Lay Anglicana, the unofficial voice of the laity throughout the Anglican Communion.
This is the place to share news and views from the pews.

Get involved ...

Intercessions for Advent 4 – Year C – 20 December 2015 – series 2


“Gero crucifix“, late 10th century, Cologne Cathedral via Wikipedia

The Collect

God our redeemer, who prepared the Blessed Virgin Mary to be the mother of your Son: grant that, as she looked for his coming as our saviour, so we may be ready to greet him when he comes again as our judge; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of  the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading: Micah 5.2-5a

The Lord says to his people: But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old,
from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labour has brought forth; then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; and he shall be the one of peace.

Psalm: Luke 1.46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour; ♦ he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed; ♦ the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his name.
He has mercy on those who fear him, ♦ from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm ♦ and has scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones ♦ and lifting up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things ♦ and sent the rich away empty.
He has come to the aid of his servant Israel, ♦ to remember his promise of mercy,
The promise made to our ancestors, ♦ to Abraham and his children for ever.

Second Reading: Hebrews 10.5-10

When Christ came into the world, he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt-offerings and sin-offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, “See, God, I have come to do your will, O God” (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).’ When he said above, ‘You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt-offerings and sin-offerings’ (these are offered according to the law), then he added, ‘See, I have come to do your will.’ He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Gospel Reading: Luke 1.39-45(46-55)

At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favoured, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”

And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me –
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants for ever,
even as he said to our fathers.”

December 22 2015, with only 7 hours 49 minutes of daylight, is the shortest day this year. However, in the Sarum Rite, the great Antiphon, O Oriens (The Dawn Breaking, the Light of the World), is today. And, as the darkest hour is before the dawn, today we consider both darkness and light.

Scan - Copy

This poem is an extract from the excellent new book by Stephen Cherry, ‘Barefoot Ways: Praying Through Advent, Christmas and Epiphany’

Prayers of Intercession

Lord, we pray to you as our hemisphere moves to its darkest days: we look for the slant, misted light of a winter dawn, the light that brings hope to human kind.

 ¶The Church of Christ

Lord, in moments of darkness for the Church, when we seem to be talking to ourselves instead of looking outwards, and are riven with dissension and difficulties, help us to remember that you have sustained the faith of your people for over two thousand years, and that, though you will illumine our path, darkness is not dark to you, for in your sight, night is as light as day.

Lord of the dark, we long for the light: in your mercy, hear our prayer


¶Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

Lord, giver of life, we wait with you to bear your hope to earth’s darkest places: where justice is destroyed, let righteousness rule. Where hope is crucified, let faith persist. Where peace is no more, let passion live on. Where truth is denied, let the struggle continue. Where laughter has dried up, let music play on. Where fear paralyses, let forgiveness break through. *

Lord of the dark, we long for the light: in your mercy, hear our prayer


¶The local community

Lord, open our hearts and unblock our ears to those whom we live amongst. May we see your face in each of our neighbours, and help us to overcome our reserve so that we may offer the hand of friendship in your name, especially at this Christmas tide when there are many who are alone and long not to be. May your kingdom come on earth, and may it begin with each one of us.

Lord of the dark, we long for the light: in your mercy, hear our prayer


¶Those who suffer

Lord, we pray for those who going through dark times, whether these be physical, material or spiritual. We pray for those who can see no chink of light, no way out of their despair. May they be comforted by your loving presence, and find the courage to see clearly the path forwards. May your clarity and power protect them and heal them, and give them hope for the future.

Lord of the dark, we long for the light: in your mercy, hear our prayer


¶The communion of saints

Lord God, you came to earth that in your power and love we might ascend into heaven, bless those whom we love who have departed this life with the gift of life and love eternal.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our saviour, Jesus Christ.

Prayer after Communion

Silence is kept.

Heavenly Father,
who chose the Blessed Virgin Mary
to be the mother of the promised saviour:
fill us your servants with your grace,
that in all things we may embrace your holy will
and with her rejoice in your salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

* Prayer by Robin Green, quoted in Angela Ashwin ‘The Book of a Thousand Prayers’

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): Luke 1.39-45(46-55) © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Pub. Hodder & Stoughton Invitation to Confession (1st Sun. of Advent to Christmas Eve) © 1988 Continuum (Mowbray) (Adapted) Some material included in this service is copyright: © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2000 Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2002 Blessing (1st Sun. of Advent until Christmas Eve) © The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)


0 comments on this post:

Be the first to leave a comment - simply complete the form below...

Leave a Reply

We rely on donations to keep this website running.