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November 29, 2020 • 1st Sunday of Advent

Parish or Diocesan Leaders, please read this!

Preparation

Just Before You Begin

Advent in Two Minutes

INTRODUCTORY RITES

Introduction

Leader: It is the first Sunday of Advent; it is the first day of the Church year. Today we begin to turn our minds toward Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. These next four weeks will be a time of waiting, hoping, and looking
for how Christ comes into our world, bringing light into darkness.

Blessing of the Advent Wreath

Reader: Lord God, bless this Advent wreath
which we use as a symbol of our countdown to the day of Jesus’ birth.
May the light of the candles remind us that Jesus is the light in the darkness.
Help us to draw nearer to your light in this season,
and help us to bring light and warmth to others who need it.
We pray this in Christ’s name.

Opening Song


Come to us, Jesus, come to us.
Come to us, Jesus. Jesus, come.
(We are waiting, hopeful, anticipating. We are waiting. Jesus, come.)

(1) For a world filled with darkness / longs to see your light.
For a world of despair / awaits that hopeful night.

(2) We know not where this journey leads, / we follow just our dreams.
We travel far that we might kneel / before a newborn King.

(3) Unto us a shining star, / a sign for all to see:
That unto us a child is born, / vorn to set us free.

Words & music © Steve Angrisano. Published by Spirit & Song®, a division of OCP. All rights reserved.

Greeting

Leader: ┼ In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.

All: Amen.

Leader: Grace and light to you from God our Father
and from his Son, Jesus, who came to be one of us.
We bless you, O Lord, and we praise you.
(The response is: We bless you, O Lord, and we praise you.)

All: We bless you, O Lord, and we praise you.

Leader: We gather together now,
looking for your light and warmth in this season of Advent.
One with all who await your coming throughout the world,
let us now listen to God's Word and join in prayer.

All: Amen.

Litany in Praise of God's Mercy

Leader: As we prepare to hear a story from our faith,
let us remember that God loves us so much
that he sent his Son to be with us.
Lord Jesus, you know we don’t always choose to do the loving thing:
Lord, have mercy.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Leader: Lord Jesus, you teach us to treat others as we want to be treated:
Christ, have mercy.

All: Christ, have mercy.

Leader: Lord Jesus, you ask us to help build the Kingdom of God:
Lord, have mercy.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Opening Prayer

Leader: Let us pray

Leader: God of Love and Light,
you came to be the least among us
to teach us to look out for the least.
Help us to see you in disguise
so that we may serve you
in the least of our brothers and sisters.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

LITURGY OF THE WORD

Alleluia

Gospel

Reader 1: In today’s reading, Jesus tells us to get ready! We now do this action prayer together: May the Lord be on my mind, ┼
on my lips, ┼
and in my heart ┼
as we hear the Gospel today.
A reading from the holy Gospel of Matthew.

Reader 1: Jesus said to his disciples:
So watch out and be ready! You don’t know when the time will come.
It is like what happens when a man goes away for a while
and places his servants in charge of everything.
He tells each of them what to do, and he orders the guard to keep alert.
So be alert! You don’t know when the master of the house will come back.
It could be in the evening or at midnight or before dawn or in the morning.
But if he comes suddenly, don’t let him find you asleep.
I tell everyone just what I have told you. Be alert!

Reader 1: Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
Watch, therefore;
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”

Reader 1: The Gospel of the Lord.

All: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel Video Reflections

Reflections on the Readings

  1. For everyone living north of the equator it is getting colder and darker at this time of year. Advent wreaths remind us of the circle of the year. Lighting one more candle each Sunday as the nights are getting longer reminds us that Christ our Light is coming into the world. Does your family have any special Advent traditions? If not, are there any you would like to start?
  2. Even though we do Christmas shopping during Advent, Advent is about practicing patience and looking forward to Christ’s birth rather than skipping ahead to Christmas celebrations. What is it hard for you to wait for? Is there anything that helps you to be more patient when you are waiting for something you’re excited about?
  3. Jesus tells us in the reading that we should stay alert because we don’t know when he is coming. He doesn’t come only on Christmas, but he comes to us every day, disguised in many ways. Sometimes Jesus comes to us as a poor person who needs food, sometimes as a friend who has just the right thing to say to help us, or sometimes as a lonely person who needs companionship. Take a minute in silence now to ask Jesus to help you stay "awake" to how he will show up in your life every day this week so that you can recognize him.

General Intercessions

Leader: Now let’s pray together to God for what we need.

Reader 2: We pray for all those who don’t have warm and dry homes at this time of year,
that they may find a safe place to live,
let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: We pray that during this Advent season
we can be thoughtful about how we prepare for Christmas
so that we use our time, energy, and money in a way that is good for the world,
let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: We pray for all those who are sick with the coronavirus or anything else,
and for all the people who are caring for them,
let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: We pray for all those who are lonely or are having a hard time finding hope,
that we can be a light for them in their darkness,
let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: For what else and for who else shall we pray?

Lord's Prayer

Leader: Jesus taught us to call God our Father, and so we have the courage to say:

All: 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.

Sign of Peace

Leader: Let us now offer each other a sign of peace.

A Litany for Spiritual Communion

Leader: The response is: Lord, bring us closer to you!

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Leader: Lord our God,
we wish we could gather today with our parish community,
but we gather here out of love and concern for others.
You teach us that when two or three are gathered in your name,
you are there.
Together, we pray:

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Leader: Christ Jesus, you are present in a special way
when bread and wine are turned into your Body and Blood.
Since we cannot receive you in this way today,
We ask that you enter our hearts
so that we may receive you spiritually.
Together, we pray:

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Leader: Lord our God,
watch over your family
and keep us safe in your care,
for all our hope is in you.

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Concluding Rite

Blessing & Dismissal

Leader: Go in the peace of Christ.

All: Thanks be to God.

Closing Song


Prepare the way,
The way of the Lord.
Make straight every path,
Make smooth every road.

Every valley will rise
Every mountain made low.
The salvation of God,
Forever made known.

(1) He'll bring down the proud, / how the mighty will fall.
With one breath from God / they are nothing at all.
He will lift up the lowly, / give pow'r to the week
And all broken-hearted, / the comfort they seek.

(2) Here is your God; / he is coming to save,
To hold in his arms / all those lost and afraid.
He'll seek out the hopeless, / the lame and the poor.
The ones who have nothing / will suffer no more.

© 2004, Michael Avolicino (ASCAP). Published by Spirit & Song®, a division of OCP. All rights reserved.

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