Life in Liturgy

Advent 1B


Advent 1B


Dec. 3


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Scripture  (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):


Isaiah 64:1-9 Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Mark 13:24-37


Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

119-O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

135 – Blessed be the God of Israel

538-Hope of the world

124-Let all mortal flesh keep silence


More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.   


Hymn of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Isaiah 64:1-9


In this bold day we sing to you:

open the heavens: come to us!

For in this moment of desire

we would be kindled, roused to rise.


Although the ages wreak our sin

the lengthened passion and the din,

we long for your restoring touch,

the grace that renders angst to bliss.


Amid the strangeness of our world,

these strangled incapacities,

O Lord, we linger longingly

to find of life all hope unfurled.


As we remember once again,

attend your memory, O Lord,

and satisfy our rankest hope:

we are your people.  O! Behold!


LM      Suggested tune: Rushford


Call to Prayer  ©2007 David T. Chafin (tune: Hyfrydol)

Come, O God, commune here with us, as we lift to you our cares.

You, our hope and our deliv’rance, promise to receive our prayers.

God of love and understanding, you alone know heart and soul.

Listen to our intercessions, recreate us, make us whole.


Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:

Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent).  A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin.  Where practical, these may be offered here as well.  You may also want to visit   

This week:  Psalm 80 is not in hymnal; see Call to Worship


Concerning the Following Items: Except where otherwise noted, items are created or adapted by the editor.  If you are aware of source notations which are missing, please bring them to his attention.  No copyright infringement is intended, but is sure to happen.


Words of Welcome

Today is God’s day of hope—hope for us, hope for all humanity.  The darkness that surrounds us will not overtake us, for God is light; and in God there is no darkness at all.  Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.


Call to Worship  (from Psalm 80)

L: Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock!

P: Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

L: Let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.

P: Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.

L: Restore us, O LORD God of hosts;

P: Let your face shine, that we may be saved.



L: The Spirit and the church cry out:

P:  Come, Lord Jesus.

L: All who await Christ’s appearance pray:

P:  Come, Lord Jesus.

L: The whole creation pleads:

P:  Come, Lord Jesus!  Renew the whole creation!



Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

Prepare your way within us, O God, as the new year of life in your Church unfolds.  Make of us a people ready to receive you, to learn from you, to receive your gifts, and to live out your calling in mission.  Prepare your way within us and fill us with hope, we pray, through the name of the Coming One, Jesus Christ our Lord  (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)



We come, O God, with adoration and praise, as well as thanksgiving, to you. Our anticipation grows as we begin the journey to the day of great celebration of the birth of your Christ. Open our hearts that we may truly receive the gift of your Son, and know that the joy of life with you. This we pray through our Lord Jesus Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…)



We rejoice in you, O God our hope, for in Jesus Christ you enter our world to bring to life your new creation.  May our lives be remade by the glory of your appearing, and may we lift up the name of your Son in our worship, our work, and our leisure, for we pray in his name (as he taught us, saying…).


Confession of Sin  (adapted by the editor)

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven, and to bring us to eternal life.  Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all. (Common Worship)

Because we have seen pain without being moved, because we forget your love with solemn pride, because we pass by comfortably before poverty and sadness, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

For speaking of love without loving our sister or brother, for speaking of faith without living your word, for living as people who do not recognize our own sinfulness, Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

For our tranquility in our affluent life, for our great falsehood in preaching about poverty, for wanting to make excuse for injustice, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Hear the good news, people of God!  The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  He bore our sins in his body on the cross, that we might be dead to sin and alive to God.

In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.

In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.  Glory to God.  Amen.


Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

How strong your voice, O God. How it thunders across the lands, calling forth blossoms from parched earth and turning back waters from flooded ground. You stand at the world’s door and knock; who can withstand the sound of your voice?


How soft your voice, O God. How it murmurs in the morning, calling life forth from its bed and hastening the night to its own. You come to us, walking in the garden in the cool of the day; who can hide from the sound of your voice?


Tarry with us, O God. Let your word love our eyes into seeing all those around us. Let it love our ears into hearing the voices calling to us. Let it love our hands into healing with the gifts you have granted your children. Let our words be words of love as we pray for those who are in greatest need…


In these days of Advent, may our voices ring with joy, with peace and with hope. Wherever you send us, may we be diligent in following. For we are ever in search of your salvation, even as we continue to search for the child, the Christ, our Savior in whose name we sing for joy and offer our prayers.


Prayers from Common Worship*



Almighty God,

give us grace to cast away the works of darkness

and to put on the armour of light,

now in the time of this mortal life,

in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;

that on the last day,

when he shall come again in his glorious majesty

to judge the living and the dead,

we may rise to the life immortal;

through him who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.


Post Communion


O Lord our God,

make us watchful and keep us faithful

as we await the coming of your Son our Lord;

that, when he shall appear,

he may not find us sleeping in sin

but active in his service

and joyful in his praise;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Additional Collect


Almighty God,

as your kingdom dawns,

turn us from the darkness of sin

to the light of holiness,

that we may be ready to meet you

in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.


Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of

darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of

this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit

us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come

again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the

dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives

and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and

for ever.  Amen.


Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Mark 13:24-37


In tribulation sheering us from hope, we come,

attending your lithe promise, O God.

We come to undertake the reign of bliss

and all the undertows of graciousness.

We come to find the image of your promise,

know ourselves prepared in love

to understand your ripe delight

in Jesus Christ.


Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

God is at work in the world, renewing, remaking, resurrecting, bringing hope through the faith, the gifts, and the work of the church. We trust in God, and together we work for peace and justice through God’s Spirit as we offer our tithes and gifts. Let us rejoice in our God-given opportunity to share in God’s work.



As God has seen our need and provided for us all things in the coming of Jesus into our world, let us look at the world in need around us, and realize that in Jesus we have all that is needed to meet the world with life, hope, and wholeness.


Offertory Prayer

Thank you, God of hope, for the promise of this season. We are grateful for the generosity aroused in us by Christ’s coming into the world. May these gifts represent a new spirit of joyous sharing among us, for the sake of all your children everywhere. Amen.



May these gifts indeed give light to those in darkness, hope to those in despair, and justice to the oppressed, as we bring them to you as an act of sharing your love with the world. Here the proud are brought low, and the poor and broken lifted up. May it be so in all your kingdom, we pray, as we dedicate ourselves to you. Amen.


Prayer of Thanksgiving (Prayers for Bread and Cup)

(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)

With hope and expectation, O God, we draw near to the Table which you have set with the fruits of righteousness and promise of life. Bless now this bread which we break that it may be for us Christ’s body, and this cup which we lift, that it may be his blood. Send now the power of your Holy Spirit upon these gifts and upon us as we receive them. Make your presence known among your people, we pray, and in all the world, as we look to the coming of Christ whose reign shall know no end.


OR  from William Flewelling, adapted

Lord God, in memory and in anticipation we draw near together, drawn in faith to the life and to the coming of Jesus Christ our Lord.


We are thankful, Lord God, for the opening of life for us in Jesus of Nazareth. Our Lord gave us his heart, his love that in him we too might be bold to give our hearts, our love. He opened wide his arms for us in blessing and in death, death on the cross. He breathes on us the gift of Holy Spirit.


He feeds us as he fed his own on broken bread, and on a cup of wine, the new covenant.


O Lord God, seal in us your covenant of love and grace; give in us your including Spirit; make of us one people. And, O Lord, Come now upon us  to fulfill in us your love and your beauty; in Jesus Christ our Coming Lord.


Conclusion: Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.


Conclusion:  Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.

If not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’



Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service.  Visit to learn more.

Rev. Tim Graves offers Liturgy Bits with valuable, culturally sensitive and creatively contemplative works, well worth your time.

You may also want to visit Worship Connection at, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.

Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University. 


Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2016.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2016; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992.  The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.  Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.


Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.


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