Sunday 1 December, 2013- First Sunday of Advent, Year A

Happy New Church Year to you!

Here are the resources you need for this Sunday. Please feel free to choose what is suitable for your congregation’s needs. You will notice that the orders of service are available in different formats: choose the “pdf” format if you want something that is ready to print and photocopy, the “doc” or “rtf” format if you wish to change the formatting yourself or the “ppt” format if you use PowerPoint.

  • Advent wreath: An Advent wreath can be made by tying evergreen branches (pine or eucalyptus) to a metal or wooden hoop, thus making a wreath. Care needs to be taken since both pine and eucalyptus are highly flammable. Candles should be large enough so that the first candle will last for all four Sundays – the symbolism is best maintained if there is no need to replace or rotate candles. Candles may be blue or red, but commonly the candles are purple. In the old 1-year calendar, the Third Sunday was known as Gaudete Sunday (Rejoice!) and so the third candle was occasionally rose-coloured as a symbol of joy. A fifth candle is often included in the centre of the wreath (this one is white, because it does represent Christ) to be lit at Christmas Eve. The wreath is taken away before the Christmas Day service. While the Advent wreath may be lit before the service at the same time as the altar candles, the lighting of the wreath candles in a little rite in the service offers the opportunity to focus the congregation’s attention on this symbol. Do not overlook the opportunity the Advent wreath gives for the participation of children. The lighting of the candle may be done by an older child (with care), or it may become the focus of the children’s address (which may be shifted to the beginning of the service).
    Suggested prayers and responses following the lighting of the first candle:

    (The  reader or children could read the part in normal print, and the congregation respond with the bold print).
    The true light was in the world,
    and the world came into being through him;
    yet the world did not know him.
    The true light, who enlightens everyone,
    was coming into the world.

    Lord Jesus, you are the light of the world.
    You came to be born as a king in Bethlehem,
    the city of King David.
    Be born in our hearts,
    and rule our lives today.
  • Altar colour: Violet/Blue
  • Bible readings:
    FIRST Reading Isaiah 2:1-5 God’s kingdom of peace
    PSALM Psalm 122
    SECOND READING Romans 13:11-14 Our salvation is near
    GOSPEL Matthew 24:36-44 No one knows the day or hour (Begin: ‘Jesus said:’)
  • Sermons:
    Lay-readers please note: the linked sermons have not been edited for general use. As part of your preparations, keep in mind that they have been written for specific people in a specific context, and for this reason the issues they address or the examples they use may not be entirely suitable for people in your congregation. If you feel this is the case, you may need to make minor adjustments or find another sermon.
    Based on gospel: Pr Vince Gerhardy; Pr Heath Pukallus; Pr Roger Atze; edited for lay reading sermon – matthew 24 36-44 – year a – advent 1
    Based on first reading: Pr Stephen Pietsch
  • Orders of service:
    Advent 1 Sunday Word & Prayer (ppt/ pdf/ doc)
    Service of the Word (pdf / rtf/ ppt)
    Morning Praise (pdf/ rtf/ ppt)
    Service without communion (pdf / doc / ppt)
  • Prayer of the Day (Collect): Choose one of the following
    Stir up your power, O Lord, and come,
    that by your protection
    we may be rescued
    from the threatening dangers of our sins,
    and saved by your mighty deliverance;
    for you live and reign
    with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, now and forever.

    OR, modernised traditional
    Stir up your power, Lord, and come.
    Protect us,
    so that we may be rescued
    from the threatening dangers of our sins,
    and saved by your deliverance.
    For you live and reign
    with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, now and forever.

    OR, alternative
    (Let us pray for the presence of Christ. [silence])
    Cleanse our consciences, Lord,
    and enlighten our hearts,
    through the daily presence of your Son Jesus Christ.
    Make us ready
    when he comes again in glory
    to be our judge.
    For he lives and reigns
    with you and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, now and forever.

    OR, new
    (Let us pray that we remain alert for the coming of the Lord. [silence])
    Jesus, Son of God,
    you have promised to return
    at a time that no one knows.
    Keep us watchful in prayer
    and strong in faith
    as we wait for you to come.
    For you live and reign
    with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, now and forever.

  • Prayer after the gospel:
    This is the gospel of the Lord.
    Praise to you, O Christ.
    Thank you, Lord Jesus, for promising to return.
    Make us always ready for your coming.
  • Prayer of the Church/ General Prayer: Prayer of the Church- Advent 1A
  • Offering prayer:
    Everliving God,
    we thank you for coming to us through your Son.
    Make us ready for his coming again.
    Do not let us be trapped by worry or worldly concerns,
    but teach us to cheerfully give of ourselves
    in serving you and other people.
  • Visual images: His Word in Pictures
  • Song/Hymn suggestions: * =  Modernised version available (please click here to go to the Modernised hymns page);G3, G4 . . . =  Guitar chords available in the Music Package 3, 4 . . .; GS =  Guitar chords in the Supplement to LH
    First reading: Isaiah 2:1-5
    16          Hail to the Lord’s Anointed G6
    215        Arise, O God, and shine* G9
    731        Come, Lord Jesus, come GS
    738        The night is marching onwards G4
    779        My Lord of light who made the worlds G8
    17          Emmanuel: God is with us
    20          Come, Lord Jesus, come
    36          Vine and fig tree
    301        Prayer for peace
    313        Christ, be our light
    326        Shout for joy
    389        Light of the nations
    409        We are marching in the light of God
    238         Christ is the world’s true light
    275         Hail to the Lord’s anointed
    441         Behold! The mountain of the Lord
    666         We are marching in the light of God
    680         God! as with silent hearts we bring to mind

    Second reading: Romans 13:11-14

    1            Hark, a herald voice is calling!* G7
    11          The advent of our King G4
    327         Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness* G3
    336         ‘Come follow me’, the Saviour spake* (esp vv 1,2,3) G3
    338         Rise, my soul, to watch and pray G4
    358         Renew me, O eternal light* G3
    359         Thee will I love, my strength, my treasure* (esp vv 3,4,6) G6
    738         The night is marching onwards G4
    798         Eternal Ruler of the ceaseless round G6
    819         Wake us, O Lord, to human need GS
    313         Christ, be our light
    315         Drawn to the light
    390         Put on love
    264         Hark! a herald voice is calling
    271         The advent of our God
    416         Great God, your Spirit, like the wind
    616         O day of God, draw near

    Gospel: Matthew 24:36-44

    180         Wake, arise, wake, arise (vv 1,4) G4
    202         Help us to conquer, Thou Prince ever-living* G3
    338         Rise, my soul, to watch and pray G4
    342         Watch, my soul, and pray* G4
    490         O Son of God, we wait for Thee* G3
    187         Help us, Lord
    221         They were waiting
    303         Stay awake
    420         Get ready
    280         When he comes back

    Emmanuel: God is with us    17
    Come, Lord Jesus, come    20
    Comfort, comfort    25
    Vine and fig tree    36
    His name is Wonderful    55
    O Mary, don’t you weep    142
    Help us, Lord    187
    There’ll be peace    220
    They were waiting    221
    Christ is a-comin’    229
    My soul is praising the Lord    260
    Soon and very soon    302
    When the Lord returns    309
    Christ, be our light    313
    Come to us    314
    Drawn to the light    315
    Freedom is coming    355
    Light of the nations    389
    God has chosen me    402
    Get ready    420
    God moving    425
    Sing out with joy, he is coming    434
    When Jesus Christ worked here on earth    450
    The world is waiting    453
    Your God will come    454
    Sing a New Song    468
    It was me    499
    Patiently waiting for you    502
    Advent news    510
    New beginning    519
    Word of the Father    542

    PSALM 122
    TIS 78 Jerusalem our home is a version of this psalm.
    The following metrical paraphrase by David Schütz may be sung to the tune of ‘His banner over me is love’, ATN 76. If reproducing this version, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm.

    I was so glad to hear them say:
    ‘Let’s go up to the house of God.’
    Our feet will stand within your walls,
    O city of Jerusalem.
    Here is a city strong and firm,
    where people of the Lord will come
    to praise the holy name of God.

    Here are the thrones of David’s house,
    where justice will be fairly done.
    Pray for Jerusalem, that peace
    and blessings of the Lord will come.
    Peace to Jerusalem and to
    the temple of the Lord our God.
    For his sake I will seek your good.

    Music Resources Vol. 3– Psalm settings: Psalm 122 p210 , Psalm 122 p211

    While the LCA does not necessarily endorse the content of these websites, you may find them helpful in your worship planning.
    Small Church Music: You can download mp3 and midi files of popular hymn tunes from this site.
    Singing from the Lectionary: has song and hymn suggestions based on the RCL from other hymnals.
    Song Select: you can search for more modern songs (eg. Hillsongs) by theme. If your congregation has a paid subscription you can also download sheet music.
    Hymns Without Words: mp3 downloads of hymn tunes.

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