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A SERVICE OF WORD  AND SACRAMENT

Advent 4, Year B
South Sydney Uniting Church
December 18, 2011

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP

Forever I will sing the wonders of your love, YHWH,
proclaiming your faithfulness to all generations!
I’ll tell them that your love stands firm forever,
your fidelity is fixed in the heavens.

SONG: ‘My soul gives glory to my God’ (172)

GREETING

To God, who alone is wise,
may glory be given through
Jesus Christ to endless ages.
Amen!

And may the Saviour be with you.
And also with you.

Acknowledgement of Indigenous custodians; welcome to visitors.

On this, the final Sunday of Advent,
as we light the candles of our Advent wreath,
let us pray that we, like Mary,
may welcome the coming of Christ into our hearts
and become instruments
of the coming reign of God.

SONG: ‘Light one candle ...’ (286)

 Light one candle for hope,
 one bright candle for hope.
 God brings hope to every heart.
 Christ comes! Christ comes!

 Light one candle for peace ...
 [same as verse 1]

 Light one candle for joy,
 one bright candle for joy.
 Every nation with find salvation
 in Bethl’em’s baby boy.
 
 Light one candle for love ...
 [same as verse 1]

Lighting the first, second, third and fourth Advent candles.

LITANY OF PRAISE

As the birth of a child draws near, attention focuses on the mother.
Since we are nearing the celebration of the birth of Christ,
it is no surprise to find that Mary is at the centre of today’s Gospel.
Let us now call out to the Child of Mary, the Child of the Most High God.

You came as Child of David to establish the reign of God.
God, come and save us.
God, come and save us.

You come as Child of Mary to be Emmanuel, God-with-us:
Christ, come and save us.
Christ, come and save us.

You will come as Child of God to bring creation to fulfillment:
God, come and save us.
God, come and save us.

COLLECT

Here in our midst, O God of mystery,
you disclose the secret that was hidden for countless ages.
For you we wait;
for you we listen.
Upon hearing your voice
may we, like Mary, embrace your will
and become a dwelling fit for your Word.
Grant this through the One whose coming is certain,
whose day draws near:
your Own, our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

EPISTLE Romans 16:25-27

May your word live in us, O God.
And bear much fruit to your glory.

GOSPEL AFFIRMATION

We stand.

SONG: ‘Love is his word, love is his way’ (534)

 Love is his word, love is his way,
 feasting with friends, fasting alone,
 living and dying, rising again,
 love, only love, is his way.

 Richer than gold is the love of my Lord:
 better than splendour and wealth.

GOSPEL Luke 1:26-38

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

HOMILY

SILENCE

PROFESSION OF FAITH

We believe in God,
holy Source of all that is.
We believe in God,
who has spoken the eternal Word in Jesus Christ.
We believe in God,
ceaselessly breathing the Spirit into creation.

We trust in God’s love and wisdom:
fully revealed in the humanity of Jesus Christ,
present to us through the Spirit’s working
in the Church and beyond.

We believe that God is calling the whole creation
into a future of justice and peace.
We share in Christ’s risen life,
and commit ourselves today to receive
the coming reign of God.
To the only God, Three yet One,
be all honour and glory and praise
now and for ever. Amen.

INTERCESSIONS

... God, you know us and our needs.
May we reach out with love to grasp your hand,
and walk more readily in your ways.
We ask this through Christ our Saviour.
Amen.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING: ‘Love is his word, love is his way’ (534)

THE PEACE

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

As children of the God of peace,
let us offer one another a sign of reconciliation.

INVITATION

In this Eucharist we express our longing
for our Saviour’s coming among us and into the world.

GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

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.

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for your mercy embraces the faithful,
one generation to the next,
and your fidelity, for all ages.

L: You created the heavens and earth,
 and chose for yourself a covenant people,
 bringing them from slavery to a land of their own.
R: In your servant, David, you established your rule
 and promised his throne to the one
 who would save your people and reign forever.

And now, the mystery kept secret for long ages
has been revealed to all the earth:
your Own, Jesus Christ,
is conceived by the Holy Spirit
in the womb of Mary
and emerges to claim the throne of his ancestor David.

Though he was killed by the proud and powerful,
you have raised him up,
and with him, the humble of all the earth,
and of his reign there will be no end.

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

Abba God in heaven,
 
glory to you!
Your rule of love renews the earth.
In your name, we take part in that renewal
 
helping, and not harming,
 
caring, and not coercing ...
We pray that we might receive with thanks
 
the bread we need,
 
the money we need,
 
the warmth we need ...
We pray that forgiveness and freedom
flow through our lives.
Teach us that in sharing life
 
we live life to the full ...
Remind us that evil is real.
Still, we are not afraid of it,
but confident
 
that love is stronger than hate,
 
justice other than revenge,
 
true peace the work of your Spirit.

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,
the Child of the Most High,
the Child of Mary.
Blessed are we to receive the Christ,
our God-with-us.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Generous God,
You fill the hungry with good things
and send the self-satisfied away empty.
In this Eucharist you have filled us
with the word and bread of life.
As Christmas draws near
may we hunger for the coming of Jesus,
your Own Child, who is Sovereign for ever and ever.
Amen.

The Sending Forth of the People of God

Notices.

SONG ‘Prayer for peace’

BLESSING

You believe that the Child of God once came to us.
You look for Christ to come again.
May the coming of Christ bring you the light of holiness
and the peace of true blessing. Amen.

May God make you steadfast in faith, joyful in hope,
and untiring in love all the days of your life. Amen.

May God the Holy Spirit,
by whose power Mary conceived the Saviour,
reveal to you the path from darkness to light. Amen.

And may almighty God bless you +

DISMISSAL

Go, and with Mary prepare for the coming of the Saviour.
Thanks be to God.

 

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).
Lords Prayer translation by Andrew Collis.
Artwork: www.laurajamesart.com/image/BlackMadonna.jpg/.