The Third Sunday of Advent

Today the third candle on the Advent Wreath will be lit.

The third candle is the Shepherd’s Candle representing joy: In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. (Luke 2:8–11).

Our written service today offers prayers, readings and music to help as you worship from home.


Opening Collect

O Lord Jesus Christ,
who at your first coming sent your messenger
to prepare your way before you:
grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries
may likewise so prepare and make ready your way
by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
that at your second coming to judge the world
we may be found an acceptable people in your sight;
for you are alive and reign with the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen. 


A Prayer for Advent

In this Advent of expectation
draw us together in unity,
that our praise and worship
might echo in these walls
and also through our lives.

In this Advent of expectation
draw us together in mission,
that the hope within
might be the song we sing,
and the melody of our lives.

In this Advent of expectation
draw us together in service,
that the path we follow
might lead us from a stable
to a glimpse of eternity. Amen.

Opening Hymn

Hymn 16 – Christians awake

The Readings

Zephaniah 3: 14-20
Philippians 4: 4-7
Luke 3: 7-18


The Anthem

This is the record of John – Orlando Gibbons 


The Intercessions

Let us bring our prayers for ourselves and others to our Father in heaven who reaches out to redeem, heal and restore us through his Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Lord we pray for your people everywhere as we seek to walk in your Holy Way. In fellowship with the saints who have gone before us, and with those around us now, may we receive your good news with joy and thanksgiving. Help us to pass on that good news to the anxious, the weak, the disappointed and all who suffering in any kind of need.
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Lord we pray for the wild places of the world; places of violence, civil unrest and terrorism; places of grinding poverty where hunger and thirst go unrelieved; places of disease and early death. Help us to play our part in bringing forth water in these wilderness places and streams of healing, nourishment, peace and reconciliation that your will may be done on earth.
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Lord we pray for the people among whom we live and work. We pray especially for those who are finding this Christmas season difficult, upsetting or painful. Help us to be sensitive to their needs and to be channels of your light, hope and encouragement.
Loving God, we thank You for the gift of life and pray for those whose lives are troubled by illness, grief, poverty or injustice. We pray that in the darkness of their suffering and pain Your Advent light will shine to bring them the assurance and hope of the coming of your son Jesus. . We remember at this time those known personally to us and those who have requested our prayers thinking especially of –

(add names of those requesting prayer)
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Welcome all who have died in your peace, bring them to everlasting life with you.
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Grant, almighty God, that looking forward in faith to the feast of our Lord’s birth, we may feel all the happiness our Saviour brings, and celebrate his coming with unfailing joy.

Merciful God, who sent John the Baptist to proclaim the Good News help us as we go from this church to be true heralds of the coming of Christ and to proclaim the Gospel through all we do and say.
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Merciful father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen 


The Closing Hymn

Hymn 345 – Christ is the king, O friends rejoice

Closing Prayers

God of hope, who brought love into this world,
be the love that dwells between us.
God of hope, who brought peace into this world,
be the peace that dwells between us.
God of hope, who brought joy into this world,
be the joy that dwells between us.
God of hope, the rock we stand upon,
be the centre, the focus of our lives
always, and particularly this Advent time. Amen. 

May the Lord make us ready for his coming in glory.


Thanks to for some of our advent prayers.