The name ‘Advent’ comes from the Latin for ‘coming’ or ‘arrival’. During this season we look forward to Christ’s coming among us and we ponder the great mysteries of the ultimate summing up of all things in and through Him.
Hymn or Music
Opening Sentence (Isaiah 40:3)
A voice of one calling, ‘In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord! Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.’
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
We have come together in the name of Christ to offer our praise and thanksgiving, to hear and receive God’s holy word, to pray for the needs of the world, and to seek the forgiveness of our sins, that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may give ourselves to the service of God.
O Lord, open our lips:
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
O God make speed to save us:
O Lord make haste to help us.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, is now and shall be for ever. Amen
Praise the Lord.
The Lord’s name be praised.
Hymn or Music
Prayer of Preparation
Faithful one, whose word is life: come with saving power to free our praise, inspire our prayer and shape our lives for the kingdom of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Christ the light of the world has come to dispel the darkness of our hearts. In his light, let us examine ourselves and confess our sins.
Silence is kept.
Let us return to the Lord our God and say to him:
Father, we have sinned against heaven and against you. We are not worthy to be called your children. We turn to you again. Have mercy on us, bring us back to yourself as those who were once dead but now have life through Christ our Lord. Amen.
May Almighty God, who sent his son into the world to save sinners, bring us his pardon and peace, now and for ever. Amen.
Almighty God, Give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and to put on the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility; that on the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever, Amen.
Hymn or Music
Affirmation of Faith
Let us declare our faith in God:
We believe in God the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. We believe in God the Son, who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love. We believe in God the Holy Spirit who strengthens us with power from on high. We believe in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Let us pray in silence for our own needs and for the needs of the world:
Lord, meet us in the silence.
And hear our prayer.
- For the world (for peace, for all leaders, for those suffering or in need)
- For the church (for our bishops, clergy, the diocese, local churches)
- For our community (for leaders, groups, and those in need or distress)
- For our friends and family (for those we love and those no longer with us)
- For ourselves (we give thanks and we ask for help and guidance)
Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
In darkness and in light, in trouble and in joy, help us, heavenly Father, to trust your love, to serve your purpose and to praise your name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Awaiting his coming in glory, let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
Hymn or Music
The Agape was the Love Feast of early apostolic times, a simple meal to which everyone was invited. All differences of economic and social standing were ignored, as Christians met as members of one family. As a sign of equal membership, the rich brought food for the poor, who brought nothing. The word ‘Agape’ describes a love which is selfless, sacrificial and unconditional. It is the love God has for us, shown in Jesus’ sacrificial death. We pray that in sharing this meal, we may then demonstrate that love to one another in our daily lives.
Reading (Colossians 3)
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Prayer before the Meal
Come, Holy Spirit
and bless us as we meet together in unity.
As we eat and drink this meal,
may we be reminded of your unconditional love for us,
and may our eyes be opened
to recognise Jesus in each other.
We ask this prayer in his name
We remain in our seats for the meal and, as a sign of our fellowship in Christ, we pass the food and drink to our neighbour, saying: ‘The Bread of Life’ and ‘The Cup of Blessing’
Prayer after the Meal
Lord, be with us through the fellowship of this meal.
May the food and companionship we share
nourish our hearts and minds,
and with our spirits refreshed,
may we live our lives to your praise and glory,
now and forever. Amen.
The Song of Zechariah (Benedictus)
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
who has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour,
born of the house of his servant, David.
Through his holy prophets God promised of old
to save us from our enemies, from the hands of all that hate us.
To show mercy to our ancestors,
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham:
To set us free from the hands of our enemies.
Free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.
And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.
To give his people knowledge of salvation,
by the forgiveness of all their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us.
To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit
As it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen.
Prayer of St Columba
Be, O Lord, a bright flame before me, a guiding star above me, a smooth path below me, a kindly shepherd behind me, this day and for ever. Amen.
Hymn or Music
May the love of the Lord Jesus draw us to himself, the power of the Lord Jesus strengthen us in his service, the joy of the Lord Jesus fill our hearts; and may the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among us and remain with us always. Amen.
In joyful expectation of his coming, we pray, saying: Maranatha!
Amen. Come Lord Jesus.