Order of Service

Good morning and welcome to everyone who has come to St. Ninian's this morning.  We hope you will enjoy our fellowship as we worship God together today. As a congregation our mission is to, 'Worship God together, encourage personal faith and prayer, spread the Good News about Jesus Christ, and love and care for others in our community.'

This morning we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent.  In the four weeks of Advent we watch, wait, and prepare in hope amidst the darkness of the world to celebrate the birth of the light of the World.  Today, we also celebrate together the Sacrament of Holy Communion.  Everyone is welcome to join us to share the Lord's Supper.

For children there is a crèche and a Sunday School in different classes split by age.  Visiting children are free to join in, please ask those on the door for guidance.  The organist is Anne Kirkpatrick, the minister is Rev. James Aitken, the reader is Andrew Job.

There is a Visitors' Book at the front door, please sign it if you are a visitor, and join the congregation after the service in the Martin Shields Hall for tea and coffee.

 

ENTRANCE

The service begins with a sentence from the Bible (Psalm 122: 1), a call to stand (please do so if you are able to), an introit from the choir, and the entrance of the Bible.  For the rest of the service the words in bold are read or sung by everyone.  We sit to pray and stand to sing.

INTROIT            Christ is coming

LIGHTING OF THE FIRST ADVENT CANDLE

READING:    ‘The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.  They lived in a land of shadows, but now light is shining on them.’ (Isaiah 9:2)

WELCOME, INTIMATIONS and SHARING OF THE PEACE

We welcome one another with a handshake of fellowship, and Christ's words 'Peace be with you'.

APPROACH TO GOD

CALL TO WORSHIP (Romans 13: 11 – 12)

HYMN: 273        O come, O come, Emmanuel

PRAYERS OF APPROACH, CONFESSION & LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy name, Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen

THE MINISTRY OF THE WORD

SCRIPTURE:      

 Isaiah 2: 1 - 5                        Pg 558

Matthew 24: 36 - 44                Pg 813

HYMN 543        Longing for light, we wait in darkness

SERMON

OUR RESPONSE TO GOD 

OFFERING & PRAYER OF DEDICATION

Freely given, our offering supports the work of Christ's church and symbolises our spiritual dedication to the building-up of the Kingdom of God

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

We give thanks for our blessings, and cry out for help for others and ourselves singing hymn 275, alternating a word of prayer with a verse of hymn:

HYMN 275  Come now, O Prince of peace

HYMN 655        For your generous providing

THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION

Jesus took bread and wine, and shared them with his disciples as symbols of his life sacrificed to the cause of his ministry of love.  He asked them to continue this practice in his memory.  We take bread and wine as symbols of Jesus' body, broken for us, and share them with each other.  All are welcome to eat the gluten-free bread and drink the non-alcoholic wine.  

 Invitation and Confession of Faith 

Jesus invites us to the table. We respond to that invitation by reading together a statement of what we believe authorised by the Church of Scotland's General Assembly.

All:    We believe in God:

        who has created and is creating;

        who has come in the true man, Jesus,

        to reconcile and make new;

        who works in us and others by his Spirit.

    We trust him.  He calls us to be his Church:

        to celebrate his presence;

        to love and serve others;

        to seek justice and resist evil;

        to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, our judge and our hope.

 In life; in death; in life beyond death, God is with us:

        we are not alone;

        thanks be to God.  Amen.

Narrative of the Institution

We hear Paul tell the story of Jesus’ last supper with his disciples, and his instruction to them to repeat the meal in memory of him.

Prayer of Thanksgiving 

We say thank you for God's work in creation, the new life of Jesus Christ, and the work of the Holy Spirit bringing us into communion as the church, Christ's body on earth.

Minister:    The Lord be with you

All:    And also with you

Minister:    Lift up your hearts.

All:    We lift them to the Lord.

Minister:    Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

All:    It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Minister:    Generous God, thank you that you make this world marvellous for us to enjoy: you bless when we curse; you heal when we wound; you save when we are bent on being lost.  Loving God, thank you that you gave Jesus as our friend to bring us to you.  You sent him into the world to satisfy the longings of your people for a Saviour, to bring freedom to the captives of sin, and to establish justice for the oppressed.  He came among us as one of us, born as vulnerable baby, taking the lot of the poor, sharing human suffering.  Gracious God, thank you that in this new life your Spirit draws us together in holiness, resurrecting here on earth your body, broken, but longing to be whole.  By the power of that Holy Spirit may this bread and wine be for us the body and blood of your Son so that we may become his living body, loving and caring for the world.  Now, gracious God, as an act of memorial, thanksgiving and commitment we follow the example Jesus set for us, and with your people of all places and all times, and with the whole company of heaven we proclaim your greatness and sing your praises in the angels’ song:

All:     Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. (Isaiah 6:3)

Minister    Eternal God, gather all who share this one bread and one cup into one in your Kingdom so that with the faithful of all ages we may with one voice and one heart glorify your name; through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever.  Amen.

Breaking of Bread

In preparation for sharing bread we break it as a symbol of Christ’s body broken for us in solidarity with all broken humanity.

Communion

The elders are served first then distribute the bread and the wine throughout the congregation. If you do not wish to take part pass the elements to your neighbour.

Minister:    Jesus, Lamb of God,

All:    have mercy on us.

Minister:    Jesus, bearer of our sins,

All:    have mercy on us.

Minister:    Jesus, redeemer of the world,

All:    grant us peace.

Minister:    Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all who are weary and whose load is heavy; I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble-hearted;     and you will find rest for your souls.’ (Mtt 11: 28 – 29).  We come not because we ought, but because we may.  We come not because we are righteous, but because we are penitent.  We come not because we are strong, but because we are weak.  We come not because we are whole, but because we are broken.

Post-communion prayer

SENDING OUT

HYMN 477        Lo, he comes with clouds descending     

BENEDICTION 

Go now in peace, never be afraid. 

God will go with you each hour of every day.

Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true.

Know He will guide you in all you do.

Go now in love, and show you believe.

Reach out to others, so all the world can see.

God will be there, watching from above. 

Go now in peace, in faith and in love.

 




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