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  • Writer's picturePhil


✠In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Today, the First Sunday of Advent, light a candle to remember the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the ancestors of our faith. May our hearts be filled with hope as we hear the promises God made to bless all the peoples on earth

through Abraham, the father of our faith.

(Light the first candle on your Advent Wreath)

God of Abraham and Sarah and all the Patriarchs of old,

you are our Father too. Your love is revealed to us in Jesus

Christ, son of God and Son of David. Help us prepare to

celebrate his birth, to make our hearts ready and to place

our hope in you.


I confess to almighty God

that I have greatly sinned

in my thoughts and in my words,

in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,

through my fault, through my fault,

through my most grievous fault;

therefore I ask blessed Mary ever Virgin,

all the Angels and Saints,

to pray for me to the Lord our God.

May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins,

and bring us to everlasting life.

Kyrie eleison,

Christe eleison,

Kyrie eleison,

Let us pray. Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming, so that, gathered at his right hand, they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading: Jeremiah 33:14-16

See, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks –

when I am going to fulfil the promise I made to the House of Israel

and the House of Judah: “In those days and at that time,

I will make a virtuous Branch grow for David,

who shall practise honesty and integrity in the land.

In those days Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell in confidence. And this is the name the city will be called:

The Lord-our-integrity.”

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

Lord, make me know your ways.

Lord, teach me your paths.

Make me walk in your truth,

and teach me: for you are God my saviour.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

The Lord is good and upright.

He shows the path to those who stray,

he guides the humble in the right path;

he teaches his way to the poor.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

His ways are faithfulness and love

for those who keep his covenant and will.

The Lord’s friendship is for those who revere him;

to them he reveals his covenant.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

THE GOSPEL A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Lk 21:25-28. 34-36).

Jesus said to his disciples:

“There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars;

on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean

and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world,

for the powers of heaven will be shaken.

And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud

with power and great glory.

When these things begin to take place,

stand erect, hold your heads high,

because your liberation is near at hand.

“Watch yourselves,

or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery

and drunkenness and the cares of life,

and that day will be sprung on you suddenly,

like a trap.

For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth.

Stay awake, praying at all times

for the strength to survive all that is going to happen,

and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


For the last eight weeks those of us who live in Four Marks,

and those of you who cannot avoid he A31 towards Alton,

have been taught a lesson in the school of patience.

In Four Marks, at the junction of the A31 and Lymington Bottom,

unless you happen to be most fortunate,

and get to the roadworks at just the right time,

you will have had to wait at least five minutes

for the traffic lights to change to your advantage.

As if that’s not enough, if you’re travelling on to Winchester,

then far worse awaits you,

as Christmas Market traffic slows you down to nil-mph,

and a further wait of ten to fifteen minutes

adds to the pleasure and to your rising blood pressure.

The Mobile Phone (which you can’t use whilst driving)

has taken a lot of the uncertainty out of waiting.

If someone is waiting for you, then at least you can let them know

approximately when you might arrive.

On a positive note, enforced waiting

does at least give you the opportunity to observe where you are.

Somewhere familiar to you, that you have driven through day after day,

takes on a new appearance when you have to stop and wait;

you’ll notice things that beforehand you would have no time to observe.

Waiting, having come to a standstill,

makes you look and see what is familiar in a new light.

Waiting gives you time to notice;

Time to notice the beauty and complexity of your surroundings;

autumnal colours, the beauty of bare trees in winter hibernation,

the inspiration of a vast sky above you;

cloud formations presenting fantastic images to your mind’s eye;

rain beating dramatically against the window;

the flight of a pair of kites circling far above you…..

Waiting gives you time to notice.

ADVENT IS THE WAITING-PLACE at the beginning of the Christian Year

where we wait, anticipate, the coming of Jesus;

Jesus the King who is to come,

and Jesus who came as the new-born King,

whom we await year after year.

Advent is the hush in the world theatre

just before the curtain rises to reveal the Christ of Bethlehem;

Christ’s portrayal of God on the human stage.

Advent is the peaceful invasion of holiness

into a world where swords must be beaten into ploughshares.

Jesus was waiting for the right time 2000 years ago;

and is in The Waiting Room still, planning to return again.

Advent places us in the Waiting Room,

as we anticipate Jesus’s timing yet unknown to us.

If Jesus left His Waiting Room and returned tomorrow,

he would find that, after two thousand years,

in spite of tremendous strides in human achievement…..

- there are still nearly two and a half billion people living in countries

where the annual per capita income is £200 or less, in a world

where the rich get richer and the poor become poorer.

He would weep to see that

- there are still about 40,000 people dying every day from hunger

- a billion people, one fifth of humanity,

still do not have access to safe drinking water,

decent housing, or medical car

He would despair that

- we are still careless with radioactive materials and other commodities

that will be around to torture humanity with cancers and other awful things

for centuries to come, because we try to do everything on the cheap,

in spite of the cost to human life…..and then there’s climate change.

The greatest danger, perhaps, is that we become unintentionally complacent;

(as we have done already amidst COVID)

that the cares and problems of daily life weaken our commitment

to living as people serving Jesus , waiting for Jesus,

waiting on Jesus in the service of others.

Advent, like Lent, is a penitential season, when we await the coming of Jesus,

during which time we are encouraged to look at ourselves

and correct anything which detracts from our full commitment

to the Jesus who has come and who is to come.

It is a time to renew and strengthen our relationship with Jesus.

Together, Sunday by Sunday, we sit in this beautiful waiting room, our Church,

patiently listening for the announcement of His arrival;

greeting His subsequent Presence among us,

as He, the Host, Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament,

entrusts Himself into our hands, so that together, Jesus and ourselves,

can continue to work for the Kingdom for which we await.

Accompany us, God, through the waiting.

Accompany those in conflict zones waiting for normality.

Accompany those in violent homes waiting for silence.

Accompany those imprisoned waiting for justice.

Accompany us, God, through the waiting,

until your kingdom comes……


Let us stand and profess our faith

I believe in one God, the Father almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the Only Begotten Son of God,

born of the Father before all ages.

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;

through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven,

and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,

he suffered death and was buried,

and rose again on the third day

in accordance with the Scriptures.

He ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead

and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,

who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins

and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Let us pray.

That within our congregation we might encourage one another to grow in faith and love, and serve the community to which God has called us. Lord, hear us.

That God the Holy Trinity would comfort and strengthen those who are housebound, and those who are seriously ill. Lord, hear us.

That there may be peace and justice for all in our world. Lord, hear us.

That we may fight racism and every kind of prejudice. Lord, hear us.

That the world may be rid of the scourge of the coronavirus. Lord, hear us

That people suffering because of COVID-19 may be healed and consoled.

Lord, hear us.

For those we have lost to death (especially ……), that they may give glory and praise to God for evermore. ✠ Rest eternal grant to them O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them. May the rest in peace and rise in glory.

Gracious God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

help me to do all things for the greater good of all people.

I offer you my thoughts, words, deeds and all that I am.

I ask that Mary might add her prayers to my intentions,

and for all for whom I pray:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee,

blessed art thou among women,

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

pray for us sinners now,

and at the hour of our death.

O Lord our God, make us watchful and keep us faithful

as we await the coming of your Son our Lord;

that, when he shall appear, he may not find us sleeping,

but active in his service and joyful in his praise…

Merciful Father,

accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

At the Saviour’s command

and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say:

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 trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,

graciously grant peace in our days,

that, by the help of your mercy,

we may be always free from sin

and safe from all distress,

as we await the blessed hope

and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

For the kingdom,

the power and the glory are yours

now and for ever.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,

have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,

have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,

grant us thy peace.


This is holy space

God is here - you are welcome

This is your space to be with God And God's space to be with you

Make yourself at home

Be yourself

Be real

There's no rush

Let God love you

Let God know you

Let God heal you

Let God speak to you

Receive from God

Commune with God…..

Space for Silence

Asking God's Blessing

May the almighty and merciful God,

by whose grace you have placed your faith

in the First Coming of his Only Begotten Son

and yearn for his coming again,

sanctify us by the radiance of Christ's Advent

and enrich us with his blessing. Amen.

As you run the race of this present life,

may he make us firm in faith,

joyful in hope and active in charity. Amen.

So that, rejoicing now with devotion

at the Redeemer's coming in the flesh,

we may be endowed with the rich reward of eternal life

when he comes again in majesty. Amen.

and may the blessing of Almighty God,

the Father, the Son, ✠ and the Holy Spirit

come down upon us and remain with us for ever. Amen.


V. The angel of the Lord brought tidings unto Mary. R. And she conceived by the Holy Ghost.

HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now,

and at the hour of our death. Amen.

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord. R. Be it unto me according to thy word.

V. And the Word was made flesh. R. And dwelt amongst us.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

WE beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts,

that as we have known the Incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ

by the message of an angel, so by his Cross and Passion

we may be brought unto the glory of his Resurrection;

through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

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