Advent Sunday Morning Prayer

Holy One, open our lips:
and we shall proclaim your praise.

Glory to God, Source of all being, Eternal Word and Holy Spirit;*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever.  Amen.

OPENING

Sundays: From Psalm 85, Benedixisti, Domine

You have been gracious to your land, O Lord, *
you have restored the good fortune of Jacob.
You have forgiven all the iniquity of your people *
and blotted out all their sins.
You have withdrawn all your fury *
and turned yourself from your wrathful indignation.
Restore us then, O God our Saviour; * let your anger depart from us.
Show us your mercy, O Lord, * and grant us your salvation.
I will listen to what you, Lord God, are saying, *
for you are speaking peace to your faithful people
and to those who turn their hearts to you.
Truly, your salvation is very near to those who fear you, *
that your glory may dwell in our land.
Mercy and truth have met together; *
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Truth shall spring up from the earth, *
and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
Righteousness shall go before you, *
and peace shall be a pathway for your feet.

CLOSING

Isaiah 52.1-12

Awake, awake,
put on your strength, O Zion!
Put on your beautiful garments,
O Jerusalem, the holy city;
for the uncircumcised and the unclean
shall enter you no more.
Shake yourself from the dust, rise up,
O captive Jerusalem;
loose the bonds from your neck,
O captive daughter Zion!

For thus says the Lord: You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money. For thus says the Lord God: Long ago, my people went down into Egypt to reside there as aliens; the Assyrian, too, has oppressed them without cause. Now therefore, what am I doing here, says the Lord, seeing that my people are taken away without cause? Their rulers howl, says the Lord, and continually, all day long, my name is despised. Therefore my people shall know my name; therefore on that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here am I.

How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
who announces salvation,
who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’
Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see
the return of the Lord to Zion.
Break forth together into singing,
you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
The Lord has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.

Depart, depart, go out from there!
Touch no unclean thing;
go out from the midst of it, purify yourselves,
you who carry the vessels of the Lord.
For you shall not go out in haste,
and you shall not go in flight;
for the Lord will go before you,
and the God of Israel will be your rearguard.

Silence

BENEDICTUS
Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel,*
for he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty saviour,*
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old*
that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all that hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our forebears,*
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:*
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,*
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.
You my child shall be called the prophet of the Most High,*
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation*
by the forgiveness of all their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God*
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,*
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Glory to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever.  Amen.

PRAYERS
We have been afraid of the fierceness of your love, which sears our hearts as with a laser. Lord, have mercy upon us.
We have refused to believe that you are gentle in judgment, that your hands loosen the knots of our bitterness. Christ, have mercy upon us.
We have failed to see that your eyes are wise in discernment, that your justice restores us and heals. Lord, have mercy upon us.

Sundays:
O Wisdom, coming from the mouth of the Most High! You reign over all things from one end of the earth to the other; come and teach us the way of wisdom. Lord Jesus, come soon!
O Lord and Head of the house of Israel, you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and gave him the Law on Sinai; come with outstretched arm and ransom us. Lord Jesus, come soon!
O Morning Star, Splendour of Light eternal and bright Sun of justice; come and shine on all who live in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Lord Jesus, come soon!
O King of the nations, you alone can fulfil their desires; Cornerstone, you make opposing nations one; come and save us. You formed us all from clay. Lord Jesus, come soon!
O Emmanuel, Hope of the nations and their Savior; come and save us, Lord our God. Lord Jesus, come soon!
The Spirit and the Bride say, Come! Amen! Lord Jesus, come soon!

Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Do not bring us to the time of trial, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

COLLECTS
Stir up your power, Lord, and come: that, with you as our protector, we may be rescued from our sins; and with you as our deliverer, we may be set free; for you live and reign with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

God most holy, we give you thanks for bringing us out of the shadow of night into the light of morning; and we ask you for the joy of spending this day in your service, so that when evening comes, we may once more give you thanks, through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

The Lord bless us and preserve us from all evil; and bring us to life eternal. Amen.

A priest and poet in the Scottish Episcopal Church, exploring the workings of the Holy Spirit in Banchory .