Sunday 17 December, 2017 – Third Sunday of Advent, Year B

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.

Altar colour: Violet or Blue

Bible readings:
FIRST READING  Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 The good news of God’s deliverance
PSALM Psalm 126
OR Luke 1:[46b]47-55 Song of Mary (Magnificat)*For musical settings of these Psalms, please see the song suggestions below*
SECOND READING 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 Ready for the coming of the Lord
GOSPEL John 1:6-8, 19-28 He who comes after me stands among you

Notes on the readings:
ISAIAH 61:1-4, 8-11: The original setting of this reading is that of the suffering servant of God, namely the people of Judah as captive slaves in Babylon. Just like the general proclamation of release for debtors in the Jubilee year of ancient Israel (every seven years), so God’s people could now look forward to freedom and release soon to come from their Babylonian masters. Our Lord quoted this section at the outset of his career as both the suffering servant and the Messiah who would bring full release for all by his own redemptive work. The freedom he has brought for the ‘down-trodden’, and the ‘captive’, and ‘those that mourn’ lies in the full forgiveness which establishes a righteousness and praise in spiritual terms. This can indeed be seen through faith and its fruitful action in ‘all the nations’.

1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-24: In this closing advice of the letter, Paul points the Thessalonian Christians to ways in which their preparedness for the second coming of the Lord can be strengthened. Rejoicing, praying and giving thanks all come under God’ s will in order for us to remain faithful. Repressing the truthful hearing of his word extinguishes the Spirit’s fire! Criticism of the ‘word’ – or its ‘preacher’ – are meant only for establishing the saving truth. God will remain true to his promise to effect full and final holiness in us if we remain simply within the framework of his own directions for faith and life.

JOHN 1: 6-8,19-28: John with his radical dress, diet and message was drawing tremendous interest from all of Judea. His all-consuming mission was that all might come to know and believe in the coming one. He announced the coming light, which of course presumes the presence of sin’s darkness that would be overcome. In answer to the Pharisees’ questions, John asserted that he himself was not one of the popularly expected forerunners (Elijah, Moses) or even the Messiah himself. John was merely the forerunner or herald, a voice in the wilderness. His baptism with water was important and authoritative only insofar as it led to the ‘one standing among you whom you do not know’, whose worthiness is inestimable.

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 first reading: Pr Vince Gerhardy; NEW edited for lay reading sermon – isaiah 61 1-4 – year b – advent 3
Based on gospel reading: edited for lay reading sermon – john 1 6-8 – year b – advent 3 ; edited for lay reading sermon – john 1 6-8 19-28 – year b – advent 3

Opening sentences:
The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the brokenhearted and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.  (Isa 61:1a,b, 2a NRSV)

Orders of service:
Advent 3B  Sunday Word & Prayer ( pdf / doc / ppt )
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
Traditional
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.
Amen.

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.
Amen.

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.
Amen.

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.
Amen.

ALLELUIA VERSE (after the second reading)
Alleluia, alleluia.
The true light, which enlightens everyone,
was coming into the world. (John 1:9 NRSV)
Alleluia.

(As an alternative to the alleluia verse, the congregation may sing ATE 253 ‘He turned my mourning into dancing’, which is based on Isaiah 61:2,3. This may be repeated after the gospel.)

Prayer after the gospel
This is the gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, the Light,
for coming into the world and shining on us.
Help us to believe in you and follow you.
Amen.

NEW! Children’s Address Advent 3B

Offering Prayer:
Lord,
lead us gladly to listen to the message
you have sent about your Son,
and to receive him with faith and joy.
Help us live our lives in union with Christ,
praying, giving thanks, doing good, and shunning evil.
Amen.

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

Resources for services with Holy Communion

SEASONAL PREFACE
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:

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

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
See the service order for a standard post-communion prayer. Alternatively, use the third prayer of the day (as listed 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.
Amen.

SEASONAL BLESSING
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 . . .

OR, this verse from the second reading for the day (1 Thess 5:23) may be used before the blessing:

May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ…

DISMISSAL
Go in peace and joy, and live in the light.
Thanks be to God. 
OR  In the name of Christ. Amen.

Visual images for the day: 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 61:1-4, 8-11
LHS

5    O bride of Christ, rejoice* G4 (mod – TIS 336)
8    Rise, children of the kingdom* (alt tune 107, G4)
9    Hark the glad sound G6 (mod – TIS 269)
10    O how shall I receive Thee* G3
13    On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry G4 (mod – TIS 270)
16    Hail to the Lord’s Anointed G6 (mod – TIS 275)
17    Come, thou long-expected Jesus G6
67    And can it be, that I should gain (alt tune Sagina TIS 209)
219    Jesus shall reign G3 (mod – TIS 207)
327    Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness* G3
386    In Thee is gladness* G7 (mod – TIS 200)
489    Rejoice, rejoice, believers* G4
731    Come, Lord Jesus, come GS
737    Prepare the royal highway G4
TIS
179    Praise with joy the world’s Creator
193    God, you are clothed with light
200    In you is gladness
207    Jesus shall reign
209    And can it be
210    O for a thousand tongues
269    Hark! the glad sound
270    On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry
272    Come, thou long-expected Jesus
275    Hail to the Lord’s anointed
282    The voice of God goes out to all the world
336    O bride of Christ, rejoice
346    Prepare the royal highway (see LHS 737 for verse 5)
670    Jesus put this song
688    Come to be our hope, O Jesus
AT
20    Come, Lord Jesus, come
130    I am covered over
221    They were waiting
253    He turned my mourning into dancing
258    Jesus put this song
364    In you is gladness
389    Light of the nations
450    When Jesus Christ worked here on earth
454    Your God will come

Second reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
LHS

Most songs of praise plus the following:
397    Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us* G4
402    Rejoice, my heart, be glad and sing* G6
425    Lord, teach us how to pray aright
437    Now thank we all our God *G6 (mod – TIS 106)
443    Through all the changing scenes of life (mod – TIS 112)
457    Mighty God, we praise Thy name G6 (see TIS 127 for fuller text)
467    For the beauty of the earth (mod – TIS 137)
489    Rejoice, rejoice, believers* G4
865    God will take care of us G6
887    We praise you, O God, our redeemer, creator
TIS
106    Now thank we all our God
112    Through all the changing scenes of life
127    Holy God, we praise your name (Te Deum)
137    For the beauty of the earth
162    Thank you for giving me the morning
220    This, this is the God we adore
580    Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us
717    Give thanks with a joyful heart
743    Praise and thanksgiving let everyone bring
Anon song: Rejoice in the Lord always
AT
2    This is the day
8    Praise and thanksgiving
151    Thank you, Father
235    In your hand, my Saviour
254    I give you my joys and my sorrows
265    Take us now, we are yours
289    Thank you that you hear me

Gospel: John 1:6-8, 19-28
LHS

6    Ye sons of men, in earnest* G3
12    Comfort, comfort ye My people* G4
13    On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry G4 (mod – TIS 270)
14    Let the earth now praise the Lord* G4
737    Prepare the royal highway G4
783    Christ is the world’s light G6
790    O Lord of light who made the stars (alt tune 346, G5 or 789, G6)
TIS
191    Hail, gladdening light
246    Christ is the world’s light
270    On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry
346    Prepare the royal highway (see LHS 737 for verse 5)
643   I want to walk as a child of the light
AT
313    Christ be our light
315    Drawn to the light
389    Light of the nations

GENERAL ADVENT HYMNS
LHS
18   Lift up your heads (see also TIS 267)
489    Rejoice, rejoice believers*

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

PSALM 126
Below is a metrical version by David Schütz, which may be sung to the tune Ode to joy (LHS 895, TIS 152). If reproducing this version, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm.

When the Lord restored Jerus’lem,
then we were like those who dream,
then our mouths were filled with laughter,
and our tongues with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations,
‘See, the Lord has worked for them.’
Yes, the lord has done this for us,
we rejoice and sing his praise!

Like a river in the desert,
Lord, restore us once again.
May all those who sow with weeping
harvest with great shouts of joy.
Those who bore their seed in sorrow,
going out to sow in tears,
will return with shouts of gladness,
bringing in their sheaves of grain.

Music Resources Vol. 3– Psalm settings – Psalm 126 p218 , Psalm 126 p220 , Psalm 126 p221 , Psalm 126 p222

SONG OF MARY (MAGNIFICAT)
A setting may be found on page 50 of the Supplement; other settings are provided in LH 656-658.

The following paraphrased text for the Song of Mary is from Evening Praise in Worship Today, by David Schubert, slighty revised. If a traditional hymn tune is desired, it may be sung to the tune ‘Wer weiss wie nahe’ (Hamburg), LH 568, or even ‘O come, O come Immanuel’, LH 2, TIS 265.

My soul proclaims how great the Lord,
and I rejoice in God who saves,
for he  has looked on me with love,
and all from now will call me blest.
The Lord has done great things for me,
and holy is the name of God.

God’s mercy lasts from age to age,
for everyone who honours him.
With his own arm he’s shown his strength,
and put to flight the proud of heart.
He’s pulled the mighty from their thrones,
the humble have been lifted high.

God’s filled the hungry with good things,
sent off the rich with empty hands.
He’s come to give his people help
as he had promised those of old.
God’s shown his love to Abraham,
and his descendants evermore.

Below is an adaptation of this song in 8888 metre, for which there are many tunes, eg LH 364, TIS 559, O Jesus Christe, wahres Licht; LH 321, TIS 213(ii), Melcombe; LH 346 Angels’ Song; LH 327, TIS 583, O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht; LH 433, TIS 59, Old Hundredth; LH 227, TIS 98, Church Triumphant; LH 75, TIS 139, Bow Brickhill.

My soul proclaims how great the Lord,
and I rejoice in God who saves,
for he has looked on me with love,
and all from now will call me blest.

The Lord has done great things for me
and holy is the name of God.
God’s mercy lasts from age to age
for everyone who honours him.

With his own arm he’s shown his strength,
and put to flight the proud of heart.
He’s pulled the mighty from their thrones,
the humble have been lifted high.

God’s filled the hungry with good things,
sent off the rich with empty hands.
He’s come to give his people help
as he had promised those of old.

God’s shown his love to Abraham
and his descendants evermore.
God’s mercy lasts from age to age
for everyone who honours him.

Other song paraphrases of the Song of Mary may be found in LHS 903, TIS 161,’Tell out my soul’; ATE 260, ‘My soul is praising the Lord’; TIS 172, ‘My soul gives glory to my God’; and TIS 173, ‘My soul gives glory to the Lord’.

OTHER HELPFUL WEBSITES FOR CHURCH MUSIC
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.

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