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A SERVICE OF WORD  AND SACRAMENT

Advent 1, Year A
Thanksgiving for Skye Valentine Higgins
South Sydney Uniting Church
November 28, 2010

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP

How I rejoiced when they said to me,
Let us go to the house of our God!
For in God’s house we shall find hope and healing.
In God’s house we shall find forgiveness
and friendship.

Come, let us sing our praises
to God who loves and redeems us.

SONG: ‘Alive to the presence and purpose of God’

GREETING

Blessed is the Holy Trinity of love,
Father, Son, Holy Spirit,
One God, mothering all creation;
and blessed is the reign of God,
now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Grace and peace from our Abba God
and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
And also with you.

Acknowledgement of Indigenous custodians; welcome to visitors.

READING Isaiah 2:1-5

We thank you, God, for your promise of a time
when swords will be exchanged for plowshares
and when tanks will be replaced by tractors.

We look forward to the promised day
when nations will live together in peace;
and when we learn, not about war,
but about you and one another.

Lighting the first Advent candle.

We light the first candle,
reminding us of God’s promise of peace on earth.
Amen! Come, Jesus!

LITANY OF PRAYER AND CONFESSION

Let us ask pardon from our God
for not always being attentive to the coming of Christ:

Last night over 8,000 people died of AIDS.
Forgive us our complacency.
Last night 6,000 children were orphaned because of AIDS.
Forgive us our apathy.

Every 8 seconds someone new is infected with AIDS.
Forgive us for not having the time to raise awareness.

Holy God, we know you hear the prayers and cries of your people.
Our lips express great need
and we turn to your listening presence.

Loving and listening God, we pray for the strength needed
to help ease the burden of illness and stand in solidarity
with those living with HIV/AIDS.
Help us to see that in sharing one another’s grief,
we grow in strength and compassion.

We pray for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS;
may they be strengthened to call upon you and upon us for help and mercy.
Hear their prayers, God, and grant us the hearts needed to respond to their calls.
Help us to meet their needs with loving spirits and willing hands.

We pray for the young who are infected with HIV/AIDS
and those who are orphaned because of AIDS.
Extend to the young your loving presence and comfort them
when they feel scared and alone.

Gracious God, we thank you for the friends, families, community organisations
and medical teams who help care for and support those living with HIV/AIDS.
Help these people remain steadfast in their commitment
to helping those living with HIV/AIDS.

Holy God, help fill them with the knowledge
of your healing and redemptive love.
Remind us all of the hope we find in you.

We pray for all who are ill that they may have courage, strength and hope.
O God, inspire us to love and care for all of your children.
Help us to serve those in need so that we may better serve you.

Silence.

L: Among the poor,
R: among the proud,
L: among the persecuted,
R: among the privileged,
L: Christ is coming,
 Christ is coming to make all things new.

Silence for personal confession.

FORGIVENESS

The people stand.
It is now the hour for us to wake from sleep ...
God comes to us in mercy and love.

Hear then Christ’s word of grace to us:
Your sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

COLLECT

God, our hope and our future,
by your Only Begotten Jesus Christ
you are part of our lives and our communities.
Make us so much aware of your presence
that people may love and encounter you
in our discreet but deep love for one another,
in our efforts to bring peace to this world,
in our commitment to compassion and justice
for even the humblest and most neglected.
May Jesus inspire and guide us
to lead everyone to you, our God for ever.
Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

Your word, O God, is a lamp to our feet:
a light to our path.

Let us stand to acclaim God’s saving justice,
attested by the teaching and the prophets,
and now revealed through faith in Jesus Christ
to all who believe.

The people stand.

GOSPEL Matthew 24: 36-44

The Good News and Power of God.
Praise to you, O Jesus Christ.

HOMILY

SILENCE

A Ceremony for the Naming of a Child

WELCOME

NAMING THE CHILD

THE COMMITMENT

... I therefore ask us all:
Will we commit ourselves to creating here
a safe and just place for this child and for all children?

ALL: Yes!

THE BLESSING

CONCLUDING PRAYER

INTERCESSIONS

Let us be attentive to the call of Jesus our Saviour to be awake
and to prepare his coming in the Church and the world of today
and let us say: God of hope, hear our prayer.

... For all of us here, that we may not be self-satisfied
but keep seeking God in the light of Christ
by renewing ourselves and living for those around us,
let us pray: God of hope, hear our prayer.

O Christ, we are incapable of building up a new world without you.
Come, stay with us on our journey, show us the way and build with us,
that we may belong to you and that this world may be yours
now and for ever. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING: ‘For the bread and for the wine’ (518)

 For the bread and for the wine,
 for the pledge that seals him mine,
 for the words of love divine,
 we give you thanks, O God.

 For the feast of love and peace,
 bidding all our sorrows cease,
 foretaste of the kingdom’s bliss,
 we give you thanks, O God.

 Till he comes we take the bread,
 type of him on whom we feed,
 him who lives and once was dead:
 we give you thanks, O God.

 Till he comes we take the cup;
 as we at his table sup
 eye and heart are lifted up:
 we give you thanks, O God.

 For that coming here foreshown,
 for that day to us unknown,
 for the glory and the throne,
 we give you thanks, O God.

THE PEACE

The peace of the Promised One be with you all.
And also with you.
INVITATION

Let us give praise and thanks to Abba God, for the hope and the life given
in Jesus the Promised One. By the Spirit of love may this Eucharist give us the strength to bear the promise for the sake of the world.

GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

The people stand.

God is here.
God’s Spirit is with us.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to God.
Let us give thanks to the God of love.
It is right to offer thanks and praise.

Those who wish may raise their hands with the presider.

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for the night is far spent,
and your day draws near.

L: You created the earth and its inhabitants,
 and when the flood came in the days of Noah,
 you saved a people and called them to walk in your light.
R: Though the day and hour cannot be known,
 through your prophets, you have given us
 visions of approaching salvation.

In your child, Jesus the Christ,
you have called all peoples to yourself
and taught us your ways.

When he was killed,
you raised him to new life
and promised a day when he will come
at an unexpected hour
to gather up your faithful ones
and bring them home to your house,
so that the weapons and works of darkness
might be discarded
and all might be clothed with our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Therefore we sing ... (761):
Holy, holy, holy God, wisdom, strength and hope,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of our God.
Hosanna in the highest.

To you indeed be glory, almighty God,
because on the night before he died ...
God of hope and joy,
we thank you for counting us worthy
to stand in your presence and serve you.
With this bread and this cup
we proclaim the mystery of our faith.
Christ has died,
Christ is risen,
Christ will come in glory.

Therefore, loving God,
recalling now Christ’s death and resurrection,
we ask you to accept
this our sacrifice of praise.

Send your Holy Spirit upon us
and our celebration,
that we may be fed with the body and blood of Christ
and be filled with your life and goodness.
Strengthen us to do your work,
and to be your body in the world.
Unite us in Christ
and give us your peace.

May we praise you
and give you glory.

Through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in your holy Church,
we worship you, O God,
in songs of everlasting praise.

Blessing, honour and glory be yours,
here and everywhere, now and forever. Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

L: Abba God in heaven, hallowed be your name!
R: May your reign come,
 may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven:
L: give us today the bread we need.
R: And forgive us our debts,
 as we hereby forgive those who are indebted to us.
 Don’t put us to the test, but free us from evil.

BREAKING OF THE BREAD

Let us receive what we are;
let us become what we receive:
the body of Christ.

LAMB OF GOD (765)

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

THE COMMUNION

This is Jesus our Saviour
to whom we pray: Come, Jesus!
Come, and satisfy our hunger
for goodness, joy and freedom.
Come, and make us the people
through whom you are present in this world.
Amen! Come, Jesus!

The Sending Forth of the People of God

Notices.

SONG: ‘How shall I sing to God’ (667)

BLESSING

We are sent
in the name of God,
source of life for all;
in the name of Jesus,
fulfiller of ancient promises;
in the name of the Holy Spirit,
light in our darkness ...

to witness to our world
God’s faithfulness.
We pray this prayer
in Jesus’ name,
until we gather again.
Amen.

 

Acknowledgements:
Based on 'The Service of the Lord's Day' in Uniting in Worship 2, Sydney, 2005;
Liturgy Alive for Sundays and Weekdays, the Philippines (www.bible.claret.org);
Eucharistic Preface based on prayers by Nathan Nettleton (www.laughingbird.net).
Advent Candle Lighting by the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship USA.
Advent Prayer from Cloth for the Cradle, Wild Goose Worship Group.
Haiku by Heather Robinson; Image: Acida Jacaranda by Ciaraan
(http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs29/f/2008/074/4/d/Acida_Jacaranda_by_ciaraan.jpg).