Year C
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Sunday 23 December 2018


Eucharistic Preface


Let us lift up our hearts.
    We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
    It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for you are coming to restore us and save us,
and your mercy embraces the faithful in each generation.

In ancient days you founded the earth
and promised mercy to Abraham and his offspring forever.
Through the law you provided a way of repentance
and through your prophets you called for justice and peace.

Now you come to us in your child, Jesus Christ,
at whose name even unborn babies rejoice.
In him we have seen your promised ruler
who will establish the reign of peace,
pulling tyrants from thrones
and lifting up the downtrodden,
filling the hungry with good things
and sending the greedy away empty.
Though enemies mocked him, scorned him and killed him,
by your strength you restored him to life,
and through his bodily offering
you sanctified your people once and for all.

Therefore with .....

2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


Short Preface
(for insertion into Eucharistic prayers with fixed prefaces)

We give thanks that your mercy embraces each generation
and we rejoice that you are coming to restore us and save us.
With eager longing we await your promised ruler
who will establish your reign of peace
and sanctify your people once and for all.

2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


General Prayer of Thanksgiving
(Preface reformatted for use apart from communion)

We give you all thanks and praise, O God,
for you are coming to restore us and save us,
and your mercy embraces the faithful in each generation.

In ancient days you founded the earth
and promised mercy to Abraham and his offspring forever.
Through the law you provided a way of repentance
and through your prophets you called for justice and peace.

Now you come to us in your child, Jesus Christ,
at whose name even unborn babies rejoice.
In him we have seen your promised ruler
who will establish the reign of peace,
pulling tyrants from thrones
and lifting up the downtrodden,
filling the hungry with good things
and sending the greedy away empty.
Though enemies mocked him, scorned him and killed him,
by your strength you restored him to life,
and through his bodily offering
you sanctified your people once and for all.

Therefore, with our hearts lifted high,
we offer you thanks and praise at all times
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


Declaration of Grace / Absolution

God’s mercy embraces the faithful, one generation to the next.
The light of God’s presence restores us and saves us.
Through what Jesus Christ did in his own body,
once and for all,
you are purified and made fit for God.

Sisters and Brothers,
    your sins are forgiven;
    be at peace.

2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


Commission & Benediction

Go now, with your hope in God’s mercy
for all God has promised you will be fulfilled.
Trust God’s strength for your safety,
walk in the ways of peace,
and be ready to greet the coming Lord.

And may God our Saviour look with favour upon you;
May Christ Jesus use his wonderful power for you;
and may the Holy Spirit leap joyously with you
    and pour forth from you in songs of praise.

We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
    In the name of Christ. Amen.

2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Paraphrases of the Scripture Lections
for the 4th Sunday of Advent - Year C - Sunday 23 December 2018
Lections from The Revised Common Lectionary.
Copyright 1992 by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT)
P. O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville, TN 37203-0003, USA. Used with Permission.



* Michah 5:2-5a

The LORD says to Bethlehem of Ephrathah:

    “You might only be a one-horse town, Bethlehem,
        but I will put you on the map.
    You will be the home town of the new ruler,
        the one who will lead Israel for me.
    His origins will go way back.
        His claim will be as old as the hills.”

The LORD'S people will be lost – God is giving up on them –
    but only until the labour is over
        and the mother holds God’s newborn ruler in her arms.
God’s chosen ruler will bring his people home to Israel,
    reuniting the refugees as a family again.”

Made strong by the LORD he will take his stand.
    He will rule his people on the authority of his glorious God.
He will care for them and provide all they need,
    and they will live in freedom and safety.
All over the earth his greatness will be acknowledged,
    and he will be the one who establishes peace.

2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


* Psalm 80:1-7

God, you are the one who watches over your people
    like a lifeguard supervising a dangerous beach,
        watching from a high seat, like a king enthroned.
Listen to our prayer and clearly flag the boundaries,
    so that your tribes will no longer get out of their depth.

Up and at it, God!
    Come equipped to rescue us.
Come and smile on us again, God;
    breathe life back into us and save us.

LORD God, you rule over everything;
    how much longer will you keep us in the sin bin,
        turning away in anger when we pray?

You reduced our rations to tears alone;
    tears by the plate full, tears by the cup full.
You made us the laughing stock of our enemies
and even our neighbours turn up their noses.

Come and smile on us again, God;
    breathe life back into us and save us.

2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


* Luke 1:47-55 (if used as an alternative to the Psalm)

We turn the spotlight on your greatness, God!
    We dance with wholehearted joy over you, our saviour!
You smiled upon us, though we were nothing special,
    and the memory of your generosity will last forever.
You have done wonderful and powerful things for us.
    There is no other name in the same league as yours.

In every generation, Lord, you shower mercy
    to those who treat you with respect.
You have rolled up your sleeves in a show of strength,
    and sent packing those who were so full of themselves.

You kicked the power mongers out of office,
    and lifted the downtrodden back to their feet.
You put on a feast for those who are hungry,
    and slam the door on the rich without giving them a bite.

You give a helping hand to your servant Israel,
    and always remember them with tender care.
This is exactly what you promised long ago, Lord,
    when you made a vow to Abraham and Sarah
        for every generation.”

2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


* Hebrews 10:5-10

Christ came into the world saying,

    “God, you don’t want more sacrifices and offerings.
        I know you get no pleasure from all that stuff,
            even when it’s done sincerely and by the book.
    But you have prepared a body for me, God,
        and I come now to do what you really want,
            for it is what I do that is really ‘by the book’.

Do you see what he’s saying there? He’s saying that God gets neither satisfaction nor pleasure from all the different kinds of offerings that the law prescribed for sin and for various other things. And he’s going further than that because he’s saying that he’s here to do what God really wants. This is a total change over. He is abolishing the previous system and putting a new one in place. So now, according to what God really wanted, Jesus has dealt with sin once and for all, at the cost of his own body, and brought us all up to scratch for God.

2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


* Luke 1:39-45, (46-55)

    When the angel told Mary that both she and her relative Elizabeth were going to have babies, Mary took the first opportunity to make the trip to visit Elizabeth. Elizabeth lived with her husband Zechariah in a Judean town in the hills. Mary sang out as soon as she arrived at their house, and when she heard the greeting, Elizabeth felt the baby jump in her womb. The Holy Spirit welled up in Elizabeth and she cried out with joy, saying:

“You have been blessed like no other woman!
    And doubly blessed is the child in your womb!
And what about me? Why am I so blessed,
    that my Lord’s own mother should knock at my door?
The moment your greeting reach my ears,
    the baby in my womb began bouncing with glee!
Clearly you are God’s favoured one,
    because you believed what God said to you;
        trusting God to follow through on every promise. 

Mary too was bursting with joy. She said:

“Let me turn the spotlight on God’s greatness!
    With all that I am I dance with joy over God, my saviour!
God has smiled upon me, though I was no one special.
    Now I’ll be remembered forever as the favoured one.
The supreme God has done wonderful things for me.
    No other name is in the same league as God’s.

In every generation, those who treat God with respect
    are rewarded with showers of mercy.
With sleeves rolled up, God has made a show of strength,
    and sent packing those who were so full of themselves.

God has kicked the power mongers out of office,
    and lifted the downtrodden back to their feet.
God has put on a feast for those who were hungry,
    and slammed the door on the rich without giving them a bite.

The Lord’s servant Israel receives a helping hand.
    God always remembers them with tender care.
This is exactly what God promised long ago,
    a vow made to Abraham and Sarah for every generation.”


2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net