Shared Prayers

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

The Fourth Sunday of Advent
19 December 2021
according to the Book of Common Prayer (p. 355ff.)

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We Gather in God’s Name

Lighting the Candles of the Advent Wreath

Today we light the first, second, third, and fourth candles of the Advent wreath. Each candle has a meaning. The first candle is HOPE, the second candle is PEACE, the third candle is JOY, and the fourth candle is LOVE.

Jesus said to them, I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34)

Loving God, your mercy and compassion endure forever. Open our hearts, that we may receive your love; and following the example of your Son, spread that love to a love-starved world. Through Jesus Christ, who loved us to the end. Amen.

Anthem: O come, O come, Emmanuel (vv. 7-8) (Hymnal 56)

Veni, veni, Emmanuel

O come, Desire of nations, bind in one the hearts of all mankind;
bid Thou our sad divisions cease, and be Thyself our King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

The Collect of the Day

Officiant:

The Lord be with you.

People:

And also with you.

Officiant:

Let us pray.

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.

People:

Amen.

The people are seated.

We Hear God’s Word

The First Lesson: Micah 5:2-5a

Lector:

A reading from the prophet Micah.

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

Lector:

The word of the Lord.

People:

Thanks be to God.

Canticle 3 or 15

Expectans, expectavi

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; *
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel, *
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,

The promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Second Lesson: Hebrews 10:5-10

Lector:

A reading from the book of Hebrews.

When Christ came into the world, he said,

“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me;
in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure.
Then I said, ‘See, God, I have come to do your will, O God’ (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).”

When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “See, I have come to do your will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Lector:

The word of the Lord.

People:

Thanks be to God.

The people stand as able.

The Holy Gospel: Luke 1:39-45,(46-55)

Deacon:

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke 1:39-45,(46-55).

People:

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

Deacon:

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

[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."]

Deacon:

The Gospel of the Lord.

People:

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The people are seated.
A brief homily, spiritual conversation, or moment of silence may be placed here.
Silence follows the homily.

We Respond in Faith

BCP 358

The Nicene Creed

The people stand as able.
Officiant and People:

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:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
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 and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Prayers of the People

Today the response to the prompt, “Let us pray” is, “Come, O Lord, and save us.” The final verse and response, as we “offer ourselves and one another to the living God through Christ,” is “To you, O Lord.”

Silence
The Celebrant adds a concluding Collect.

BCP 360

Confession of Sin

Officiant:

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

The people kneel or stand as able. Silence may be kept. Officiant and People:

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Priest:

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

The Peace

Presider:

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

People:

And also with you.

We greet one another in the name of the Lord.
The people are seated.

The Announcements

We Offer Ourselves To God

The altar is prepared
The people stand as able.

BCP 367

The Great Thanksgiving: Eucharistic Prayer B

Celebrant:

The Lord be with you.

People:

And also with you.

Celebrant:

Lift up your hearts.

People:

We lift them to the Lord.

Celebrant:

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

People:

It is right to give God thanks and praise.

The Celebrant continues:

It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

A Proper Preface may be used here.

Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:

Sanctus

Celebrant and People:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

The Celebrant continues:

We give thanks to you, O God, for the goodness and love which you have made known to us in creation; in the calling of Israel to be your people; in your Word spoken through the prophets; and above all in the Word made flesh, Jesus, your Son. For in these last days you sent him to be incarnate from the Virgin Mary, to be the Savior and Redeemer of the world. In him, you have delivered us from evil, and made us worthy to stand before you. In him, you have brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.

On the night before he died for us, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.” After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”

Therefore, according to his command, O Father,

Celebrant and People

We remember his death,
We proclaim his resurrection,
We await his coming in glory;

The Celebrant continues:

And we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to you, O Lord of all; presenting to you, from your creation, this bread and this wine.

We pray you, gracious God, to send your Holy Spirit upon these gifts that they may be the Sacrament of the Body of Christ and his Blood of the new Covenant. Unite us to your Son in his sacrifice, that we may be acceptable through him, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In the fullness of time, put all things in subjection under your Christ, and bring us to that heavenly country where, with blessed Thomas, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all your saints, we may enter the everlasting heritage of your sons and daughters; through Jesus Christ our Lord, the firstborn of all creation, the head of the Church, and the author of our salvation.

Celebrant:

By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever.

People:

AMEN.

BCP 364

The Lord’s Prayer

Presider:

And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,

Officiant 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 Breaking of the Bread

Presider:

Alleluia! Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

People:

Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia!

Presider:

The Gifts of God for the People of God. Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving.

We Receive the Gift of God

Receiving Communion:

We will be offering communion with both Christ’s Body and Blood. The consensus of public health studies to date show that there is no documentable risk of COVID19 transmission through the common cup. We understand individuals may have different comfort levels as to how they receive communion. Following the teaching of our Episcopal tradition, all persons may, but no person must, receive communion in both kinds to receive the full spiritual benefits of communion. You may choose to receive only the host at this time. Should you choose to receive the wine, one vessel will be offered for those who want to sip the wine from the common cup. Another vessel will be offered for those who wish to intinct (the host dipped in the wine). (source: The Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey’s Revised Guidelines for Communion in Both Kinds)

If a person desires to receive the Sacrament, but, by reason of extreme sickness or physical disability, is unable to eat and drink the Bread and Wine, the Celebrant is to assure that person that all the benefits of Communion are received, even though the Sacrament is not received with the mouth. (BCP, 457)

If you do not wish to receive communion physically, you are invited to utter the Prayer for Spiritual Communion while communion is being distributed:

Prayer for Spiritual Communion

In union, O Lord, with your faithful people at every altar of your Church, where the Holy Eucharist is now being celebrated, I desire to offer to you praise and thanksgiving. I remember your death, Lord Christ; I proclaim your resurrection; I await your coming in glory. Since I cannot receive you today in the Sacrament of your Body and Blood, I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart. Cleanse and strengthen me with your grace, Lord Jesus, and let me never be separated from you. May I live in you, and you in me, in this life and in the life to come. Amen.
(from The Prayer Book for the Armed Services)

The ministers receive the Sacrament in both kinds, and then immediately deliver it to the people. All are welcome to receive at Christ’s table. If you would prefer to receive a verbal blessing instead of communion, cross your arms over your chest to indicate this.

BCP 366

The Post-communion Prayer

Presider:

Let us pray.

People:

Almighty and everliving God,
we thank you for feeding us with the spiritual food
of the most precious Body and Blood
of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ;
and for assuring us in these holy mysteries
that we are living members of the Body of your Son,
and heirs of your eternal kingdom.
And now, Father, send us out
to do the work you have given us to do,
to love and serve you
as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord.
To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

The Blessing

BCP 366

The Dismissal

Deacon:

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People:

Thanks be to God.


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