December 11, 2022 – Third Sunday of Advent

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

Lectionary Readings

Isaiah 35:1–10
The desert will blossom; God’s people will return with joy.

Psalm 146:5–10
The maker of heaven and earth gives justice and reigns forever.

or Luke 1:46–55
Mary rejoices in God, who helps the poor and lifts up the lowly.

James 5:7–10
Be patient; have courage; the coming of the Lord is near.

Matthew 11:2–11
Jesus praises John, the messenger who has prepared the way.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

Into the dry and desolate places of our lives,
God brings salvation.
The desert rejoices and blossoms,
the wilderness teems with life.
Sorrow and sighing will flee:
let us come into God’s presence with singing!

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.
O Lord our God, we give you thanks
for the hope and longing you instill in us
through the promise of our baptism—
a voice crying out in the wilderness,
a messenger to prepare the way,
the day of redemption drawing near.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
poured out upon us in baptism,
keep us awake and make us ready
for the coming of your glorious realm
of righteousness, justice, and peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Confession and Pardon​

At the baptismal font:

The life of faith is not only about being faithful to God.
It is knowing that God is faithful to us.
Trusting that God will never turn away from us,
let us tell the truth about our lives.

Magnificent God,
it is easy to rejoice at
the wilderness bursting into bloom
and the hungry being filled with good things.
We may not want
the powerful to be brought down
or the rich to be sent away empty.
We know that sometimes, we are the powerful.
Sometimes, we are the rich.
Sometimes we are the ones with privilege,
Ignoring and harming those you would lift up.
Forgive us, humble us, and refocus us,
that we may follow your way of life and truth.

 Lifting water from the font:
There is nothing and no one
That is too far gone for God to redeem.
There is no land too parched
that God cannot make streams of living water flow.
Beloved, we are forgiven!
Alleluia! Thanks be to God!

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:

Holy God, our hope and strength,
by the power of your Spirit
prepare the way in our hearts
for the coming of your Word,
so that we may see the glorious signs
of your promise fulfilled;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 


Before the readings:
A voice is crying in the wilderness:
Listen to the word of the Lord. 
Mark 1:3; John 1:23

After the readings:
Heaven and earth will pass away
but the word of the Lord stands forever.
Thanks be to God. 
Isaiah 40:8; Mark 13:31


Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
Now to the God of all wisdom,
who strengthens us according to the gospel,
through Jesus Christ be all glory forever. Amen.
Romans 16:25–27

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

Gathered here, in the house of the Lord,
let us pray for the coming of Christ’s realm.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the peace of the church . . .
Bring peace, O God, to the body of Christ;
strengthen our hearts, teach us patience,
and make us messengers of hope.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the peace of the earth . . .
Bring peace, O God, throughout the world;
feed the hungry, set captives free,
and give justice to the oppressed.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the peace of all nations . . .
Bring peace, O God, to every land;
teach us to love righteousness
and lift up those who are bowed down.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the peace of this community . . .
Bring peace, O God, to our city [town];
watch over travelers and strangers,
and uphold the lonely and vulnerable.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the peace of loved ones . . .
Bring peace, O God, to those we hold dear;
heal the sick, bring good news to the poor,
comfort the sorrowful, and raise the dead to life.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the peace of Jerusalem . . .
Bring peace, O God, to the world you have made:
the peace that passes understanding
and the promise of your new creation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is coming in glory to reign. Amen.
Psalm 122:6

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
All things in heaven and earth belong to God,
who is coming in glory to reveal a new creation.
Let us offer our lives to the Lord.
2 Peter 3:8–15

Prayer of Dedication

At the communion table:
Eternal God,
as we wait for the fulfillment of your reign,
use these gifts and the gifts of our lives
to bring justice to those who are oppressed,
to set free those who are in prison,
to lift up those who are bowed down,
and to uphold those who are vulnerable. Amen.

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:
You bring forth flowers in the desert and water in a weary land.
Now you have made a highway for us in the wilderness,
where your people, once captive, may return with songs of joy.

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, we have seen and heard the good news:
the sick are healed, strangers are welcomed,
the poor have hope, and the dead are raised to new life.
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.

Help us to grow in faith and love, as your people in Christ.
Strengthen our hearts and teach us patience
as we watch and pray for 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 hope, we give you thanks
that you have given us this foretaste
of the justice, righteousness, and peace
of your promised new creation.
Strengthen us with this heavenly food
as we seek to serve your holy realm.
Lead us to live in joyful expectation 
of the coming again in glory
of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.  

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church:
May the God of peace make you holy
and the power of the Spirit sustain you
until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Alleluia!
1 Thessalonians 5:16–24

Prepare the way of the Lord! Amen.
Isaiah 40:3; Mark 1:3


Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1898

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • Prepare the Way, O Zion (OG) BEREDAN VÄG FÖR HERRAN GTG 106, PH 13
  • Here in This Place (G) GATHER US IN GTG 401
  • Thee We Adore, O Hidden Savior, Thee (OE) ADORO TE DEVOTE GTG 495, PH 519
  • Tú eres todopoderoso / Because You’re Holy (OEG) Juan Salinas, Adam Tice SSS 460


  • Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates (E) TRURO GTG 93, PH 8
  • No Wind at the Window (OEG) COLUMCILLE GTG 101
  • Soul, Adorn Yourself with Gladness (OE) SCHMÜCKE DICH GTG 514
  • Toda la tierra / All Earth Is Waiting (EG) TODA LA TIERRA LUYH 57, v. 1


  • When Hands Reach Out and Fingers Trace (G) O WALY, WALY GTG 302
  • You Are My Strength When I Am Weak (O) JERNIGAN GTG 519
  • You Are Holy / Eres santo (OE) DU ÄR HELIG GTG 596
  • The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came (OEG) GABRIEL’S MESSAGE ELW 265


  • Be Thou My Vision (OG) SLANE GTG 450, PH 339
  • Lord, Bid Your Servant Go in Peace (O) LAND OF REST GTG 545
  • Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee (OE) HYMN TO JOY GTG 611, PH 464
  • Zion, at Thy Shining Gate (EG) COVENANT CHURCH Rejoice in God, K. Lee Scott, MSM

Psalms and Canticles

Psalm 146:5–10


  • I’ll Praise My Maker While I’ve Breath [OLD 113TH]; GTG 806, PH 253, PAS 146A
  • I Will Sing Your Praise, O God [SHOUT THE PRAISE]; SP 61


  • Come, O Lord, and Save Us; PSA 152
  • Come, O Lord, and Save Us [NUN KOMM, DER HEIDEN HEILAND]; HTP1 3

Luke 1:46–55


  • My Soul Gives Glory [MORNING SONG / CONSOLATION]; GTG 99, PAS 1042
  • My Soul Cries Out with a Joyful Shout [STAR OF COUNTY DOWN]; GTG 100, LUYH 69, PAS 75B
  • Holy Is Your Name [WILD MOUNTAIN THYME]; PAS 1020
  • Tell Out, My Soul [WOODLANDS]; LUYH 364


  • My Soul Rejoices in the Lord; PAS 1022
  • My Soul Proclaims; PFTS1 66

Organ Music

  • “Introit: Gaudete/Rejoice, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice,’” Five Liturgical Pieces for Organ, Lynn Trapp, MSM (E)
  • “Schmucke dich o liebe Seele,” BWV 654, J. S. Bach, public domain (M)
  • “Reprise,” Paul Manz, MSM (ME)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “Praise Ye the Lord,” Emma Lou Diemer, HF, SATB, 2 pno or pno, org (M)
  • “Go and Tell John,” Lloyd Pfautsch, HOPE, SATB, acap (M)
  • “Magnificat,” Samuel Coleridge Taylor, NOV, SATB, org (MA)
  • “Lost in the Night,” arr. Michael Burkhardt, MSM, SATB, org (ME)
  • “Gospel Magnificat,” Robert Ray, HAL, SATB, solo, pno, bass gtr, perc (MA)
  • “Climb to the Top of the Highest Mountain,” Carolyn Jennings, KJO, SATB, children, keybd (ME)
  • “Lost in the Night,” arr. Kyle Haugen, AF, SAB, pno (ME)

Handbell Music

  • “Prepare the Way O Zion,” Sondra Tucker, 3–5 oct hb, BP, HB428, Level 3
  • “Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates,” Brenda Austin, 3–6 oct hb, HOPE, 2890, Level 2
  • “The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came,” Fred Gramann, 3–7 oct hb, opt 3–7 oct hc, CGA, CGB902, Level 3


  • Wheat Field in Rain, Vincent van Gogh (VDL)
  • Annunciation to the Virgin Mary, Jacopo da Pontormo, 1527 (VDL)
  • Annunciation, Henry Ossawa Tanner (VDL)
  • Annunciation, John August Swanson (EYE)
  • Shall Overshadow You, Jan Richardson (JR)