Order of service

View the order of service on its own

Download the order of service

Accessibility:


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.

Rejoice, the Lord is King!
Your Lord and King adore;
Mortals give thanks and sing,
And triumph evermore.
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice.

Jesus the Saviour reigns,
The God of truth and love;
When he had purged our stains,
He took his seat above.
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice.

His kingdom cannot fail;
He rules o’er earth and heav’n;
The keys of death and hell
Are to our Jesus giv’n.
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice.

He sits at God’s right hand
Till all his foes submit,
And bow to his command,
And fall beneath his feet.
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice.

Words: C. Wesley (1707-1788)
Music: G. F. Handel (1685-1759)
Hymn Tune: GOPSAL

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

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.

Heavenly Father,
you call us to prepare for the coming of your Son:
forgive us our unreadiness to receive him.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus,
you were proclaimed by John the Baptist:
help us also to prepare your way.

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Holy Spirit,
you speak through the prophets:
make us attentive to hear your word.

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’.

O Lord Jesus Christ,
who at your first coming
sent your messenger to prepare your 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 book of the prophet Zephaniah.

Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgements against you, he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival. I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach for it. I will deal with all your oppressors at that time. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. At that time I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says the Lord.

Zephaniah 3.14-20

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Please stand as the gradual hymn is sung. 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.

John said to the crowds that came out to be baptised by him, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our ancestor”; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.’ And the crowds asked him, ‘What then should we do?’

In reply he said to them, ‘Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.’ Even tax-collectors came to be baptised, and they asked him, ‘Teacher, what should we do?’ He said to them, ‘Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.’ Soldiers also asked him, ‘And we, what should we do?’ He said to them, ‘Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.’

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, ‘I baptise you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’ So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.

 Luke 3.7-18

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

God will speak peace to his people,
to those who turn to him in their hearts.

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.

Make way, make way, for Christ the King
In splendour arrives;
Fling wide the gates and welcome him
Into your lives.
Make way, make way, for the King of kings;
Make way, make way, and let his kingdom in!

He comes the broken hearts to heal,
The pris’ners to free;
The deaf shall hear, the lame shall dance,
The blind shall see.
Make way, make way, for the King of kings;
Make way, make way, and let his kingdom in!

And those who mourn with heavy hearts,
Who weep and sigh,
With laughter, joy and royal crown
He’ll beautify.
Make way, make way, for the King of kings;
Make way, make way, and let his kingdom in!

We call you now to worship him
As Lord of all,
To have no gods before him,
Their thrones must fall!
Make way, make way, for the King of kings;
Make way, make way, and let his kingdom in!

Words: G. Kendrick (b. 1950)
Music: G. Kendrick (b. 1950) arr. C. Hand (1929-2015)

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 sacrament is for the moment available in one kind only. 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.

Almighty Father,
we rejoice in the coming of Christ our Lord.
We pray that, as he has taken on our humanity,
through your grace and goodness we may share in your divinity,
and so partake in the radiance of your glory;
through him who came down for us
and is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

Choir Anthem

‘Gaudete!’

Gaudete! gaudete! Christus est natus
ex Maria Virgine: gaudete!
Gaudete! gaudete! Christus est natus
ex Maria Virgine: gaudete!

Tempus adest gratiae, hoc quad optabamus,
Carmina laetitiae devote redamus.

Gaudete! gaudete!…

Deus homo factus est, natura errante,
Mundus renovatus est a Christo regnante.

Gaudete! gaudete!…

Ezechielis porta clausa pertransitur,
Unde lux est orta, salus invenitur.

Gaudete! gaudete!…

Ergo nostra contio psalat jam in lustro,
Benedicat Domino, Salus Regi nostro.

Gaudete! gaudete!…

Words: from ‘Piae Cantiones’ (1582) edited by A. V. Davies
Music: from ‘Piae Cantiones’ (1582) arranged by V. Hoyle (b. 1948)

English translation of the anthem words:

Rejoice! rejoice! Christ is born of the Virgin Mary, rejoice!
The time of grace is come; what we have wished for—
songs of joy let us give back faithfully.
God has become man, with nature marvelling,
the world has been renewed by the reigning Christ.
The closed gate of Ezechiel has been passed through;
whence the light is risen; salvation has been found.
Therefore, let our assembly now sing in brightness,
let it bless the Lord: salvation to our King.

A hymn is sung.

Please remain seated.

Hark the glad sound! the Saviour comes,
The Saviour promised long:
Let ev’ry heart prepare a throne,
And ev’ry voice a song.

He comes, the pris’ners to release
In Satan’s bondage held;
The gates of brass before him burst,
The iron fetters yield.

He comes, the broken heart to bind,
The bleeding soul to cure,
And with the treasures of his grace
Enrich the humble poor.

Our glad hosannas, Prince of Peace,
Thy welcome shall proclaim;
And heav’n’s eternal arches ring
With thy belovèd name.

Words: P. Doddridge (1702-1751) based on Luke 4.18-19
Music: T. Ravenscroft (c.1582- c.1633), ‘Psalms’ (1621)
Hymn Tune: BRISTOL

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’.

We give you thanks, O Lord,
for these heavenly gifts;
kindle in us the fire of your 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.

To God be the glory! great things he hath done;
So loved he the world that he gave us his Son;
Who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life-gate that all may go in.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord!
Let the earth hear his voice;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord!
Let the people rejoice:
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give him the glory; great things he hath done.

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood!
To ev’ry believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord!
Let the earth hear his voice;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord!
Let the people rejoice:
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give him the glory; great things he hath done.

Great things he hath taught us,
Great things he hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our rapture, when Jesus we see.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord!
Let the earth hear his voice;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord!
Let the people rejoice:
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give him the glory; great things he hath done.

Words: F. J. van Alstyne (F. J. Crosby) (1820-1915)
Music: W. H. Doane (1832-1916)
Hymn Tune: TO GOD BE THE GLORY

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.


Donations to St Mary's

St Mary’s is a charity which receives no funding from the government and is entirely dependent on donations and fees to keep operating.

If you'd like to donate to support our work you can give contactlessly as you leave the building by tapping your contactless card device against our card reader. You can also leave cash in the offering plate by the door.

You can also donate online, quickly and easily, using either a bank card or directly from your bank account.

Donate online now

If you'd like to give in some other way, find out more about planned giving or read about how we use donations then please see our donations page.

Read more about donating

Email newsletter

Sign up for our weekly email newsletter to keep up to date with what's going on at Whitkirk.

Sign up for our weekly email newsletter


Kyrie eleison
© Oxford University Press

Communion setting
© The Royal School of Church Music

Gospel acclamation
© The Royal School of Church Music

Make way, make way
© Kingsway’s Thankyou Music

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

Gaudete!
© Banks Music Publications

CCL licence: 668063