Fourth Sunday of Advent (Christmas Pageant)
Join us for our annual Christmas Pageant and Sunday worship on the Fourth Sunday of Advent. The service will be held live on Zoom and uploaded to the YouTube channel afterwards.
The Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 20th, 2020
Christ Episcopal Church Online
Prelude “Conditor Alme” Mahlon Balderston
Lighting of the Advent Wreath: Love
Reader One: In the face of injustice, in the face of despair, we light a candle of hope…
(Light the first candle in your Advent wreath.)
Reader Two: Because hatred is still so strong, because so many swords have not yet been beaten into ploughshares, we light a candle of peace…
(Light the second candle in your Advent wreath.)
Reader One: May the light from this candle say to all that God’s joy is coming on earth as it already is in heaven.
(Light the third candle in your Advent wreath.)
Reader Two: Because too many people are wandering in the wilderness, because too many people are sitting in the valley of the shadow of death, we light candles…
Reader One: Because people all over the world are suffering and we are too busy to notice, we light candles…
Reader Two: Today we stop everything and light these candles: one for hope, one for peace, one for joy, and one for love…
(Light the fourth candle in your Advent wreath.)
Reader One: May the light from these candles overwhelm the world.
Reader Two: May the light from these candles illuminate the valley of the shadow of death.
Reader One: May the light and the fire from these candles burn away everything that is preventing God’s love from being born among us.
Reader Two: Brother and sisters, be not afraid, even now – even now – God’s love is overwhelming the world!
Opening Hymn “People Look East” WLP 724 vs.1, 3, 5
1 People, look East. The time is near of the crowning of the year,
Make your house fair as you are able, trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look East and sing today: Love the guest is on the way.
3 Birds, though you long have ceased to build, guard the nest that must be filled.
Even the hour when wings are frozen God for fledging time has chosen.
People, look East and sing today: Love the bird is on the way.
5 Angels announce with shouts of mirth Christ who brings new life to earth.
Set every peak and valley humming with the word, the Lord is coming.
People, look East and sing today: Love the Lord is on the way.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
and blessed be God’s kingdom now and forever. Amen.
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Holy and Mighty,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy upon us.
(Repeat Three Times)
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.
The Collect of the Day:
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Prayer for our Country:
Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
First Reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
Read by D. Crocker
When the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.” But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.
Read by D. Crocker
The Song of Mary Magnificat
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; *
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel, *
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
The promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
Second Reading: Romans 16:25-27 Read by D. Crocker
Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith– to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Sequence Hymn “Mary, did you know?” Mark Lowry & Buddy Greene
Soloist: Susan MacLennan
Pageant hymns (one verse each):
“Away in a manger” Hymnal 101
1 Away in a manger, no crib for his bed,
the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.
“The first Nowell” Hymnal 109
1 The first Nowell the angel did say
was to certain poor shepherd in fields as they lay;
in fields as they lay, keeping their sheep
on a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
born is the King of Israel.
“We three kings” Hymnal 128
- We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar,
field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star.
O star of wonder, star of night, star of royal beauty bright;
westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light! “Joy to the world” Hymnal 100
1 Joy to the world! The Lord is come: let earth receive her King;
let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and heaven and nature sing.
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Offertory “The angel Gabriel” Hymnal 265
1 The angel Gabriel from heaven came,
his wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
“All hail,” said he, “thou lowly maiden Mary,
most highly favored lady,” Gloria!
2 “For know a blessed Mother thou shalt be,
all generations laud and honor thee,
thy Son shall be Emmanuel by seers foretold,
most highly favored lady,” Gloria!
3 Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,
“To me be as it pleaseth God,” she said,
“my soul shall laud and magnify his holy Name,”
Most highly favored lady, Gloria!
4 Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ was born
in Bethlehem all on a Christmas morn.
And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say
”Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen
Prayers of the People
In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.
For all people in their daily life and work;
For our families, friends, and neighbors, and for those who are alone.
For this community, the nation, and the world, especially Donald our President, Joe, our
President-elect, and all elected officials;
For all who work for justice, freedom, and peace.
For the just and proper use of your creation;
For the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.
For all who are in danger, sorrow, or any kind of trouble;
For those who minister to the sick, the friendless, and the needy.
For the peace and unity of the Church of God;
For all who proclaim the Gospel, and all who seek the Truth.
For Michael our Presiding Bishop, and DeDe our Bishop; and
For all bishops and other ministers;
For all who serve God in his Church.
For the special needs and concerns of this congregation, especially Alli, Anne, Bob, Carolyn, Connor, George, Sharon, Rose, Millie, Joell, Mario, Connie, and Kristina.
Hear us, Lord;
For your mercy is great.
We thank you, Lord, for all the blessings of this life.
Silence (The People may add their own thanksgivings)
We will exalt you, O God our King;
And praise your Name for ever and ever.
We pray for all who have died, that they may have a place in your eternal kingdom.
Silence (The People may add their own petitions)
Lord, let your loving-kindness be upon them;
Who put their trust in you.
We pray to you also for the forgiveness of our sins.
Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father;
in your compassion forgive us our sins,
known and unknown,
things done and left undone;
and so uphold us by your Spirit
that we may live and serve you in newness of life,
to the honor and glory of your Name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The peace of the Lord always be with you.
And also with you.
The Communion Prayer
In union, O Lord, with the faithful at every altar of your Church where the Holy Eucharist is and has been celebrated, we desire to offer you praise and thanksgiving. We present to you our souls and bodies with the earnest wish that we may always be united to you, and since we cannot now receive you sacramentally in the Bread and the Wine, we ask you to come spiritually into our hearts. We unite ourselves with you, and embrace you with all the love of our souls. Let nothing ever separate you from us. May we live in you, and may you live in us, both in this life and in the life to come. Amen.
Closing Hymn “Come, thou long-expected Jesus” Hymnal 66 vs 1 & 4
1 Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.
4 By thine own eternal Spirit rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit raise us to thy glorious throne.