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

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,

and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us.

(You are invited to light a candle)

The prophet Isaiah says:

For unto us a child is born,

unto us a Son is given,

and the government will be

on his shoulders. He will be called Wonderful Counsellor,

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

He will reign on David’s

throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with

justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.

Lord Jesus, light of the world,

the prophets said you would bring peace and save your people in trouble.

Give peace in our hearts this Advent

and show all the world God’s love.

We ask this as we wait for you

to come again. Amen.

We acknowledge our sins, to prepare ourselves

as we meet with Christ in this Spiritual Communion.

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,

and 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.

COLLECT Almighty and merciful God, may no earthly undertaking

hinder those who set out in haste to meet your Son,

but may our learning of heavenly wisdom gain us admittance to his company.

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever

GOSPEL In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the lands of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the pontificate of Annas and Caiaphas the word of God came to John son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. He went through the whole Jordan district proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the sayings of the prophet Isaiah:

A voice cries in the wilderness:

Prepare a way for the Lord,

make his paths straight.

Every valley will be filled in,

every mountain and hill be laid low,

winding ways will be straightened

and rough roads made smooth.

And all mankind shall see the salvation of God.


Luke situates the call of the Baptist in the context of world history,

referring to the Roman emperor, the civil rulers of Palestine

and the religious leaders of the people of Israel.

He mentions that John is the “son of Zechariah”,

thus reminding us of the promises about this person

made in the earlier account of his conception and birth.

John is the one preparing the way for the Lord:

he presents this in terms of constructing a straight and level road

along which a royal person can travel in a fit and comfortable manner.

This sorting out of the landscape indicates the people’s inner conversion,

their sorting out of their lives, which they declare publicly by being baptised, undergoing ritual immersion in the river Jordan and having their sins forgiven.

But the Baptist is not simply offering automatic pardon:

he calls for a change of attitude and outlook,

which is the underlying meaning of the biblical call to repentance

John’s preaching centres on a radical change in the way in which people think:

the word metanoia (translated from the Greek as "repentance")

does not mean feeling sorry about wrong behaviour –

although that may well be one result.

It means adopting a different way in which we view ourselves,

other people and our manner of living.

Levelling hills and filling in valleys is a poetic way of presenting the task facing us: Advent is a time to think about the coming of Christ into our lives

here and now ,and an invitation to remove the obstacles to receiving the Lord wholeheartedly at Christmas,

as this means accepting “the salvation of God” which he offers.

However, once we have identified our shortcomings as disciples of Jesus,

we may find it easier to act ourselves into a different way of thinking,

rather than the other way around.

If we decide to correct our faults and quietly act accordingly,

we may find that our lives change in a remarkable fashion.

Advent is a gentler time than Lent:

it is very much the Marian season,

when we are encouraged to think about Mary and her place in God’s plan.

We are invited to think about our place in God’s plan

and to respond as best we can.

Adjusting our way of thinking and behaving

can be part of our response – and well worth the effort.

Redemptorist Publications, 2021


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.

Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles:

Peace I leave you, my peace I give you,

look not on our sins,

but on the faith of your Church,

and graciously grant her peace and unity

in accordance with your will.

Who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

My Jesus,

I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.

I love You above all things,

and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment

receive You sacramentally,

come at least spiritually into my heart.

I embrace You as if You were already there

and unite myself wholly to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You.

Soul of my Saviour, sanctify my breast, body of Christ, be thou my saving guest, blood of my Saviour, bathe me in thy tide, wash me with water flowing from thy side.

Strength and protection may thy Passion be, O blessèd Jesu, hear and answer me; deep in thy wounds, Lord, hide and shelter me, so shall I never, never part from thee.

Guard and defend me from the foe malign, in death's dread moments make me only thine; call me and bid me come to thee on high where I may praise thee with thy saints for ay.

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your disciples,

‘I am with you always’.

Be with me today, as I offer myself to you.

Hear my prayers for others and for myself,

and keep me in your care. Amen.

May God the Father, Judge all-merciful,

make us worthy of a place in his kingdom.


May God the Son, coming among us in power,

reveal in our midst the promise of his glory.


May God the Holy Spirit make us steadfast in faith,

joyful in hope and constant in love.


and may the blessing of Almighty God,

the Father, the Son, ✠ and the Holy Spirit

come down upon you, and remain with you 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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