Presider’s Page for 21 December (Advent 4)
Advent is drawing to a close, so we have just a few days left to prepare for the birth of Christ. On this Sunday, we’re invited to follow Mary’s example and imitate her faith.
Alternative Opening Prayer (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
Here in our midst, O God of mystery,
you disclose the secret hidden for countless ages.
For you we wait, for you we listen.
Upon hearing your voice
may we, like Mary, embrace your will
and become a dwelling fit for your Word.
Grant 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
2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16 — David is told it’s not his job to build a temple for God. God will build a great house for all people. This plan too shape with the birth of Jesus, son of David.
Romans 16:25-27 — The mystery kept secret for ages is a secret no more, says Paul. The mystery is revealed in Jesus Christ.
Luke 1:26-38 — The story of the Annunciation is told again; Mary is shown as the model of faith for Christmastime.
Introduction (by the Presider) God’s love for us endures forever, so we present our needs with confidence.
- For all who profess the Christian faith, that with open hearts they may welcome their Saviour (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the Jewish people, descendants of the great King David, that God’s promises to them may be fulfilled (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the members of all religions, that they may grow in tolerance and respect for each other (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For people in our community who feel they lack courage, that they may be inspired by Mary’s trust in God (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For our relatives and friends coming home for Christmas, that they may travel safely and find rest here in their native place (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For people who suffered grief or illness in 2014, that their friends may support them when they are lonely (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
The presider prays for those who have gone before us in faith (especially N and N), and for all the people who have died in road accidents since last Christmas (pause): that they and all the dead may receive a welcome to God’s house (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) O God, your love for your people endures forever: hear our prayers and send us your help, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SONGS AT MASS (Suggestions) ‘O Come O Come, Emmanuel’; ‘Maranatha’; ‘Oh the love of my Lord is the essence’.
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….
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.
May God make you steadfast in faith,
joyful in hope,
and untiring in love all the days of your life.
May God reward you with eternal life
when our Redeemer comes again in glory.
The priest concludes, using one of the following forms of blessing.
A May almighty God bless you,
the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.
B May the blessing of almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit,
come upon you and remain with you for ever.