December 1, 2024 – First Sunday of Advent

Lectionary Readings   -   Gathering   -  Word  -   Eucharist   -   Sending   -   Music and Art

Lectionary Readings

Jeremiah 33:14–16          
The days are coming; God’s promise of salvation will be fulfilled.

Psalm 25:1–10           
O Lord, teach me your paths; you are the God of my salvation.

1 Thessalonians 3:9–13   
May God strengthen your heart until the coming of the Lord Jesus.

Luke 21:25–36                 
Signs in the heavens show that the kingdom of God is near; be alert.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

The days are coming; your salvation is nearing.
Teach us your paths
as we wait on your coming promise.
The heavens are speaking;
your kingdom is arriving.
Strengthen our hearts
as we wait on your coming promise.
The world is turning; new life is appearing.
Keep us alert
as we wait on your coming promise.
We worship you with waiting hearts this day.
Fill us with hope in this season. Amen.

Prayer of the Day

God of darkness,
in these days marked by cold air
and growing night,
gather us in your secret place of waiting.
Remind us that the dark is not empty.
Show us where new life is being formed.
Reveal to us the fertile grounds of our waiting,
that we might bear witness
to your incarnation among us,
both now and in the days to come. Amen.

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Thanksgiving For Baptism

At the baptismal font:
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Incarnate One,
who claims us as your own
and comes into our lives yet again,
we give you thanks.
Through the waters of baptism
your Spirit prepares the way within us,
reshaping our lives.
Make us ready for the day
when you will scatter those
who take pride in their power,
and bring down from their thrones
those who rule with oppression and injustice,
when you raise up the lowly
and send away empty-handed
those with more than enough.
Open our eyes to see
the joy you are bringing,
that we may sing your praise. Amen.

Confession and Pardon

At the baptismal font:
In this season so many voices wish to claim
our attention, our time, and our dollars.
At this font one Voice claims our whole lives:
soul, body, heart, and mind.
In humility let us confess our faults
to the Voice who proclaims our forgiveness.

Coming Christ,
you may not find us as you hoped.
We’ve looked away from signs
we do not wish to see.
We’ve stopped listening to distress
we do not wish to hear.
We are numb to inconvenient truths.
Keep us alert, O God,
to the needs of our neighbors.
Revive our hearts
laden with compassion fatigue.
Sharpen our minds clouded by worries.
Sober our lives addicted to privilege.
Show us the signs of your coming,
that we may stand before you,
the Son of Man,
in whose name we pray.

Lifting water from the font:
As sure as the fig tree blossoms,
so sure is the salvation of God,
poured out for the world
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Believe the good news.
In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. 

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:
God of hope,
who never lets us go,
draw near to us
in these ancient words.
By your Holy Spirit
may we be filled,
lifted up,
and leveled
as you prepare in our hearts
the path of your coming. Amen.


Before the readings:
As God has spoken through the prophets,
God speaks now to us. 
Hear the word of the Lord. 
Luke 1:70

After the readings:
This is the promise of God 
to our ancestors and to us. 
Thanks be to God. 
Luke 1:72


Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
Blessed be the Lord. Amen.
Luke 1:68

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Affirmation of Faith

Out of Israel,
God in due time raised up Jesus.

His faith and obedience were the response
of the perfect child of God.
He was the fulfillment
of God’s promise to Israel,
the beginning of the new creation,
and the pioneer of the new humanity.
He gave history its meaning and direction
and called the church to be his servant
for the reconciliation of the world.
Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.19

Prayers of Intercession

Trusting in the steadfast love of the Lord,
let us pray for the fulfillment of God’s promises, saying:
Emmanuel, come; O come and save us.  

We pray for the church . . .

Restore what is lacking in our faith.
Help us to increase and abound in love
for one another and for you, our God.
Emmanuel, come; O come and save us.

We pray for the world . . .

Teach us to interpret the signs around us,
warnings of disaster and destruction.
Bring peace and healing to this planet.
Emmanuel, come; O come and save us.  

We pray for this community . . .

Bless our houses and neighborhoods
with your justice and righteousness,
so that all may live in safety, without fear.

Emmanuel, come; O come and save us.   

We pray for loved ones . . .
Remember those who lift their souls to you.
Surround them with your steadfast love
and preserve them from their troubles.

Emmanuel, come; O come and save us.    

Come quickly, Emmanuel,
in power and glory,
to establish your realm of justice and peace;
and make us ready, on the day of redemption,
to stand before you, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
Rejoicing in the Lord always,
we give thanks for the Word made flesh.
With grateful hearts
let us offer our whole selves to God.

Prayer of Dedication

At the communion table:
God Most High,
receive the gifts of our lives
as an offering of gratitude for your grace.
Overshadow us with your Holy Spirit
and let it be with us according to your word,
for nothing is impossible with you. Amen. Luke 1:35–38; 1 Corinthians 1:4

Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God:
We give thanks, O Lord,
that the days are surely coming
when all the world will see
the fulfillment of your promise of salvation.
You alone are our righteousness,
our only hope for justice and peace.

Therefore we praise you, joining the song
of the universal church
and the heavenly choir:
A Sanctus (“Holy, holy, holy”) is sung.

Blessed is Jesus Christ, our Savior:
In Christ, the tree of life, we have seen
the first fruits of your holy realm.
Though heaven and earth may pass away, Christ’s word stands secure.
Even now, we look for the day of his coming in power and great glory.

The words of institution are included here.

Remembering your goodness and grace,
we offer ourselves to you with gratitude
as we share this joyful feast.
A Memorial Acclamation
(e.g., “Christ has died”) is sung.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon this bread and cup;
make us one in the body and blood
of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Teach us to pray night and day
that we may see you face to face.
Strengthen us in holiness,
faithfulness, joy, and love,
so that we may be ready
at the coming of the Lord.

Through the Lord Jesus Christ,
in the unity of the Spirit,
we bless you, God of glory,
now and forever.
An Amen is sung.

Lord’s Prayer


Breaking the Bread


Communion of the People


Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Prayer after Communion

At the communion table:
God, our Provision,
we rejoice that you satisfy our needs.
By your presence in this meal
you have fed us and strengthened us,
as a mother nourishes her baby.
In this waiting season
fill us with hopeful expectation
that we may see the signs of your kingdom
all around us and rejoice
in your coming salvation and glory. Amen.

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church: 
May the peace of God, 
which surpasses all understanding, 
guard your hearts and minds 
in Christ Jesus. Alleluia! 
Philippians 4:7 

Rejoice in the Lord always. 
Again I say, Rejoice!
The Lord is near. Amen. 
Philippians 4:4–5 

Christ in Glory

Russian painter, 15th century

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (OEG) VENI EMMANUEL GTG 88, PH 9

  • For You, O Lord, My Soul in Stillness Waits (OG) MY SOUL IN STILLNESS WAITS GTG 89

  • My Lord! What a Morning (G) MY LORD, WHAT A MORNING GTG 352, PH 449

  • Come, O Unexpected Jesus! (OG) IRBY/Adam Tice Claim the Mystery 10

  • In the Heartbeat of the City (O) OLD YEAVERING VT 530


  • The Days are Surely Coming (OG) LLANGLOFFAN GTG 357

  • Now the Heavens Start to Whisper (G) JEFFERSON GTG 94

  • Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending (G) HELMSLEY GTG 348, PH 6

  • More Love to Thee, O Christ (E) MORE LOVE TO THEE GTG 828

  • A Thousand Stars (OG) WEXFORD CAROL/Adam Tice Stars Like Grace 6


  • Come, Come Emmanuel (OEG) COME, COME EMMANUEL GTG 91

  • Wait for the Lord (O) WAIT FOR THE LORD GTG 90

  • Steal Away (G) STEAL AWAY GTG 358


  • Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus (OEG) HYFRYDOL, STUTTGART GTG 82, 83, PH 1, 2

  • Lord, Make Us More Holy (E) LORD, MAKE US MORE HOLY GTG 313, PH 536

  • Christ Is Coming! (EG) UNSER HERRSCHER GTG 360

  • View the Present (EG) FRANKLIN PARK/Thomas Troeger VT 407

Psalms and Canticles

Psalm 25:1–10

  • Lord, to You My Soul Is Lifted [GENEVAN 25]; GTG 420, PH 178, PAS 25D, LUYH 625

  • Lord, I Gladly Trust [REDHEAD 76]; PAS 25B, LUYH 354


  • To You, O Lord, I Lift My Soul; PAS 25A (pointed vv.), G3 39 (through-composed vv.)

  • Lord, You Are My Strength; PSA 23

  • To You, O God, I Lift Up My Soul; PAS 25C

Organ Music

  • “Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland,” BWV 659, J. S. Bach, various publishers; (M)

  • “Now the Heavens Start to Whisper,” SUO G.N, Augsburg Organ Library: Advent II, James Biery, AF (ME)

  • “No Wind at the Window,” COLUMCILLE/DOHMNACH TRIONOIDE, Ten Hymn Settings for Organ, vol. 1,

  • Marilyn Biery, GIA (ME) “Wachet auf ruft uns die Stimme,” BWV 645, J. S. Bach, various publishers; (M)

Piano Music

  • “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” PICARDY, Extol the Lord, Andy Muskrat, LOR (MA)

  • “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” VENI EMMANUEL, The Quiet Center, Thomas Keesecker, MSM (M)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “To You, O Lord, I Lift Up My Soul,” Howard Skempton, OUP, SATB, org (M)

  • “E’en So Lord Jesus, Quickly Come,” Paul Manz, MSM, SATB, acap (M)

  • “O Come, Messiah King,” Lloyd Larson, Celebrating Grace Inc., SATB, pno, opt vln (ME)

  • “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy,” Sara R. Nussel, arr. Brad Nix, SHAW, SATB, pno, opt ob (ME)

  • “Bring Us Hope,” Ruth Elaine Schram, LOR, SAB, pno, opt vc (E)

  • “Peace,” Patricia Mock, arr. Richard A. Nichols, HOPE, SATB or SAB, pno (ME)


  • Tree of Jesse, from an English Psalter in Latin, illuminated manuscript, 1190–1210 (VCS)

  • Altarpiece No. 1, Group X, Hilma af Klint, 1915 (VCS)

  • Slow But Sure, Trey Everett, 2018 (VDL)

  • Christ in Glory, Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1874 (VDL)

  • Christ in Glory, Russian (Novgorod?) painter, 15th century (PD) (MET)