THE WORD OF THE LORD

 

Prelude                   “Prelude in B-flat minor”          J.S. Bach


Advent Wreath Lighting Liturgy   

Reader              

God our Father, you spoke to the prophets of old of a Savior who would bring peace. You helped them to spread the joyful message of his coming kingdom. Help us, as we prepare to celebrate his birth, to share with those around us the good news of your power and love. We ask this through Jesus Christ, the light who is coming into the world.

All    Lord Jesus, light of the world,

the prophets said you would bring peace

and save your people in trouble.

Give peace in our hearts at Christmas

and show all the world God’s love. Amen.

 

TWO PURPLE CANDLES ARE LIT.

 

Opening Acclamation

Presider   Blessed are you, holy and living One.

People     You come to your people and set them free.  Amen.

 

Collect for Purity 

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

The Collect of the Day
Presider   The Lord be with you.

People       And also with you.

Presider   Let us pray.
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

The First Lesson: Isaiah (40:1-11):                                            

A Reading from the Prophet Isaiah.

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her

that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid,

that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:

“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,

make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be lifted up,

and every mountain and hill be made low;

the uneven ground shall become level,

and the rough places a plain.

Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,

and all people shall see it together,

for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry out!”

And I said, “What shall I cry?”

All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field.

The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;

surely the people are grass.

The grass withers, the flower fades;

but the word of our God will stand for ever.

Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings;

lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,

lift it up, do not fear;

say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”

See, the Lord God comes with might,

and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him,

and his recompense before him.

He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms,

and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.

      

The Word of the Lord.                                         

People   Thanks be to God.

 

 

Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13                        

1 You have been gracious to your land, O Lord, *

you have restored the good fortune of Jacob.

2 You have forgiven the iniquity of your people *

and blotted out all their sins.

8 I will listen to what the Lord God is saying, *

for he is speaking peace to his faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to him.

9 Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, *

that his glory may dwell in our land.

10 Mercy and truth have met together; *

righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

11 Truth shall spring up from the earth, *

and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

12 The Lord will indeed grant prosperity, *

and our land will yield its increase.

13 Righteousness shall go before him, *

and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.

 

 

The Second Lesson2 Peter (3:8-15):                                         

A Reading from the Second Letter of Peter.                          

Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed. Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.

Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.

 

The Word of the Lord.

People Thanks be to God.

 

 

The Gospel Greeting

 

 

The Holy Gospel     Mark 1:1-8

Gospeller      The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.
People           Glory to you, Lord Christ.

 

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,

 

“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,

who will prepare your way;

the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:

‘Prepare the way of the Lord,

make his paths straight,’”

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

 

Gospeller      The Gospel of the Lord.                        

People           Praise to you, Lord Christ.

 

The Sermon                                                           Rev. Fran

You can listen to Fran’s sermon here.

 

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,

begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,

was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

 

The Prayers of the People                                                                               

Intercessor      In joyful expectation of his coming to our aid we pray to Jesus.

 

Come to your Church as Lord and judge.

We pray especially for Michael, our Presiding Bishop; Susan, Jennifer and Porter, our Bishops; Fran, Anne, Susan, Walter, Joy, Mary, and Nicole, our staff; Stacy, our seminarian; and for Ascension Church in Beraud, Haiti. …

Help us to live in the light of your coming and give us a longing for your kingdom.

Maranatha:

People     Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

 

Come to our community as lover of all people.

We pray for St. Thomas’ outreach partners: Second Story; SHARE, Falls Church McLean Children’s Center, Cornerstones in Reston, FACETS…

Show your love and compassion for all people through us.

Maranatha:

People     Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

 

Intercessor      Come to your world as King of the nations.

We pray for especially Donald, our President, Joe, our President-Elect, and Ralph, our Governor …

Before you rulers will stand in silence.

Maranatha:

People     Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

 

Intercessor      Come to the suffering as Savior and comforter.

We pray for … those who have asked for our prayers: Walter, Ethan, David, Chris, the Mitchell family, Andrei, Jane, Thomas, Kait, Johnny, Emma, Cheryl, Julie, Caroline, George, David, Anne, Philippa, Bob, Mae, and those suffering from COVID 19.

Break into our lives, where we struggle with sickness and distress, and set us free to serve you for ever.

Maranatha:

People     Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

 

Intercessor      Come to us as shepherd and guardian of our souls.

We remember those who have died, and those who you would name…

Give us with all the faithful departed a share in your victory over evil and death.

Maranatha:

People     Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.


Intercessor      Come as one who celebrated with joy the wedding at Cana.

We give thanks for Danny Ghorbani and David Chapin celebrating their birthdays this week.   

Remind us always that all good gifts come from you and make us thankful.

Maranatha:

People     Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

 

Silence is kept.

Come, Lord Jesus, do not delay; give new courage to your people, who trust in your love. By your coming, raise us to share in the joy of your kingdom on earth as in heaven, where you live and reign with the Father and the Spirit, one God for ever and ever.
People     Amen.

 

The Advent Wreath Lighting and Prayers of the People were adapted from Common Worship in the Church of England, located here, by The Very Rev. Fran Gardner-Smith. 

 

Intercessor:     Together let us pray for St Thomas Church.

All: Almighty God, by your Spirit the whole body of your Church is governed and sanctified, hear our prayer for St Thomas, build in us a renewed vision of your Church; shape our life according to your will; empower us with the gifts to make us one that together we may grow as a church in the spiritual strength of community and reach out to include all people in Christ’s love, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

 

Confession of Sin

Presider   Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.  A time of silence.

All     God of all mercy, we confess that we have sinned against you, opposing your will in our lives. We have denied your goodness in each other, in ourselves, and in the world you have created. We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf. Forgive, restore, and strengthen us through our Savior Jesus Christ, that we may abide in your love and serve only your will. Amen.

 

Absolution

Presider   Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through the grace of Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. Amen.

 

Offertory Sentence

Presider   Walk in love, as Christ loves us, and gave himself an offering and a sacrifice to God.

 

During this unprecedented time, giving is crucial to our health and viability. Please consider this a time of reflection and an opportunity to contribute to the ongoing ministries of St. Thomas Episcopal Church. Contributions can be mailed to the church office (8991 Brook Road, McLean, VA 22102 ) or given online here.  Thank you!

 

The Lord’s Prayer
Presider

The Lord be with you.

People And also with you.

Presider Let us pray.

Presider and People

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name,

thy kingdom come, thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.

Amen.

 

The Peace
Presider The peace of the Lord be always with you.

People And also with you.

 

The Blessing 
Be of good courage, never be afraid

Because God who created you, Is always with you

And loves you fiercely.

And may the blessing of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

Be upon you and remain with you always. AMEN.  

 

The Dismissal

Presider Let us go forth in the name of Christ.

People Thanks be to God.

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