Order of Service for the Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

Welcome to this in-person service as we celebrate the four Sunday of Advent. This week the service will be live broadcast for those of you participating from home. Because it is a live broadcast it will not be available until 10:30 Sunday morning. 

CLICK HERE to join the December 20th Sunday morning livestream.

It is so wonderful to gather and worship once again! The flowers are to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Asalyn Meakin, Canon J. W. R. and Oriole Meakin, and Alex and Moletta Hodgins. They are also in loving memory of Col. Ted Price, Mary W. Price and Karen S. Price.

Service music: Messe d’Escalquens - Jean Langlais

Prelude:  Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen (op 122) – Johannes Brahms




Holy God, holy and mighty, holy immortal one, have mercy upon us.


Dear friends, we gather this morning on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Nation, and we recognize the continuing presence of First Nations, Métis and Inuit in this region.
May we dwell on this land with respect and peace.

Here let heaven and earth embrace;
here may God’s people find home.

Advent Wreath Liturgy

Because too many people are wandering in the wilderness,
because too many people are sitting in the valley of the shadow of death;

because too many of our conversations are laced with conflict and rancor,
because people all over the world are suffering;

Because we are too often distracted to notice,
we yearn for the coming of God’s kingdom.

In the face of everything,
a candle of love is lit.

Let the light from this candle
burn away everything that is preventing God’s love from being born among us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, be not afraid, God’s hope, peace, joy and love are at hand!

Collect of the Day

God of scandalous love, Mary consented to bear the shame and carry your Word within herself: may her courage give hope to us who yearn to sing new songs of justice and find the world a dwelling place for God; through Jesus Christ, the one who is to come. Amen.


First Reading:    2 Samuel 7:1-11,16

Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, "See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent." Nathan said to the king, "Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you." But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, "Why have you not built me a house of cedar?" Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Thanks be to God.

Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26

Your love, O Lord, for ever will I sing; from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness. For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever; you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens. “I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn an oath to David my servant: ‘I will establish your line for ever, and preserve your throne for all generations.’”
You spoke once in a vision and said to your faithful people: “I have set the crown upon a warrior and have exalted one chosen out of the people. I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him. My hand will hold him fast and my arm will make him strong. No enemy shall deceive him, nor any wicked man bring him down. I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him. My faithfulness and love shall be with him, and he shall be victorious through my name. I shall make his dominion extend from the Great Sea to the River. He will say to me, ’You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation’.

Second Reading: Romans 16:25-27

Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith - to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Thanks be to God.

Holy Gospel:  Luke 1:26-38

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.
Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you." But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.

The Gospel of Christ.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


Motet:    Angelus ad virginem –John Rutter

Angelus ad virginem subintrans in conclave,Virginis formidinem demulcens inquit “Ave! Ave, regina virginum;caeli terraeque Dominum concipieset paries Intacta salutem hominum;tu porta caeli facta, medela criminum." | Th'angel to the Virgin said, Ent'ring into her bower,For dread of quaking of this maid,He said "Hail" with great honoure."Hail!" be thou queen of maidens mo,Lord of heaven and earth also,conceive thou shalt,and bear with al the Lord of might,heal of all mankind.He will make the gate of heaven bright,med'çine of all our sin." | "Quo modo conciperem Quae virum non cognovi?Qualiter infringeremquod firmamente vovi?" ”Spiritus Sancti gratia perficiet haec omnia;ne timeas, sed gaudeas, se curea quod castimoniamanebit in te pura, Dei potentia." | “How shall I conceive, since I know not a man? How shall I break what I have reolutely vowed?” “The grace of the Holy Spirit shall perform all this. Fear not, but rejoice, confident that chastity will remain pure in you by the power of God.”

Prayers of the People

As we prepare for the festival of Jesus’ birth, let us pray that we hear God’s word clearly and receive the faith God gives.

Holy One, who astonishes us with surprising gifts, we pray for your church and for people of faith in every language and belief, that your wisdom will show us our common life, and that all people may rejoice in what you create. O God, who is with us,
hear our prayer.

Giver of the stars and planets, creator of rivers and oceans, and creatures large and small, we pray for wisdom as we live on and with your earth. Evoke in us awe for your goodness in these familiar surroundings: our hills and valleys, forests and deserts, that the powers you have placed here to move through soil and air will remind us always of your bounty and your love. O God, who is with us,
hear our prayer.

Power above all powers, we pray for the leaders of governments in every nation, that they may have wisdom to choose what serves the common good. O God, who is with us,
hear our prayer.

Lover of all creation, we pray for all those we too easily forget: those of your children who are poor, or homeless, or in prison; those who are sick, or lonely, or frightened; all who hunger for faith and hope. Care for them, that they may be strengthened by joy in your healing. O God, who is with us,
hear our prayer.

Holy One, in whose community we thrive, we pray for those with whom we share our daily lives: our families, friends, and neighbors, those with whom we work and play, those whose names we do not know who provide for us, that we may all be renewed in courage and nurtured in hope. O God, who is with us,
hear our prayer.

Sustainer of your people, we give you thanks for members of the body of Christ in every age and every place who, by their witness, bring us here today. Come to us in Christ, O God, that we who live in this world by faith may see that faith confirmed in the world to come; through the risen One who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Confession and Absolution

Dear friends in Christ, God is steadfast in love and infinite in mercy; welcoming sinners and inviting us to this table. Let us confess our sins, confident in God’s forgiveness.

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us, that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

The Peace

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.

The Offertory Hymn:   Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming – Es ist ein’ Ros


Prayer Over the Gifts

Gracious God, by the power of the Spirit who sanctified the mother of your Son, make holy all we offer you this day. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.

The 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 right to give you thanks and praise, O Lord, our God, sustainer of the universe, you are worthy of glory and praise.
Glory to you for ever and ever.

At your command all things came to be: the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our island home; by your will they were created and have their being.
Glory to you for ever and ever.

From the primal elements you brought forth the human race, and blessed us with memory, reason, and skill; you made us the stewards of creation.
Glory to you for ever and ever.

But we turn against you, and betray your trust; and we turn against one another. Again and again you call us to return. Through the prophets and sages you reveal your righteous law. In the fullness of time you sent your Son, born of a woman, to be our Saviour. He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities. By his death he opened to us the way of freedom and peace.
Glory to you for ever and ever.

Therefore we praise you, joining with the heavenly chorus, with prophets, apostles, and martyrs, and with those in every generation who have looked to you in hope, to proclaim with them your glory, in their unending hymn: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed are you, Lord our God, for sending us Jesus, the Christ, who on the night he was handed over to suffering and death, took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread, gave it to his friends, and said, “Take this, and eat it: this is my body which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after supper, he took the cup of wine; he gave you thanks, and said, “Drink this, all of you: this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”
Glory to you for ever and ever.

Gracious God, we recall the death of your Son Jesus Christ, we proclaim his resurrection and ascension, and we look with expectation for his coming as Lord of all the nations. We who have been redeemed by him, and made a new people by water and the Spirit, now bring you these gifts. Send your Holy Spirit upon us and upon this offering of your Church, that we who eat and drink at this holy table may share the divine life of Christ our Lord.
Glory to you for ever and ever.

Pour out your Spirit upon the whole earth and make it your new creation. Gather your Church together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom, where peace and justice are revealed, that we, with all your people, of every language, race, and nation, may share the banquet you have promised; through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, all honour and glory are yours, creator of all. People Glory to you for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

And now, as our Saviour Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,
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. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Breaking of the Bread

God of promise, you prepare a banquet for us in your kingdom.
Happy are those who are called to the supper of the Lamb.


The gifts of God for the People of God.
Thanks be to God.

Agnus Dei

Motet:  A tender shoot – Goldschmidt (arr. Calkin)

A tender shoot hath started up from a root of grace, as ancient seers imparted, from Jesse’s holy race, it blooms without blight, blooms in the cold bleak winter turning darkness into light. This shoot Isaiah taught us from Jesse’s root should spring, the Virgin Mary brought us the branch of which we sing, our God of endless might, gave her this child to save us thus turning darkness into light.


Prayer after Communion

Faithful God, in this sacrament we receive the promise of salvation. May we, like the Virgin Mary, be obedient to your will. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.

Glory to God,
whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. Glory to God from generation to generation, in the Church and in Christ Jesus, for ever and ever. Amen.

Blessing and Dismissal

Christ the Sun of Righteousness shine upon you and scatter the darkness from before your path; and may the blessing of God be upon you this day and always. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Postlude:  Meine Seele erhebt den Herren – Johann Pachelbel


We invite you to make your offering to the Cathedral at this time by CLICKING HERE  


Celebrant  Canon Doug Richards
Gospeller Dean Beth Bretzlaff
Preacher  Canon Hilary Murray
Organists  Nicholas Walters
Sung by Members of Voces Cathedræ
Readers   Barbara Morris, Trudy Seliger
Intercessor  Jane Coutts
Duty Warden   Nicholas Galambos

Advent Wreath: www.saltproject.org ©2020. Liturgy: The Book of Alternative Services ©1985 by the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada. Readings: New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV) Anglicized Edition, ©1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Prayers: Feasting on the Word Worship Companion, Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, Kindle Edition.


Book of Alternative Services copyright © 1985 and Common Praise copyright © 1998 by the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada. All rights reserved. Reproduced under license from ABC Publishing, Anglican Book Centre, a ministry of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, from Anglican Liturgical Library. Further copying is prohibited. Readings from New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, © copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.