20th December ~ 4th Sunday of Advent
The 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 may we 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. Amen
The Epistle is written in the 25th verse of the 16th chapter of St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans:
Now to Him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey Him ~ to the only wise God be glory for ever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
This is the Word of the Lord All: Thanks be to God
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Luke: Glory to You, O Lord
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; His kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
This is the Gospel of the Lord: All: Praise to You, O Chris
Lord God, we join our prayers to those of Mary, your faithful servant and mother of our lord, to proclaim your greatness, and sing in gratitude for all your wonderful gifts bestowed on us, your lowly servants. Lord, we pray, look down with love upon our Church here in Compstall as day by day we struggle to be a body worthy of Jesus’ name. Be with us as we focus on the coming of your kingdom and the gift of your son this Christmas. Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer
Mary prayed that the mighty be cast down from their thrones, we pray that those in power would use that power wisely and compassionately so that the lowly would be lifted up, the hungry fed and greater equality be established between rich and poor. Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer
Mary’s prayer was given to God whilst on a visit to her cousin Elizabeth. At this time of Advent and Christmas, we pray for all who are travelling to visit relatives and friends. We give thanks for the hospitality shown by our friends and families and for our opportunity to share with them and ask that we are always aware of your presence with us in all of our parties and festivities. Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer
Mary recognised your promise of mercy; Lord we ask you to show your mercy on all who are sick, fearful or in mourning and especially we pray for those members of our church, families and friends who we now name before you. Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer
Heavenly Father, you sent to earth the gift of your son Jesus Christ that in your power and love we might also have the gift of eternal life; bless those whom we love that have departed this life with the gifts of your all-encompassing love and life eternal. Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer
Heavenly Father, who chose the 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; send us out to finish our Advent journey filled with love, joy and peace ready to receive that promise afresh into our lives.
Merciful father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen