November 28, 2021 | 9:15 a.m. | The First Sunday of Advent

St. Martin’s Episcopal Church | Williamsburg VA

The Lighting of the Advent Wreath

The first candle is lit.

People:  Jesus said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

First Person or a Child:  Why do we light one candle?

Second Person:  This candle reminds us of the light of hope that the people in the Old Testament had in their expectation of a Messiah who would bring peace and love to the world.

People:  The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.

Celebrant:  Lord God, you are the hope in our messy world.  This Advent, help us slow down, listen to your voice, and focus on what’s really important.  We place hope in you as we prepare our hearts to celebrate your birth on Christmas.  Amen.

The Word of God

Opening Hymn     O come, O come, Emmanuel

1      O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel,

        that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.

        Refrain:     Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

2      O come, thou Wisdom from on high, who orderest all things mightily;

        to us the path of knowledge show, and teach us in her ways to go.   Refrain

3      O come, O come, thou Lord of might, who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height

        in ancient times didst give the law, in cloud, and majesty, and awe.   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.

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. 

The First Reading     1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.  Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.   The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Psalm 25:1-9  (responsively by half-verse; please come in on the bold lines) 

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; my God, I put my trust in you; * let me not be humiliated, nor let my enemies triumph over me. Let none who look to you be put to shame; * let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes. Show me your ways, O Lord, * and teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, * for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all the day long. Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love, * for they are from everlasting. Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; * remember me according to your love and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord. Gracious and upright is the Lord; * therefore he teaches sinners in his way. He guides the humble in doing right * and teaches his way to the lowly. All the paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness * to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

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 21:25-36  

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

 Jesus said, “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” 

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 prepare to meet the Lord of righteousness, let us offer prayers to the Son of Man who comes with power and great glory.

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 Carson, John, Cindy, David, Cindy, Tom, Margaret, Barbette, David, 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, 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 and Blessed Martin, and all the saints, let us offer ourselves and one another to the living God through Christ. To you, O Lord.

O Emmanuel, our king and lawgiver, desire of all nations and Savior of all peoples, come and save us, O Lord our God. Glory to you for ever. Amen.

Confession of Sin

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. 


The Peace & Announcements

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

The Holy Communion

The Offertory     My Lord, what a morning                                                              

The Offering of Gifts     Take, O take

Take, O take me as I am; summon out what I shall be; set your seal upon my heart and live in me. 

The Great Thanksgiving     from Prayers for an Inclusive Church

 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.

Mystery of winter skies, we thank you in the darkening hour for opening our eyes to see your starlit beauty; for parting the wide heavens to send your gentle light; for offering your Word to take our mortal flesh. He was promised by those who shared your dream of peace; John the Baptist cleared his way with words of desert fire; Mary and Joseph accepted his coming with tenderness and faith; we know that he draws near again, to show us who we really are with honesty and love. Now we take up the song of hope that we might awaken to his coming among us and the world be touched by the footfall of his glory:

            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 ask that your Holy Spirit will fall upon us and upon these gifts that these fragile, earthly things may be to us the body and blood of our lord and brother, Jesus Christ; who, on the night that he was betrayed,

gathered with his faltering friends for a meal that tasted of freedom.  Calling them to his table, he took the bread, gave thanks, broke it and said: ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.’  In the same way after supper, he took the cup, saying: ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, whenever you drink it, to remember me.’ As on that night, so here and now he offers himself in touch and taste beyond all words can hold.  Great is the mystery of faith:

        Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Therefore we come in memory and hope, responding to your call and the promise that echoes from the dawn of all time. May mind and heart be held by your self-giving love as we stand before the cross, approach the empty tomb and praise the One whose name is lifted high above all earthly power.  Receive our broken offering through his all-powerful grace and bind us in communion with all who share your gifts; through Jesus Christ, in whom all ages and all the worlds are drawn into the ceaseless love of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer   (contemporary words)

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. Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

The Breaking of the Bread

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

Communion Hymn     To you, O Lord, I lift my soul

            Refrain:  To you, O Lord, I lift my soul, to you, I lift my soul.

     1      Lord, make me know your ways, teach me your paths

            and keep me in the way of your truth, for you are God, my Savior.   Refrain

     2      For the Lord is good and righteous, revealing the way to those who wander,

            gently leading the poor and the humble.   Refrain

     3      To the ones who seek the Lord, who look to God’s word, who live God’s love,      

            God will always be near, and will show them mercy.   Refrain

The Post-Communion Prayer

God of abundance, you have fed us with the bread of life and cup of salvation; you have united us with Christ and one another; and you have made us one with all your people in heaven and on earth. Now send us forth in the power of your Spirit, that we may proclaim your redeeming love to the world and continue for ever in the risen life of Christ our Savior. Amen.

The Blessing

The Closing Hymn     Lo, He comes with clouds descending

1      Lo! he comes, with clouds descending, once for our salvation slain;

        thousand thousand saints attending swell the triumph of his train:

        Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!  Christ the Lord returns to reign.

2      Every eye shall now behold him, robed in dreadful majesty;

        those who set at nought and sold him, pierced, and nailed him to the tree,

        deeply wailing, deeply wailing, deeply wailing, shall the true Messiah see.

3      Those dear tokens of his passion still his dazzling body bears,

        cause of endless exultation to his ransomed worshipers;

        with what rapture, with what rapture, with what rapture, gaze we on those glorious scars!

The Dismissal

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

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

The flowers on the altar are given to the glory of God by Scott and Diane Langhorst

in memory of our parents and in thanksgiving for our family.                  

1333 Jamestown Rd | Williamsburg VA 23185 757.229.1111 |

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