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Christmas 1, Year C
South Sydney Uniting Church
December 30, 2012

The Gathering of the People of God


Creation sings thanksgiving to God.
Messengers of God, sing praise.
Sun and moon, twinkling stars,
Rain clouds, tidal pools, sing praise.

Mountains and oceans sing praise.
Gales and breezes, sing praise.
Moss, fern and fruiting trees sing praise.
All animals sing praise.
Birds of every hue, sing praise ...

God’s splendour colours the earth.
God’s glory shines out in faithful people.
Let us all sing praise.

Acknowledgement of Indigenous custodians.

CAROL TIS 322: “The north wind is tossing the leaves”


We are already the children of God;
we need not be afraid in God’s presence.
May Christ the Saviour be with you.
And also with you.

Welcome. Lighting of the Christ Candle.


It may come as a real surprise to us to hear Jesus ask Mary and Joseph: “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I had to be where my Abba is?” Even Joseph and Mary had still to learn and to grow in their faith. Like the Holy Family, our families and each of us have also to grow in the faith. Perhaps it is through painful trials like the one of Mary and Joseph that our faith may become mature. We too are asked: Did you not know …?

Are we still willing to grow in our faith?
Let us examine ourselves in the light of Christ.

Jesus, you accepted to live
under the care of Mary and Joseph:
God, have mercy. God, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, your mother pondered in her heart
the events happening in her life:
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, with Mary and Joseph
you sought above everything else
the will of Abba God in heaven:
God, have mercy. God, have mercy.

Silence for personal confession.

God, forgive us our sins
and our lack of understanding.
Make us mature in our faith and love.
Lead us to everlasting life. Amen.



Let us pray
that Jesus may grow up in us:

Abba God,
we give you all thanks and praise
that you chose for your Beloved a human family.
Through the prayers and example
of Mary and Joseph,
may we too learn
to make room for Jesus in our life,
that he may grow up in us day after day
and make us more like Jesus
We ask this in the name of Christ the Saviour.

The Liturgy of the Word

FIRST READING 1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26

EPISTLE READING Colossians 3:12-17

The Wisdom of God.
God’s Word made new.

ACCLAMATION TIS 304: “Child, for us sinners ...” (v. 5)

GOSPEL Luke 2:41-52

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




... For our Christian communities, that as members of one family we may learn to carry each other’s burdens and to share each other’s joys, let us pray: Holy God, bless your people.

Abba, we trust in you. May we not deny one another all the love you show us in Jesus Christ our Sovereign. Amen.

OFFERING TIS 320: “Never in all human story”

Abba God,
you invite us to share the family table
of Jesus your Beloved.
May the food and drink he gives us
change us into gifts to one another,
that we may become each other’s
bread and wine, life and joy.
Let serving love and respect
be our offering to one another,
today and tomorrow and every day,
on account of your Own,
Jesus Christ our Sovereign. Amen.



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,
joining with the joyous cries of all creation,
for you oversee and nourish our growth to fullness of life.

V1: Your word called forth the sun, moon and stars,
and your breath gave life to every creature.
V2: You chose a people to be close to you,
and you spoke through them by your law and prophets.

V3: You sent your Beloved, Jesus, among us,
and even as a child his zeal for your ways
and his wisdom impressed all who heard him.
V4: His passion for the integrity of your house
and for the holiness of your people
turned the powerful against him.

They crucified him
but you raised him to new life.
Now his peace rules in our hearts,
his word dwells in us richly,
and we are clothed in his love,
to the glory of your holy name.

With all the company of heaven and earth 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 praise you, almighty God,
through Christ, in Christ and because of Christ.
We affirm the Church’s faith:
Christ has died, Christ is risen,
Christ will come again.

We remember ...

Send to us the Holy Spirit that this meal may be holy,
and your people may become one.

Unite us in faith, inspire us to love,
encourage us with hope,
that we may receive Christ as he comes to us
in this holy banquet.

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


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.



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.
Servant of God, you take away the sin of the world:
grant us peace, grant us peace.


This is Jesus the Saviour
who comes to unite us
as children of God.
Happy are we to be invited
to the family table of our God.


Abba God,
Jesus your Beloved made himself near to us
in this Eucharistic celebration.
He has been here for us
approachable and available to all.
May he keep on living
in our homes and our communities.
Let him make us approachable
and available to one another,
even at the cost of personal discomfort
and, with Mary and Joseph,
ready for any task you may entrust to us.
For we can do everything
in the name of Jesus the Saviour. Amen.

The Sending Forth of the People of God


CAROL TIS 317: “Love came down at Christmas”


It was good to be together
as the family of God’s people
and to pray with the Holy Family of Nazareth
for what is dear to all of us:
our homes, our families,
the Christian community,
the family of our nation,
the world of natural wonders
and interrelationships.
May God bless you all
and keep you united ...+

Go in the peace of Christ
and bear witness to love.
Thanks be to God.


Based on ‘The Service of the Lord’s Day’
in Uniting in Worship 2, Sydney, 2005;
also, Claretian Resources (www.bible.claret.org);
Thanksgiving based on prayers by Nathan Nettleton
Lord’s Prayer translation by Andrew Collis.
Orthodox Icon of the Nativity.