SUNDAY 20th December 2020

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We have this Advent Ring to remind us of those who prepared the way for the coming of Christ, the Light of the World. The fourth candle reminds us of the Blessed Virgin Mary who gave birth to the Saviour of the world.

Four candles are lit
God our Father, the angel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary that she was to be mother of your son. Though Mary was afraid, she responded with joy. Help us, whom you call to serve you, to share like her in your great work of bringing to our world your love and healing. We ask this through Jesus Christ, the Light who is coming into the world.

Lord Jesus, Light of the world, blessed is Gabriel who brought good news; blessed is Mary your mother and ours. Bless your church preparing for Christmas; and bless us your children who long for your coming. Amen.

The Greeting

The Lord be with you
and also with you.


God our redeemer,
who prepared the Blessed Virgin Mary
to be the mother of your Son:
grant that, as she looked for his coming as our saviour,
so we may be ready to greet him
when he comes again as our judge;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Hymn : The Angel Gabriel from heaven came

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 favoured lady!’ Gloria!

‘For known a blessèd Mother thou shalt be;
All generations laud and honour thee:
Thy son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold.
Most highly favoured lady!’ Gloria!

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 favoured lady!’ Gloria!

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 favoured lady!’ Gloria!

Words: Basque Carol English version by Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924)
Music: Basque Traditional Carol arr Charles Edgar Pettman (1865-1943)

1st Reading: 2 Samuel 7. 1-11, 16 God sends Nathan to tell David to build him a house

Now 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 for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever. .
For the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Anthem: Hail! Blessed Virgin Mary – Italian Carol arr. Charles Wood (1866-1926)

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(Cambridge Singers, Conductor John Rutter)

Hail! Blessed Virgin Mary!
For so, when he did meet thee
Spake mighty Gabriel,
and thus we greet thee.
Come weal, come woe, our
hymn shall never vary.
Hail! Blessed Virgin Mary!
Hail! Blessed Virgin Mary!

Ave! Ave Maria!
To gladden priest and people
The angelus shall ring
from every steeple,
To sound his virgin birth.
Ave! Ave Maria!
Ave! Ave Maria!

Archangels chant, ‘Hosanna!’
And, ‘Holy! Holy! Holy!’
Before the Infant born
of thee, thou lowly,
Aye- maiden child of
Joachim and Anna.
Archangels chant Hosanna!
Archangels chant Hosanna!

(Translation by G R Woodward)

Luke 1.26-38 The Annunciation

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

This is the Gospel of the Lord Praise to you O Christ

Sermon : Revd Anna Moore

Canticle: Magnificat

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
who has looked with favour on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessèd:
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his name.
God has mercy on those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
The Lord has shown strength with his arm
and scattered the proud in their conceit.
casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.
God has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.
He has come to the aid of his servant, Israel,
To remember the promise of his mercy,
the promise he made to our forebears,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Loving God,
We ask for the gift of your Holy Spirit
to help us pray in this difficult times.

Lord hear us: Lord Graciously hear us

We ask for the energy and vision of your Spirit
for those who are tiring in the battle against injustice and oppression:
for those exhausted by the struggle with poverty and hunger.
We pray for the Foodbanks, for the volunteers and those using the facility for the first time

Lord hear us: Lord Graciously hear us

We ask for the hope and comfort of your Spirit
for those whose lives are overshadowed by illness or pain;
for those whose lives are darkened by sorrow or bereavement.
In the silence we lift before you those on our hearts at this time ….

Lord hear us: Lord Graciously hear us

We ask for the love and courage of your Spirit
for those reaching out to comfort the distressed;
for those reaching out to others with the Good News of Christ through their words and actions which emanate your love

Lord hear us: Lord Graciously hear us

Loving God,
We ask for the assurance of your Spirit
to know your presence with us in our daily lives:
in our relationships.
in our work and service.
in our worship.
in our times of joy and pain.
Merciful father accept these prayers through our Saviour Jesus Christ Amen.

The Lord bless us and watch over us;
The Lord make his face to shine upon us and be gracious to us;
The Lord look kindly upon us and give us peace. Amen

Our worship has now ended, and our service now begins…
Go in the light and peace of Christ
Thanks be to God.

Organ Voluntary:
Fantasia on “Veni Emmanuel” – Alec Rowley (1892-1958)

Some of the material included in this Service is Copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2000 and other Hymns and Music are reproduced and streamed under Church Copyright Licences 778647 and 873889