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 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

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

‘The axe is laid at the root of the trees;
every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down.’
But confident in God’s mercy we confess our sins.

cf Matthew 3.10

Silence is kept.

Heavenly Father,
you exalted the humble and meek:
give us humble and contrite hearts.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus,
you grew towards birth in the Virgin’s womb:
be planted also in our hearts and lives.

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Holy Spirit,
you overshadowed Mary,
that she might become the God-bearer:
fill us with your heavenly gifts.

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)

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’.

God made known
in the friendship of women,
the word of greeting
and unseen life enwombed:
give us the courage
of the teenage mother
who brings into the world
a song of joyful revolt
and a God who needs her love;
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 Micah.

The Lord says to his people: But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labour has brought forth; then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; and he shall be the one of peace.

Micah 5.2-5a

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.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord:
Unnumbered blessings, give my spirit voice;
Tender to me the promise of his word;
In God my Saviour shall my heart rejoice.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his name:
Make known his might, the deeds his arm has done;
His mercy sure, from age to age the same;
His holy name, the Lord, the mighty one.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might:
Pow’rs and dominions lay their glory by;
Proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight,
The hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

Tell out, my soul, the glories of his word:
Firm is his promise, and his mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
To children’s children and for evermore.

Words: T. Dudley-Smith (b. 1926) based on Luke 1.46-55
Music: W. Greatorex (1877-1949)
Hymn Tune: WOODLANDS

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.

Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.’

Luke 1.39-45

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

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.

Preparation of the Table

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

A hymn is sung.

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly-minded,
For with blessing in his hand
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth he stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood.
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heav’nly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the pow’rs of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

At his feet the six-winged seraph;
Cherubim, with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the Presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry,
Alleluia, Alleluia,
Alleluia, Lord most high.

Words: Liturgy of St James translated by G. Moultrie (1829-1885)
Music: French traditional melody
Hymn Tune: PICARDY

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.
He is the one foretold by all the prophets,
whom the Virgin Mother bore with love beyond all telling.
John the Baptist was his herald
and made him known when at last he came.
In his love Christ fills us with joy
as we prepare to celebrate his birth,
so that when he comes again he may find us watching in prayer,
our hearts filled with wonder and praise.
And so, with angels and archangels,
and with all the company of heaven,
we proclaim your glory,
and join in their unending hymn of praise:

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.

Lord our Saviour, our hope is in you:
no one is beyond your love,
no one is beyond your saving power.
Give us grace to recognise you and welcome you
as you come to us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit
one God, for ever. Amen.

Choir Anthem

‘The angel Gabriel from heaven came’

The angel Gabriel from heaven came,
His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame:
‘All hail,’ said he, ‘thou lowly maiden Mary,
Most highly favoured lady.’ Gloria!

‘For known a blessèd Mother thou shalt be;
All generations laud and honour thee:
Thy son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold.
Most highly favoured lady.’ Gloria!

Then gently Mary meekly bowed her head;
‘To me be as it pleaseth God!’ she said.
‘My soul shall laud and magnify his holy name.
Most highly favoured lady. Gloria!

Of her Emmanuel, the Christ, was born,
In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn;
And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say:
Most highly favoured lady. Gloria!

Words: S. Baring-Gould (1834-1924)
 Music: Basque traditional melody arranged by E. Pettman (1866-1943)

A Communion Hymn is sung.

Please remain seated.

The advent of our King
Our prayers must now employ,
And we must hymns of welcome sing
In strains of holy joy.

The everlasting Son
Incarnate deigns to be;
Himself a servant’s form puts on,
To set his servants free.

Daughter of Sion, rise
To meet thy lowly King;
Nor let thy faithless heart despise
The peace he comes to bring.

As Judge, on clouds of light,
He soon will come again,
And his true members all unite
With him in heav’n to reign.

All glory to the Son
Who comes to set us free,
With Father, Spirit, ever One,
Through all eternity.

Words: C. Coffin (1676-1749)
translated by J. Chandler (1806-1876)
Music: from ‘Harmonischer Liederschatz’ (1738)
adapted by W. H. Havergal (1793-1870)
Hymn Tune: FRANCONIA

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’.

Heavenly Father,
who chose the Blessed Virgin Mary
to be the mother of the promised saviour:
fill us your servants with your grace,
that in all things we may embrace your holy will
and with her rejoice in your salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

The president then moves to the Advent Wreath to light the fourth of the Advent candles. This week the candle helps us remember Mary who bore Jesus in her womb. The candle is lit and this prayer is said.

Blessed are you, sovereign Lord, merciful and gentle:
to you be praise and glory for ever.
Your light has shone in our darkened world
through the child-bearing of blessed Mary;
grant that we who have seen your glory
may daily be renewed in your image
and prepared like her for the coming of your Son,
who is the Lord and Saviour of all.

Blessed be God for ever.

A hymn is sung.

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice, rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell thy people save,
And give them vict’ry o’er the grave.
Rejoice, rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice, rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou key of David, come
And open wide our heav’nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice, rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, thou Lord of might,
Who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient time didst give the Law,
In cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice, rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Words: from the ‘Great O Antiphons’ (12th century)
translated by J. M. Neale (1818-1866)
Music: adapted by Thomas Helmore (1811-1890) from a French Missal
Hymn Tune: VENI EMMANUEL

The Dismissal

The Blessing

May God the Father, judge all-merciful,
make us worthy of a place in his kingdom.

Amen.

May God the Son, coming among us in power,
reveal in our midst the promise of his glory.

Amen.

May God the Holy Spirit make us steadfast in faith,
joyful in hope and constant in love.

Amen.

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

Tell out, my soul
Words © Timothy Dudley-Smith
Music © Oxford University Press

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

The angel Gabriel from heaven came
© B. Feldman & Co. Ltd

O come, O come, Emmanuel
Musical arrangement © Kevin Mayhew Ltd

Organ voluntary
© Oxford University Press

CCL licence: 668063