Sunday 11 December, 2016 – Third Sunday of Advent, Year A

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:
Suggested prayers and responses following the lighting of the third candle:
(The  reader or children could read the part in normal print, and the congregation respond with the bold print).
John came to bear witness to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
The true light, who enlightens everyone,

was coming into the world.

Lord Jesus, you are the light of the world.
John the Baptist preached
that people should repent
and get ready for you to come.
Come into our hearts,
and help us to welcome you.

Altar colour: Violet/Blue

Bible readings:
FIRST READING Isaiah 35:1-10 God himself will come to save us
PSALM Psalm 146:5-10
SECOND READING James 5:7-10 Do not lose heart
GOSPEL Matthew 11:2-11 Jesus and John the Baptist

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 Heath Pukallus ; NEW Pr Tim Stringer ; NEW edited for lay reading sermon-matthew-11-2-11-year-a-advent3
Based on first reading: Pr Stephen Pietsch; Pr Roger Atze ; edited for lay reading sermon – isaiah 35 1-10 – year a – advent 3 ; NEW Pr Roger Atze

Opening sentences:
Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
‘Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God.’ 
(Isa 35:3,4a NRSV)

Be patient. Strengthen your hearts,
for the coming of the Lord is near.  (Jas 5:8 NRSV)


Orders of service:
Advent 3 Sunday Word & Prayer (ppt/ pdf/ doc)
Service of the Word (pdf / rtf/ ppt)
Morning Praise (pdf/ rtf/ ppt)
Service without communion (pdf / doc / ppt)
Service orders with holy communion
Service with communion (page 6) (pdf / doc / ppt
Alternative form A (page 58) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Sing the Feast (Chataway) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Simplified Spoken (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Service with Five Songs of Faith (pdf / rtf/ ppt)

Prayer of the Day (Collect): Choose one of the following
Lord, hear our prayers,
and graciously come into our hearts
to lighten our darkness;
for you live and reign
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, modernised traditional
Lord, listen to our prayers.
Come to us in your kindness,
and lighten the darkness of our hearts.
For you live and reign
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, alternative
(Let us pray that we may receive Christ with joy. [silence])
Almighty and merciful God,
each year you make us glad
as we look forward to the birthday of your Son.
May we who joyfully receive him
as our redeemer
confidently face him
when he comes 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 receive Christ with joy. [silence])
Jesus, our promised Messiah,
John the Baptist went ahead of you
and proclaimed the good news
of your coming.
Encourage us to receive you with joy
as our redeemer,
and faithfully follow you.
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.
Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for coming as the promised Messiah.
Help us to receive you in joyful faith.


Offering prayer:
Our loving heavenly Father,
we thank you for all the good things you have given us.
Teach us to serve you with patience
and with compassion to one another and all people.


Prayer of the Church/ General Prayer: Prayer of the Church- Advent 3A

Resources for services with Holy Communion:
It is indeed right and good,
Lord God, holy Father,
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
You fulfilled your promise to comfort your people
by sending Jesus the Redeemer,
and to make all things new through him
when he comes to judge the world
and set it right.
And so, with angels and archangels,
and with all the company of heaven,
we adore and praise your glorious name:

Blessed are those who have been invited
to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
(Thanks be to God.)
Come, everything is ready.

We give you thanks, almighty God,
that you have fed us with this promise of salvation.
We pray that through it
you would graciously strengthen us
in faith toward you and in love toward one another,
so that we may be prepared
for the coming of Jesus Christ our Saviour.
For he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Alternatively, use the third prayer of the day (as given above) at this point. It may be modified as follows.

Almighty and merciful God,
each year you make us glad
as we look forward to the birthday of your Son.
May we who have joyfully received him
as our redeemer in this sacrament
confidently face him
when he comes to be our judge.
For he lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.


This seasonal blessing is used together with (ie before) the usual blessing in the order of service.

Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, shine on you and make you ready to meet him when he comes in glory . . .

Go in peace. Wait for the Lord with patience, and stand firm.
Thanks be to God. OR In the name of Christ. Amen.

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 35:1-10
6    Ye sons of men, in earnest* G3
16    Hail to the Lord’s Anointed G6
159    O for a thousand tongues to sing* G5
386    In Thee is gladness* G7
732    Comfort, comfort all my people GS
739    When the King shall come again
25    Comfort, comfort
220    There’ll be peace
364    In you is gladness
416    We will rise up
437    God’s time
454    Your God will come
200    In you is gladness
210    O for a thousand tongues to sing
275    Hail to the Lord’s anointed
282    The voice of God goes out to all the world
647    Comfort, comfort all my people
663    Isaiah the prophet has written of old

Second reading: James 5:7-10
17    Come, Thou long-expected Jesus G6
185    Sun of righteousness divine*
260    Lord Jesus Christ, with us abide*
390    Wait, my soul, with patience*
490    O Son of God, we wait for Thee*
731    Come, Lord Jesus, come GS
736    O Saviour, rend the heavens wide
20    Come, Lord Jesus, come
187    Help us, Lord
221    They were waiting
300    Everyone should be quick to listen
302    Soon and very soon
272    Come, thou long-expected Jesus
276    There’s a light upon the mountains

Gospel: Matthew 11:2-11
1    Hark, a herald voice is calling* G7
13    On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry G4
14    Let the earth now praise the Lord* G4
159    O for a thousand tongues to sing* G5
221    They were wating
313    Christ, be our light
389    Light of the nations
441    Jesus was sent
450    When Jesus Christ worked here on earth
210    O for a thousand tongues to sing
264    Hark! a herald voice is calling
270    On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry

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
Life Overflowing  619
Advent Lamb of God  648
Lord, now let your servant depart 677
Jesus is beside us  678

TIS 90 ‘I’ll praise my maker while I’ve breath’ and LH 450 ‘Praise the Almighty, my soul’ are based on Psalm 146.

Below are two metrical paraphrases of this psalm by David Schütz. If reproducing either of these versions, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm. The first may be sung to either the tune Adelaide (LH 461) or the tune Laudes Domini (TIS 227).

When mortal breath is gone,
and strength returns to dust,
all human plans will end;
but Jacob’s God keeps faith –
he made the earth and sky
and all that they contain!

He gives the hungry food,
and justice to the poor,
and sets the prisoners free.
The righteous know his love.
He lifts up those weighed down,
and makes the blind to see.

He cares for refugees,
for widows, orphans too,
but all who hate him fall!
Forever Zion’s God
is king of all the earth.
O praise the Lord, my soul!

The second version may be sung to the tune of ‘Now the green blade rises’ (LHS 764, ATN 15, TIS 382)

Blest are those who find their help in Jacob’s God.
Blest are those whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He made the sky, the sea, and all the earth.
He is always faithful, always keeps his word.

The Lord feeds the hungry, sets the prisoner free,
by his healing power the blind are made to see.
He gives his justice to all those oppressed,
lifts up those bowed down, and loves all righteousness.

Strangers, widows, orphans, know his loving grace.
But he brings to ruin every wicked way.
The Lord will reign forever, Zion’s God.
Through all generations, praise the Lord our God!

Music Resources Vol. 3– Psalm settings: Psalm 146 p241 , Psalm 146 p242 , Psalm 146 p243

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.
Together to Celebrate:lectionary based song and hymn suggestions from a variety of sources.
Singing from the Lectionary:has song and hymn suggestions based on the RCL from other hymnals.
Song Select: you can search for more contemporary songs by theme. If your congregation has a paid subscription you can also download sheet music.
Hymns Without Words: mp3 downloads of hymn tunes.
Song and Hymn Index. Contains all the indexes of the LHS and AT books in one Excel file. Download the file (zip file) here.
Metrical Psalms by Dale Schoening : Psalms set to well known hymn tunes.
Keyboard Accompaniments for Together in Song – CDs are available for purchase through ACR. CD 1 & 2 ; CD 3 & 4.

2 comments to Sunday 11 December, 2016 – Third Sunday of Advent, Year A