The Family assigned to light the ADVENT CANDLES assembles in the front seat – ‘Candle’ Side.

The 3 candles that were lighted the previous Sundays are lit before the Procession begins.

The Cantor sings / recites the Verse:

The Choir leads the Assembly in singing the Response

When the Ministers are ready to begin the Procession the CM says:   Please STAND.

C       The Spirit and the Church cry out:

All       Come, Lord Jesus!

C       All those who await his coming pray:

All       Come, Lord Jesus!

C       The whole creation pleads:

All       Come, Lord Jesus!


CM    As we await Christ’s coming let us sing our Gathering Song:

The Ministers begin the procession

Presider kisses the altar.

He may go to his Chair – as usual – or he may stand near the Wreath.

Sanctuary Assistants with Clear Book and Microphone are in attendance.

Other Ministers proceed to usual places.

Sign of the Cross

Greeting  & Welcome

P       Blessed be the Lord who comes to visit his people.

 May his grace and peace be with you.

Lighting of Candles

Assigned family ascends steps and lights the 4th Candle on the ADVENT WREATH.

While they do this the Presider says slowly:

P       On this, the final Sunday of ADVENT,

as we light the candles of our Advent wreath,

let us pray that we, like Mary,

may welcome the mystery of Christ’s coming into our lives

and so become instruments

of the coming of the reign of God in all its fullness.

The family members now return to their seat.

The Presider may wish to include the following Rite:   A  or  B

A  Penitential Rite

The anniversary of Jesus’ birth is just days away. 

The whole Church is filled with joyful expectation because  – like Mary and Elizabeth – we believe that the Lord’s promises will be fulfilled.

Lord Jesus, you came to do the will of your Father:

Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you came to bring joy to those who waited for your coming:

Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you came to be a shepherd to your people:

Lord, have mercy.

B          Litany of Praise

As the birth of a child draws near, attention focuses on the mother.

Since we are nearing the celebration of the birth of Christ,

it is no surprise to find that Mary is at the center of today’s Gospel.

          Let us now call out to the Son of Mary, the Son of the Most High God.


You came as Son of David to establish the reign of God;

Lord, come and save us.

Lord, come and save us.

You come as Son of Mary to be Emmanuel, God-with-us:

Christ, come and save us.

Christ, come and save us.

You will come as Son of God to bring creation to fulfillment:

Lord, come and save us.

Lord, come and save us.

Opening Prayer

A       Who are we, Lord, that you should come to us?

Yet you have visited your people

and redeemed us in your Son.

As we prepare to celebrate his birth,

make our hearts leap for joy at the sound of your Word,

and move us by your Spirit to bless your wonderful works.

We ask this through him whose coming is certain,

your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

God for ever and ever.  AMEN.

B       God of the everlasting covenant,

          Shepherd of your people,

you chose Mary, the humble daughter of Israel,

to become the earthly dwelling-place

of Jesus, the promised One.

          Stir up within us the desire

that with Christ we may do your will,

and with Mary offer ourselves to you

as an unceasing hymn of praise.

We ask this your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,

who was, who is and who is to come,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

God for ever and ever.  AMEN.

                                      GENERAL  INTERCESSIONS

P       As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ our Savior,

let us open our hearts and make known to him our needs.

CM    Our response is:    Come, Lord, do not delay.

Please repeat:

1          Like good shepherds, may our civic and religious leaders be sensitive to the needs of our people and hear their cry for a just, transparent, participatory, and caring government.  We pray:

2          Like Mary who visited her cousin Elizabeth and brought her great joy, may the Church be a bringer of glad tidings to all peoples, especially the sick, the disabled, and the aged.  We pray:

3          May the visit of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth inspire us to visit our friends and neighbors who are lonely and in need of company.  We pray:.

4          That the members of our community who will be away from home during the Christmas Season be comforted by our prayers and an awareness of our love for them. We pray:

5          That, like Mary, our answer will always be “Yes” to the will of God in our lives. 

We pray:

P       Merciful Father, giver of the breath of life, prepare our hearts

so that like Mary we may be worthy dwelling places for your Son Jesus, who lives and reigns with you for ever and ever.  AMEN.

Prayer over the Gifts   [based on Readings & Gospel]

Faithful God,

you do not take pleasure in sacrifices and offerings

but in the lives of people who do your will.

Accept our simple gifts of bread and wine

and grant that, like Mary,

we will be inspired to bring Christ to others.

For we have been sanctified

through the offering of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.  AMEN.


Invitation to the Lord’s Prayer

A       Patiently awaiting the Lord whose coming is near,

let us rejoice as we lift up our hands and pray:

B       Like Jesus, we must be ready to do the will of the Father;

so let us ask for the help to do this…  as we pray / sing:

Deliver us Lord

Deliver us, Lord, from every evil.

Help us to understand

that we must be ready not only to give but also to receive.

Open our hearts to welcome your Son

and to receive from him light and life,

as we prepare in joyful hope

for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Prayer for Peace   

The Prophet Micah has said to us:

“The one who is to rule…

shall be the one of peace”.

Lord Jesus Christ, look not on our sins,

but on the faith of your Church,

and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom

where you live for ever and ever.

Sign of Peace

Elizabeth’s child leapt for joy at the presence of Jesus.

Let us now share our joy by offering each other a sign of peace.

     Optional Prayer to accompany the Breaking of Bread

P       Now let us break the bread of life

remembering the words of Jesus:

“See, I am coming soon.”  (Rev.27:7)

All     “Marana-tha!

Come, Lord Jesus, come!”   (1 Cor. 16:22)


Invitation to Communion

A       This is Jesus, the Son of Mary,

the Son of the Most High.

Blessed are we to receive him, our God-with-us.

B       Behold the One who comes to gather God’s people

and to feed the Lord’s flock.

Blessed are those who are called to the banquet of the Lamb.

Prayer after Communion

Generous God,

in this Eucharist you have visited us

and filled us with the Holy Spirit.

Like Mary, may we too be blessed

because we believe that your Word will be fulfilled in us

as we prepare for his coming  –

Jesus, your Son, who is Lord for ever and ever.  AMEN.


May God make you steadfast in faith,

joyful in hope,

and untiring in love all the days of your life.  AMEN.

May the coming of the Son of God bring you the light of holiness

and fill you with his blessing.   AMEN.

May the Holy Spirit,

by whose working the Virgin Mary conceived the Christ,

reveal to you the path from darkness to light.   AMEN.

And may almighty God bless you,

+ the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.    AMEN.


Our celebration is ended.Go, and with Mary prepare for the coming of the Lord.

Download printable file here: 

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