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Advent communion–come to bless us

The Lord be with you.  And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.  We lift them to the Lord. 
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

God of our salvation,
we do not deserve your love and yet you lavish it upon us.
Not being content to be apart from us,
you came to us in human form,
donning flesh and becoming one of us.
You are not a God that is removed from our reality
but is intimately present in our lives and our struggles.
We lift up to you our thanks for your presence among us.
We give thanks for your son, Jesus Christ,
the very incarnation of your being on this earth.

With all of creation, with all peoples in every time and place
we join the ever lasting chorus:
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.  Hosanna in the highest.

We remember how you called your servant Mary to bear your son,
how you called your servant Joseph to accompany her,
how you called the wise men to search and the shepherds to ponder,
how you called John to proclaim and Jesus to be baptized,
how you called Peter and the disciples to follow and serve.

With them, we gather on the night on which Jesus was betrayed,
when, after having dinner with his friends, he took the bread,
blessed it and broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying,
take, eat, do this in remembrance of me.

Likewise, he took the cup and, pouring it, said,
this is cup of the salvation, shed in my blood, for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this in remembrance of me.

For as long as we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we proclaim the resurrection of our living savior until he comes again.

As we wait, during this blessed rest known as the season of Advent,
we proclaim the mystery of faith.

Christ has died; Christ is risen;
Christ will come again.

We give thanks for your gifts of grace,
and ask that your Holy Spirit would come to bless this sacrament,
that we might preside with you and you in us.
Hear us as we pray the prayer you taught us to pray, saying:
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, forever.  Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

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