St. Mary's Church

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Fourth Sunday of Advent

16 Dec 2021 • General news

Advent Wreath

The Fourth Sunday of Advent: Love

Leader: Last Sunday we lit the candle of joy. We light it and the candles of hope and Peace again as we remember that Christ

will come again and bring to the world everlasting peace

and joy.(The first three candles are lit)

The Fourth candle of Advent is the Candle of Love.

Its light is meant to remind us of the love that God has

for us.

Jesus shows us God’s perfect love. He is God’s love in human form. The bible says that “God so loved the world

that he gave his only Son, so that whoever believes in him

should not perish, but have eternal life.”

Love is patient, love is kind and envies no one. Love is

never boastful or conceited, rude or selfish. Love is not

quick to take offence, it keeps no records of wrongs, it

does not gloat over other people’s troubles, but rejoices in

right, the good, and the true. There is nothing that love

cannot face, there is no limit to its faith, to its hope, to its

endurance. Love never ends.

We light this candle today to remind us of how God’s

perfect love is found in Jesus.

The fourth candle is lit.

All: Loving God, we thank you for your gift of love - shown

to us perfectly in Jesus Christ our Lord. Help us

prepare our hearts to receive Him. Bless our worship.

Help us to hear and to do your word. We ask it in the

name of the one born in Bethlehem. Amen.

We sing: Let there be love shared among us,

let there be love in our eyes.

May now your love sweep this nation;

cause us, O Lord, to arise.

Give us a fresh understanding,

brotherly love that is real.

Let there be love shared among us,

let there be love.

Collect: Eternal God, as Mary waited for the birth of your Son, so we wait for his coming in glory; bring us through the birth pangs of this present age to see, with her, our great salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Post Communion: Heavenly Father, who chose the Blessed 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; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Micah 5. 2-5a

The LORD says to his people: 2But 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.3Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labour has brought forth;
then the rest of his kindred shall return
to the people of Israel.4And 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;5and he shall be the one of peace.

Hebrews 10. 5-10

5When Christ came into the world, he said,
‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but a body you have prepared for me;6in burnt-offerings and sin-offerings
you have taken no pleasure.7Then I said, “See, God, I have come to do your will, O God”
(in the scroll of the book it is written of me).’8When 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), 9then he added, ‘See, I have come to do your will.’ He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Luke 1. 39-45

39In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.’

Prayers St Mary Walsgrave 4th Sunday of Advent 19/12/21 [Prepared by Sue Morton]

Let us pray to Almighty God, our Heavenly Father

You came to our world not in a blaze of publicity, surrounded by media pomp and show, nor to frenzied acclaim of crowds, but quietly and unassumingly, almost unnoticed: in the quiet of the night in the little town of Bethlehem, born in a manger to the Virgin Mary. Your coming first witnessed by shepherds out working in the fields.

We give thanks for Mary, the mother of Jesus, and for Joseph who answered your call to love and treasure them. We thank you for our Junior Church, its young people and their leaders: for their nativity performance this morning; reminding us of the wonder and magnitude of Jesus’ incarnation. We pray for your Holy Spirit to always be with them and us.

Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer

We humbly pray you will touch our lives at this time.

We pray to be renewed in hope and strengthened in faith, trusting more completely in the future you hold, whatever that may be.

May our confidence be deepened by your eternal love and purpose, despite the worries of this world seemingly working against it.

May we be ready to welcome Jesus this Christmas, in the assurance that as he came, so shall he come again.

Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Thank you for the freedoms we enjoy.

We pray for those who are oppressed, who suffer because of tyranny or terrorism, whose freedoms have been diminished through war or violence, poverty, homelessness.

We give thanks for our homes and for those who love us.

We pray for homes where there is neglect or lack of love, where there is cruelty and deep selfishness.

We pray for people who live alone; and those who are lonely.

Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Hear our constant prayers for people who are suffering in body, mind or spirit. We give thanks for all people working in the NHS and all places of healthcare especially care homes and hospices. Be with them we pray, as the Covid pandemic continues to overwhelm the world, aggravated by the rapid spread of the Omicron virus variant.

We pray for our loved ones departed from us, now in the fullness of your kingdom. Be with those who mourn. We thank you for the gift of eternal life, and we rejoice in the fellowship of all the saints, giving special thanks this day for the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In a short time of silence we tell you of our personal concerns

S I L E N C E

Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord God, time and again you have chosen the small, the humble, the insignificant, and worked your purposes through them. You have shown your strength in what the world counts as weakness, you have made the last first and the least the greatest.

Show us, we pray, what that means today

  • o that you can use us beyond our imagining
  • o that you can take what seems unimportant and turn it into something wonderful
  • o that you can work among us here in ways that exceed our wildest expectations

Teach us to see life not merely from our own perspective but from yours.

Merciful Father

accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son

Our Saviour Jesus Christ

Amen