Order of service

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The Gathering

Our worship begins at the sound of the bell, please stand as the sacred ministers enter, during which the introit hymn is sung.

Hark! a herald voice is calling:
‘Christ is nigh!’ it seems to say;
‘Cast away the dreams of darkness,
O ye children of the day!’

Startled by the solemn warning,
Let the earth-bound soul arise;
Christ, her sun, all sloth dispelling,
Shines upon the morning skies.

Lo, the Lamb, so long expected,
Comes with pardon down from heav’n;
Let us haste, with tears of sorrow,
One and all to be forgiv’n.

So when next he comes with glory,
Wrapping all the earth in fear,
May he then, as our defender,
On the clouds of heav’n appear.

Honour, glory, virtue, merit,
To the Father and the Son,
With the co-eternal Spirit,
While unending ages run.

Words: 6th century translated by E. Caswall (1814-1878)
Music: W. H. Monk (1823-1889)
Hymn Tune: MERTON

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

Invitation to Confession

A voice cries out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord’. So let us listen, and turn to the Lord in penitence and faith.

Silence is kept.

Heavenly Father,
you call us to repent of our sins:
soften our proud and stubborn hearts.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus,
you declared the forgiveness of God:
teach us to forgive one another.

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Holy Spirit,
you search our hearts and show us the truth:
direct us in your way of righteousness.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

A setting of the ‘Kyrie eleison’ is sung by the Choir.

Kyrie eleison, Kyrie eleison, Kyrie eleison, eleison.
Christe eleison, Christe eleison, Christe eleison,
Kyrie eleison, Kyrie eleison, Kyrie eleison, eleison, eleison.

Music: from ‘The Mass of the Quiet Hour’ by G. Oldroyd (1886-1951)

The president says

Almighty God,
who in Jesus Christ has given us
a kingdom that cannot be destroyed,
forgive us our sins,
open our eyes to God’s truth,
strengthen us to do God’s will
and give us the joy of his kingdom,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

The Collect

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

Lord of the wilderness way,
whose word scours our smooth evasions:
take us on the unbending road
to the raw centre of our world
with a cry of invitation
and the call of sudden grace;
through Jesus Christ, the one who is to come.

Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

Please sit.

A reading from the book of the prophet Malachi.

Thus says the Lord God: See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight – indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

Malachi 3.1-4

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Please stand as the gradual hymn is sung. During the hymn a procession will make its way to the centre of the nave from where the Gospel for the day is read. To symbolise our desire to turn to Christ in our daily lives, at the end of the hymn we remain standing and turn to face the place where the Gospel is proclaimed.

On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry
Announces that the Lord is nigh;
Awake, and hearken, for he brings
Glad tidings of the King of kings.

Then cleansed be ev’ry breast from sin;
Make straight the way for God within;
Prepare we in our hearts a home,
Where such a mighty guest may come.

For thou art our salvation, Lord,
Our refuge and our great reward;
Without thy grace we fade away,
Like flow’rs that wither and decay.

To heal the sick stretch out thine hand,
And bid the fallen sinner stand;
Shine forth and let thy light restore
Earth’s own true loveliness once more.

All praise, eternal Son, to thee
Whose advent doth thy people free,
Whom with the Father we adore
And Holy Ghost for evermore.

Words: C. Coffin (1676-1749) translated by J. Chandler (1806-1876) alt.
Music: from ‘Musikalisches Handbuch’ (1690)
Hymn Tune: WINCHESTER NEW

Gospel Reading

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 Luke.

Glory to you, O Lord.

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, ‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”’

 Luke 3.1-6

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon

Please sit after the preacher leads us in prayer.

An Affirmation of Faith

Please stand with the president.

Let us affirm our faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Though he was divine,
he did not cling to equality with God,
but made himself nothing.
Taking the form of a slave,
he was born in human likeness.
He humbled himself
and was obedient to death,
even the death of the cross.
Therefore God has raised him on high,
and given him the name above every name:
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
and every voice proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

cf Philippians 2.6-11

Prayers of Intercession

Following an invitation to pray from the intercessor we kneel or sit to pray.

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

Please stand with the president.

The Peace

In the tender mercy of our God,
the dayspring from on high shall break upon us,
to give light to those who dwell in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

cf Luke 1.78,79

The peace of the Lord be always with you

and also with you.

Preparation of the Table

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

A Hymn is sung.

Brother, sister, let me serve you,
Let me be as Christ to you;
Pray that I may have the grace to
Let you be my servant too.

We are pilgrims on a journey,
Fellow trav’llers on the road;
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christ-light for you
In the night-time of your fear;
I will hold my hand out to you,
Speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping;
When you laugh, I’ll laugh with you.
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we’ve seen this journey through.

When we sing to God in heaven,
We shall find such harmony,
Born of all we’ve known together
Of Christ’s love and agony.

Brother, sister, let me serve you,
Let me be as Christ to you;
Pray that I may have the grace to
Let you be my servant too.

Words & Music: R. Gillard (b. 1953) arr. B. Pulkingham (1928-2019)

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.

Please kneel or sit.

The Eucharistic Prayer (A)

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 singing:

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.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus:

Dying you destroyed our death,
rising you restored our life:
Lord Jesus, 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.

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.

The Agnus Dei is sung as the bread is broken for distribution.

Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, bearer of our sins,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, redeemer of the world,
grant us peace.

Invitation to Communion

Draw near with faith and thanksgiving
you who hunger for the bread of life.
Gather around the table
as strangers and friends and feed on him
who was, who is and who is to come.

The president and people receive communion. All baptised Christians are welcome to receive the sacrament. Please follow the guidance offered by the stewards.

If you are not baptised, or would prefer to not receive then do still come forward for a blessing bringing this book with you so the president knows your intention.

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

On drinking from the cup the president says ‘The Blood of Christ shed for us all’ to which those present reply “Amen.”

To the words ‘The Body of Christ’ the communicant replies “Amen”.

For those at home it might be helpful to use this prayer during the distribution.

Holy God,
we look for you,
we long for you.
Let us see that you come among us;
make us aware of your presence
and grant us a glimpse of glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit
one God, for ever. Amen.

Choir Anthem

‘Creator of the stars of night’

Creator of the stars of night,
Thy people’s everlasting light,
O Jesu, Saviour of us all,
Regard thy servants when they call.

Thou, grieving at the bitter cry
Of all creation doomed to die,
Didst come to save a ruined race
With healing gifts of heav’nly grace.

At thy great name, exalted now,
All knees must bend, all hearts must bow,
And things in heav’n and earth shall own
That thou art Lord and King alone.

To thee, O holy One, we pray,
Our judge in that tremendous day,
Preserve us, while we dwell below,
From ev’ry onslaught of the foe.

All praise, eternal Son, to thee,
Whose advent sets thy people free,
Whom with the Father we adore,
And Spirit blest, for evermore. Amen.

Words: 7th century Latin translated by J. M. Neale (1818-1866)
Music: Plainsong melody
Hymn Tune: CONDITOR ALME

A hymn is sung.

Please remain seated.

The Lord will come and not be slow,
His footsteps cannot err;
Before him righteousness shall go,
His royal harbinger.

Truth from the earth, like to a flow’r,
Shall bud and blossom free;
And justice, from her heav’nly bow’r,
Bless all humanity.

The nations all whom thou hast made
Shall come, and all shall frame
To bow them low before thee, Lord,
And glorify thy name.

For great thou art, and wonders great
By thy strong hand are done:
Thou in thy everlasting seat
Remainest God alone.

Words: J. Milton (1608-1674) based on Psalms 82, 85 and 86, alt.
Music: W. Jones (1726-1800)
Hymn Tune: SAINT STEPHEN

The Post Communion Prayer and The Lighting of the Advent Candle

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

Father in heaven,
who sent your Son to redeem the world
and will send him again to be our judge:
give us grace so to imitate him
in the humility and purity of his first coming that,
when he comes again,
we may be ready to greet him
with joyful love and firm faith;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

The president then moves to the Advent Wreath to light the second of the Advent candles. This week the candle helps us remember the Prophets which gives us the opportunity to reflect on the way the birth of the ‘Messiah’ was foretold. 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.
Of old you spoke by the mouth of your prophets,
but in our days you speak through your Son,
whom you have appointed the heir of all things.
Grant us, your people, to walk in his light,
that we may be found ready and watching
when he comes again in glory and judgement;
for you are our light and our salvation.

Blessed be God for ever.

A hymn is sung.

Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heav’n, to earth come down,
Fix in us thy humble dwelling,
All thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesu, thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love thou art;
Visit us with thy salvation;
Enter ev’ry trembling heart.

Come, almighty to deliver,
Let us all thy grace receive;
Suddenly return, and never,
Never more thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve thee as thy hosts above;
Pray, and praise thee without ceasing,
Glory in thy perfect love.

Finish, then thy new creation,
Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in thee.
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heav’n we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.

Words: C. Wesley (1707-1788) alt.
Music: W. P. Rowlands (1860-1937)
Hymn Tune: BLAENWERN

The Dismissal

The Blessing

Christ the Sun of Righteousness shine upon you,
scatter the darkness from before your path,
and make you ready to meet him when he comes in glory;
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

Our Lord says, ‘I am coming soon.’

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

May the Lord, when he comes,

find us watching and waiting.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ. Amen.


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Kyrie eleison
© Oxford University Press

Communion setting
© Oxford University Press

Gospel acclamation
© The Royal School of Church Music

Brother, sister, let me serve you
© Scripture in Song

Dying you destroyed our death
Words © 2000 The Archbishops’ Council
Music © M. Peat

Organ voluntary
© Novello & Co. Ltd

CCL licence: 668063