SUNDAY OF ADVENT
God of power and mercy,
you call us once again
to celebrate the coming of your Son.
Remove those things which hinder love of you,
that when he comes,
he may find us waiting in awe and wonder
for him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
READING FROM THE BOOK OF ZEPHANIAH
Sing aloud, O daughter
Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O
daughter Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgements against
you, he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the
Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more. On that
day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, O Zion; do not let
your hands grow weak. The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a
warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness,
he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud
singing as on a day of festival. I will remove disaster from you,
so that you will not bear reproach for it. I will deal with all
your oppressors at that time. And I will save the lame and gather
the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown
in all the earth. At that time I will bring you home, at the time
when I gather you; for I will make you renowned and praised among
all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before
your eyes, says the Lord.
REFRAIN Come, O Lord, and save us.
are they who have the God of Jacob for their help! whose hope is
in the Lord their God;
made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them; who
keeps his promise for ever;
gives justice to those who are oppressed, and food to those who
Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the
blind; the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; R
Lord loves the righteous; the Lord cares for the stranger; he
the orphan and widow, but frustrates the way of the wicked.
Lord shall reign for ever, your God, O Zion, throughout all
generations. Hallelujah! R
READING FROM THE LETTER OF PAUL TO THE PHILIPPIANS
Rejoice in the Lord
always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to
everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in
everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your
requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which
surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus.
HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
ACCORDING TO LUKE
John said to the crowds
that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers!
Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy
of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham
as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to
raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root
of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit
is cut down and thrown into the fire." And the crowds asked
him, "What then should we do?" In reply he said to them,
"Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none;
and whoever has food must do likewise." Even tax collectors
came to be baptized, and they asked him, "Teacher, what
should we do?" He said to them, "Collect no more than
the amount prescribed for you." Soldiers also asked him,
"And we, what should we do?" He said to them, "Do
not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and
be satisfied with your wages." As the people were filled with
expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning
John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them
by saying, "I baptize you with water; but one who is more
powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of
his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor
and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will
burn with unquenchable fire." So, with many other
exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.
OVER THE GIFTS
God of hope,
renew in us the joy of your salvation
and make us a living sacrifice to you,
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
may this eucharist free us from our sins,
fill us with unending joy,
and prepare us for the birthday of our Saviour.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ,
who is Lord now and for ever.