Sunday, December 20, 2020

Order of Worship - Advent IV, December 20, 2020 - 10:30 a.m.

 The livestream may be found here.





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



The mystery that was kept secret for long ages

is now disclosed to bring about the obedience of faith.

Therefore in obedience and faith we confess our sins.

                                                        Romans 15:25-26

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,

  have mercy on us.

  Forgive us, renew us, and lead us;       

  restore our fortunes;

  fill our mouths with laughter

  and our tongues with shouts of joy. Amen


God is able to strengthen his people

according to the Gospel and proclamation of Jesus Christ.        Romans 15:25

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 X 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           

Fourth Sunday in Advent


We praise you, O God, for this wheel of time

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

  By the light of the fourth candle on this wreath,

  open our eyes to see your presence

  in the lowly ones of this earth.

  Enlighten us with your grace,

  that we may sing of your advent among us

  in the Word made flesh.

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.

  Take away the hindrance of our sins and make us ready for the

  celebration of your birth, that we may receive you with joy and

  serve you always;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.



Mary said to the angel,

‘Let it be to me according to your word.’                                                 Luke 1:38

  Let us hear the Word of the Lord.                    



First READING                                                           2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16



Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2the 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.” 3Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.”
4But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: 5Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? 6I 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. 7Wherever 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?” 8Now therefore thus 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; 9and 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. 10And 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, 11from 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 that the Lord will make you a house. 16Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.


The Word of the Lord.                                                                                                    

  Thanks be to God.


NEW TESTAMENT CANTICLE  Song of Mary                  Luke 1:46b-55


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


The Lord has lifted up the lowly.                                                              Luke 1:52a


My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;

my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

  for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

  From this day all generations will call me blessed.

The Almighty has done great things for me,

and holy is his name.

  He has mercy on those who fear him

  in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm;

he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

  He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,

  and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,

and the rich he has sent away empty.

  He has come to the help of his servant Israel,

  for he has remembered his promise of mercy,

the promise he made to our fathers,

to Abraham and his children forever.

  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


The Lord has lifted up the lowly.                                                          Luke 1:52a


SECOND READING                                                        Romans 16:25-27


25Now 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 26but 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—27to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.


The Word of the Lord.                                                  

  Thanks be to God.




Alleluia. The virgin shall conceive and bear a son

  and they shall name him Emmanuel.  Alleluia.

                                                               Matthew 1:23


Gospel                                                                                               Luke 1:26-38


The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke.

  Glory to you, O Lord.


26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He 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. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35The 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. 36And 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. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38Then 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.


The Gospel of the Lord.                                

  Praise to you, O Christ.





HYMN OF THE DAY                                              Savior of the Nations, Come


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



1              Savior of the nations, come;

                show the glory of the Son!

                Ev’ry people, stand in awe;

                Praise the perfect Son of God.


2              Not of human seed or worth,

                but from God’s own mystic breath,

                fruit in Mary’s womb begun,

                when God breathed the Word, his Son.


3              Wondrous birth! Oh, wondrous child

                of the virgin undefiled!

                Mighty God and man in one,

                eager now his race to run!


4             God the Father is his source,

                back to God he runs his course;

                down to death and hell descends,

                God’s high throne he reascends.


5              He leaves heaven to return;

                trav’ling where dull hellfires burn;

                Riding out, returning home

As the Savior who has come.


6              God the Father’s precious Son

                Girds himself in flesh to run

                for the trophies of our souls,

                Longer than this round earth rolls.


7              Shining stable in the night,

                breathing vict’ry with your light;

                darkness cannot hide your flame,

                shining bright as Jesus’ name.


Text: attr. Ambrose of Milan, 340-397; Martin Luther, 1483-1546;

tr. hymnal version.





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


X At the words ‘For us and for our salvation,’ and continuing through ‘and was made man,’ 

a solemn bow is appropriate to praise the incarnation of our Lord.


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.

                X 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. X

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.


For the Church: that, like Mary, we may be ready to hear your call, and rejoice in the salvation you offer through her Son. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


For this congregation: that you would show us signs of your mercy and grace. Make of us a house to praise you forever, and bring about the obedience of faith in us. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


For our bishop, Dan; our Dean, Nila; our pastors, Maurice and Harvey, and for all those called to the ministry of Word and Sacrament: that they may proclaim Jesus as the One who fulfills all of your promises. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


For peace in the world; for deliverance from terror, injustice, and abuse of power: that room for you may be made in this earth. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


For those who must be far from home in these days, especially for all who serve in our armed forces; that all may know the blessings of Christ’s love and protection. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


For those for whom the busy-ness of this season is a burden; for those for whom poverty, illness, grief, and despair darken their celebrations; for those who work in hospitals, in nursing homes, and who serve as first responders, and for those who have not yet come to faith, that you might visit all of them with the angel who calls them to rejoice in the good news. We name these before you:


The People may offer silent or spoken intercessions and thanksgivings.


Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.

We praise you for King David and the prophet Nathan; for St Paul and the Church in Rome; for the Blessed Virgin Mary, and for all those who have trusted your promise in Jesus Christ; and we ask that we be numbered among their company until all things are fulfilled. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Into your hands, 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.

  Your eternal Word adorned the face of heaven with splendor and, with the glory of the incarnation, he filled the Virgin’s womb and made it fruitful; so that a new light in radiant splendor might shine upon all, and that from Mary, virgin and mother, might spring salvation from for the human race.

  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)




God lifts up the lowly

and fills the hungry with good things.

  Thanks be to God.

                Luke 1:52-53


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.



Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence


1              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 descending

                comes our homage to demand.


2              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 heav’nly food.





3              Rank on rank the host of heaven

                spreads its vanguard on the way;

                as the Light of light, descending

                from the realms of endless day,

                comes, the pow’rs of hell to vanquish,

                as the darkness clears away.


4             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!”


Text: Liturgy of St. James; tr. Gerard Moultrie, 1829-1885, alt.


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.






May God the Father,

who loved the world so much that he sent his only Son,

give you grace to prepare for life eternal.



May God the Son,

who comes to us as redeemer and judge,

reveal to you the path from darkness to light.



May God the Holy Spirit,

by whose power the Virgin Mary conceived the Christ,

help you bear the fruits of holiness.



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


Please maintain social distance and remain masked while exiting the building. Please sanitize your hands before leaving the building.