December 13, 2020 • 3rd Sunday of Advent

Parish or Diocesan Leaders, please read this!


Just Before You Begin



Leader: We continue to celebrate the season of Advent,
a time of waiting, hoping, and looking
for how Christ comes into our world, bringing light into darkness.

Lighting the Advent Wreath

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.


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.




Reader 1: In today’s reading, we hear more about Jesus' cousin John the Baptist. 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: God sent a man named John,
who came to tell
about the light
and to lead all people
to have faith.
John wasn’t that light.
He came only to tell
about the light.
The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and temple helpers to ask John who he was.
He told them plainly, “I am not the Messiah.”
Then when they asked him if he were Elijah, he said, “No, I am not!”
And when they asked if he were the Prophet, he also said “No!”
Finally, they said,
“Who are you then? We have to give an answer to the ones who sent us. Tell us who you are!”
John answered in the words of the prophet Isaiah,
“I am only someone shouting in the desert,
‘Get the road ready for the Lord!’”
Some Pharisees had also been sent to John.
They asked him, “Why are you baptizing people, if you are not the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet?”
John told them, “I use water to baptize people. But here with you is someone you don’t know.
Even though I came first, I am not good enough to untie his sandals.”
John said this as he was baptizing east of the Jordan River in Bethany.

Reader 1: A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.
And this is the testimony of John.
When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests
and Levites to him
to ask him, “Who are you?”
He admitted and did not deny it,
but admitted, “I am not the Christ.”
So they asked him,
“What are you then? Are you Elijah?”
And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” So they said to him,
“Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?
What do you have to say for yourself?”
He said:
“I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,
‘make straight the way of the Lord,’”
as Isaiah the prophet said.”
Some Pharisees were also sent.
They asked him,
“Why then do you baptize
if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?”
John answered them,
“I baptize with water;
but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,
the one who is coming after me,
whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”
This happened in Bethany across the Jordan,
where John was baptizing.

Reader 1: The Gospel of the Lord.

All: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel Reflection Song

Jesus said John the Baptist was great
The greatest man who ever lived
And if old John was with us today
he'd tell us something like this

If you're on the wrong road
Go the other way!
If you've got two coats give one away!
When Jesus comes
Prepare the way!
And don't forget your bugs!

(2nd Chorus)
He ate bugs for lunch! Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! (repeat 3 times)
John the Baptist ate bugs for lunch!

© 1992, Bryan Sirchio (ASCAP). Crosswind Music. All rights reserved.

Gospel Video Reflections

Reflections on the Readings

  1. This is the third week of Advent when we get to light the pink candle! The special name for this Sunday is “Gaudete Sunday” and it means “Joy Sunday” because we are getting close to the joy of Jesus’ birth. What have been some joyful things or some highlights from your past week?
  2. What are some joyful things you are looking forward to in the next few weeks? What can you do to bring joy to others in the near future?
  3. The Gospel reading today tells us more about John the Baptist. He didn’t want any special attention for himself: he just wanted to tell people about how amazing Jesus was going to be. Who do you know who is humble and uses their words to build other people up, rather than trying to grab all the attention for themselves? What can you do to be more like John the Baptist this week?

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

Ready the way of the Lord, Ready the way of the Lord!
A voice cries out in the wilderness, ready the way of the Lord
Let every valley be filled. Let every valley be filled.
Let every mountain be humbled; let every valley be filled

Here is your God, coming with your vindication.
Look and behold the saving power of God

Desert and wasteland will bloom, desert and wasteland will bloom.
Glory and splendor will fill the land, desert and wasteland will bloom

Those who are blind will then see, those who are deaf will then hear,
those who are lame will then leap for joy. Those who are mute will then sing

Strengthen the ones who are weak, strengthen the ones who are weak,
say to the frightened have courage. Strengthen the ones who are weak

Text and music © 1986, Bob Hurd. Published by OCP. All rights reserved.

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