Dorchester United Church

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FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT AND COMMUNION
DECEMBER 23, 2018
Dorchester United Church
WE GATHER TO PRAISE GOD

CAROL SING

CALL TO WORSHIP :
This morning as we gather in worship
Let us be made aware of our anticipation and love.
Draw our attention to the moments of hope, peace, joy, and love.
Draw our attention to the beauty that is in relationships and connections to the people we love.
The miracle of watching families grow,
The wonder of a child,
The stunning winter landscape,
Songs that fill our hearts,
Food that brings comfort,
The magic of our love for one another, the love that was shown to us brought forth and laid in a manger, two thousand years ago.

Passing of the Peace-
The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God, and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you…
And also with you.

HYMN : Away in a Manger V.U. 69

SANCTUS (Hope is a Star V.U. 7 v.4)

*Children are welcomed to the front of the Sanctuary for Children's Time during the Sanctus.

Candle of Love

ADVENT 4 READING: John 3:16-19
Daniel, Gabrielle, Findley & Theodore.

CHILDREN'S TIME

CHILDREN'S PRAYER

LORD'S PRAYER

ANTHEM:

PRAYER OF CONFESSION AND ASSURANCE OF PARDON:

ANNOUNCEMENTS

INVITATION TO INVEST IN GOD'S MISSION
OFFERING
DOXOLOGY
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him, above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

HYMN Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming V.U. 8

PRAYER OF PEACE

SCRIPTURE READING: Luke 1:39-55 (NRSV)

Mary Visits Elizabeth

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would bea fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord."

MESSAGE : "Unexpected Guests"

HYMN : O Little Town of Bethlehem V.U. 64

INVITATION:
Written by Alydia Smith, Program Coordinator, Worship, Music, and Spirituality, General Council Office
As we come to this table,
we are reminded that this is the table of Jesus Christ,
a banquet prepared for everyone.
All who seek to be nourished and sustained
in the journey of faith,
all who seek wholeness and compassionate paths to peace and justice,
are welcome here.
God be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift our hearts in prayer.
Let us give thanks to God.
It is good to give God thanks and praise.

LET US PRAY:

( The following prayer was inspired by "Blessed are you, gracious God" by William Kervin and Lillian Perigoe in Celebrate God's Presence, page 276. Used with permission.)
Blessed are you, Breath of peace, Giver of all life,
Source of love that knows no boundaries.
Your song of wisdom rang out before the world began; throughout the ages, your song of liberation has impregnanted us with your hope for a world where: those considered last and least are first and most; violence is overcome by the power of your ancient love; and, all siblings work together for peace. You bring our longings to birth,
and send prophets to awaken us
to your approaching Advent among us.
We thank you for those who, like Mary, have the strength and courage to give birth to your love in the world; for those who, like the shepherds, dare to seek out the Child of Bethlehem; for those who, like the wise ones, actively challenge violent and oppressive powers.
We praise you that your everlasting light is shown to us in womb and tomb, in cradle and cross, in tenderness and compassion.
We join in the Advent prayer of all your people,
"O come, Emmanuel."
And, as we wait and watch for your coming among us, we proclaim your goodness.
All sing: "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" (V.U. 1)
At this time, we also remember all with whom you would have us share your feast.
We pray for all who are in sorrow or in pain…
all who are ill or alone…all who are close to our hearts…all our sisters who live with fear, oppression, or hunger…all whose lives have been blighted by violence, racism, or poverty…for all whom the world counts as last and least.
We pray for the church and its many ministries,
for nations as they strive for peace and justice,
for an end to violence against women.
God of hope, make this bread the means of our
rebuilding, this wine the medium of transformation,
of this table the foundation of our renewal, and this
community the place of our rebirth. Amen.
At this time, we remember Jesus, Who on the night
before he died, took a loaf of bread, gave you
thanks, broke it, and said, "Take and eat;
whenever you do this, remember me."
Gracious God, Breath of peace,
Source of love,
we pray for your Spirit.
Make us, while many, one.
Make us, though broken, whole.
Make us, despite death, alive.
And so we pray:
Come, Holy Spirit, come.
And so we join with our siblings around the world in the prayer of Jesus:
SHARING THE BREAD AND CUP
The body of Christ,
the Bread of life.
The lifeblood of Christ,
the cup of blessing.
Let us eat and drink together
for our strengthening in the faith,
and for the sake of the world.

Communion is served

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

COMMISSIONING & CHORAL RESPONSE : V.U. 971

POSTLUDE (A time to quietly reflect on all that you have experienced this morning.)