Presider’s Page for 19 December (Fourth Sunday of Advent)

‘O Come O Come, Emmanuel’; ‘Maranatha’; ‘Oh the Love of my Lord is the essence’; ‘Christ be our Light’.

Opening Comment
In less than a week’s time, this year’s Advent will draw to a close; we have just a few days left to prepare our souls for the birth of Christ. On this Sunday, we rejoice that the promise made to Mary by the Lord has been fulfilled.

Penitential Rite
Reflecting on the mystery of endless love, we call to mind moments when this love did not fill our lives (pause):
You were sent to heal the contrite of heart: Lord, have mercy.
You came to call sinners: Christ, have mercy.
You are seated at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us: Lord, have mercy.

Alternative Opening Prayer (from the 1998 ICEL Missal)
Who are we, Lord God,
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,
whose day draws near: your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.

Introduction to the Scripture Readings
Micah 5:1-4 The promise is given that Bethlehem will be the birthplace of the shepherd of Israel.
Hebrews 10:5-10 Instead of offering sacrifices, Jesus offers himself, dedicating himself to do God’s will —a model for all believers.
Luke 1:39-44 Blessed is Mary among women, and blessed is the fruit of her womb – Jesus, whose birth we will shortly celebrate.


Introduction (by the Presider) Let us bring our prayers to God, the shepherd of Israel, who always protects his own.

  1. For all who follow Christ — that we may make our hearts ready for Christmas (stop and pray for a short while – just 10 seconds) Lord, hear us.
  2. For Pope Francis — that God may bless him in his 86th year (stop and pray for a short while – just 10 seconds) Lord, hear us.
  3. For those who are homeless this Christmas — that they may be looked after (stop and pray for a short while – just 10 seconds) Lord, hear us.
  4. For refugees looking for a place to live — that they may be given shelter from danger (stop and pray for a short while – just 10 seconds) Lord, hear us.
  5. For those affected by COVID-19 — that the sick may get better (stop and pray for a short while – just 10 seconds) Lord, hear us.
  6. For nurses and doctors tired from their work — that God may sustain them (stop and pray for a short while – just 10 seconds) Lord, hear us.

The Presider prays for the dead: For our people who have gone before us in faith (especially N and N) that they may share in Christ’s resurrection from the dead (stop and pray for a short while – just 10 seconds) Lord, hear us.

Conclusion (by the Presider) God of hosts, you look down from heaven and see our needs, let your face shine on us and save us, we pray, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

may the power of the Spirit
which came upon Mary and made her womb fruitful
sanctify the gifts we have placed on this altar.
Grant this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Preface of Advent II (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

He is the one foretold by all the prophets,
whom the Virgin Mother awaited with love beyond all telling,
the one whose coming John the Baptist heralded,
and whose presence he proclaimed.

This same Lord invites us to prepare with joy
for the mystery of his birth,
so that when he comes
he may find us watchful in prayer,
our hearts filled with wonder and praise.

And so, with angels and archangels,
with all the heavenly host,
we proclaim your glory
and join their unending chorus of praise: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY….

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER II (with interpolation for Sunday mornings)
Lord, you are holy indeed,
you are the fountain of all holiness.

[In communion with the whole Church,
we have assembled on this day which you have made holy,
and, rejoicing that you have made us a new creation in your risen Son,
we pray:]

Send down your Spirit upon these gifts to make them holy,
that they may become for us
the body + and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Before he was given up to death,
a death he freely accepted,
he took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke the bread,
gave it to his disciples, and said:

When supper was ended, he took the cup;
again he gave you thanks,
gave the cup to his disciples, and said:

The mystery of faith…..

Remembering therefore his death and resurrection,
we offer you, Lord God,
this life-giving bread, this saving cup.
We thank you for counting us worthy
to stand in your presence and serve you.
We pray that all of us who share in the body and blood of Christ
may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit.

Lord, remember your Church throughout the world:
perfect us in love
together with Francis our Pope and N. our Bishop,
with all bishops, priests, and deacons,
and all who minister to your people.

Remember our brothers and sisters
who have gone to their rest
in the sure hope of rising again;
bring them and all who have died in your mercy
into the light of your presence.

Have mercy on us all:
make us worthy to share eternal life,
with Mary, the virgin Mother of God,
with the apostles and with all the saints,
who have found favour with you throughout the ages;
in union with them
may we praise you and give you glory
through your Son, Jesus Christ.

Through him, with him, In him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honour is yours, almighty Father,
for ever and ever.

In this communion, almighty God,
you have given us the pledge of eternal redemption.
Grant that the closer we come to the feast of Christmas,
the more eagerly we may prepare to celebrate
the saving mystery of your Son’s birth.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

SOLEMN BLESSING for the Season of Advent (from 1998 ICEL Missal)

Bow your heads for God’s blessing.

We rejoice at the coming of the Saviour in our flesh,
and we await his return again in glory.

May God the almighty and merciful
bless you by the light of Christ’s coming,
and enrich your lives with every grace.
R. Amen.
May God make you steadfast in faith,
joyful in hope,
and untiring in love all the days of your life.
R. Amen.
May God reward you with eternal life
when our Redeemer comes again in glory.
R. Amen.

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