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Epiphany 3B

Epiphany 3

 

Jan. 21: Sunday in Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.

 

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

 

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources:

Jonah 3:1-5, 10

Psalm 62:5-12 1 Corinthians 7:29-31

Mark 1:14-20

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

7 – When in Our Music God Is Glorified

66-Imortal, invisible God only wise

272-The Church’s one foundation

342-Lord, you have come to the lakeshore

594-Dear Lord, and Father of Mankind/Dear God, embracing humankind

595-Be thou my vision

391-These I lay down

395 – Seed, Scattered and Sown

393 – One bread, one body

400-When you do this, remember me

453 – Called as Partners in Christ’s Service

 

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 (© 2018, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On 1 Corinthians 7:29-31

 

Ah, these appearances design

through every niche and spell of time.

So thoroughly we fumble, Lord,

that in surprise, we seek desire.

 

This world, its forms, its readiness

confuses mysteries and taunts,

the very sort of hopes and fears

that linger here in mute array.

 

Yet in the looking to the Lord,

O Lord, we find reformed in love

the banner of suggested lore.

For in delight we seek your way.

 

Becoming in the moment won,

within the structures we perceive,

there is unfolding in the heart

the newer form of fresh design.

 

LM    Suggested tune: Song 34 (Angels’ Song)

 

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 http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week:  Psalm 62: see Call to Worship below

 

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.

 

Call to Worship  

from Psalm 62

L: For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.

P: God alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

L: On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

P: Trust in God at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

 

OR

L: Come, let us worship the Lord our God,

P: That we might discern the will of our Maker.

L: Come, let us worship the Lord our God,

P: That we might recall the bondage from which God has delivered us.

L: Come, let us worship the Lord our God,

P: That we might become the people God is calling us to be.

 

OR

L: The God of all creation makes us one in the flesh.

P: Let us join hearts and voices in praise.

L: In Jesus Christ, we are made one in the Spirit.

P: Let us be united in truth through the same one Spirit.

L: We practice our faith in many different ways.

P: Yet we confess one Lord Jesus Christ.

L: We render different forms of ministry.

P: Yet our calling is one because Christ is undivided.

L: Rejoice, people of God: The Risen Christ is among us, calling us together at his one Table.

P: Praise the Lord!  

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

God whose very nature is wholeness and life, we give you thanks that in this holy assembly today you have called together people from different places, of many gifts, and with a multitude of ways of serving and loving. Make us one, Lord, even as you and your Christ are one, as we hear his clarion call to gather in the one body to feast on the word and receive from your hand the blessed gifts of bread and cup. Make us ready, Lord – ready to listen, ready to hear, ready to go and do your will, that we all may be one in essence, in intent, and in constitution, so that the world may know you in and among us. This we pray in the strong name of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

Eternal God, you have called us to be members of one body. Join us with those who in all times and places have praised your name; that with one heart and mind, we may show the unity of your church, and bring honor to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

Gracious God, we gather this morning in this house of worship which, thanks to your love, is our home away from home. We come to add our human voices to the chorus of praise raised by your creation! We come as we are – distracted and weary, hopeful and open – know that you accept us and are ever mindful of our cares and joys. Still in us now the many voices that clamor for attention, that we might center ourselves upon you. Speak to us in word and melody and quiet, that we may be renewed in our faith and strengthened for your service. This we pray through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

Loving God, you have gathered your people from the east and west, the north and south, to sit together at a feast of unity and love. As we bring our differing lives and varied gifts together in your Church, help us to see beyond ourselves to the unique community you are shaping us to be, and to the mission for which you are equipping us through the work of your Holy Spirit who makes us one in Christ Jesus our Lord, for we pray in his name.

 

Prayers for Christian Unity  (misc. and unknown sources)

O Lord Jesus Christ, you prayed for your disciples that they might be one.  Look in pity upon the many divisions among those who profess your name, and heal the many wounds which the passions and pride of mortals have inflicted upon your church.  Shed abroad in the hearts of your people the spirit of love, which will break down the walls of separation.  Help us to realize that, as there is in heaven only one holy company abiding in love, so on earth there may be only one holy fellowship of your people abiding in the unity of love and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

We give you thanks, O Lord, for the life and ministry of Jesus, your Child, and for the life and ministry you have opened to us through him.  As this broken bread was scattered on the mountain, but was brought together and became one, so let your church be gathered together into one, that your reign may be known throughout the earth.

 

Great God, you are One, and you bring together what is scattered and mend what is broken.  Unite us with the scattered peoples of earth, that we may become one family of your children.  Bind up our wounds and heal us in spirit, that we may be renewed as disciples of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Friend.

 

MORE:  See the World Council of Churches page

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

See Intercession for Unity: https://lifeinliturgy.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/epiphany-2b-week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity/

OR

In these quieter times, God of peace, as in the busyness of our hectic days, you hear the true prayers of not just what we say, but also what we do and who we are. Hear us as we join our hearts in unity to pray for your church. May we be united in your truth, committed in your love, and sanctified by your grace, that with one heart and one voice we might proclaim your gospel., in word and deed, praising you for your abiding presence in our midst as a community of faith.

 

We pray for our fellow creatures, this world which you lovingly made, and the people of earth with all their diversity and commonality. We lift to you those in our world who weep, and those who cause their weeping; those without food, clothing, shelter or a means of sustaining life with the dignity of one whom you have created. We pray for those who distort the good news of the gospel, who make gods out of things, out of themselves, out of their systems, institutions or structures…and who find it all so hollow and empty.

 

We pray for those who live without meaning and hope, who live as objects of the whims of others, and those who live in broken families, broken communities, and a broken world. Lead your church, we pray, toward a new vision of our mission to them in Christ—the vision of shalom—both those who are afar off in other lands, but also here, where each of us may encounter them personally.

 

Tender and compassionate friend, give us the assurance that you are here among your people, and the gifts of quiet and rest in this celebration of your word and table. Enable us with your guidance to be your church and to do your will in our common life together. Pour out your Spirit on those who are suffering, especially as we lift to you our own needs and the needs of those whose lives are closely linked with our own:__________, and those we name in the silence of our hearts.

 

Bless us to follow in the paths of those saints who have gone before us in faith, whose steps were taken in the sure and certain comfort of your presence, that we may faithfully glorify you now, in your church and your world, forever. For these prayers we offer in the name and spirit of Jesus, your Christ, our Lord.

 

OR

How vast and deep is your love O God, for us and for all the world. As we give you thanks for the beauty of creation and for the gift of life, we turn to you for strength and guidance to help those of our world in need of care and healing.

 

We pray for our community, our nation and world that peace and justice might be made known. We pray for our families and friends, especially those who are hurting, sick, grieving or alone. We pray for our own burdens and needs, both spoken and unspoken…

 

We yield our lives to you as we offer our prayers in the strong and saving name of Jesus.

 

OR

Gracious and loving God, we come to you with hearts that need to be opened to your word and your love. There is so much around us that tears at us and causes us to tremble. Keep us ever mindful of your presence and the hope that you have given us in your Son Jesus Christ.

 

Guide us, we pray, as your church, struggling to spread the good news. Keep us focused on the mission and ministry to which you have called us and lead us forward. We know, Lord, that there will often be bumps and holes in the road along the way. Save us from dwelling on them and make us secure in the goals you have placed before us.

 

Hear our prayers for all who need your tender touch of healing in their lives—those we name before you each day, and those who are known only to you in the depths of our hearts. Be with those who mourn. May we all remember the love and grace that your faithful people have brought to our world.

We pray for all your creation, always at odds with one another. Guide our leaders and those of other nations that this world might truly be as you created it to be—a world of peace, hope and love.

 

These are our prayers, together with those that lie on the hearts of all your faithful people, which we offer to you in the spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ who said “not my will, but thine be done.” Amen.

 

OR

God of all grace and mercy, you have made an amazing and beautiful world – diverse and teeming with the bounty and beauty of your artful hand. You have made us mortals in your own image, and given us such a marvelous variety of gifts by which to praise and serve you, and to serve the common good. Hear our varied expressions of thanksgiving, as we look to you for care and guidance to use every skill and art with which you’ve blessed us for the blessing of humanity.

 

We seek new ways, O Lord, to reach into the lives of others who are searching for meaning in their lives and to discover their own giftedness, and to give them encouragement, love, and peace on that journey. We look to you to guide us as partners with Christ as we minister to those who are hurting, lonely, sick, grieving, or in any danger. May our openness to your Spirit at work within us as your people be a sign of your ministries at work within us, your church. Make of this community a home of peace and empowerment for those who are struggling to find their future, and a place of compassion and justice for those who need it most.

 

Hear our prayers, O God, for those whose lives are closely linked with our own, whose names cross our hearts and our lips so often, and whose needs are many. Help us to entrust them to your care, as we offer up our own needs and our hearts’ desires to you in silence…

 

As Jesus prayed that all who follow him might be one, reshape us as your faithful disciples, and knit us tightly with all those who profess Christ into his one body. May our unity and our diversity proclaim his name to all the world, as we glorify you together, offering our varied gifts for your use. For we pray in his name and in his spirit (as he taught us to pray, Our Father…)

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

Almighty God,

whose Son revealed in signs and miracles

the wonder of your saving presence:

renew your people with your heavenly grace,

and in all our weakness

sustain us by your mighty power;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

 

Almighty Father,

whose Son our Saviour Jesus Christ is the light of the world:

may your people,

illumined by your word and sacraments,

shine with the radiance of his glory,

that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed

to the ends of the earth;

for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

 

Additional Collect

 

God of all mercy,

your Son proclaimed good news to the poor,

release to the captives,

and freedom to the oppressed:

anoint us with your Holy Spirit

and set all your people free

to praise you in Christ our Lord.

 

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

Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our

Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News

of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive

the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2018, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Mark 1:14-20

 

As Jesus comes, O God, and time is fulfilled,

grant us to repent and faith in the gospel of God.

that in the calling of our Lord

we may rise and follow,

leaving behind the incidentals of our lives

for the blossoming of your gospel

in us and through us

all the days.

 

Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

The wonderful works of God surround us. How will we show our gratitude? The generosity of God exceeds all our limits. How will our manner of life reflect the abundance of God’s mercy? Surely our offerings are one measure of our response. Let us prepare the Table of the Lord with the fruits of our lives and our labors.

 

OR

Giving is not a casual act—it relates God’s work to our work. Peter writes: “as each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace, that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” Let us give as people whose work is inextricably linked to God’s great works of creation, redemption and empowerment.

 

OR

The apostle writes: “My sisters and brothers, I implore you by God’s mercy to offer your very selves to God; a living sacrifice, dedicated and fit for God’s acceptance, the worship offered by mind and heart.  Adapt yourselves no longer to the pattern of this present world, but let your minds be remade and your whole nature be transformed.  Then you will be able to discern the will of God, and know what is good, acceptable and perfect.

 

Offertory Prayer

O God, we thank you for your great generosity. All that we are and all that we have is a gift from you. Help us to serve one another and so reflect your spirit and goodness. Accept these offerings and grant that the cause to which they are devoted may prosper under your guidance.

 

OR

Almighty God, giver of every good and perfect gift, teach us to give to you all that we have and all that we are, that we may praise you not with our words only, but with our whole lives.

 

Invitation to the Table

Friends, God prepares a feast for you and for all people; a feast of good things, a feast of peace. Come and taste. Eat and be filled. Drink deep and never thirst again.

 

OR

At this table, the church remembers and celebrates the love of God.  The act of sharing bread and wine is a statement of faith and an expression of assurance.  Communion happens in many different ways in different churches throughout the world, and in each place brings a new meaning of life in the Spirit of God that is right for that community.

 

But above all, here believers join themselves to the Lord of life.  Death, which shows itself in sins, injustice, oppression and despair, yields to concrete demonstrations of life which produce peace, justice, hope, liberation and salvation.

 

This meal is an act of expectation.  We, in the midst of our daily lives, proclaim the imminent manifestation of the kingdom of God.  Hope replaces sorrow; joy surpasses tears; the power of life triumphs over the reign of death.  As an act of faith surpassing the limits of time and place, we sing along with John in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ: “Now God’s home is with mortals!  He will live with them and they shall be his people.  God will personally be with them, and will be their God.  God will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there will be an end to death.  There will be no more grief nor crying nor pain, for the old order has passed away.”

 

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)

  1. Lord, as your servant Jesus took notice of those fishermen long ago, and called to them to follow, we who gather at your table today hear his voice again.  Give us, we pray, a heart of thankfulness for this bread which you have given for that journey, and as we receive it, give us strength to journey on with him into the tomorrows which lie ahead.
  2. Bless, O God, this cup, which is for us the wine of salvation.  Pour forth your Spirit upon it, and upon us as we receive it, that we might be empowered to live faithfully as disciples of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

OR

Holy One, you speak to us in silence, yet all languages interpret you. Because you call us into this community, we are able to become a gift to one another. We pray for your Holy Spirit to descend upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that in sharing them we may discern your presence which becomes our life. We thank you for your anointed one, Jesus, who through his life, crucifixion, death and resurrection lived fully the promise of redemptive wholeness that is available to all who would obey your creating will. We celebrate his gifts, we rejoice in your presence, loving God, now and always.

 

OR

Eternal One, who cares for each one of us as if you had no one else to care for, and who cares for all of us even as you care for each, we come here because you have invited us. We recognize at the deepest levels of our beings that it is at this table that we are affirmed and made whole. Enable us to know now the presence of the Christ, the one who calls us to be family, the one in whose presence no other can be called a stranger. Forgive us that we have been hard of heart, that we have failed to acknowledge others as brothers and sisters. Enable us now to accept the fact that we are members of one another, that we are family with all of your creation, and that we are all loved by you. We pray these things in the name of the Christ who has called us to you. 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.

 

Eucharist for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (from William Flewelling)

Lord God,

that one Bread of Heaven was broken

and scattered to feed the multitudes

upon the earth.

 

As we come to partake the One Holy Loaf,

feed us and draw us to unity of heart

in Jesus Christ.

Create in us the oneness which embraces

your people in full measured Christian love

and weeps

over our proud division,

stopping us from calling anyone

our brother, our sister.

 

Feed us and make of us your people, Lord God,

gathered in the bread Jesus took for us

and blessed, broke, gave to us:

This is my body.

 

Refresh us and make to flow in our veins

your peace,

as we are set together in the one cup

Jesus gave to us:

This is my blood of the new covenant.

 

By the grace of the Holy Spirit,

fill our lives with the passion of Christ,

a longing to include in our communion

all the peoples loving you,

that our joy may be complete

in Jesus Christ our one Lord.

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…’

 

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service.  Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ 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 MinistryMatters.com, 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.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

NOTE:  We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday.  We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary.  Send your comments or content here.

 

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Epiphany 2B

Epiphany 2B

 

Jan. 14  Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins 1/18.

(Baptism of Jesus, for those churches who observed Epiphany on 1/7, may be observed instead)

 

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.

 

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

 

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources:

1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20) Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 John 1:43-51

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

280-God is here

2-Joyful, joyful, we adore thee

86-Great is thy faithfulness

565-If you will trust in God to guide you

426- The Voice of Jesus Calls His People

622-Guide me, O thou great Jehovah

344 – I have decided to follow Jesus

439 – God, Dismiss Us with Your Blessing

 

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 1 Samuel 3:1-10

 

Quiet, the days of darkened hope,

days of visions few, rarer words:

these days beginning our surmise

of subtle wonders for our eyes.

 

Into the night, when respite’s sought,

comes into hearing name declared.

Rise, then, and come, and claim you’re here

though no one knows your call to rise.

 

Out of the darkness of the night,

from distant memories divined,

comes the instruction to respond:

Speak, Lord: Your servant listens well.

 

O how the word invades the heart,

increasingly devouring fear,

becoming in this resonance

the echo of abandon, joy.

 

LM               Suggested tune: Duke Street

 

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 http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week:  Psalm 139:1-12 is on page 765

 

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.

 

Call to Worship  

L: Come with me on a journey in faith.  Bring your hopes and visions of a new possibility, for God’s work among us is just beginning.

P: We are called into a future yet unnamed.  We hear the call of Jesus and venture forward, leaving behind our comfort zones and certainties.

L: But as we travel light, in the spirit of faith and expectation, we are led by the One who brings to light God’s dreams for us and for the world.

P: May we be witnesses to God’s new tomorrow, and go with confidence, knowing that we never travel alone.

 

OR

L: Sisters and brothers, we are called to follow Jesus.

P: What a challenge! What an opportunity!

L: Called to move, as he did, among the people, to feel with them, to care with them, to touch them and be touched by them.

P: Called to discern those gifts of life which God has hidden deep within each of us, and to share freely those gifts of our hearts, our hands, our whole selves.

L: Called to place our gifts into God’s holy hands, and to follow with hope.

P: We will hear the call to follow Jesus and listen for his voice to lead us, calling us God’s children, calling us each by name.

 

OR

L: The God of all creation makes us one in the flesh.

P: Let us join hearts and voices in praise.

L: In Jesus Christ, we are made one in the Spirit.

P: Let us be united in truth through the same one Spirit.

L: We practice our faith in many different ways.

P: Yet we confess one Lord Jesus Christ.

L: We render different forms of ministry.

P: Yet our calling is one because Christ is undivided.

L: Rejoice, people of God: The Risen Christ is among us, calling us together at his one Table.

P: Praise the Lord!  

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

God whose very nature is wholeness and life, we give you thanks that in this holy assembly today you have called together people from different places, of many gifts, and with a multitude of ways of serving and loving. Make us one, Lord, even as you and your Christ are one, as we hear his clarion call to gather in the one body to feast on the word and receive from your hand the blessed gifts of bread and cup. Make us ready, Lord – ready to listen, ready to hear, ready to go and do your will, that we all may be one in essence, in intent, and in constitution, so that the world may know you in and among us. This we pray in the strong name of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

O God, source of all beauty and goodness, your grace comes fresh every morning. In each new day you give us light. We praise your for your never‑failing love that satisfies our needs and shows us the way to follow. We rejoice in your constant care, for you are faithful in love for all people, offering the world salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

In these quieter times, God of peace, as in the busyness of our hectic days, you hear the true prayers of not just what we say, but also what we do and who we are. Hear us as we join our hearts in unity to pray for your church. May we be united in your truth, committed in your love, and sanctified by your grace, that with one heart and one voice we might proclaim your gospel., in word and deed, praising you for your abiding presence in our midst as a community of faith.

 

We pray for our fellow creatures, this world which you lovingly made, and the people of earth with all their diversity and commonality. We lift to you those in our world who weep, and those who cause their weeping; those without food, clothing, shelter or a means of sustaining life with the dignity of one whom you have created. We pray for those who distort the good news of the gospel, who make gods out of things, out of themselves, out of their systems, institutions or structures…and who find it all so hollow and empty.

 

We pray for those who live without meaning and hope, who live as objects of the whims of others, and those who live in broken families, broken communities, and a broken world. Lead your church, we pray, toward a new vision of our mission to them in Christ—the vision of shalom—both those who are afar off in other lands, but also here, where each of us may encounter them personally.

 

Tender and compassionate friend, give us the assurance that you are here among your people, and the gifts of quiet and rest in this celebration of your word and table. Enable us with your guidance to be your church and to do your will in our common life together. Pour out your Spirit on those who are suffering, especially as we lift to you our own needs and the needs of those whose lives are closely linked with our own:__________, and those we name in the silence of our hearts.

 

Bless us to follow in the paths of those saints who have gone before us in faith, whose steps were taken in the sure and certain comfort of your presence, that we may faithfully glorify you now, in your church and your world, forever. For these prayers we offer in the name and spirit of Jesus, your Christ, our Lord.

 

OR

Almighty God, maker of all, with joy we give thanks for all your goodness. We praise you for the love which has created and sustained us to this day, and for the gift of your Christ who brings us into covenant with you and with all your people of faith. Help us to treasure your gifts and to show our thankfulness by lives wholly given to your service.

 

We pray for your church whom you have redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus. Give it pastors and ministers filled with your spirit, and strength to serve by the guidance of your word. Perfect it in love and in compassion, and establish it in the faith of your saints. Unite all your people that one holy church may bear witness to you and your glory.

 

We pray that you would move our nation toward the justice of your peace. Bless our national, state and local leaders to serve all people with integrity. Purge from us all hatred and prejudice, and build within us your love, that even in our dealings with the other nations of earth we may be servants of peace, truth and justice.

 

Bless our homes with the joy of your presence. Strengthen our covenants of family and of faith, that our children may grow into fullness of faith, that together we may show forth your praise in our world through deeds and words of love and compassion—especially with those who are alone and lonely.

 

Let your grace be seen in seed-time and harvest, in labor and business, in leisure and rest, in arts and culture of our people. May all who do work find fulfillment of their vocations, and all who are in need of work find the relief of new endeavors.

 

Comfort those who sorrow and are in need, sickness or adversity. Have mercy on those to whom death draws near. Bring consolation to those in mourning, and to all give your peace, for these and all our prayers we bring to you in the name of Jesus our Christ. Amen.

 

Prayers for Christian Unity  (misc. and unknown sources)

O Lord Jesus Christ, you prayed for your disciples that they might be one.  Look in pity upon the many divisions among those who profess your name, and heal the many wounds which the passions and pride of mortals have inflicted upon your church.  Shed abroad in the hearts of your people the spirit of love, which will break down the walls of separation.  Help us to realize that, as there is in heaven only one holy company abiding in love, so on earth there may be only one holy fellowship of your people abiding in the unity of love and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

We give you thanks, O Lord, for the life and ministry of Jesus, your Child, and for the life and ministry you have opened to us through him.  As this broken bread was scattered on the mountain, but was brought together and became one, so let your church be gathered together into one, that your reign may be known throughout the earth.

 

Great God, you are One, and you bring together what is scattered and mend what is broken.  Unite us with the scattered peoples of earth, that we may become one family of your children.  Bind up our wounds and heal us in spirit, that we may be renewed as disciples of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Friend.

MORE:  See the World Council of Churches page

 

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

Almighty God,

in Christ you make all things new:

transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace,

and in the renewal of our lives

make known your heavenly glory;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

 

God of glory,

you nourish us with your Word

who is the bread of life:

fill us with your Holy Spirit

that through us the light of your glory

may shine in all the world.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Additional Collect

 

Eternal Lord,

our beginning and our end:

bring us with the whole creation

to your glory, hidden through past ages

and made known

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

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

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light

of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word

and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s

glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the

ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with

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

for ever.  Amen.

 

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

John 1:43-51

 

Your word is ‘follow me’: O God,

your word commands reluctant feet.

Yet, in your fresh command, O God,

we rise to come.

Prepare in us the guileless coming

that we may find at last

the heavens opened

and angels ascending and descending

on the Son of man.

 

Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

God, who has given us food in due season, calls us to share our bread with the hungry. In the name of the one who lived God’s truth among us, we commit ourselves anew to bearing witness. The Holy Spirit, whose winds restore our breath, sends us forth as life-givers. Celebrate this opportunity to give.

 

OR

Our offerings take us into the mainstream of God’s work through the church. Jesus said that whatever we do to the least of his brothers and sisters we do to him. May our offerings bring him comfort, relief and joy.

 

OR

Every good and perfect gift comes from God, the Lord and Giver of all.  How we manage the gifts we have been given, however, is a matter of the choices we make.  We have been given the good sense to use God’s provisions for the purposes God has called us to.  And in Christ, we are given the Spirit’s guidance to make those choices well.  May we bring forth the best we can offer, the best we can choose, for the blessing of the world, and for the carrying forth of Christ’s mission.

 

Offertory Prayer

With hearts of praise, O Lord, we dedicate to you these gifts as tokens of our lives and work. Use them, as you use us, to the fulfilling of your purposes for creation, that we might give glory to you not only in the hearing, but in the doing of your word.

 

OR

We give thanks to you, God of love, for the abundance of life in your presence.  As we offer to you our tithes and gifts, may we also offer the very best of ourselves.  Bless and use them and use us for your purposes in the world, so that Christ may be known and heard and followed by others whose lives we touch.

 

OR

As we gather at your table, O God, may we also be more aware of the opportunity that is ours to share with others the many blessings you have given us. May this be a time of joy as we give of our resources. Grant us wisdom to use these gifts in the fulfillment of your mission in the world, through Christ our Lord.

 

Invitation to the Table

The Holy One says: “Why spend money on that which does not satisfy?  Why spend your wages and still be hungry?  Listen to me, and do what I say, and you will enjoy the best food of all.  Listen now my people, and come to me; come to me and you will live.”  Christ invites to this table all who confess him as Lord and seek to follow in his way.  Come to this sacred table, not because you must, but because you may.  Come not because you are fulfilled, but because in your emptiness you stand in need of God’s mercy and assurance.  Come not to express an opinion, but to seek a presence and to pray for a spirit.  Come, then, sisters and brothers, as you are.  Partake and share.  It is spread for you and me that we might again know that God has come to us, shared our common lot, and invited us to join the people of God’s new age.

 

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)

O God, you make of many and diverse people one holy Church, through the grace of your Son Jesus Christ. Send now the power of your Holy Spirit upon us to make us anew into his body, and upon these gifts of bread and wine, which we receive as his body and blood. Make us one with you, one with Christ, and one in fellowship and service around the world.

 

OR

  1. O God, your very nearness to us makes us at once uneasy and filled with great comfort.  In the breaking of this bread, we pray that you will bring confidence where we would waver, and that you will stir us when complacency would keep us from living fully the life of mission to which Christ has called us.
  2. Pour out your Spirit upon us, O God, and upon this bread and cup.  May we know in the receiving of it the lifegiving presence of the resurrected Christ, and be empowered to live as your people in this and every day.

 

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…’

 

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service.  Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ 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 MinistryMatters.com, 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.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

NOTE:  We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday.  We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary.  Send your comments or content here.

 

Epiphany

Epiphany

 

1/6 or 1/7

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.

 

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

 

The following is all for Epiphany/Epiphany Sunday.  Other resources are available for First Sunday after Epiphany (the Baptism of Jesus).

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources for each individual pericope:

Isaiah 60:1-6

Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14 Ephesians 3:1-12 Matthew 2:1-12

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

171-God’s love made visible

173-As with gladness

172-We three kings

174-Brightest and best

97-Fairest Lord Jesus

151 The First Noel

426-The voice of Jesus calls his people

 

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

 

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 http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week: Hymn 140-Hail to the Lord’s Anointed makes reference to it generally.

 

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.

 

Call to Worship  (adapted by the editor from the Psalm)

L: Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel;

P:  For God alone does wondrous things.

L: Blessed be God’s glorious name forever!

P:  May God’s glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

O Lord of all things bright and beautiful, may we begin this day in your name.  Light of all light, our dayspring of hope, may we find warm reflections of your countenance in the face of each brother, sister, stranger and friend.  As we work for your world this day, may our hunger be for justice and our thirst for peace.  Feed us with your presence.  Strengthen our hearts and steady our hands for the business of loving your creation.  As children of the light, may we walk in your radiance this day. (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

Eternal and Almighty God, we praise you that you cause the sun to rise to bring us the light of this new day and that you raised Christ form the dead to bring us new life. May our lives always face his brightness so we may go wherever he leads, serving in gladness and peace (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

Eternal God, you have shown your glory to the nations in the coming of Christ. Guide the church that you have gathered on earth, preserve it in faith, that it may grow in witness and service to the world. Strengthen and uphold our pastors and leaders that they may faithfully strengthen and uphold the church, and help us all to faithfully join in partnership with you to do your work according to your will and example in Jesus.

 

Increase our faithfulness to you and bless us with new friends in our midst to share in the joy of discipleship. Increase the faith and understanding of those whose faith in you is new. Give to all in baptism a new birth as your children, and give us grace to nurture them in faith and in the communion of your saints.

 

Lord, you created humanity with a longing to know you, to be in fellowship with you and to have peace in you. Grant that, in spite of hurtful things that stand in their way, they may find in the unity of fellowship in Christ the tokens of your love and mercy, and grow to acknowledge you as God and Savior.

 

You, O Lord, are the champion of the poor, the oppressed, the lost and the lonely. Guide those in leadership toward the commonwealth of your justice, that in peace and freedom all may share in the goodness of your creation, and work with you in caring for it and for your creatures. You are the one who gives strength to the weary and new courage to the disheartened. Hear the prayers of all who call on you that they may have joy in finding you ever present to help…

 

Hear the prayers of your people, O God, for we lift them all to you in the name and Spirit of your Christ.

 

OR

O gracious and loving God, we come to you recognizing the wonders of life that you have given us. As winter falls around us, we pray that you will warm our hearts to your will and guidance in all of life, that we may truly live as your baptized people, continually working for the reign of your kingdom on earth.

 

Hear our prayers, O God, this day for all who are absent from us. Hear our concerns and hopes for them and all your people. Touch their lives with your grace that they may find healing, and peace, and love. May your Spirit touch us to ever reach out to them and to those around us that all may feel your generous love in their lives.

 

Hear our prayers for your world. May we see the beauty of creation and work for your peace throughout the world. These and all our prayers we lift to you in the name and Spirit of our life-giving Lord, Jesus Christ.

 

OR (for the New Year):

Merciful and loving God, for the year that has passed with its sorrows and joys, we give you thanks; for in every moment of it, you remained faithful to us, rejoicing and struggling with us, though often we were slow to recognize you there. And with thanks for (year), we now release it. May its treasures inspire us, but never bind us in nostalgia; and may its troubles teach us, but never hold us captive. For you who have created are still creating…making all things new, including this day.

 

As we enjoy the blessings of life in this community, we give thanks to you for bringing together the many gifts which make your church more able to do its mission. We thank you for those who have given much of themselves to allow this day to come to pass. We thank you for those who realize the long road which lies ahead, and who trust you for strength to walk on, day by day.   And we recognize that there are many in our world who do not experience the love of a church family, the comfort and joy of a faith community. May our witness to your love increase itself in hospitality to them. Nudge us on to greater acts of faithfulness, as we learn to trust you more and more.

 

We ache at the news of brokenness in our world–broken lives and broken relationships between persons and families, communities and nations. Our hopes are turned toward peace in your presence, and we pray that you would help us to be makers of peace in our day to day lives.

 

Loving lord, we lift to you our own needs and those whose lives are closely linked with our own [……..] (and others we name silently in our hearts.)

 

As the light of a star brought the simple and the wise into the presence of the young Christ, guide us to you by the light of your word as we hear it read and proclaimed. God of all faithfulness, receive these prayers which we offer to you in the name and spirit of Jesus the Christ.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

O God,

who by the leading of a star

manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth:

mercifully grant that we,

who know you now by faith,

may at last behold your glory face to face;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

 

Lord God,

the bright splendour whom the nations seek:

may we who with the wise men have been drawn by your light

discern the glory of your presence in your Son,

the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Additional Collect

 

Creator of the heavens,

who led the Magi by a star

to worship the Christ-child:

guide and sustain us,

that we may find our journey’s end

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

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

O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son

to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by

faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to

face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

 

Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

The giving and receiving of gifts at Christmas time is born of the ancient Church’s celebration of this very day.  At Epiphany, the story is told again of those who come before the young Christchild, seeking to give, eager to present the very best to this young king.  In the process, they proclaimed what the religious world could not conceive:  that this one Child, of humble birth and stature, has come to bring God’s saving love to all.  May we consider well how our giving proclaims God’s love for all as the Table of the Lord is made ready.

 

Offertory Prayer

Thank you, God of Love, 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.

 

Invitation to the Table

Friends, this is the joyful feast of the people of God. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit at the table in the kingdom of God. This is the Lord’s table. Jesus invites all who seek to trust him to share in the feast which he has prepared. Let us come to his table now with hope and confidence as God’s children.

 

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)

  1. Holy One, you speak to us in silence, yet all languages interpret you.  Because you call us into this community, we are able to become a gift to one another.  We pray for your Holy Spirit to descend upon us and upon this bread, that in sharing it we may discern your presence which becomes our life.  May it be for us the bread of life.

 

  1. We thank you, Lord,  for your anointed one, Jesus, who through his life, crucifixion, death and resurrection lived fully the promise of redemptive wholeness that is available to all who would obey your creating will.  We celebrate his gifts, even as we bring our own, asking that you would bless this cup that it would be for us his blood, as we rejoice in your presence, loving God, now and always.

 

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…’

 

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service.  Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ 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 MinistryMatters.com, 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.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

NOTE:  We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday.  We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary.  Send your comments or content here.

 

Christmas 1B

First Sunday of Christmas B

 

Dec. 31

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.

 

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

 

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources:

Isaiah 61:10 – 62:3 Psalm 148 Galatians 4:4-7 Luke 2:22-40

 

ALT:  New Year’s Day:

Ecclesiastes 3:1-13

Psalm 8

Revelation 21:1-6a

Matthew 25:31-46

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

151-The First Noel

149-Angels from the Realms of Glory

144-O Little Town of Bethlehem

167-Go, Tell it on the Mountain

Any of the Christmas Hymns are appropriate for the day.

 

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)

Watch site for posting at a later date.

On Galatians 4:4-7

 

In this budding life before us,

in Incarnate presence here,

find the child of Mary prosper,

learn the Son of God so born.

In the dawning of his coming,

now arrives salvation’s scion.

 

Of a woman comes the Savior;

under law, he comes to save

thus redeeming in his passion:

we are brought, adopted new.

Wrapped into this moment’s finding,

as God’s claimed, we rise in joy.

 

Brought in wonder, sought together,

we delight to sing all praise.

As together are we calling

Abba!  Father!  We are thine!

Thine we are in joy surpassing

all life’s incidental means.

 

8.7.8.7.8.7.   Suggested tune: Alleluia Dulce Carmen

 

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 http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week:  Psalm 148: Hymns #21 & 22 are both appropriate; Psalm 8 is in the hymnal.

 

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.

 

Call to Worship  (adapted by the editor from Psalm 148)

L: Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights!

P: Praise God, all his angels; praise him, all his host!

L: Praise God, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars!

P: Praise God, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!

L: Young men and women alike, old and young together!  Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven.

P: God has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his faithful, for the people of Israel who are close to him. Praise the LORD!

 

OR (based on Isa. 63) from Ministry Matters

L: Make a list of God’s gracious dealings, all the things God has done that need praising:

P: The generous bounties of God, and God’s great goodness to all the families of the earth!  Compassion lavished, love extravagant.

L: The most wondrous thing God ever did was to come to us, to help us in person. Out of God’s own love, God redeemed us.

P: God rescued us and carried us for a longtime.  Let us worship and praise our Redeemer this Christmas time!

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

Reigning God, whose rule extends to the farthest stars, come to rule within us on this glorious day when the Word becomes flesh once more to dwell among us. We open ourselves to the light and long to offer our lives as a dwelling place for your truth. Speak to us again through the Child of Bethlehem. Reach out to the child in each of us, and hold us in the warmth of love’s embrace. For we pray in his name. (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

Loving God, creator of all that is, and lover of all that you have created; we gather us as a new people this day.  Fill us with thankfulness for the year which has passed, and with encouragement as we enter a new one.  As Christ’s glory was made manifest so long ago as child who drew the honor of nations, let the fullness of his glory be seen in us, his body, the church.  May the new covenants we make in your name be blessed and made fruitful through the days of ministry which lie before us as your people of faith.  And may this time of worship empower us to live in communion with you, now and always.  This we pray in the name of Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray saying,… “Our Father…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

O God, who comes to us in Jesus Christ of Bethlehem, in these wonderfully busy days, may we not crowd you out of our minds, as he was crowded out of the inn on that first Christmas. Forbid that we should spend all for passing pleasures and fail to find the deeper, richer joys that do not pass away with the close of the day. Even as the tinsel and lights of the season begin to fade, time and again we pray that you would draw us back to his manger-bed. Rekindle our sense of wonder and worship, and grant that, as we find you in the likeness of a little child, we may experience a new reverence for childhood, and a more sincere longing for those qualities of the heart which childhood incarnates.

 

Forgive our cynicism and pride, banish our doubts, and restore our faith in the things we cannot see or hear: the star that shines in human souls, and the song of peace that lingers over a world so troubled with war. Like the shepherds, may we return to our humble lives knowing that heaven is not some distant place, but is ever near because of the coming of the Christ Child, and that in him you have revealed yourself here, among even people like us. Hear our prayers for those in need today, for healing and peace, reconciliation and joy. We pray especially for __________________ and others we name in our hearts.

 

Bless us, O God, one and all as this Christmas season continues. We lift our hearts in praise, and would seek to serve you as a follower of your beloved Son, assured that in following him is perfect freedom and peace.

 

OR (New Year)

Eternal God, whose Spirit whispers in the calm of evening, calls in the quiet dawn, broods over the great deep, and dwells in the hearts of mortals; we rejoice in your self-revealing birth at Bethlehem.  Cleanse our eyes to see the Christ, and open our hearts to receive him.  Give us grace to bring the best as our heart’s devotion.  We would be obedient to the simple teachings of Jesus and responsive to his word.  Help us to live in the spirit of this gracious season.  Teach us to be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as you have forgiven us.  We would be humble, for we know our weakness.  Deliver us from foolish pride and vain conceit.  Renew in us the gentle spirit of childhood.  And help us to offer to you in all simplicity hearts that are useful as your dwelling-places.

 

Hear us as we ask your blessing for those who bring the good tidings of peace and redemption: teachers and ministers, chaplains and missionaries.  Look with favor upon those who practice the arts of good will in business and industry, and in all human relationships.  Grant to all your servants satisfaction in their work, and success in their endeavors.  Graciously bless those who show the Christmas spirit – who befriend the needy, gladden the hearts of children, and radiate kindness and good cheer.  Grant that through their own gentle ministries they may find gladness, comfort, and peace.  Let your Spirit descend upon our young people.  Open their eyes to beauty, their minds to joy, and their hearts to the whispers of the Christ.  Make them strong to meet life’s challenges.  Help them to rise to their opportunities.  Inspire them with eagerness to serve under the banner of the Prince of Peace.  We bring to you those who rejoice in new-found happiness.  Sanctify their joy, and enable them to serve you with gladness.

 

We commend ourselves with our hopes, aspirations, and secret prayers to your goodness, O God.  Through the year, your love has been our light, and your strength has been our recourse.  May we have the assurance of your presence as we go forward.  Guide us by the star of your love, enable us to sing with the angels, and grant us the constant companionship of Jesus Christ the Savior, in whose name we pray.

 

OR

In peace with God and with one another, let us offer to God our hearts desires and our concerns for our world and ourselves.  Let us pray.

 

To you, O giver of joy, we praise you that in the fullness of time you came to be with us and to give us hope, peace and the joy of eternal life.  We thank you that in Mary you found one who would willingly give over control of her life, trusting in you, for the sake of your love of us.  We rejoice that we have received grace upon grace in the giving of your Son Jesus Christ to be our Savior.  Forgive us for our frequent unwillingness to let your joy spring to life in our midst, and the self-centeredness that has kept us from revealing in the fullness of your  joy.  Refashion us that we might recognize the greatness of your gift, and to release the joy that you have planted deeply within us in creation and in our baptism.

 

Because you have made us for joy, Lord, we are burdened  to see a world that is limp and joyless.  As trouble, oppression, grief and sorrow pervades our world, the joy of life seems to fade from our sight.  Yet, we have been called by you to entrust our world’s needs, and our own, to your safekeeping, trusting that you, in your right time, will bring to fruition your promise of redemption.  Inspire us to trust you more, and to joyfully bring to our world the news of your presence in our midst.

 

We pray for all your children in their need.  To those who are fearful and oppressed, give freedom; to those who are hungry and homeless, give help;  to those who are lonely and grieving, give your peace; and to those who are sick, give healing and hope.  As we give thanks for the life of _________, and for all your saints who rest in peace with you, we offer to you our lives afresh.  Make us to walk in your paths of righteousness and peace, and fill us with joy, as we pray in Christ’s name, [even as he taught us…]

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

Almighty God,

who wonderfully created us in your own image

and yet more wonderfully restored us

through your Son Jesus Christ:

grant that, as he came to share in our humanity,

so we may share the life of his divinity;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

 

Heavenly Father,

whose blessed Son shared at Nazareth the life of an earthly home:

help your Church to live as one family,

united in love and obedience,

and bring us all at last to our home in heaven;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Additional Collect

 

This provision is not used on weekdays after 5 January.

God in Trinity,

eternal unity of perfect love:

gather the nations to be one family,

and draw us into your holy life

through the birth of Emmanuel,

our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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

Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of

your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our

hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our

Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy

Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

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

Luke 2:22-40

 

So bonded in the life of our own people, Lord,

you come to rouse in us

from depths within the heart

the echo of our God.

Within the core of our desires,

become in us the flourishing

that deeply knows your flush

and your impetuous delight.

 

Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

By the goodness of God, we are called into the family of the church. By God’s grace, we rejoice to share in the church’s life of mission and ministry. Let us offer our tithes and gifts to God’s glory as a token of the offering of our very lives.

 

Offertory Prayer

O God, through the offering of these gifts, we become a more open people—open-minded in hearing your word and wisdom, open-hearted in healing a broken world, open-handed in heeding your call to charity and enacted love. With thanks for all good gifts, we present a portion of our substance and the whole of ourselves. Amen.

 

Invitation to the Table

We come to this table as a people unprepared.  Our world is as unready for the coming of Emmanuel as was the crowded town of Bethlehem.  We are as un-attuned to the eternal as the sleeping shepherds in the field.  Our expectations are as unclear as those of the travelers from the East.  Though we are unprepared, though our lives are unworthy offerings, God has forgiven our sins and offered us newness of life through Jesus Christ.  This is the grace of God in which we participate at this table.  Come, share the feast.

 

OR

The same Christ who came to us as an infant is the one who would be called into the life of Israel as a doorway into God’s presence for the non-Jewish world.  In him, all of God’s children are called to gather at a feast of equity, justice, love, and common heritage.  Let us receive from the hand of God who gives life to the whole world the bread and wine of Christ, the hope of our redemption, the light to lighten the nations, and the glory of God’s people Israel.

 

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)

Loving God, giver of life and bringer of peace, as we gather at the table Christ has spread for us, we pray that you would make your presence known anew in our lives. Send your Spirit now, we pray, that as we break the bread and drink from his cup, we might know afresh the joy of life eternal in your family, as we offer ourselves to you in praise and thanksgiving. All praise and glory be to you, O God, now and forever, in Christ’s name. Amen.

 

OR

  1. We praise you, O God, for Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection, and for calling forth your church to continue his mission in the world.  Gifted by the presence of your Holy Spirit, we offer ourselves to you as one with the entire family of your faithful people, and give you thanks for this bread.  May it be for us the body of Christ, that we may be remade as his body in the world.
  2. Come, Holy Spirit, come.  Bless this fruit of the vine.  Bless all of us in our receiving at this table, that our eyes may be opened, and we may recognize the living Christ in our midst, in each other, and in all for whom Christ died.

 

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…’

 

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service.  Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ 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 MinistryMatters.com, 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.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

NOTE:  We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday.  We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary.  Send your comments or content here.

 

Christmas Eve/Day

Christmas Eve/Day

 

12-24 (evening)

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

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

 

Isaiah 9:2-7 / Isaiah 62:6-12 / Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 96 / Psalm 97 / Psalm 98

Titus 2:11-14 / Titus 3:4-7 / Hebrews 1:1-4, (5-12)

Luke 2:1-14, (15-20) / Luke 2:(1-7), 8-20 / John 1:1-14

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

Hymns of Praise:

165 Once in Royal David’s City,

142 People, Look East,

148 O Come, All Ye Faithful,

155 Angels We Have Heard on High,

150 Hark! the Herald Angels Sing,

143 Joy to the World,

138 Awake! Awake!…,

159 There’s a Song in the Air,

169 O Thou Joyful

Communion Hymns:

147 Away in a Manger,

145 Silent Night, Holy Night,

160 Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,

161 I Wonder as I Wander,

162 What Child Is This,

163 Infant Holy, Infant Lowly

Dismissal/Missional Hymns: 

171 God’s Love Made Visible,

167 Go, Tell It on the Mountain

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

 

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.

 

Another Advent Hymn is offered by the editor for your use.

 

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). You may also want to visit http://www.modernpsalter.com/ or http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week: Psalms 96-97-98 begin on Page 748

 

Words of Greeting/Call to Prayer

The Christ Child is born! All you who would find him, prepare for a journey, as determined as the Magi. All you who would praise him, come with the faith to follow but a star. All you who would worship him , come with humility to the child who shows forth the immeasurable riches of God!

 

OR (from the Anglican tradition)

Beloved in Christ, with delight we prepare ourselves to hear again the message of the angels, and go in heart and mind to Bethlehem to see Mary and Joseph with Jesus in a manger. Let us listen to the story of God’s saving acts and celebrate the birth of this Holy Child. And let us make these hallowed walls reverberate with the glad tidings of great joy which is to all the people.

 

Call to Worship  

L: Tonight old dreams die and new dreams come to life.

The promise is fulfilled.

   P: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.

L: Hope gives way to joy and prayer to proclamation.

   P: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.

L: The candles tell the story. Dawn invades midnight.

The Light of the world has come.

   P: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.

L: This light is a light for all, warming us from within, radiating love,

lighting our lives with the presence of God in human flesh,

within us and among us now and always.

 P: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace. Goodwill to all.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

Reigning God, whose rule extends to the farthest stars, come to rule within us on this glorious night when the Word becomes flesh once more to dwell among us.  We open ourselves to the light and long to offer our lives as a dwelling place for your truth.  Speak to us again through the Child of Bethlehem.  Reach out to the child in each of us, and hold us in the warmth of love’s embrace.  For we pray in his name. Amen.

 

Prayers of the People/Intercessions

(from the Editor)

                O God, you are never revealed so completely as in the face of the child of Bethlehem.  Hear us as we give you thanks for those who today reveal your love in our world in his spirit.

                We pray for those who give you hands by doing their best toward their brothers and sisters; for those who give you a mouth by speaking words of justice and peace for the broken and oppressed; for those who give your poverty the look of hope for your reign, revealing you simply by being your children, reflecting your beauty as did your only Son Jesus.

                We hold up in prayer the lonely and hurting, the hungry and homeless, the sick and dispossessed, knowing that your heart has always been nearest those who are poor in spirit and least likely to be thought of as people touched by the hand of divinity.

                As we remember how you came to live among us in the flesh, and as we celebrate that moment long ago which lives forever in the hearts of those who believe, and as we long for your fullness in our lives that we too might enflesh the goodness and love of Christ in our day, we ask that you would bless us, your church, to be food for the hungry and hope for those who are lost and alone—a living testament of Christ’s faithfulness to you.  May all who drink of your one spirit receive new life to give to those in our world who are thirsty for meaning and belonging.

                Pour out your Spirit upon us, your people.  Continue in our lives the mystery of Christmas.  Let your Son become flesh in us, so that we may reveal you to our world all the days of our lives.  Holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray.  Cast out our sin and enter in.  Be born in us today. 

 

or

O God, who comes to us in Jesus Christ of Bethlehem, in our busy preparations and our joyous celebrations, may we not crowd you out of our minds, as he was crowded out of the inn on that first Christmas.  Forbid that we should spend all for passing pleasures and fail to find the deeper, richer joys that do not pass away with the close of the day.  Draw us back to his manger-bed.  Rekindle our sense of wonder and worship, and grant that, as we find you in the likeness of a little child, we may experience a new reverence for childhood, and a more sincere longing for those qualities of the heart which childhood incarnates.  Forgive our cynicism and pride, banish our doubts, and restore our faith in the things we cannot see or hear: the star that shines in human souls, and the song of peace that lingers over a world so troubled with war.  Like the shepherds, may we return to our humble lives knowing that heaven is not some distant place, but is ever near because of the coming of the Christchild, and that in him you have revealed yourself here, among even people like us.  Bless us, O God, one and all on this Christmas Day.  We lift our hearts in praise, and would seek to serve you as a follower of your beloved Son, assured that in following him is perfect freedom and peace.

 

or

From Common Worship: (“R” = Hear our prayer, O Lord. Another response may be substituted)

To us a child is born, to us a son is given; let us pray for the people he came to save.

Wonderful Counsellor, you order all things with your wisdom: help the Church to reveal the mystery of your love and fill her with the Spirit of truth: R

Mighty God, the government is on your shoulders: guide the leaders of the nations and bring in your kingdom of justice and righteousness: R

Everlasting Father, you call us to live together in unity: protect by your mercy all your children, bless our families and renew our communities: R

Prince of Peace, you bring reconciliation through the cross: by your healing power give to all who suffer your gift of wholeness and peace: R

Let us commend the world, to which Christ came, to the mercy and protection of God.

Open prayer may be offered and silence is kept. The Collect and Lord’s Prayer follow.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

Almighty God,

you make us glad with the yearly remembrance

of the birth of your Son Jesus Christ:

grant that, as we joyfully receive him as our redeemer,

so we may with sure confidence behold him

when he shall come to be our judge;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

Eternal God, for whom we wait,

you have fed us with the bread of eternal life:

keep us ever watchful,

that we may be ready to stand before the Son of man,

Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Alternative Collect

Almighty God,

as we prepare with joy

to celebrate the gift of the Christ-child,

embrace the earth with your glory

and be for us a living hope

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Service of Table

Preparation (Invitation)

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Upon those who have lived in the shadow of death the light has shined. With the prophet’s words, let us joyfully participate in sharing the life-giving work of God in our world today as we prepare the Table of Christ with the offerings of our lives and our labors.

 

or

We come to this table as a people unprepared. Our world is as unready for the coming of Emmanuel as was the crowded town of Bethlehem. We are as un-attuned to the eternal as the sleeping shepherds in the field. Our expectations are as unclear as those of the travelers from the East. Though we are unprepared, though our lives are unworthy offerings, God has forgiven our sins and offered us newness of life through Jesus Christ. This is the grace of God in which we participate at this table. Come, share the feast.

 

or

Out of the darkness of our world, we have seen a great light.  The birth of the Christ Child calls us to something special.  God comes to us now in this busy season to make all things new.  God makes room for us, even when there is no room at the inn.  Where we are too busy, God brings peace.  Where we are lost, salvation.  Where we are sad, joy.  Where we are bitter, God gives us the courage to love again.  Rejoice!  Christ has come to us bringing all these gifts of God.  Let us join with the whole church to eat and drink with him.  May the bread we eat bet to us the very bread of life.  May the cup we share be God’s wine of salvation.  Let us celebrate Emmanuel – God is with us – as we come to his table in faith.  You are welcome here – all of you.  It is he who invites you, and it is he who gives you life.

 

Offertory Prayer

Thank you, God of Love, 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.

 

Great Thanksgiving (if one is offered)

Holy God, creator of heaven and earth, we joyfully thank you and praise your name. You formed the universe in your wisdom, and created all things by your power. You set us in families on the earth to live with you in faith. We praise you for good gifts of bread and wine, and for the table you spread in the world as a sign of your love for all people. You alone are God, and we join ourselves with all your faithful beyond all time and space, and join in praising your holy name (and join their unending hymn: Holy, holy, holy Lord,..)

 

We praise you, Lord, for sending your only Son Jesus to live among us, full of grace and truth. He made you known to all who receive him. Sharing our joy and sorrow, he healed the sick, befriended sinners, and showed us the way to fulfillment in partnership with other people. Two by two he sent his disciples to extend your promise of friendship and love, and two by two he calls us still to work in your spirit of love. We trust him to overcome every power that can hurt or divide us, and believe that when he comes again in glory, we will celebrate victory with him throughout eternity at his heavenly table. (Words of Institution)

 

And so, in remembrance of all your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we take this bread and cup and give you thanks and praise. Pour out your Spirit upon us, that this bread and cup may be for us the body and blood of Christ, and that we, and all who share this feast, may be one with Christ and he with us. Fill us with eternal life, that with joy we may be his faithful people until we feast with him in glory. Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours, Almighty God, now and forever. (Our father…) 

 

or (from William Flewelling)

Holy God

who has chosen to be known to us

through the Incarnate Lord Jesus,

we raise our souls in praise and thanksgiving

for your thorough gift of self,

even into our flesh and blood.

For in your stirring among us, Lord,

you fostered in us your own gifts of life.

You have opened in us the hope

of Jesus Christ.

You have borne in us the living Word.

You have drawn us to your own life in joy.

And so we come in awe,

rejoicing in your coming to us.

We come breaking bread

with which Jesus associated himself, saying:

This is my body.

We come sharing a cup of wine

with which Jesus gave the new covenant

in his blood.

Send forth your Spirit upon us

that in this feast we may be united in you,

that we may be fed and

that we may learn the tender gift of Christmas

in our flesh.

We pray in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Elders’ Prayers/Prayer of Thanksgiving

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

Holy God, you have created all and love all which you have created, we give you thanks for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ who came to live among us, full of grace and truth. As we receive from his Table, we ask that you would send the power of your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that they would be for us the body and blood of Christ, and that as his one body we might go forth from this celebration to proclaim in word and deed the new life that is ours through the mysteries we receive. 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.

 

or

            Holy God, we praise and bless you for creation and the gift of life; and for your abiding love which brings us close to you, the source of all blessing.  We thank you for revealing your will for us in the giving of the law and the teaching of the prophets.

             We thank you especially that in the fullness of time you sent your only Jesus, born of Mary, to live in our midst, to embody your grace and truth in this world.  In this mystery of the word made flesh, you came to share in our struggles, and to cause the light of life to shine in our hearts.  We rejoice that when he had suffered death and the grave, you raised him from death with power to become king of kings and lord of lords.

            You have gathered your Church at your table to strengthen us to share the gift of eternal life.  Now send the power of your Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that they may be for us Christ’s body and blood, and that we might be for the world Christ’s body, until at last we feast with him and all your people at the table of unending joy.

 

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

 

A Complete Service of the Nativity

 

+ The Gathering +

Welcome

(announcements, if any, including directions for communion, whether hymns will be announced, etc.)

 

Call to Worship

Beloved in Christ, with delight we prepare ourselves to hear again the message of the angels, and go in heart and mind to Bethlehem to see Mary and Joseph with Jesus in a manger.  Let us listen to the story of God’s saving acts and celebrate the birth of this Holy Child.  And let us make these hallowed walls reverberate with the glad tidings of great joy which is to all the people.

 

Organ Prelude

Choral Introit

* Greeting

L: Tonight old dreams die and new dreams come to life.

The promise is fulfilled.

    P:  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.

L: Hope gives way to joy and prayer to proclamation.

    P:  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.

L: The candles tell the story.  Dawn invades midnight.

The Light of the world has come.

    P:  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.

L: This light is a light for all, warming us from within, radiating love,

lighting our lives with the presence of God in human flesh,

within us and among us now and always.

    P:  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.  Goodwill to all.

* Hymn of Praise:  O Come, All Ye Faithful                                                                          

The Bidding Prayers  —Chalice Worship 98

Anthem

 

+ Service of the Word +

The Candle of Hope: The Promised Salvation

            Scripture Reading:  Isaiah 35:1-10

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.  A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God’s people; no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray.  No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.  And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.  (LIGHT CANDLE)

            Response:   Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus                                                                     

 

The Candle of Peace: The Kingdom of God

            Scripture Reading:  Isaiah 11:1-10

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.   The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear;  but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.  Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.  The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.

They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.   On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.  (LIGHT CANDLE)

            Anthem

 

The Candle of Joy:  The Annunciation

            Scripture Reading:  Luke 1:26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth,  to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.  And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”

But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.  The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.  He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”

The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.   And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren.  For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.  (LIGHT CANDLE)

            Response:  Joy to the World                                                                                                         

 

The Candle of Love:  The Magnificat

            Scripture Reading:  Luke 1:46-55

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;  for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.   His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.  He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;

he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.   He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”  (LIGHT CANDLE)

Hymn/Anthem

                                     

The Christ Candle:  Christ Is Born

            Scripture Reading:  Luke 2:1-20

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.   This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.  All went to their own towns to be registered.

Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David.  He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.

While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.   Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see–I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:

to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.

This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”  When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”

So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.   When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child;  and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.  But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.   The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. (LIGHT CHRIST CANDLE)

  * Response:  Angels We Have Heard on High                                                                                   

The Proclamation

Anthem

 

+ Celebration of Christ’s Table +

Invitation to the Table

Out of the darkness of our world, we have seen a great light.  The birth of the Christ Child calls us to something special.  God comes to us now in this busy season to make all things new.  God makes room for us, even when there is no room at the inn.  Where we are too busy, God brings peace.  Where we are lost, salvation.  Where we are sad, joy.  Where we are bitter, God gives us the courage to love again.  Rejoice!  Christ has come to us bringing all these gifts of God.  Let us join with the whole church to eat and drink with him.  May the bread we eat bet to us the very bread of life.  May the cup we share be God’s wine of salvation.  Let us celebrate Emmanuel – God is with us – as we come to his table in faith.  You are welcome here – all of you.  It is he who invites you, and it is he who gives you life.

 

Anthem

Thanksgiving and The Lord’s Prayer 

            Holy God, we praise and bless you for creation and the gift of life; and for your abiding love which brings us close to you, the source of all blessing.  We thank you for revealing your will for us in the giving of the law and the teaching of the prophets.

             We thank you especially that in the fullness of time you sent your only Jesus, born of Mary, to live in our midst, to embody your grace and truth in this world.  In this mystery of the word made flesh, you came to share in our struggles, and to cause the light of life to shine in our hearts.  We rejoice that when he had suffered death and the grave, you raised him from death with power to become king of kings and lord of lords.

            You have gathered your Church at your table to strengthen us to share the gift of eternal life.  Now send the power of your Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that they may be for us Christ’s body and blood, and that we might be for the world Christ’s body, until at last we feast with him and all your people at the table of unending joy.

Through him and with him and in him, all glory and honor are yours, Almighty God, now and forever, and with the confidence of your children we are bold to pray:  Our Father, who art in heaven…

Sharing of the Bread and Cup

Candle Lighting

* Hymn:  Silent Night                   

                                                           

* Christmas Blessing

Behold the Lord proclaims to all the earth, “Your salvation has come! You are my holy people, the redeemed, whom I have sought out, never to be forsaken.”  As God delights and rejoices over you, go in peace, rejoicing in the Lord.  And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you now and always. Amen.

 

 

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service.  Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ 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 MinistryMatters.com, 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.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

NOTE:  We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday.  We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary.  Send your comments or content here.

 

Advent 4B

Advent 4B

 

Dec. 24 – Morning

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.

 

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

 

2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16 Luke 1:47-55 or Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26 Romans 16:25-27

Luke 1:26-38

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

142-People, look east

138-Awake, awake, and greet the new morn

130 – My soul gives glory to my God

386-We come as guests invited

124 – Let all mortal flesh keep silence

171 God’s Love Made Visible

 

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 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16

 

Surely now is time to savor,

plan the things that we might do,

order up the new construction,

building majesty for God.

 

Ah, the answer echoes boldly:

God moves freely in the world.

Always in a tent God wandered,

close among the people’s sway.

 

Find in mercy how to honor,

how to rectify desire.

In the commonplace of worship

gather into God’s embrace.

 

So begun in adoration,

in the will to fulfill love,

find the hand impelling ever

from this hour the house of grace.

 

8.7.8.7.      Suggested tune: Halton Holgate

 

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 http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week:  The Magnificat should be considered the primary Psalm of the day (see #131 or 130 for a metrical version).

 

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

God’s love is coming fully into the world.  Revealed in the life of Jesus, raised in a loving home and offering himself to the world which finds in his fellowship true home, we see love made in human flesh.  Are we ready to receive him?  Are we ready for such a perfect love?

 

Call to Worship  

L: Christ our Lord united his followers together in Christian love.

P: His presence makes our fellowship a happy experience.

L: When Christ is our life, our fellowship takes on the nature of Christ, we experience unity, love and humility toward one another.

P: May Christ live in us, that we may love like him.

 

OR

L: Long ago the people were given a sign of God’s presence.

P: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God with us.”

L: God’s promise to us remains sure and true:  God’s anointed Son will soon walk among us, to lighten our darkness, to restore the joy of our salvation, to save us from sin.

P:  God—the God of all love—is with us.  Praise the Lord!

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

God of all love, our hearts await your coming.  Make your way within us, we pray, as we offer to you our prayers and songs and promises.  Draw us to your divine banquet, and feed us with your true food.  We offer ourselves to you in hope and expectation through Jesus Christ our Lord  (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

O God, source of all beauty and goodness, your grace comes fresh every morning. In each new day you love us supremely and give us light. We praise you for that never-failing love that satisfies our needs and shows us the way to follow. We rejoice in your constant care, for you are faithful in love for all people, offering the world salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord  (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

We come, O God, with adoration and praise, as well as thanksgiving, to you.  Our anticipation grows as we come nearer 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…”)

 

OR

God of all love, our hearts are moved by your gracious promises fulfilled for us in Jesus Christ.  Give us the grace we need to live lovingly in all of life, and empower us to make your love known through the deeds of our lives; for we gather and offer ourselves to you in his name (praying as he taught us, saying, “Our Father…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

(from Common Worship)

Watchful at all times, let us pray for strength to stand with confidence before our Maker and Redeemer.

That God may bring in his kingdom with justice and mercy, let us pray to the Lord: R

That God may establish among the nations his sceptre of righteousness, let us pray to the Lord: R

That we may seek Christ in the scriptures and recognize him in the breaking of the bread, let us pray to the Lord: R

That God may bind up the brokenhearted, restore the sick and raise up all who have fallen, let us pray to the Lord: R

That the light of God’s coming may dawn on all who live in darkness and the shadow of death, let us pray to the Lord: R

That, with all the saints in light, we may shine forth as lights for the world, let us pray to the Lord: R

Let us commend the world, which Christ will judge, to the mercy and protection of God.

Open prayer may be offered and silence is kept. The Collect and Lord’s Prayer follow.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

God our redeemer,

who prepared the Blessed Virgin Mary

to be the mother of your Son:

grant that, as she looked for his coming as our saviour,

so we may be ready to greet him

when he comes again as our judge;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

 

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.

 

Additional Collect

 

Eternal God,

as Mary waited for the birth of your Son,

so we wait for his coming in glory;

bring us through the birth pangs of this present age

to see, with her, our great salvation

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

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

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation,

that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a

mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

 

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

Luke 1:26-38

 

Precisely into our uncertainty, O God,

you press your presence and your call.

At invitation past our comfort,

you intervene upon awareness,

enticing us to your surprise.

Grant us the mercy to be prepared

for your audacious call to love and life.

 

Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

Christ our Lord has shown the greatest love of all, in offering himself to us in the flesh, and providing us with a meal which celebrates his eternally abiding love with us.  He invites you to meet him here, to receive his gifts, and to give of yourself.

 

Offertory Prayer

We celebrate your love, God of life, in these gifts and in the daily lives we lead that allows us to bring them.  We would give you all, indeed, and ask that you bless these tokens of our very selves, so that the world may receive your ultimate gift of love in Jesus Christ, our coming Lord. Amen.

 

Invitation to the Table

God, the Creator of love and the Lover of all creation, has revealed ultimate love in the coming of Jesus Christ to our world.  In the bread that we break at Christ’s invitation, and in the drinking of the cup of salvation, we are remade as his body in our day, the incarnate love of God, a living sacrament of love in this world.  May we draw near in faith to the One who love us, who is closer to us than the very air we breathe, and be renewed in our love for God and for one another.

 

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)

O God, you love all of your creation, and we gather at your Table in expectation of the ultimate expression of your love made known to us in Jesus Christ. As we feast upon the broken bread and wine poured out for us, may we be remade as his body – a living sacrament of love in this world – ready to heal the brokenhearted, eager to open our lives to those who are alone, ready to move at the bidding of your Spirit which you freely pour out upon us in this meal. Accept our sacrifice of praise, we pray, in the name of him who is all love, Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

OR

  1. Almighty God, creator of love and lover of all whom you have made, we offer to you this bread.  Bless it now, even as you bless us with the will to receive it, and the power to share it with all who hunger for you.
  2. O God of Love, you are ever closer than the air we breathe.   Send now your Spirit into our midst to bless this cup which we offer in thanksgiving for Christ’s offering for us.  May we who drink of it be enlivened with your love and readied to do your will made known to us in Jesus Christ.

 

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…’

 

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service.  Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ 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 MinistryMatters.com, 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.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

NOTE:  We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday.  We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary.  Send your comments or content here.

 

Advent 3B

Advent 3B

 

Dec. 17

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.

 

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

 

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 Psalm 126

or Luke 1:47-55

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

John 1:6-8, 19-28

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

130-My soul gives glory to my God

136-Christians all, your Lord is coming

143-Joy to the world

160 – Lo, how a rose e’er blooming

104-Of the Father’s love begotten

162 What Child Is This

169-O thou joyful 

 

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 John 1:6-8, 19-28

 

We seek this man of God sent to proclaim

the testimony of the Lord’s delight.

He will point us to the light now coming.

We seek his witness to the day of dawn.

 

The questions rise of him we seek, this man

for he has come baptizing in the Jordan,

that rushing river answering his plea

to those whose hearts he lures to satiety.

 

Begun by such a witness, we arrive

to find the water flow in freeing zeal

and he who comes, the mightier, appears –

the light to whom this man of God attests.

 

10.10.10.10.    Suggested tune: Blackbird Leys

 

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 http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week:  Psalm 126 is not in the hymnal.  The Magnificat, however, is on #131, as well as included in hymns listed above.

 

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.

 

Call to Worship  

Friends and fellow-travelers in faith, let us listen for the voice of the one who calls out in the wilderness of our world and of our lives: “Prepare the way of the Lord; make God’s paths straight.”  As we gather for worship, may we make space for the coming of the Sovereign Lord, and be empowered to proclaim him through every moment of our lives.

 

OR

L: Come, let us use our voices to praise the Lord.

P: Our mouths will shout forth praise.

L: Let us use our minds to ponder the wondrous deeds of God.

P: We will call to mind God’s mighty acts.

L: With all of our strength and being, let us worship the Lord of love.

P: We will worship from our depths. Our souls exult in God!

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

We come, O God, with adoration and praise, as well as thanksgiving, to you.  Our anticipation grows as we come nearer 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 the true joy of life with you.  This we pray through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

OR

O Christ, your wondrous birth is meaningless unless we are born from above. Your death is meaningless unless we die to sin. Your resurrection is meaningless if you only are raised. Bring us now to such love for you that we may enjoy you forever. For all things in the heavens and on earth are yours eternally, and we rejoice in you through Christ our Lord

 

OR

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 made full by the glory of your appearing, and may we joyfully lift up the name of your Son in our worship, our work, and our leisure; for we pray in his name.

 

OR

All of heaven and earth sing to you, O Lord our God, for this earth which you lovingly made has been given a King and Savior in your Son Jesus Christ.  As we prepare to fully welcome him, help us to be aware of the meaning of his coming—bringing hope among our empty lives, peace among those whose relationships are broken, and joy—great joy—where gloom and sorrow had once reigned.  We open ourselves to receive your great gifts, praying as he taught us saying…

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

from Common Worship

Watchful at all times, let us pray for strength to stand with confidence before our Maker and Redeemer.

That God may bring in his kingdom with justice and mercy, let us pray to the Lord: R

That God may establish among the nations his sceptre of righteousness, let us pray to the Lord: R

That we may seek Christ in the scriptures and recognize him in the breaking of the bread, let us pray to the Lord: R

That God may bind up the brokenhearted, restore the sick and raise up all who have fallen, let us pray to the Lord: R

That the light of God’s coming may dawn on all who live in darkness and the shadow of death, let us pray to the Lord: R

That, with all the saints in light, we may shine forth as lights for the world, let us pray to the Lord: R

Let us commend the world, which Christ will judge, to the mercy and protection of God.

Open prayer may be offered and silence is kept. The Collect and Lord’s Prayer follow.

 

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

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.

 

Post Communion

 

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.

 

Additional Collect

 

God for whom we watch and wait,

you sent John the Baptist to prepare the way of your Son:

give us courage to speak the truth,

to hunger for justice,

and to suffer for the cause of right,

with Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

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

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come

among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins,

let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver

us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and

the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

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

John 1:6-8, 19-28

 

The One who is not Christ asserts your word,

preparing in the wilderness of heart

the readiness of straightened desert roads

and smoothing of tortured ground.

Become in us the way, O God,

that finds the entrance of our Lord

become the satisfaction past

all worthiness for joy.

 

Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

We would not steal for ourselves what God has entrusted to us for the benefit of our world neighbors. We would not claim as our own what God has loaned to us for our management in this lifetime. Therefore, we bring our offerings in joyful trust and service.

 

Offertory Prayer

Holy one, your heart abounds with gifts. Receive this offering as a sign of our trust in you and our intention to live surrounded by your mercy, inspired by your Spirit, open to the joy of your presence, hospitable to one another, and generous toward your world. Amen.

 

Invitation to the Table

God our Creator has made each of us for joy.  We gather at the Table of Christ this day with great anticipation for the fulfillment of God’s joy in the coming to earth of God the Son, Jesus Christ.  With amazement and hope, we sing with Mary the great song of praise and thanksgiving, asking that God may give to us the gift of joy everlasting, a foretaste of the feast which has no end, in which we share the joys of life eternal around a heavenly table which awaits us.

 

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)

You have made us for joy, loving Creator, and with expectant hearts we await the coming of your Son Jesus Christ, whose bread we break and whose cup we receive with joy. Send now your Spirit upon us and upon these gifts. Enliven us as we receive from your hand the promise of joy everlasting, until we feast with Christ and all his people at the heavenly table which awaits us.

 

OR

Lord of all life and love, in your Son Jesus Christ you have come to us bringing joy. As we break the bread of life and drink from the cup of salvation, may we who receive Christ in them know the fullness of joy – joy that is overflowing into our neighborhoods, and into your world. Send forth your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts that all may come to rejoice in you, O God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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…’

 

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service.  Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ 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 MinistryMatters.com, 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.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

NOTE:  We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday.  We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary.  Send your comments or content here.