The Wilderness Musicians



Presider In the name of the one, holy, and undivided Trinity.
People Amen.
Presider As we prepare to receive God’s very Self at Christmas, let us confess our sins, confident in God’s infinite mercy, and the promise God makes to us in Holy Baptism.


Presider God, who is rich in mercy, have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins, strengthen you by the Holy Spirit’s power, and enable you to walk in Christ’s risen life forever.
People Amen.


Presider God is with you.
People And also with you.
Presider Let us pray.

God of majesty and power, amid the clamour of our violence your Word of truth resounds; upon a world made dark by sin the Sun of Justice casts his dawning rays. Keep your household watchful and aware of the hour in which we live. Hasten the advent of that day when the sounds of war will be for ever stilled, the darkness of evil scattered, and all your children gathered into one. We ask this through him whose coming is certain, whose day draws near: your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns in union with the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

All sit.

Isaiah 64:1-9

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah.

If only you would tear open the heavens and come down! Mountains would quake before you like fire igniting brushwood or making water boil. If you would make your name known to your enemies, the nations would tremble in your presence. When you accomplished wonders beyond all our expectations; when you came down, mountains quaked before you. From ancient times, no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any god but you who acts on behalf of those who wait for him! You look after those who gladly do right; they will praise you for your ways. But you were angry when we sinned; you hid yourself when we did wrong. We have all become like the unclean; all our righteous deeds are like a menstrual rag. All of us wither like a leaf; our sins, like the wind, carry us away. No one calls on your name; no one bothers to hold on to you, for you have hidden yourself from us, and have handed us over to our sin. But now, Lord, you are our father. We are the clay, and you are our potter. All of us are the work of your hand. Don’t rage so fiercely, Lord; don’t hold our sins against us forever, but gaze now on your people, all of us: Your holy cities have become a wilderness; Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a wasteland.

Reader  Hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people.
People  Thanks be to God.

Psalm 95:1-7a
All sing.

Hear us, Shepherd of Israel, leader of Joseph’s flock.
From your throne on the cherubim
Shine out for Ephraim, for Benjamin and Manasseh.
Gather your strength, come, save us!
Restore to us, God,
the light of your presence, and we shall be saved.
How long, Lord God of might,
will you smolder with rage, despite our prayers?
For bread you feed us tears,
we drink them by the barrel.
You let our neighbors mock,
our enemies scorn us.
Restore to us, God of might,
the light of your presence, and we shall be saved.
Rest your hand upon your chosen one
who draws strength from you.
We have not turned from you.
Give us life again and we will invoke your name.
Restore to us, Lord God of might,
the light of your presence, and we shall be saved.

All stand.


The Gospel Book is reverenced, kissed, and touched by the People, and the cantor sings the Alleluia.
Mark 13:24-37

Presider  The Good News of our Savior Jesus Christ according to Mark.
People  Praise and glory to Christ.

“In those days, after the suffering of that time, the sun will become dark, and the moon won’t give its light. The stars will fall from the sky, and the planets and other heavenly bodies will be shaken. Then they will see the Human One coming in the clouds with great power and splendor. Then he will send the angels and gather together his chosen people from the four corners of the earth, from the end of the earth to the end of heaven. Learn this parable from the fig tree. After its branch becomes tender and it sprouts new leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, you know that he’s near, at the door. I assure you that this generation won’t pass away until all these things happen. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will certainly not pass away. “But nobody knows when that day or hour will come, not the angels in heaven and not the Son. Only the Father knows. Watch out! Stay alert! You don’t know when the time is coming. It is as if someone took a trip, left the household behind, and put the servants in charge, giving each one a job to do, and told the doorkeeper to stay alert. Therefore, stay alert! You don’t know when the head of the household will come, whether in the evening or at midnight, or when the rooster crows in the early morning or at daybreak. Don’t let him show up when you weren’t expecting and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: Stay alert!”

Presider  Good News from the Lord.
People  Praise to Christ, the Word.

The People are seated.


All stand.


All sit and the singing bowl is rung to begin and end our time of prayerful reflection.


The People are invited to wander in prayer or remain in their seats.

All stand.

Presider  All-wise God, we know neither the time nor the hour of your appearing. We ask for hearts of patience, minds of peace, and lives of joy as we await your coming, through Jesus Christ our judge and our hope.
People  Amen.


Presider  Christ’s peace is with you.
People  And also with you.

The People greet one another with a sign of Peace and are then seated for announcements.


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The Wilderness Musicians

All stand.


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

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, the God of Jacob and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. You alone do wondrous deeds and keep your promises forever. Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with angels, archangels, saints, and martyrs who forever sing this hymn proclaiming the glory of your Name:

All sing.

The Presider continues.

You founded the earth upon the seas and made it firm upon the rivers of the deep. You love the righteous and give justice to those who are oppressed. By the waters of the flood you renewed the face of the earth and delivered those whom you had chosen— Noah and his family. Through Abraham and Sarah you promised to raise up children in every nation who would bless your glorious Name.

You prepared a way through the sea and saved your people Israel. You prepared a way in the wilderness and ransomed your people from exile. Through the prophets you renewed your promise and you sent St. John the Baptist, to prepare the way for the coming of your Son, who baptizes with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

It is he, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of Mary, Mother of God, who became a servant to show forth your truthfulness, to confirm your promises, and to lead all nations to glorify you for your mercy; who gave sight to the blind, made the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, cleansed lepers, raised the dead, and brought good news to the poor; and who, in the night in which he was betrayed took bread and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sins. Do this for the remembrance of me. For as often as we eat of this bread and drink from this cup, we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

People  Christ has died.

Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.

We remember then, his suffering and death, his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension to your right hand. With patience and steadfast hope we await the day of his coming, when the wolf shall live with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; when the righteous shall flourish, and there shall be an abundance of peace; and when he shall share with us the great and promised feast.

People  Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Send now, we pray, your Holy Spirit, upon your redeemed and holy people, and upon these your gifts of bread and wine, that we and they become the body of Christ, abound in hope, be filled with all joy and peace in believing, and receive our inheritance with all your saints in light.

People  Amen. Come, Holy Spirit.

Join our prayers and praises to your Church on earth and in heaven, where St. Mary, the God-bearer; Blessed John, our patron; and all your saints praise you night and day. May this Sacrifice, we pray, O Lord, advance the peace and salvation of all the world. Be pleased to confirm in faith and charity your pilgrim Church on earth, with your servant Kym our Bishop and the entire people you have gained for yourself in the waters of baptism. By Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory is yours, all-holy God, now and forever.
People  Amen.


As Jesus taught his friends, we now pray,

Presider and People

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.


The Presider breaks the consecrated Bread. An assistant fills the chalices with wine.


Following the invitation to Communion, the Ministers and People receive the Sacrament. For those desiring to receive wine, it is available from the common Cup or you are invited to leave the wafer in your open palm and a chalice minister will intinct for you.

The Wilderness Musicians

All stand.


Let us pray.

Presider and People
You have fed us, holy God, as Word proclaimed, Bread broken, and Wine poured out for the life of the world. Send us from this place to proclaim your love, break chains of injustice, and share the food we have feasted on at your Table. Amen.


The blessing of the one, holy, and undivided Trinity be upon you and remain with you forever.




Presider  Go in peace, watching and waiting.
People  Thanks be to God.

Presider and Preacher
The Very Reverend Richard Lawson