Worship Service

Third Sunday of Advent (December 13, 2020)

Service for the Worship of God

If you have already made a pledge for 2021, thank you. If not, you are invited to join us to pledge online or send a pledge to the church office.

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Prelude on divinum mysterium
—T. Frederick H. Candlyn (1892–1964)

Rev. Katherine A. Stanford

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us worship God!

Preparing to Hear God’s Word

Call to Worship and Lighting of the Advent Wreath
The Vetrini Family

“Rejoice in the Lord always;
again I will say, Rejoice.”
The world says, “Worry,”
and we say, “Rejoice.”
The news says, “Fear,”
and we say, “Rejoice.”
The world says, “Be happy,”
and the church says, “Be faithful.”

As we light our third Advent candle,
We pray for hope, peace, and joy.
Come now, O Child of Mary.
Come now, O Prince of Joy.

HYMN 363
Rejoice, the Lord Is King!

darwall’s 148th

1. Rejoice, the Lord is King!
Your Lord and King adore!
Rejoice, give thanks, and sing,
and triumph evermore.
Lift up your heart; lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

2. Our Savior, Jesus, reigns,
the God of truth and love;
when he had purged our stains,
he took his seat above.
Lift up your heart; lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

3. His kingdom cannot fail;
he rules o’er earth and heaven;
the keys of death and hell
are to our Jesus given.
Lift up your heart; lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

4. Rejoice in glorious hope!
For Christ, the Judge, shall come
and gather all the saints
to their eternal home.
Lift up your heart; lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Prayer of Confession
Rev. Ann Herlin

Your love is good news for the oppressed, O Lord, and you bind up the brokenhearted. Forgive us when we think that your good news is only for us. Forgive us when we twist your gospel into something that fits comfortably into our lives. By your light, let us see you leading us beyond ourselves and into the world you love. By your grace, forgive us and free us to try again. Hear now the prayers we bring to you in silence …

Assurance of Pardon
Rev. Ann Herlin

God’s Word to Us


Of the Father’s Love Begotten
divinum mysterium, arr. Steven Seigart (b. 1990)
Performed by the Meeting House Virtual Choir
Text by Aurelius Prudentius (4th century)
Translated by John Mason Neale (1818–1866)

Scripture Lessons
Dr. Robert R. Laha

Isaiah 61:1–4, 8–11
John 1:6–8, 19–28

Time with Children
The Ulsamer Family

Dr. Robert R. Laha

Our Response to God

Affirmation of Faith
Mrs. Noelle Castin
Adapted from A Declaration of Faith (1977)

In the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God kept God’s promises. All that we can ever hope for was present in Christ. But the work of God in Christ is not over. God calls us to hope for more than we have yet seen. The hope God gives us is ultimate confidence that supports us when lesser hopes fail us. In Christ, God gives us hope for a new heaven and earth, certainty of victory over death, assurance of mercy and judgment beyond death. This hope gives us courage for the present struggle.

Invitation to Discipleship
Rev. Ann Herlin

Presentation of Our Tithes and Offerings

The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper
Dr. Robert R. Laha and

Rev. Katherine A. Stanford

Invitation to the Lord’s Table
Prayer of 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.
It is truly right and our greatest joy …

The Lord’s Prayer

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 debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Words of Institution
Communion of the People

HYMN 749
Come! Live in the Light! (We Are Called)
we are called

1. Come! Live in the light!
Shine with the joy and the love of the Lord!
We are called to be light for the kingdom,
to live in the freedom of the city of God.

We are called to act with justice;
we are called to love tenderly;
we are called to serve one another,
to walk humbly with God.

2. Come! Open your heart!
Show your mercy to all those in fear!
We are called to be hope for the hopeless
so hatred and violence will be no more.

3. Sing! Sing a new song!
Sing of the great day when all will be one!
God will reign, and we’ll walk with each other
as sisters and brothers united in love.

Charge and Benediction
Dr. Robert R. Laha

Choral Response

—Wendy Matney
Performed by the Meeting House Virtual Choir


“Sortie in F” from L’organiste (1890)
—César Franck (1822–1890)

To learn more about today’s choir and organ music, click here for detailed notes from Musical Director and Organist Dr. Steven Seigart.