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A SERVICE OF WORD AND SACRAMENT

Advent 2, Year C
South Sydney Uniting Church
December 9, 2012

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP (Psalm 126:3,5)

Our God has done great things for us
and we are glad.
Those who sow in tears
shall reap in joy.

Acknowledgement of Indigenous custodians.

SONG: “Bring a light” (John McRae)

Lighting the Advent Candle.

GREETING

May our love for one another
prepare us for the Day of the Saviour,
when Jesus Christ returns.
May the grace and love of Christ be always with you.
And also with you.

Welcome.

PENITENTIAL RITE

There are many obstacles to the coming of our Saviour. If only all could encounter the Saviour and experience God’s salvation in Christ and at work in us too! We ask Jesus in this Eucharist that we may be the road to him and that we may bring him near to people.

We are people of the road, pilgrims on the way,
and we sometimes stumble and fall.
We now ask forgiveness and help.

Jesus, you brought us freedom and justice
and opened wide for us
the way to Abba God and to all:
God, have mercy. God, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, you showed to us
the path to the peace of forgiveness:
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, you lead us on the road
of love and generosity
and you want to bring your salvation to all:
God, have mercy. God, have mercy.

Silence for personal confession.

Have mercy on us, God,
and fill us with the joy of your pardon.
Wipe away the tears of our sorrow
that we might sing of the gladness of everlasting life.
Amen.

ASSURANCE

COLLECT

Let us pray
that we may prepare the road
for our God’s coming.

Abba God,
we know today how to pierce mountains
and level hills to build highways,
but we have lost the way
to each other’s heart and to you.
May your Beloved come among us
to make us inventive and daring enough
to build roads of justice and love.
We ask you this in the name of the One
whom we expect
and who is waiting for us,
Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

EPISTLE READING Philippians 1:3-11

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

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION

GOSPEL Luke 3:1-6

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

HOMILY

SILENCE

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

... Jesus Christ, give us the will and the courage to remove the obstacles that separate us from each other and to level the road for your coming. Stay with us, now and for ever. Amen.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING TIS 270: “On Jordan’s bank”

Abba God,
in these signs of bread and wine
you reassure us that your Beloved
will soon be among us.
May we be the humble servants
of the light and joy and the great hope
for which humanity is waiting.
May our lives proclaim the message
that you are near to us in Jesus Christ,
your Own and our Sovereign for ever and ever.
Amen.

THE PEACE

INVITATION

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 from your deepest mercy our salvation comes.

V1: In the beginning you began creating the world
and you will bring it to completion at your final appearing.
V2: Through your prophets you promised to save us
from all that would drive us into slavery.

V3: You sent your servant, John,
to prepare the way for your anointed one
by proclaiming a baptism of repentance,
a refining fire.
V4: In your child, Jesus,
we have seen the dawn of justice,
and the glory of your mercy.

When he was crucified
you raised him to new life with the power to save.
Now we eagerly await the glorious day of his appearing,
when all your beloved will be gathered home.

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.

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

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

COMMUNION

This is the Lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world.
Happy are we to be invited
to prepare the way for this One’s coming,
that people all over the world may see salvation.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Abba, God of hope,
in this Eucharist we have celebrated again
the coming of your Own in our midst.
Let this brief encounter with Christ
refresh and restore us
to become humble road signs
to a justice, a peace, a dignity, and a joy
that far surpass our powers,
but which can be shared by all
if we allow Christ to accompany us
to you, our God for ever and ever.
Amen.

The Sending Forth of the People of God

Notices.

SONG TIS 658: “I the Lord of sea and sky”

BLESSING

To be a highway to God,
level, smooth, and straight,
we need to become more Christ-like ourselves.
We can show others the road to Christ
and prepare the way for his Advent
only if we ourselves take his Gospel seriously,
if Christ becomes visible in us:
his goodness, his compassion, his love,
his concern for justice and truth.

May God give you this strength and bless you all.
May almighty God bless you ... +

 

Acknowledgements:
Based on ‘The Service of the Lord’s Day’
in Uniting in Worship 2, Sydney, 2005;
also, Claretian Resources (www.bible.claret.org);
Eucharistic Preface based on prayers by Nathan Nettleton
(www.laughingbird.net).
Lord’s Prayer translation by Andrew Collis.
Artwork: El Greco “John the Baptist” (1579).