December 12, 2021 | 11:15 a.m. | The Third Sunday of Advent

St. Martin’s Episcopal Church | Williamsburg VA

The Lighting of the Advent Wreath

Three candles are lit.

Celebrant:   O God, rejoicing, we remember the promise of your Son.  As we light these candles, may the blessing of Christ come upon us, brightening our way and guiding us by his truth.  May Christ our Savior bring life into the darkness of our world and to us, as we await his coming!

People:       Desire of the nations, Jesus Christ, joy of every heart, come and save your people!

The Word of God

Opening Hymn     Prepare the way, O Zion

     1      Prepare the way, O Zion, your Christ is drawing near!

            Let every hill and valley a level way appear.

            Greet One who comes in glory, foretold in sacred story.

Refrain:  Oh, blest is Christ that came in God’s most holy name.

     2      He brings God’s rule, O Zion; he comes from heaven above.

            His rule is peace and freedom, and justice, truth, and love.

            Lift high your praise resounding, for grace and joy abounding.   Refrain

     3      Fling wide your gates, O Zion; your Savior’s rule embrace.

            His tidings of salvation proclaim in every place.

            All lands will bow before him, their voices will adore him.   Refrain

Opening Acclamation

Blessed are you, holy and living One.  You come to your people and set them free.

The Collect for Purity (together)

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.

Trisagion  (sung three times)

Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, Have mercy upon us.

The Collect of the Day

The Lord be with you.  And also with you.  Let us pray.

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.

The First Reading     Zephaniah 3:14-20

Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel!  Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!  The Lord has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies.  The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more.  On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:  Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak.  The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival.  I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach for it.  I will deal with all your oppressors at that time.  And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.  At that time I will bring you home, at the time when gather you; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says the Lord.  The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Canticle 16  (responsively by half-verse; please come in on the bolded lines) 

Surely, it is God who saves me; * I will trust in him and not be afraid.  For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, * and he will be my Savior. Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing * from the springs of salvation. And on that day you shall say, * Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name; Make his deeds known among the peoples; * see that they remember that his Name is exalted. Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, * and this is known in all the world.  Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, * for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel. 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 Reading     Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.   The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

The Gospel Acclamation     Come and fill

Come and fill our hearts with your peace.  You alone, O Lord, are holy. 

Come and fill our hearts with your peace.  Alleluia.

The Gospel     Luke 3:7-18  

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.  Glory to you, Lord Christ. 

 John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”  And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”  As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”  So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.

The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, Lord Christ. 

The Sermon                                                                                                                    The Rev. Lisa Green

              A period of silence follows the sermon.

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: 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

As we wait for Christ to come in victory, let us make our requests known to God who saves the lame and gathers the outcast. For the peace of the world, and for our unity in Christ.  Come, O Lord, and save us.

For Susan, our bishop and all bishops; for Cathy and Lisa, our priests, and all priests; for deacons and all who minister in Christ; and for all the holy people of God.  Come, O Lord, and save us.

For the church throughout the world and the faithful in every place.  Come, O Lord, and save us.

For the leaders of the nations and all in authority.  Come, O Lord, and save us.

For justice, peace, and freedom among peoples of the earth.  Come, O Lord, and save us.

For travelers, for the sick and the suffering, for the hungry and the oppressed, and for those in prison.

Come, O Lord, and save us.

For our deliverance from all affliction, strife, and need.  Come, O Lord, and save us.

Bless all whose lives are closely linked with ours, and grant that we may serve Christ in them, and love one another as Christ loves us.  We pray for We pray for the Wheatley, Unaitas, and Pease families, Thomas and Ginny, Kathi, Ruth, Cindy, for the children of St. Vincent’s School, Haiti, and for an end to the pandemic.  We pray for the dying and those who have died, especially Beth Unaitas and John Wheatley, and we pray that we may share with all your saints in your eternal kingdom.  Come, O Lord, and save us.    

Please add your own intentions, silently or aloud.

Lifting our voices with all creation, with the Blessed Virgin Mary, John the Baptist, Blessed Martin, and all the saints, let us offer ourselves and one another to the living God through Christ. To you, O Lord.

O King of all the nations, only joy of every heart, keystone of the mighty arch who makes us one, come and save the creature you fashioned from clay. Glory to you for ever.  Amen.

Confession of Sin 

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. 

The Absolution 

The Peace & Announcements

The peace of the Lord be always with you.  And also with you.

The Holy Communion

The Offertory     Great is thy faithfulness                                                       Christian Waddell, piano

The Offering of Gifts     The Doxology

     Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below;

     praise him above, ye heavenly host:  praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Amen.

The Great Thanksgiving     Eucharistic Prayer B

The Lord be with you.  And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.  We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.  It is right to give God thanks and praise.

It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, because you sent your beloved Son to redeem us from sin and death, and to make us heirs in him of everlasting life; that when he shall come again in power and great triumph to judge the world, we may without shame or fear rejoice to behold his appearing. 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: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power, God of 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.  Hosanna in the highest.

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,

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

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 Martin, 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.  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.  AMEN.

The Lord’s Prayer  

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

     Alleluia.  Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.  Therefore let us keep the feast.  Alleluia.

Communion Hymn     Peace before us

     1   Peace before us, peace behind us, peace under our feet.

         Peace within us, peace over us, let all around us be peace.

     2   Love before us…     3   Light before us…     4   Christ before us…     5   Peace before us…

The Post-Communion Prayer

Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted us as living members of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have fed us with spiritual food in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Blessing

The Closing Hymn     Savior of the nations, come

     1    Savior of the nations, come!  Virgin’s Son, make here your home.

           Marvel now, both heaven and earth, that the Lord chose such a birth.

     2    Wondrous birth! Oh, wondrous child of the Virgin undefiled!

           Mighty God and Mary’s son, eager now his race to run!

     3    Thus on earth the Word appears, gracing his created spheres;

           hence to death and hell descends, then the heavenly throne ascends.    

The Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

“Alleluia, alleluia” is only said during the Easter season.

The flowers on the altar are given to the glory of God in thanksgiving for St. Martin’s,

Hospice House & Support Care, and in loving memory of Bob Cope.

 

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