13 December 2020 at 10:00 am

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The Gathering

Please stand at the sound of the bell as the sacred ministers enter, during which the Choir sings an introit.

On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry
announces that the Lord is nigh;
awake, and hearken, for he brings
glad tidings from the King of kings!

For thou art our salvation, Lord,
our refuge and our great reward;
without thy grace we waste away,
like flow’rs that wither and decay.

All praise, eternal Son, to thee
whose advent sets thy people free,
whom, with the Father, we adore,
and Holy Ghost for evermore.

Words: Charles Coffin (1676-1749) translated John Chandler (1806-1876)
Music: 17th century melody arr. Malcolm Archer (b. 1952)

In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

The Greeting

Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ
be with you

and also with you.

Words of Welcome

Prayers of Penitence

When the Lord comes,
he will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness,
and will disclose the purposes of the heart.
Therefore in the light of Christ let us confess our sins.

Cf 1 Corinthians 4.5

Silence is kept.

Turn to us again, O God our Saviour,
and let your anger cease from us:
Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Show us your compassion, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation:
Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Your salvation is near for those that fear you,
that your glory may dwell in our land:
Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

The president says

Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon you,
pardon and deliver you from all your sins,
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,
and keep you in life eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

The Collect

The president introduces a period of silent prayer with the words ‘Let us pray’.

O Lord Jesus Christ,
who at your first coming sent your messenger
to prepare the way before you:
grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries
may likewise so prepare and make ready your way
by turning the hearts of the disobedient
to the wisdom of the just,
that at your second coming to judge the world
we may be found an acceptable people in your sight;
for you are alive and reign
with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

Please sit.

A reading from the prophet Isaiah.

The servant of the LORD said: The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion – to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.

They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, to display his glory. They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.

For I the LORD love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people whom the LORD has blessed.

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.

Isaiah 61.1-4, 8-end

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading

The Choir sings an acclamation to herald the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

cf Isaiah 40.3-5

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

Glory to you, O Lord.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, ‘I am not the Messiah.’ And they asked him, ‘What then? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ Then they said to him, ‘Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?’ 

He said, ‘I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, “Make straight the way of the Lord,”’ as the prophet Isaiah said. 

Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, ‘Why then are you baptising if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?’ John answered them, ‘I baptise with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.’ 

This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptising.

John 1. 6-8,19-28

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon

Please sit.

The Nicene Creed

Please stand.

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is,
seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.
Amen.

Prayers of Intercession

Please sit.

The response to the bidding.

Lord, in your mercy.

Hear our prayer.

Then at the end.

Merciful Father,

Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,
Our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

The Liturgy of the Sacrament 

The Peace

Please stand.

May the God of peace make you completely holy,
ready for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The peace of the Lord be always with you

and also with you.

Please sit.

Preparation of the Table

The table is prepared and bread and wine are placed upon it.

A Hymn is sung by the Choir. Please follow this and pray the words.

Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us;
let us find our rest in thee.

Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of ev’ry nation,
joy of ev’ry longing heart

Born thy people to deliver;
born a child and yet a king;
born to reign in us for ever;
now thy gracious kingdom bring.

By thine own eternal Spirit,
rule in all our hearts alone:
by thine all-sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.

Please stand.

Taking of the Bread and Wine

As this bread was scattered
and then gathered and made one,
so may your Church be gathered into your kingdom.

Glory to you, O God, for ever.

Wisdom has built her a house;
she has mixed her wine; she has set her table.

Glory to you, O God, for ever.

The Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord is here.

His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is indeed right and good to give you thanks and
praise, almighty God and everlasting Father,
through Jesus Christ your Son.
For when he humbled himself
to come among us in human flesh,
he fulfilled the plan you formed
before the foundation of the world
to open for us the way of salvation.
Confident that your promise will be fulfilled,
we now watch for the day
when Christ our Lord will come again in glory.
And so we join our voices with angels and archangels
and with all the company of heaven
to proclaim your glory for ever praising you and saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Accept our praises, heavenly Father,
through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and as we follow his example and obey his command,
grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit
these gifts of bread and wine
may be to us his body and his blood;
who, in the same night that he was betrayed,
took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper
he took the cup and gave you thanks;
he gave it to them, saying:
Drink this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me.

Therefore, heavenly Father,
we remember his offering of himself
made once for all upon the cross;
we proclaim his mighty resurrection and glorious
ascension; we look for the coming of your kingdom,
and with this bread and this cup
we make the memorial of Christ your Son our Lord.

Christ is the bread of life:

When we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus,
until you come in glory.

Accept through him, our great high priest,
this our sacrifice of thanks and praise,
and as we eat and drink these holy gifts
in the presence of your divine majesty,
renew us by your Spirit,
inspire us with your love
and unite us in the body of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through him, and with him, and in him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
with all who stand before you in earth and heaven,
we worship you, Father almighty,
in songs of everlasting praise:

Blessing and honour and glory and power
be yours for ever and ever.
Amen.

Please sit as silence is kept.

The Lord’s Prayer

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Breaking of the Bread

The president breaks the consecrated bread.

We break this bread
to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread.

Invitation to Communion

God’s holy gifts
for God’s holy people.

Jesus Christ is holy,
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

The president and people receive communion.

At the giving of communion, the president receives communion in both kinds.

The words of distribution (“The body and blood of Christ, broken/shed for us all”) are spoken to the congregation, and all who intend to receive reply with “Amen”.

Please follow the instruction of the stewards. At the distribution, Holy Communion is administered without speaking. The consecrated bread is dropped into the hands of communicants.

To reduce the risk of spreading any infection, communion will be in one kind (bread) only. This is still considered to be complete communion by the Church of England.

The Post Communion Prayer and The Lighting of the Advent Candle

Please stand.

The president introduces a time of silent prayer with the words
‘Let us pray’.

We give you thanks, O Lord,
for these heavenly gifts;
kindle in us the fire of the Spirit
that when your Christ comes again
we may shine as lights before his face;
who is alive and reigns now and for ever.

Amen.

The president then moves to the Advent Wreath to light the third of the Advent candles. This week the candle helps us remember John the Baptist who proclaimed the Saviour.

The candle is lit and this prayer is said.

Blessed are you, sovereign Lord, just and true:
to you be praise and glory for ever.
Your prophet John the Baptist was witness to the truth
as a burning and shining light.
May we your servants rejoice in his light,
and so be led to witness to him
who is the Lord of our coming kingdom,
Jesus our Saviour and King of the ages.

Blessed be God for ever.

A hymn is sung by the Choir.

Hills of the north, rejoice,
echoing songs arise,
hail with united voice
him who made earth and skies:
he comes in righteousness and love,
he brings salvation from above.

Isles of the southern seas
sing to the list’ning earth,
carry on ev’ry breeze
hope of a world’s new birth:
in Christ shall all be made anew,
his word is sure, his promise true.

Lands of the east, arise,
he is your brightest morn,
greet him with joyous eyes,
praise shall his path adorn:
the God whom you have longed to know
in Christ draws near, and calls you now.

Shores of the utmost west,
lands of the setting sun,
welcome the heav’nly guest
in whom the dawn has come:
he brings a never-ending light
who triumphed o’er our darkest night.

Shout, as you journey on,
songs be in ev’ry mouth,
lo, from the north they come,
from east and west and south:
in Jesus all shall find their rest,
in him the longing earth be blest.

The Dismissal

The Blessing

May God himself, the God of peace,
make you perfect and holy,
and keep you safe and blameless, in spirit, soul and body,
for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Amen.

The Dismissal

As we await our coming Saviour,
go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ. Amen.

Please sit and wait for the stewards to invite you to leave.


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On Jordan's bank
Music © 2000 Oxford University Press

Hills of the north, rejoice
Music © J. Curwen & Sons reproduced by kind permission of William Elkin Music Services, Norwich

CCL licence: 668063