Sunday, November 29 – Advent 1

Confession and Forgiveness

Blessed be the holy Trinity, + one God,

whose forgiveness is sure and whose steadfast love endures forever.  Amen

With hearts anticipating God’s incarnation, we make preparation by confessing our sin:

A moment for silent reflection.

Loving and forgiving God,

we confess that we are held captive by sin.

In spite of our best efforts, we have gone astray.

We have not welcomed the stranger;

we have not loved our neighbour;

we have not been Christ to one another.

Restore us, O God.

Wake us up and turn us from our sin.

Renew us each day in the light of Christ.  Amen

People of God, hear this glad news:

by God’s endless grace your sins are forgiven, and you are free – free from all that holds you back, and free to live in the peaceable realm of God.  May you be strengthened in God’s love, + comforted in the peace of Christ, and accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Amen

Gathering Song               “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”            # 257

in ancient time you gave the law in cloud and majesty and awe.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.

from depths of hell your people save, and give them victory o’er the grave.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.

Verse 2, © 1997 Augsburg Fortress.  Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A-736296. All rights reserved.


P:      The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

And also with you.

Lighting the Advent Wreath                               (Written by Pastor Sue Nevile)

A:         It’s time to start lighting the Advent Candles!

L:         Why do we do that?! Is it a countdown to Christmas? My advent calendar gives me chocolate every day.

A:         Well no, it’s not a count down.  It is a time to get ready to welcome the Christ child. 

L:         Oh, I know!  I’m so far behind in my Christmas preparations. I started shopping in July!  Now I need to get all my baking done and put my lights up.  I still don’t understand the candles!

A:         Advent is a time to get ready on the inside. It is a time to get centered in prayer and to devote to our spiritual lives.  Have you noticed that there are fewer and fewer hours of daylight every day? 

L:         Yes!  The sun hasn’t risen when I get up and it’s already set when I eat dinner!

A:         We also light the candles on the advent wreath to remind us to bring more light into our world that yearns so much for it.

L:         Wow. That’s deep!

A:         The candle we light today is the candle of HOPE.  Hope helps us when things are difficult.

L:         And this year has really been difficult!

A:         Yes it has.  As long as we have God – we have hope!

P:         Let us pray: God of all hopefulness, we place our most profound trust in you. Help us to become beacons of hope in our church and in our community.  Even as the shadows of this world envelop us, guide us to follow the star to Bethlehem and behold the greatest hope of humankind. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen

Candle Lighting Song (Sung to the tune of Away in A Manger)

A candle is burning, a flame warm and bright,

A candle of HOPE in November’s long night.

While angels sing blessings from heaven’s starry sky

Our hearts we prepare now for Jesus is nigh.                                      Words: Sandra Dean, 1986

L:         This lament comes from a people who have had their hopes shattered upon their return home following the Exile.  The visions of a rebuilt Jerusalem and a renewed people of God, spoken of earlier in Isaiah, have not been realized.  Instead, the people experience ruin, conflict, and famine.  This lament calls God to account – to be the God who has brought deliverance in the past.

A reading from the prophet Isaiah, the 64th chapter.

O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
   so that the mountains would quake at your presence—
2 as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil—
to make your name known to your adversaries,
   so that the nations might tremble at your presence!
3 When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,
   you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
4 From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.
5 You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways.
But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.
6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth.
We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
7 There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.
8 Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter;
   we are all the work of your hand.
9 Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever.
   Now consider, we are all your people.

Word of God.  Word of Life.

Thanks be to God!

Gospel Acclamation (sung together)                                          page 142

Alleluia, Lord to whom shall we go?

You have the words of eternal life.

Alleluia!  Alleluia!


The holy gospel according to Mark, the 13th chapter.

            Glory to you, O Lord.

24 ‘But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened,
   and the moon will not give its light,
25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

26Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in clouds” with great power and glory. 27Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

28 ‘From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

32 ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.’

The Gospel of the Lord. 

Praise to you, O Christ.


Hymn of the Day  “Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending”      # 435

1 Lo, he comes with clouds descending, once for our salvation slain;
thousand thousand saints attending join to sing the glad refrain:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! Christ the Lord returns to reign.

2 Now redemption, long expected, comes in solemn splendor near;
all the saints this world rejected thrill the trumpet sound to hear:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! See the day of God appear!

3 Yea, amen, let all adore thee, high on thine eternal throne;
Savior, take the pow’r and glory, claim the kingdom as thine own.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! Thou shalt reign, and thou alone!


            God of power and might, tear open the heavens and come.

P:      Into your hands, O God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, through Jesus Christ our Lord who teaches us to pray:

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; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen

Announcements may be made.

Benediction                                                 (Written by Pastor Katharine Gohm)

P:         May God, for whom nothing is impossible

restore you and bless you.

May Christ, in whom is the dawning of grace,

carry you and gently lead you.

May the Spirit, whose song is gladness,

fill you with peace and comfort. Amen

Sending Hymn   Hark, the Glad Sound!”                   # 239

1 Hark the glad sound! The Saviour comes,
the Saviour promised long;
let ev’ry heart prepare a throne and ev’ry voice a song.

2 He comes the pris’ners to release,
in satan’s bondage held.
The gates of brass before him burst, the iron fetters yield.

3 He comes the broken heart to bind,
the bleeding soul to cure,
and with the treasures of his grace to enrich the humble poor.

4 Our glad hosannas, Prince of Peace,
your welcome shall proclaim,
and heav’n’s eternal arches ring with your beloved name.


A:         Go in peace.  Prepare the way of the Lord!

Thanks be to God!