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    Today Is: Fourth Sunday of Advent
Sun, 22 Dec 2019 -- The Lectionary Cycle is: A

Click for Responsorial Psalm

Collect for: Fourth Sunday of Advent
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Old Testament
Isaiah 7:10-17

10 Moreover the LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 Ask a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.' 12 But Ahaz said, 'I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD!' 13 Then he said, 'Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. 15 Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings. 17 The LORD will bring the king of Assyria upon you and your people and your father's house -- days that have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah.'

Officiant: The Word of the Lord.
The People: Thanks be to God.


Psalm
Psalm 80

1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock; You who dwell between the cherubim, shine forth! 2 Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, Stir up Your strength, And come and save us! 3 Restore us, O God; Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved! 4 O LORD God of hosts, How long will You be angry Against the prayer of Your people? 5 You have fed them with the bread of tears, And given them tears to drink in great measure. 6 You have made us a strife to our neighbors, And our enemies laugh among themselves. 7 Restore us, O God of hosts; Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved! 8 You have brought a vine out of Egypt; You have cast out the nations, and planted it. 9 You prepared room for it, And caused it to take deep root, And it filled the land. 10 The hills were covered with its shadow, And the mighty cedars with its boughs. 11 She sent out her boughs to the Sea, And her branches to the River. 12 Why have You broken down her hedges, So that all who pass by the way pluck her fruit? 13 The boar out of the woods uproots it, And the wild beast of the field devours it. 14 Return, we beseech You, O God of hosts; Look down from heaven and see, And visit this vine 15 And the vineyard which Your right hand has planted, And the branch that You made strong for Yourself. 16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down; They perish at the rebuke of Your countenance. 17 Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself. 18 Then we will not turn back from You; Revive us, and we will call upon Your name. 19 Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved!

*At the end of the Psalms this is sung or said
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.


New Testament
Romans 1:1-7

1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. 5 Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; 7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Officiant: The Word of the Lord.
The People: Thanks be to God.


Gospel
Matthew 1:18-25

Introduction to the Gospel:
Deacon:The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you. Or And with your spirit
Deacon: May the Lord be on our minds, on our lips, and on our hearts as we hear His Holy Gospel. The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew.
People: Glory to You, Lord Christ.
Deacon: We are reading from Matthew's Gospel chapter 1, beginning at verse 18.

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.' 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,' which is translated, 'God with us.' 24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.

After the Gospel reading, the deacon elevates the book and says:

Deacon: The Gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to You, Lord Christ.

Prayers of the People

Prayers of the People for: Fourth Sunday of Advent

Brothers and sisters, confident that God is with us, let us bring our needs and those of the whole world before the God of all.

That the Church, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, will proclaim the coming of Christ in word and deed.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


That nations will bring about conditions where peace and goodwill will flourish.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


That following St. Joseph's example, all fathers will be strengthened in love for their wives and their children.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


That those who are sick will be filled with Christ's healing presence.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


That those who suffer loneliness, discrimination or depression will sense God's abiding presences with them and have His peace.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


That we, who are baptized into Christ, will be drawn deeper into our relationship with Him, readying ourselves for His return.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


For our own special intentions. (Pause)
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


God of peace, Joseph and Mary responded to Your Will by embracing Your plan of salvation. Hear our prayer and give us the grace to desire to do Your Will above all else. We ask this through Christ our Lord. AMEN