SUNDAY OF ADVENT
for Lessons & Carols Service
for Lessons & Carols Service
for Lessons & Carols Service
They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the
time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid
themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of
9 But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where
are you?’ 10 He said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden,
and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.’
11 He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten
from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’
The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave
me fruit from the tree, and I ate.’
Then the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have
done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent tricked me, and I ate.’
14 The LORD God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done
this, cursed are you among all animals and among all wild
creatures; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your
offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike
The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up
for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal
wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety.
And this is the name by which he will be called: "The LORD is
For thus says the LORD of hosts: Once again, in a little while, I
will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land;
and I will shake all the nations, so that the treasure of all
nations shall come, and I will fill this house with splendor, says
the LORD of hosts.
The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD of hosts.
The latter splendor of this house shall be greater than the
former, says the LORD of hosts; and in this place I will give
prosperity, says the LORD of hosts.
Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served
her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the
Lord's hand double for all her sins.
A voice cries out: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the
LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be
made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough
places a plain.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall
see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
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, favored 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 favor 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 forever, 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.
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
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, ‘See, I am sending my
messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way
of the Lord, make his paths straight,”’
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a
baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of
Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the
river Jordan, confessing their sins.
Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt
around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.
He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming
after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his
I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized
by John in the Jordan.
And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens
torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.
And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with
you I am well pleased.’
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When
his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived
together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.
Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose
her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.
But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord
appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do
not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived
in her is from the Holy Spirit.
will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save
his people from their sins.’
All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord
through the prophet:
‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall
name him Emmanuel,’ which means, ‘God is with us.’
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 ISAIAH
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall
rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,
and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be
given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the
glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. Strengthen the weak
hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a
fearful heart, "Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He
will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come
and save you." Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like
a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters
shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground
springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the
grass shall become reeds and rushes. A highway shall be there, and
it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on
it, but it shall be for God's people; no traveller, not even
fools, shall go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any
ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but
the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall
return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be
upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow
and sighing shall flee away.
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 JAMES
Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The
farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient
with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also
must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the
Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that
you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As
an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets
who spoke in the name of the Lord.
HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
ACCORDING TO MATTHEW
When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word
by his disciples and said to him, "Are you the one who is to
come, or are we to wait for another?" Jesus answered them,
"Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive
their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf
hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to
them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me." As
they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John:
"What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed
shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone
dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in
royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I
tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it
is written, 'See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will
prepare your way before you.' Truly I tell you, among those born
of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the
least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."
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.