                                                              Isaiah 64:1-9


1O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
  so that the mountains would quake at your presence—
2as when fire kindles brushwood
  and the fire causes water to boil—
 to make your name known to your adversaries,
  so that the nations might tremble at your presence!
3When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,
  you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
4From ages past no one has heard,
  no ear has perceived,
 no eye has seen any God besides you,
  who works for those who wait for him.

5You meet those who gladly do right,
  those who remember you in your ways.
 But you were angry, and we sinned;
  because you hid yourself we transgressed.
6We have all become like one who is unclean,
  and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth.
 We all fade like a leaf,
  and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

7There is no one who calls on your name,
  or attempts to take hold of you;
 for you have hidden your face from us,
  and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.
8Yet, O Lord, you are our Father;
  we are the clay, and you are our potter;
  we are all the work of your hand.
9Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord,
  and do not remember iniquity forever.
  Now consider, we are all your people.


The Word of the Lord.                                                                                                    

  Thanks be to God.


PSALM 80:1-7, 17-19


The psalm is read responsively between the pastor and the people.


1 Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph | like a flock;*

                shine forth, you that are enthroned up- | on the cherubim.

2 In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin, | and Manasseh,*

                stir up your strength and | come to help us.

3 Restore us, O | God of hosts;*

                show the light of your countenance, and we | shall be saved.

4 O Lord | God of hosts,*

                how long will you be angered

despite the prayers | of your people?

5 You have fed them with the | bread of tears;*

                you have given them bowls of | tears to drink.

6 You have made us the derision | of our neighbors,*

                and our enemies laugh | us to scorn.

7 Restore us, O | God of hosts;*

                show the light of your countenance, and we | shall be saved.

17Let your hand be upon the one at | your right hand,
  the one you have made so strong | for yourself.
18And so will we never turn a- | way from you;
  give us life, that we may call up- | on your name.
19Restore us, O Lord| God of hosts;
  let your face shine upon us, and we | shall be saved.


SECOND READING                                                       1 Corinthians 1:3-9


3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, 5for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind—6just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you—7so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Word of the Lord.                                                  

  Thanks be to God.




Alleluia. Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,

  and give us your salvation.  Alleluia.

                                                               Psalm 85:7


Gospel                                                                                            Mark 13:24-37


The Holy Gospel according to St. Mark.

  Glory to you, O Lord.


[Jesus said:] 24“In those days, after that suffering,
 the sun will be darkened,
  and the moon will not give its light,
25and the stars will be falling from heaven,
  and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
28“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

   32“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.

35Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”


The Gospel of the Lord.                                

  Praise to you, O Christ.




             For Only One Short Hour, or, The Seamstress - Anna Blunden (1829-1915)


HYMN OF THE DAY                               Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending



Please meditate on the text of the hymn as it is played.



1              Lo! He comes with clouds descending,

                once for favored sinners slain;

                thousand thousand saints attending

                swell the triumph of his train:

                Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

                Christ the Lord returns to reign.


2              Ev’ry eye shall now behold him

                robed in glorious majesty;

                those who set at nought and sold him,

                pierced and nailed him to the tree,

                deeply wailing, deeply wailing, deeply wailing,

                shall their true Messiah see.


3              Those dear tokens of his passion

                still his dazzling body bears,

                cause of endless exultation

                to his ransomed worshipers.

                With what rapture, with what rapture, with what rapture

                gaze we on those glorious scars!


 4             Yea, amen, let all adore thee,

                high on thine eternal throne;

                Savior, take the pow’r and glory,

                claim the kingdom as thine own.

                Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

                Thou shalt reign, and thou alone!


Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788, alt.





The pastor and people confess the faith of the Church in the words of the Nicene 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;

                                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




Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.


A brief silence is kept.


God, our Father, awaken us to the promise of the coming King, and give us eager longing for the day of his revealing. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Stir up among us the gifts of your Spirit, and make us blameless on the day of Christ. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Give your wisdom to those in authority, that in their words and actions they may imitate Him who will come to bring justice. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Give your peace to the dying, your strength to the suffering, your healing to the sick, your relief to the poor and needy, and hope to all, especially to those whom we name now before you:


The People may offer silent or spoken intercessions and thanksgivings.


Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


We give you thanks for the elect who have gone before us. Strengthen us to the end, so that we may join with them in praise when your Kingdom has fully come. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.



Into your hands, merciful Father, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your steadfast love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. 




The peace of the Lord be with you always.

  And also with you.


The people exchange a sign of peace with the simple words, Peace be with you.



The Lord’s Table is prepared.





As the grain once scattered in the fields

and the grapes once dispersed on the hillside

are reunited on this table in bread and wine,

so, Lord, may your whole Church soon be gathered together

from the corners of the earth into your kingdom.




The Great Thanksgiving begins with the Preface, leading into the Sanctus:


The Lord be with you.                                   

  And also with you.                     

Lift up your hearts.                                         

  We lift them to the Lord.                        

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.                                  

  It is right to give him thanks and praise.


  It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places offer thanks and praise to you, O Lord, holy Father, through your Son, Jesus Christ:

  You sent him to redeem us from sin and death and to make us inheritors of everlasting life; that when he shall come again in power and great triumph to judge the world, we may with joy behold his appearing and in confidence may stand before him.

  And so, with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven, 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.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!

Hosanna in the highest!                                                    (Isaiah 6:3, Matthew 21:9)


The pastor leads the people in praying the Eucharistic canon:


 Blessed are you, O Adonai, Most High and Holy God,

                for the wonder of your goodness

which creates, establishes, and permeates

                the heavens and the earth.


We praise you for the promises you made to the Patriarchs,

                as you led your chosen people out of slavery

into the land of promise,

                giving them your Law on Sinai’s heights.               


You promised, through the prophets,

                that the Messiah would come,

                the very branch of Jesse –

                before whom all nations would keep silent.


Then, at the appointed time,

                you sent your beloved Son, Jesus our Emmanuel,

                the key of David born of Mary by the power of the Spirit. 


He came to rescue the uprooted,               

                to bring life to the lifeless

and voice to those who were without hope;

                on Calvary’s heights gave His life

                to draw all people to Himself

and to your promise of mercy.


In the night in which He was betrayed

our Lord Jesus took bread and gave thanks,

broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying:

Take and eat; this is my Body, given for you. 

                Do this for the remembrance of me.


Again, after supper, He took the cup, 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 sin. 

                Do this for the remembrance of me.


Together, let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

                O Christ, you are the splendor of life everlasting:

We laud your death and resurrection,

and await your return in glory.


Blessed are you, O Adonai, Lord of might. 

                You fulfilled your promises

in the death, resurrection and ascension of your Son,

                the King of all nations. 

We praise you for embracing us

                as the people who now dwell in the brightness of His glory.


Send now your holy and life-giving Spirit

                upon this Bread of Life and this Cup of Salvation,

                that we, in this holy communion,

                may be united to Him who is our cornerstone,

                the One who gives us His very body and blood

                to sustain us in His forgiving love.


With all the people of your promises,

                we await our Lord’s final coming

                when we will share in that feast which shall never end.

                Amen.  Come, O precious Ransom, come!


In the presence of Christ, we pray to his Father using the words he gave us.


Christ is in our midst.

                By the power of the Spirit,

                we pray to his Father, saying:



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                               (Matthew 6:9-15)



O Christ, you come to us in this holy meal;

  Give us life, that we may call upon your name.                        Psalm 80:18b


We adore Christ with the words of the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God).


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.                                                            (John 1:29, see also Luke 17:13)



Admission to the Sacrament is by invitation of the Lord, presented through the Church to those who are baptized.


They may receive the Lord’s Body and Blood who are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, who commune in their home churches, and who believe that Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, is truly present in, with, and under the forms of bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.


The communicants will be invited forward one family unit at a time. Please do not come forward until the pastor directs you to come forward, do not approach all the way to the table until the pastor has retreated,  and please do not remove your mask until you have reached the table with the elements on it.


 When the pastor says ‘The body of Christ, given for you,’ eat the bread. When the pastor says, ‘The blood of Christ, shed for you,’ drink the wine.  Please take the plate and the glass(es) and place them on the table that is indicated. Please put your mask on before returning to your seat.



Please meditate on the text of the hymn as it is played.



O Lord, How Shall I Meet You


1              O Lord, how shall I meet you,

                how welcome you aright?

                Your people long to greet you,

                my hope, my heart’s delight!

                Oh, kindle, Lord most holy,

                your lamp within my breast

                to do in spirit lowly

                all that may please you best.


2              Your Zion strews before you

                green boughs and fairest palms;

                and I, too, will adore you

                with joyous songs and psalms.

                My heart shall bloom forever

                for you with praises new

                and from your name shall never

                withhold the honor due.


3              I lay in fetters, groaning;

                you came to set me free.

                I stood, my shame bemoaning;

                you came to honor me.

                A glorious crown you give me,

                a treasure safe on high

                that will not fail or leave me

                as earthly riches fly.


4             Love caused your incarnation;

                love brought you down to me.

                Your thirst for my salvation

                procured my liberty.

                Oh, love beyond all telling,

                that led you to embrace

                in love, all love excelling,

                our lost and fallen race.


5              Rejoice, then, you sad-hearted,

                who sit in deepest gloom,

                who mourn your joys departed

                and tremble at your doom.

                Despair not; he is near you,

                there, standing at the door,

                who best can help and cheer you

                and bids you weep no more.


6              He comes to judge the nations,

                a terror to his foes,

                a light of consolations

                and blessed hope to those

                who love the Lord’s appearing.

                O glorious Sun, now come,

                send forth your beams so cheering

                and guide us safely home.


Text: Paul Gerhardt, 1607-1676; tr. composite


When all have received, the congregation stands at the direction of the pastor.


The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.      Amen


Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;

your word has been fulfilled.

My own eyes have seen the salvation

which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

A light to reveal you to the nations

and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning, is now,

and will be forever. Amen                                       Song of Simeon (Luke 2:29-32)


O God, in this meal

we have been given a foretaste

of the feast that is to come.

Help us always to be alert

to your gifts in our midst;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Keep awake –

for you do not know when the master of the house will come –

in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn,

or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly.

Keep awake.                                                                                      Mark 13:35-36, 37b



Almighty God, Father, +Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you now and forever.




Go in peace. Serve the Lord.          

Thanks be to God!


CLOSING MUSIC                                                       O Come, O Come Emmanuel




Last Weekend’s Attendance:   7 + 17 = 24


Offering: 11/55/2020

                Towards Budget:                                 $             1,796.00

Itemized Non Budget:

                            Flowers:                                 $        14.00

                Food Pantry:                                      $     200.00


                                  Total:                        $           2,020.00


The Altar Flowers are given to the Glory of God

in memory of George Saupes.




Linda Armento, at home

Matthew Armento, at home

Mary Jo Bondi, at home

Ruth Duessel, at Concordia, Rebecca

Pastor Carl Hendrickson, at home

Elsie Kemmler and Bill Roth at Concordia, South Hills

David Noel, at Kane Rehab, Scott Township

Geneva Schrag, at Consulate Health Care, Canonsburg

William Wetzel at Concordia, Cabot





·         If you wish to attend worship, you will need to pre-register every week by either calling the office or sending an email.

·         Registration ends Saturday at 12 noon.

·         Masks are required to be worn while in the building.

·         Upon entering and leaving the church, you must sanitize your hands or wash them with soap and water.

·         Everyone must sign in when entering the church. This way we can keep track of who was in the church and when.


WORSHIP SERVICES are held every Saturday evening at 6:30 PM and Sunday morning at 10:30 AM. Pastor Frontz also livestreams Compline (Prayer at the Close of the Day) on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. and Vespers (Evening Prayer) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. These can be accessed on the church’s Facebook page (

CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRISTMAS DAY SERVICES: Please register beginning Monday by calling the church office or emailing Please let us know the number who will be attending and which service you prefer; also, whether you are able and willing to attend the other service if necessary. If more register than there are slots available, we will hold another service earlier on Christmas Eve. Please note that we will also be streaming the services on Facebook Live.


THERE WILL BE NO in-person mid-week Advent Vespers this year; however, please join in with Evening Prayer every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. on Facebook Live:


FOOD BANK SUNDAY is next weekend.  Please consider bringing any non-perishable food items to church next weekend to be donated to the food pantry of St Andrew Lutheran Church in East Carnegie. Monetary donations are also accepted. Thank you.


CHRISTMAS POINSETTIAS: Please order Christmas poinsettias by sign-up sheet at worship or by emailing or calling the church office. The poinsettias are available in white, pink, or red and the cost is $7 per pot. The deadline for placing your order is next Sunday, December 6, 2020.


KINDLY REMEMBER TO PAY FOR THE FLOWERS you ordered for the weekend Altar and for the special occasions.  Altar flowers are $20/vase. Checks can be made out to St. Stephen Lutheran Church with a notation “flowers” and placed in the offering plate.


ALTAR FLOWERS FOR 2021: Please see the sign-up sheet available in the Narthex for altar flowers. If you are unable to sign-up in person, you may call or email the office to make a request for a date(s). We will assign date(s) in the order in which the requests are received. The process will repeat until the slots are filled. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding. The cost per arrangement will be $20.


DAILY DEVOTIONS, including THE WORD IN SEASON, PORTALS OF PRAYER AND CHRIST IN OUR HOME (October, November, and December 2020) are available on the table in the Narthex. Take one or more to share with family and friends. If you are able, a donation would be welcomed to help defray the cost to the congregation for these resources. Thank you!

2020 ‘DAILY TEXTS’ are available in the Narthex. A donation of

$10 per book would be appreciated to help cover the cost of the books. Thank you.


ST STEPHEN COUNSELING CENTER: A site of Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute/PPI). For marriage, family, teen and individual counseling – for first appointment call PPI at 412-661-1239. St. Stephen Center is

412-279-5452. Counseling opens doors to hope. Counselor: Caroline Graham-McGuire.


Sun/Nov 29	WORSHIP 10:30 AM
		Prayer at the Close of the Day (livestream) 9:30 PM
Wed/ Dec 2	Evening Prayer (livestream) 7:00 PM 
Sat/Dec 5	NA Meeting 11:00 AM
Food Bank
Sun/Dec 6	WORSHIP 10:30 AM
		Prayer at the Close of the Day (livestream) 9:30 PM
		Food Bank




From Sundays and Copyright 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #20540.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Common Worship: Times and Seasons, material from which is included here, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2006 and published by Church House Publishing.

Eucharistic Prayer reprinted by permission from A Little Book of Canons by Rod L. Ronneberg, STS, 1997 and 2010.

Blunden, Anna E., 1829-1915. For Only One Short Hour, or, The Seamstress, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved November 23, 2020]. Original source:

Agnus Day appears with the permission of