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A SERVICE OF WORD  AND SACRAMENT

Ordinary Sunday 32, Year A
South Sydney Uniting Church
November 6, 2011

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP (Based on Psalm 78:1-7)

We gather here to remember God’s glorious deeds
recorded for all time by people whose lives were touched by grace.
As people of hope, they affirmed the great works of God,
and the importance of keeping the commandments of God.
We are heirs of their faithfulness
in witnessing to the greatness of God’s acts.
Let our witness be as convincing,
so that generations to come will honour God’s holy name.

SONG OF PRAISE: ‘Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord!’ (161)

GREETING

In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit; one God, Mother of us all.
Amen.

The free kindness of our Saviour Jesus Christ
and the love of God
and the shared life of God’s Holy Breath
be with you all.
And also with you.

Acknowledgement of Indigenous custodians; welcome to visitors. The Christ candle is lit.

PENITENTIAL PRAYER

When they hear that they have to be vigilant and ready for the coming of Christ,
many people think they have to be ready for death so as not to be caught unaware.
Much more than this is meant. We can learn to meet the Christ in the many ways Christ comes to us: as our companion on the road of life, in our neighbour, in our prayer,
in the celebration of the eucharist. These will prepare us for the final encounter.
Let us pray that God make us attentive to the presence of grace among us.

If only we had been more aware
how often we meet the Christ in life!
Let us ask God to forgive us.

Jesus our Saviour, you seem absent
when we struggle with suffering,
but you are there with your strength:
Show us your compassion, O God.
Show us your compassion, O God.

Jesus Christ, often we forget you
in the cares of everyday life,
but you are there with us:
Show us your compassion, O Christ.
Show us your compassion, O Christ.

Jesus our Saviour, we neglect to care for you
in our sick and neglected brothers and sisters,
but you want us to serve you in them:
Show us your compassion, O God.
Show us your compassion, O God.

Forgive us all our sins, God,
and make us look for your presence.
Walk with us and lead us
to the feast of everlasting life. Amen.

Silence.

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS

Jesus died and rose again, and through Jesus,
those who live or die in him
will be embraced in the mercy of God forever.
Jesus says, “Your sins are forgiven!”
Jesus says, “I am committing myself to you!”
Thanks be to God!

COLLECT

Let us pray for union with our Saviour
on earth and in heaven.

Abba God,
you want us to encounter Jesus your Child
here on earth as our companion in life.
Keep us always awake and responsive to his love,
which he offers us in the eucharist,
in his forgiveness, in the events of life,
in our brothers and sisters he entrust to us.
Let him be our peace in our tensions,
our joy even when we suffer,
our life and happiness beyond death.
Let him admit us to your lasting feast of joy,
for he is our Saviour for ever. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

Here we are: called to your service, O God.
Let it be with us according to your word.

FIRST READING Wisdom of Solomon 6:12-16

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

The Thessalonians are worried about their dead. If they have died before the return of Christ, how can they be saved?
Paul tells them: if they have died in union with Christ, they will rise from the dead and live forever.

SECOND READING 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

We stand.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (180)

 Hush, hush, hallelujah, hallelujah!
 Shout, shout, hallelujah, hallelujah!
 Sing, sing, hallelujah, hallelujah!
 Sing, God is love, God is love!

GOSPEL READING Matthew 25:1-13

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

HOMILY

SILENCE

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

We are not like those who have no hope,
for we have a Saviour who rose from the dead.
We look forward to Christ in hope as we pray: God of glory, in you we hope.

... For the young, that they may remain critical of mediocrity in their own lives and yet keep hoping and building toward a new and better world, let us pray:
God of glory, in you we hope.

For our beloved dead, that they may live in the joy of God, let us pray.
God of glory, in you we hope.

Abba God, you alone know the day and the hour of all things and every person. Do not let the cares of the day close our hearts to your coming in Christ.
Meet us now and in the joy that lasts for ever. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING: ‘God gives us a future’ (687)

THE PEACE

The peace of Christ be with you always.
And also with you.

INVITATION

Christ among us in the eucharist is the pledge that one day we will enjoy with Christ the happiness of heaven. With Christ we now give thanks to our God.

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 mysteries well up from ancient depths,
assuring us that we will be with you forever.

L: In the first of your mighty works,
 you created the earth and filled it with life.
R: You rescued a people from slavery
 and called them to choose between wisdom and foolishness,
 between serving you and making their own gods.

L: In your child, Jesus, you have again called us to choose
 to live in readiness
 for the promised return
 of the one who died and rose again,
R: or to waste our opportunities
 and squander what you have given us.

We choose to serve you,
and with hearts full of gratitude
we trust in your protection and look for the day
when at the trumpet’s sound the dead will arise
and all will be embraced in the marriage of earth and heaven.

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.

We thank you that on the night before he died for us ...

And so remembering all that was done for us:
the cross, the tomb, the resurrection and ascension,
longing for Christ’s coming in glory,
and presenting to you these gifts your earth has formed
and human hands have made,
we acclaim you, O Christ:
Dying, you destroyed our death.
Rising, you restored our life.
Christ Jesus, come in glory!

Send your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine
that they may be to us the Body and Blood of your Christ.

Grant that we, burning with your Spirit’s power,
may be a people of hope, justice, and love.
Giver of Life, draw us together in the Body of Christ,
and in the fullness of time gather us with all your people
into the joy of our true eternal home.

Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ,
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
we worship you, Abba God, in voices of unending praise.
Blessed are you now and for ever.
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

LAMB OF GOD (767)

 Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
 have mercy on us.
 Word made flesh, you take away the sin of the world,
 have mercy on us.
 Bread of Life, you take away the sin of the world,
 grant us peace.

COMMUNION

This is Jesus, the Lamb of God
who died and rose again.
He meets us now with all solicitude,
that we may encounter him with joy
when he appears in glory.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

God of our hope and joy,
we are sure we have encountered your Child Jesus
in this eucharistic celebration.
We have recognised his voice;
he has nourished us with the bread of himself.
Let Jesus himself be the lamp
that shines brightly on our life
and make us always hear his voice
crying out to us in our needy brothers and sisters,
that he may find us ready when he comes
to gather us into the feast of your kindom
that lasts for ever and ever.
Amen.
The Sending Forth of the People of God

Notices.

BLESSING

In the presence of God
we have reflected on words
about the wisdom of vigilance.
What are we, foolish or wise?
Probably a combination of the two:
foolish when we sin,
wise when we are vigilant
and try to live like Jesus
and to put his words into practice.

May almighty God keep you vigilant and wise
and bless you: +
Amen.

DISMISSAL

Go in the peace of Christ,
and may the Spirit keep you always faithful.
Thanks be to God.

SONG: ‘When he comes back ...’ (280)

 

Acknowledgements:
Based on a liturgy in Uniting in Worship 2.
Prayers based on A Contemporary Sunday Liturgy (www.bible.claret.org);
Eucharistic Preface based on prayer by Nathan Nettleton
(www.laughingbird.net).
Icon: Christ as Holy Wisdom by William Hart McNichols,
based on an eighteenth-century Russian icon of Hagia Sophia
(www.users.csbsju.edu).