Sunday, December 19, 2021

The Holy Communion on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, 10:30 a.m.

 The livestream may be found here.

December 19, 2021

Fourth Sunday of Advent




The color blue, used for the vestments and paraments of Advent, is redolent of the deep blue of twilight just before dawn, symbolic of the Christian hope for the coming of the Light of the World.


FIRST READING: The coming Messiah is foretold by psalms and prophets. The prophet Micah speaks of the coming of a ruler from Bethlehem, and that when ‘she who is in labor has brought forth,’ Israel’s exile will be over. The ruler will be a shepherd, just as his ancestor David was, and he will make God’s people secure and bring peace.


SECOND READING: When the writer of the letter to the Hebrews reflects upon the Incarnation, the coming of God in human flesh, he recalls the words of Psalm 40 and imagines them upon the lips of Jesus. Christ, the Incarnate God, is the one who removes our sacrifice and offering as propitiation of God; instead he offers his own body and his desire to do God’s will. It is through this offering, and no other, that we are made holy.


GOSPEL and PSALMODY: In Luke 1, John the Baptist begins his witness to Jesus as the Son of God even from the womb, and his mother Elizabeth proclaims Mary to be ‘the mother of my Lord.’ In the Psalmody, we sing the song Mary herself sang at Elizabeth’s confirmation of the angel’s visit. In and through her, God is acting, as the psalmists and the prophets have always promised he would, to liberate Israel from bondage to sin, death, and the evil one; but his mercy is not only for Israel, but ‘for those (of every nation) who fear him from generation to generation.’



Fantasia on VENI EMMANUEL - Heathcote Statham


X OPENING HYMN                                 Oh, Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel     


Refrain: ALL

Stanzas 1,3,5, and 7: ALL

Stanzas 2,4, and 6: Choir/ Setting by Paul Bunjes


Refrain                Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel

                                Shall come to you, O Israel!


1              Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel,                

And ransom captive Israel,

                That mourns in lonely exile here

                Until the Son of God appear.                                       Refrain                                                

2             Oh, come, our Wisdom from on high,

Who ordered all things mightily;

                        To us the path of knowledge show,

                        And teach us in her ways to go.                                                   Refrain


3              Oh, come, oh, come, our Lord of might,                                       Who to your tribes on Sinai's height

In ancient times gave holy law,

In cloud and majesty and awe.                                    Refrain


4             Oh, come, O Rod of Jesse's stem,

From every foe deliver them

That trust your mighty power to save;

Bring them in victory through the grave.                             Refrain


5              Oh, come, O Key of David, come,

And open wide our heavenly home;

Make safe the way that leads on high,

And close the path to misery.                                      Refrain


6              Oh, come, our Dayspring from on high,

And cheer us by your drawing nigh;

                     Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,

And death's dark shadows put to flight.                               Refrain


7              Oh, come, Desire of nations, bind

In one the hearts of all mankind;

Oh, bid our sad divisions cease,

And be yourself our King of Peace.                            Refrain




The day of justice and righteousness dawns upon us.

Standing in the light of the fourth candle,

we turn to God with sorrow for sin and hope for salvation.


Heavenly Father,

you exalted the humble and meek:

give us humble and contrite hearts. Lord, have mercy.

  Lord, have mercy.


Lord Jesus, you grew towards birth in the Virgin’s womb:

be planted also in our hearts and lives. Christ, have mercy.

  Christ, have mercy.


Holy Spirit, you overshadowed Mary,

that she might become the God-bearer:

fill us with your heavenly gifts. Lord, have mercy.

  Lord, have mercy.


Almighty God, who in Jesus Christ

has given us a kingdom that cannot be destroyed,

forgive you your sins, open your eyes to his truth,

strengthen you to do his will, and give you the joy of his kingdom.





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.


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 in joy and serve you always; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. 



As soon as Elizabeth heard the sound of Mary’s greeting,

the child in her womb leaped for joy.                                   Luke 1:44

  Let us hear the Word of the Lord.



First READING                                                        Micah 5:2-5a


2But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah,
  who are one of the little clans of Judah,
 from you shall come forth for me
  one who is to rule in Israel,
 whose origin is from of old,
  from ancient days.
3Therefore he shall give them up until the time
  when she who is in labor has brought forth;
 then the rest of his kindred shall return
  to the people of Israel.
4And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord,
  in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
 And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great
  to the ends of the earth;
5aand he shall be the one of peace.


The Word of the Lord.                                                                                                    

  Thanks be to God.



PSALMODY                     Magnificat- James J. Chepponis

Rob Dawe- Clarinet


SECOND READING                                       Hebrews 10:5-10


5Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,
 “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
  but a body you have prepared for me;
6in burnt offerings and sin offerings
  you have taken no pleasure.
7Then I said, ‘See, God, I have come to do your will, O God’
  (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).”
8When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9then he added, “See, I have come to do your will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.


The Word of the Lord.                                                 

  Thanks be to God.



VERSE   Matthew 1:23                                   Setting by Robert Wetzler

Alleluia. A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel. Alleluia.


Gospel                                                          Luke 1:39-45


The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke.

39In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”


The Gospel of the Lord.







X HYMN OF THE DAY                                     The Only Son from Heaven



Stanzas 1 and 3: Choir

Stanzas 2 and 4: All

 1      The only Son from heaven,

        foretold by ancient seers,

        by God the Father given,

        in human form appears.

        No sphere his light confining,

        no star so brightly shining

        as he, our Morning Star.


2      Oh, time of God appointed,

        oh, bright and holy morn!

        He comes, the king anointed,

        the Christ, the virgin-born,

        grim death to vanquish for us,

        to open heav'n before us

        and bring us life again.


3      Awaken, Lord, our spirit

        to know and love you more,

        in faith to stand unshaken,

        in spirit to adore,

        that we, through this world moving,

        each glimpse of heaven proving,

        may reap its fullness there.


4     O Father, here before you

        with God the Holy Ghost,

        and Jesus, we adore you,

        O pride of angel-host:

        before you mortals lowly

        cry, "Holy, holy, holy,

        O blessed Trinity!"


Text: Elizabeth Cruciger, 1500-1535; tr. Arthur T. Russell, 1806-1874, alt.




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




Sanctified by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, we come before God to offer prayers to him in humility and expectation.


Silence is kept.


Holy and gracious God, you planted your Word in the womb of the Virgin Mary, gave her faith in your promises, and confirmed that faith by the witness of her cousin Elizabeth. Give us faith in the promises of baptism, and by the visitation of your Holy Spirit make us to bear good fruit for your glory. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Holy and gracious God, beneath and beyond the frantic pace of these days you are calling us to stillness and readiness. Help us to hear that call, that we might hear the voice of Mary, calling us to worship her Son. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Holy and gracious God, you promised to lift up the poor and you reject those who trust in their riches. Give us the vision to see the needs of others and to meet them where they are, trusting not in our abilities but in your compassion. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Receive, in this time of grace, our intercessions and supplications:

  For our bishop and pastors,                                        hear our prayer.

  For the peace of the world,                                         hear our prayer.

  For the President, the Congress, and the courts;

   for good government and domestic tranquility, hear our prayer.

  For all who protect, heal, and serve others,          hear our prayer.

  For the poor and all who are in need,                      hear our prayer.

  For those who have lost faith,                                   hear our prayer.

  For the sick, the friendless, the grieving,

   the anxious, and the despairing,                              hear our prayer.


The pastor reads the names submitted for prayer.

The people may offer silent or spoken intercessions and thanksgivings.


Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.

Holy and gracious God, we give you thanks for John the Baptist, for Zechariah his father, Elizabeth his mother, for Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, and for all the saints who have striven to do your holy will. Bless us, that we may imitate their faith and with them receive the crown of glory. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Almighty God, as your blessed Son Jesus Christ first came to seek and to save the lost; so may he come again to find in us the completion of his redeeming work; for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.




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.



OFFERTORY     Zephaniah 3:14, 17                Setting by Robert Wetzler

Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord, your God, is in your midst, he will renew you with his love; he will exult over you with loud singing, as on a festal day.



Hear us, O Lord Jesus Christ, from your dwelling place,

from the glorious throne of your kingdom, and come and cleanse us.

  You are seated on high with the Father,

  and you dwell also with us here, although unseen.

By your mighty hand render us worthy to receive in holy communion

your spotless body and your precious blood.



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, almighty and ever-living God.

  It was your will and purpose that your Word should become incarnate in the womb of the Virgin Mary, so that he, your only Son, who came to share our human nature, might wonderfully gather us to himself as fellow heirs and partakers of eternal life.

  And so, with Mary, Elizabeth, and John the Baptist, 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


This is the bread of God which gives life to the world.

  Glory to you, O God, forever.                                                                 John 6:33


Wisdom has built her a house;

she has mixed her wine;

she has set her table.

  Glory to you, O God, forever.                                                            Proverbs 9:1


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.


 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. 



CHOIR                                                                                         The Kingdom of Love

Text/ Carl P. Daw, Jr. ; Music/ David Ashely White

Clarinet/ Rob Dawe; Percussion/ Mary Jane Snyder


Make straight in the desert a highway;

prepare the way of the Lord:

let mountains and hills bow in reverence

and valleys rise up for their King.

In joy shall the wilderness blossom,

and streams through the desert be poured;

the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

and tongues that were silent shall sing.


Break forth into singing, O Zion,

your King is coming to you.

Jerusalem, shout with rejoicing,

he comes to redeem you from fear.

For God shall bring peace and abundance,

your praise and renown to renew;

prepare to receive your salvation:

the promised Redeemer is near.


The reign of the Lord will be gracious,

its blessings ever will last;

for then will God bring to fulfillment

the promise of peace from above.

All creatures will prosper together,

to plowshares all swords will be cast:

earth’s people will find their true freedom

in God’s perfect Kingdom of Love.


Savior of the Nations, Come


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 of Mary’s womb begun

        when God breathed the Word, his Son.


3      Wondrous birth! O 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;

        Darkenss cannot hide your flame,

        Shining bright as Jesus’ name.


After all have returned to their places, the people stand at the direction of the pastor.


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


 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)

Pour out upon us the spirit of your love, O Lord, and unite the wills of those whom you have fed with one heavenly food; 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.                                Amen


May God the Son, who comes to us as redeemer and judge,

reveal to you the path from darkness to light.                       Amen


May God the Holy Spirit, by whose working the Virgin Mary conceived the Christ, help you bear the fruits of holiness.                                 Amen


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



X CLOSING HYMN                                                              Fling Wide the Door

1      Fling wide the door, unbar the gate;

        the King of glory comes in state;

        the Lord of lords and King of kings,

        the Savior of the world who brings

        his great salvation to the earth.

        So raise a shout of holy mirth

        and praise our God and Lord,

        Creator, Spirit, Word.


2      He is the rock of our belief,

        the heart of mercy's gentle self.

        His kingly crown is holiness;

        his scepter is his loveliness;

        he brings our sorrows to an end.

        Now gladly praise our king and friend,

        and worship him with song

        for saving us from wrong.


3      Oh, happy towns and blessed lands

        that live by their true king's commands.

        And blessed be the hearts he rules,

        the humble places where he dwells.

        He is the rightful Son of bliss

        who fills our lives and makes us his,

        creator of the world,

        our only strength for good.


4     Come, Lord, our Savior, Jesus Christ;

        our hearts are open wide in trust.

        Oh, show us now your lovely grace,

        upon our sorrows shine your face,

        and let your Holy Spirit guide

        our journey in your grace so wide.

        We praise your holy name,

        from age to age the same!


Text: Georg Weissel, 1590-1635; tr. Gracia Grindal, b. 1943

Text © 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship, admin. Augsburg Fortress.


Go in peace. Serve the Lord.                                          

  Thanks be to God!

THE SCHEDULE for Christmas and New Years’ Services is below. Please note that there is no Saturday evening worship service on Dec. 25.


Fri/Dec 24 Christmas Eve Worship, 7:30 p.m.

Sat/Dec 25 Christmas Day Worship, 10:30 a.m.

Sun/Dec 26 St Stephen’s Day Worship, 10:30 a.m.

Fri/Dec 31 New Year’s Eve Service, 6:30 p.m.

Sat/Jan 1 WORSHIP, 6:30 p.m.

Sun/Jan 2 WORSHIP, 10:30 a.m.




Sun/ Dec 19         Choir rehearsal 9:30 AM


Prayer at the Close of the Day (livestream) 9:30 PM

                                Decorate the church 6:30 PM

Mon/ Dec 20      Morning Prayer (livestream ) 8:30 AM

Wed/ Dec 22      Evening Prayer (livestream) 7:00 PM

Fri/ Dec 24          Christmas Eve Worship 7:30 PM                             

Sat/ Dec 25          Christmas Day Worship 10:30 AM

NA Meeting 11 AM

Sun/ Dec 26         Choir rehearsal 9:30 AM


Prayer at the Close of the Day (livestream) 9:30 PM



From Sundays and Copyright 2021 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.

LePlae, Charles. Two Women, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved December 10, 2021]. Original source:

Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban, 1617-1682. Young Christ as the Good Shepherd, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved December 13, 2021]. Original source:  

Agnus Day appears with the permission of