¶ The Gathering

Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ
be with you
and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
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.

Lighting the Advent Wreath

God of Abraham and Sarah,
and all the patriarchs of old,
you are our Father too.
Your love is revealed to us in Jesus Christ,
Son of God and Son of David.
Help us in preparing to celebrate his birth
to make our hearts ready for your Holy Spirit
to make his home among us.
We ask this through Jesus Christ,
the light who is coming into the world.
Amen.

Lord Jesus, light of the world,
born in David’s city of Bethlehem,
born like him to be a king:
be born in our hearts at Christmas,
be King of our lives today.
Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

If we claim to be without sin,
we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins,
God is faithful and just
and will forgive us our sins
and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1.8-9

Heavenly Father,
you have created a universe of light:
forgive us when we return to darkness.

Lord, have mercy    
Lord, have mercy

Lord Jesus,
you are the light of the world:
cleanse and heal our blinded sight.

Christ, have mercy  
Christ, have mercy

Holy Spirit,
you give us light in our hearts:
renew us in faith and love.

Lord, have mercy    
Lord, have mercy

Absolution

Almighty God,
who in Jesus Christ has given us a kingdom that cannot be destroyed,
forgive us our sins,
open our eyes to God’s truth,
strengthen us to do God’s will
and give us the joy of his kingdom,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The Collect  

The president introduces a period of silent prayer with the words “let us pray” or a more specific bidding.
Almighty God,
as your kingdom dawns,
turn us from the darkness of sin
to the light of holiness,
that we may be ready to meet you
in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Amen.

¶ The Liturgy of the Word

Readings

At the end of each the reader may say
For the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God.

Isaiah 64.1–9  

Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
that the mountains would tremble before you!
2 As when fire sets twigs ablaze
and causes water to boil,
come down to make your name known to your enemies
and cause the nations to quake before you!
3 For when you did awesome things that we did not expect,
you came down, and the mountains trembled before you.
4 Since ancient times no-one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.
5 You come to the help of those who gladly do right,
who remember your ways.
But when we continued to sin against them,
you were angry.
How then can we be saved?
6 All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
7 No-one calls on your name
or strives to lay hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us
and made us waste away because of our sins.
8 Yet, O Lord, you are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
9 Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord;
do not remember our sins for ever.
Oh, look upon us we pray,
for we are all your people. [NIVa]

1 Corinthians 1.3–9  

3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge— 6 because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. [NIVa]

Gospel Reading

Mark 13.24–37

The Gospel is announced then the reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.
Glory to you, O Lord.

24 “But in those days, following that distress,
“ ‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
25 the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
26 “At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig-tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30 I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
32 “No-one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the cock crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’ ” [NIVa]

At the end

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon

The Creed

Let us declare our faith in God, Father Son and Holy Spirit
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 from the Holy Spirit and 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,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who 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.

Prayers of Intercession

There are no prayers included in this service, but please do pray. You may wish to pray now (you will need to pause the audio if you do) or do so after the Dismissal.

The prayers usually include these concerns
The Church of Christ
Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority
The local community
Those who suffer
The communion of saints

This week’s prayer resource is available here

The Lord’s Prayer

Awaiting his coming in glory,
as our Saviour taught us, so we pray…
Our Father in heaven
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

¶ The Dismissal

The president uses a suitable blessing

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.