Sunday Worship Service – Advent II

December 3, 2023

Prelude:  Improvisation by James Washington – James Washington, pianist



Wise Words from John Gaul

*Hymn: It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”

*Opening of the Word

*Responsive Invocation: 

Give the king your justice, O God,

and your righteousness to a king’s son.

   May he judge your people 

   with righteousness,

   and your poor with justice.

May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.

   May he defend the cause of the poor,

   give deliverance to the needy, 

   and crush the oppressor.

May he live while the sun endures,

and as long as the moon, 

throughout all generations.

   May he be like rain that falls 

   on the mown grass,

   like showers that water the earth.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,

who alone does wondrous things.

   Blessed be his glorious name for ever;

   may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen. 

*Invitation to Prayer:

O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our maker.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.  Amen.

O Lord, our heavenly Creator, whose great love holds a forgiveness for all who desire and seek it: we thank thee for thy gracious assurance that thou art always near and ready to forgive.  Pardon and deliver us from all our sins; confirm and strengthen us in all goodness and truth, and bring us into everlasting life; for thy mercy’s sake.  Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

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 debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

O Lord, open thou our lips:

And our mouths shall show forth thy praise.

*Praise ye the Lord!

The Lord’s name be  praised!

Lighting of the Second Advent Candle: “The Candle of Peace” 

Leader: Last week we began our Advent pilgrimage. We lit the first candle, the candle of hope.     

People: Advent is a shared journey toward the light of Christ. We continue to prepare ourselves for the reign of peace, which began in our own hearts.

Leader: The prophet Isaiah gives us an image of the reign of peace: The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid. 

PeopleThe calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.

Leader: Today we light the second candle – the candle of peace.

PeopleIn accordance with God’s promise, we wait for new heaven and a new Earth where righteousness is at home. 

(The Candle of Peace is lit)

Leader: Let us pray.

Unison Prayer:

Eternal God, you taught us that the night is far spent and the day is at hand. Keep us awake and alert, watching for your kingdom. Make us strong in faith, so that we may see the Lord close at hand, and hear him speak, and serve him, as we see and hear and serve our neighbor. Give us joy in this season of hope. Amen.

Congregation Carol: “One Candle is Lit” – Vs. 1 & 2, 

Scripture Reading: Luke 1:46-55; Exodus 15:1-18; Arcana Coelestia #8261:2 (Swedenborg)  

Children’s Message

Anthem: “Let There Be Peace on Earth”, Words and Music by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson, Arranged by Jay Althouse

Spiritual Message: Song of the Heart – Rev. Junchol Lee 

Sacrament of Communion

Concluding Communion Prayer

O Lord Jesus Christ, by whose mercy we have been fed with heavenly gifts: Abide with us, O Lord, and fill us with your peace. Direct us in our way; uphold our going in our paths. Give us grace so to keep your commandments henceforth, that we may abide in your love forever. Amen.

Silent Meditation

Prayer of the People/Pastoral Prayer

Invitation to the Offering

Offertory: Improvisation


Praise God the Source of life and birth; Praise God the Word who came to earth. Praise God the Spirit, holy flame; All glory, honor to God’s name.  Amen.

*Prayer of Dedication

*Hymn:  O Little Town of Bethlehem” 


*Closing of the Word

*Sung Response: Advent Benediction 

May the Lord God Almighty bless and keep you, we pray. May God’s face shine upon you, and grace hallow your way with hope and peace and joy; Love, God’s own incarnation, be born in you today. Amen.

Postlude: Improvisation