Gathering Song Wait for the Lord (Taizé)
All sing: Wait for the Lord, His day is near,

Wait for the Lord be strong take heart.
(The Entrance Procession is led by two carrying icons of Jesus and Mary, two acolytes with candles followed by the celebrant with the Book of the Gospels)


Opening Prayer
All say: God, our Creator,

Open our ears that we might hear the message of the Gospel.
Your Good News is as bright and fulfilling now as it was when your Son came among us in the flesh to proclaim it.
May your Word move us to greater love toward our neighbour, our enemy, our family, a stranger in need – for in all these we see your loving face. We ask this through your Son, Christ our Lord. Amen.

Reflection We must exist only to make place for God, the highest inmost place….
There, when we are no longer putting ourselves in the way, God can be born in us.” (Meister Eckhart)

Song    Come to us, O Emmanuel (Marty Haugen)
All sing: Come to us, O Emmanuel

Reading Prologue of John I:1,14
In the beginning was the Word:

The Word was with God and the word was God.
The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us
And we have seen his glory.
(These verses are read in turn by representatives of three generations who pass the Book of the Gospels from one to the other)


Reading Isaiah 64:8
Lord, you are our Father: we the clay, you the potter, we are all the work of your hand.

(After the reading they work on clay in front of the sanctuary)


All say: We are all work in progress, because God is still moulding and shaping us into the image

He has in mind for us, if we allow Him to do that.
First we need to surrender to our Maker and be willing to become like clay. If we entrust our lives into God’s mighty hands, He will use all of life’s circumstances to accomplish his work.
The moulding of our lives and characters is not a physical, but a spiritual activity and it takes time and patience to finish it.
It is also a painful process, because of the fallen state of this world and our disobedience to God.
If we are willing to be in the centre of God’s will He is able to shape us with his loving, powerful hands into the image that He has in mind for us: the beautiful image of His Son, Jesus Christ!

Song Zion Hears the Watchmen’s Voices (J.S. Bach)

Organ Solo Wachet Auf (J.S.Bach)

Song Ullmhaigí Bóthar an Tiarna (Máire Ní Dhuibhir)
All sing: Ullmhaigí Bóthar an Tiarna, Alleluia, Alleluia

Reading Isaiah 40
A voice cries, ‘Prepare in the wilderness a way for the Lord.

Make a straight highway for our God across the desert. (3)


Reading Isaiah 40
Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am,

And I am not fit to kneel down and undo the straps of his sandals. (3)


Song    Save us, O Lord (Bob Dufford)
All sing: Save us, O Lord, carry us back, rouse your power and come~Rescue your people, show us your face, bring us back.



Reading Isaiah 61:1-2
The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,

For the Lord has anointed me.
He sent me to bring the good news to the poor,
To bind up hearts that are broken;
To proclaim liberty to captives,
Freedom to those in prison;
To proclaim a year of favour for the Lord.


Song    Spirit of the Living God

Reflection: You say, God says
You say: “I can’t manage.”
God says: I will supply all your needs. (Phil 4:19)
You say: “I can’t do it.”
God says: You can do all things in me. (Phil 4:13)
You say: “It’s impossible.”
God says: All things are possible with me. (Luke 18:27)
You say: “I can’t forgive myself.”
God says: I forgive you. (I John 1:9)
You say: “I feel worthless.” God says: You are my work of art. (Eph. 2:10) You say: “I can’t figure things out.” God says: I will direct your steps. (Proverbs 3:5-6) You say: “I’m too tired.” God says: I will give you rest. (Matt 11:28-20) You say: “I can’t go on.” God says: My grace is sufficient for you. (II Cor.12: 9) You say: “I’m afraid.” God says: I did not give you a spirit of fear. (II Tim. 1:7) You say: “I’m always worried and frustrated.” God says: Cast all your anxieties on me. (I Peter 5:7) You say: “I feel all alone.” God says: I will never leave you or forsake you. (Heb. 13:5) You say: “Nobody really loves me.” God says: I love you. (John 3:16; John 13:34)

Procession with Trócaire Basket     I Say ‘Yes’ My Lord (Marty Haugen)
All sing: I say ‘yes’ my Lord to all the good times to all the bad times

I say ‘yes’ my Lord to everything you say.

Reflection  Archbishop Oscar Romero
No one can celebrate a genuine Christmas without being truly poor. The self-sufficient, the proud, those who because they have everything, look down on others, those who have no need even of God – for them there will be no Christmas. Only the poor, the hungry, those who need someone to come on their behalf, will have that someone. That someone is God, Emmanuel, God-with-us. Without poverty of Spirit, there can be no abundance of God.

Song Behold a Virgin bearing Him (Ronan McDonagh) 

Reading Luke 1:26-38
Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son.
The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of the ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too; your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord’, said Mary, ‘let what you have said be done to me’. And the angel left her.

Song    Magnificat (Lourdes)/ Poem – Ephrem the Syrian
All sing: Magnificat, magnificat anima mea Dominum, anima mea Dominum

A wonder is your Mother:
The Lord entered her and became a servant;
He entered able to speak and became silent in her

All sing: Magnificat, magnificat anima mea Dominum, anima mea Dominum
He entered Shepherd of all; a lamb he became in her; He emerged bleating.

All sing: Magnificat, magnificat anima mea Dominum, anima mea Dominum
The womb of your mother overthrew the orders
The Establisher of all entered (as) a Rich One; He emerged poor.

All sing: Magnificat, magnificat anima mea Dominum, anima mea Dominum
He entered her a Lofty One;
He emerged humble…
He entered Nourisher of all,
and acquired hunger.

All sing: Magnificat, magnificat anima mea Dominum, anima mea Dominum
He entered, the One who gives drink to all, and He acquired thirst.
Stripped and laid bare,

All sing: Magnificat, magnificat anima mea Dominum, anima mea Dominum


Reflection:   The Power of One
Mary – her yes, our yes

One song can spark a moment, One flower can wake the dream. One tree can start a forest, One bird can herald spring. One smile begins a friendship, One handclasp lifts a soul. One star can guide a ship at sea, One word can frame the goal. One vote can change a nation, One sunbeam lights a room. One candle wipes out darkness, One laugh will conquer gloom. One step must start each journey, One word must start each prayer. One hope will raise our spirits, One touch can show you care. One voice can speak with wisdom, One heart can know what’s true, One life can make the difference, You see, it’s up to you.
(While reading this slowly a candle is brought for each thing and on the altar)

Blessing of Advent Wreath
Lord our God, we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ: He is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples, He is the Wisdom that teaches and guides us, He is the saviour of every nation. Lord God, let your blessing come upon us as we light the candles of this wreath. May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation. May He come quickly and not delay. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Song    Warm the Time of Winter (Lori True)
All sing: Holy light, warm our night, warm the time of winter

Holy light, warm our night, warm the time of winter

Advent Blessing
You believe that the Son of God once came to us; You look for him to come again. May his coming bring you the light of his holiness And free you with his blessing. Amen May God make you steadfast in faith, Joyful in hope, and untiring in love All the days of your life. Amen You rejoice that our Redeemer came to live with us as man. When he comes again in glory, May he reward you with endless life. Amen May almighty God bless you, The Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Recessional     O Come Emmanuel (French)
All sing:  Rejoice, Rejoice, O Israel, to you shall come Emmanuel