Sunday 23 December 2018 – Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year C

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.

For more Advent ideas click here.

  • Altar colour: Blue or Violet
  • Bible readings:
    FIRST READING  Micah 5:2-5a The shepherd king to be born in Bethlehem
    PSALM Luke 1:(46b)47-55 Song of Mary (Magnificat) OR Psalm 80:1-7 *For musical settings of these Psalms, please see the song suggestions below*
    SECOND READING Hebrews 10:5-10 Christ came to do God’s will
    GOSPEL Luke 1:39-45(46-55) Mary visits Elizabeth
    OR Luke 1:(46b)47-55 Song of Mary (Magnificat)
  • 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: edited for lay reading sermon – micah 5 2-4 – year c – advent 4 ; NEW edited for lay reading sermon – micah 5 2-4 – year c – advent 4 new
    Based on Song of Mary: Pr Stephen Pietsch ; Pr Vince Gerhardy ; NEW Pr Stephen van der Hoek
    Based on second reading: Pr Roger Atze
    Based on gospel reading: NEW Pr Peter Ghalayini
  • Opening Sentences:
    But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
    for out of you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.
    (Matt 2:6 NKJV)  OR
    Elizabeth said to Mary: ‘Blessed are you among women:
    and blessed is the fruit of your womb’.
    (Luke 1:42 NRSV)

Here is your God.
He will come to save you.

  • Orders of service:
    Advent readings and carols (for an evening service any time during Advent)
    Advent 4C  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
    Stir up, O Lord, your power and come;
    and support us by your great might,
    so that, as we are hindered by our sins,
    your grace and forgiveness
    may help and hasten us on our way;
    for you live and reign
    with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, now and forever.

OR, modernised traditional
Stir up your power and come, Lord.
Support and help us,
so that what is hindered by our sins
may be hastened by your great mercy.
For you live and reign
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, new (revised alternative)
(Let us pray for God to be with us. [silence])
Thank you, loving heavenly Father,
for coming with power to the Virgin Mary
and making her the mother of our Lord.
Come to us with your Holy Spirit,
so that we receive your saving word
and rejoice in our Saviour.
For he lives with you 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 coming to be born of Mary.
    Help us to rejoice that you became a human being.
  • Offering Prayer:
    Lord God, help us to trust in your Son Jesus
    and be ready to do your will as he was.
    Fill us with joy and thankfulness,
    so that we live as your people,
    made holy through the sacrifice of Christ,
    and leading holy lives.
  • Prayer of the Church (General Prayer):   Prayer of the Church – Advent 4C
  • 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.  

Or the third prayer of the day (as listed above) may be used at this point. It may be modified as follows.

Thank you, loving heavenly Father,
for coming with power to the Virgin Mary
and making her the mother of our Lord.
Be with us
through the healing gift of this sacrament,
so that we receive your saving word
and rejoice in our Saviour.
For he lives 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, for you have been made holy through Jesus Christ.
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: Micah 5:2-5a

    42    Earth has many a noble city* G4 (also TIS 291)
    222    There’ll be peace
    284    O bless the king of Israel
    291    Earth has many a noble city

Second reading: Hebrews 10:5-10

4    Once He came in blessing* G4 (mod TIS 197)
10    O how shall I receive Thee* G3
19    Come thou Saviour of our race (mod TIS 295)
20    O Jesus Christ, all praise to Thee* G4
26    Praise God the Lord, ye sons of men G4
82    Jesus, in Thy dying woes (Pt 6) G5
345    Nothing but the blood
197    God’s Son came to bless us
295    Saviour of the nations come
298    Let all together praise our God
502    Soul of my Saviour, sanctify my breast (holy communion)
525    You we praise, high priest and victim
568    O for a heart to praise my God
575    O Jesus, Saviour, grow in me

Gospel: Luke 1:39-45(46-55)

17    Come, Thou long-expected Jesus G6 (also TIS 272)
490    O Son of God, we wait for Thee* G3
622   Behold, a rose is growing
903    Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord G7 (also TIS 161)
260    Magnificat (My soul is praising the Lord) G7
510    Advent News
161    Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
172    My soul gives glory to my God
173    My soul gives glory to the Lord
272    Come, thou long-expected Jesus
283    Long ago, prophets knew
289    Christmas is coming
294    Behold a rose is growing
302    The angel Gabriel from heaven came

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
619   Life Overflowing
648   Advent Lamb of God
677   Lord, now let your servant depart

My Soul Proclaims from the Evening Praise (Modern Vespers) order in Worship Today (p36-37)
Song of Mary (Magnificat) paraphrase by Dale Schoening
The Song of Mary from Vespers order, Lutheran Hymnal with Supplement (p 50)

Here is a metrical paraphrase which could be sung to the tune Nativity (LH 627 ,TIS 204) or Evan (LH 68ii). If reproducing this version, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm.

Shepherd of Israel, hear us now;
you once were Joseph’s guide.
Enthroned on cherubim, shine forth:
stir up your saving might.

Restore us once again, O God,
and show your smiling face.
O Lord of hosts, how long will you
be angry with our prayers?

You fill our cups with grief, and give
us bread of tears to eat.
Our neighbours laugh at us with scorn,
and smile at our defeat.

Restore us once again, O God,
and show your smiling face;
O God of power, O God of might,
show us your saving grace.

Music Resources Vol. 3- Psalm settings : N/A

    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.


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