The First Sunday of Advent, Sunday November 28th, 2021. The Hanging of the Greens.


St. Paul’s Fort Garry Welcomes You



Acknowledgment


Welcome



Prelude: Season of Love. By, Sally Albright & Jay Althouse

Let me paint a picture:

a candle glowing bright,

a glist’ning winter night.

Let me paint a picture:

Enchantment in the air,

There’s magic everywhere.


It’s the season of hope,

The season of peace,

The season of promise and faith.

Believe in this time,

And believe in this place,

And always embrace the season of love.


Let me paint a picture:

of ice upon a stream,

a morning just to dream.

Let me paint a picture:

Your fam’ly and friends;

These times should never end.


It’s the season of hope,

The season of peace,

The season of promise and faith.

Believe in this time,

And believe in this place,

And always embrace the season of love.


Making mem’ries throughout the year,

sharing in the season’s cheer.


It’s the season of hope,

The season of peace,

The season of promise and faith.

Believe in this time,

And believe in this place,

And always embrace the season of love.

the season of love, of love.



The Gathering of the Community


Opening: Deck the Halls. Ardee Music


Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la, la la la la. 'Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Don we now our gay apparel, Fa la la, la la la, la la la. Troll the ancient Yule tide carol, Fa la la la la, la la la la.


See the blazing Yule before us, Fa la la la la, la la la la. Strike the harp and join the chorus. Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Follow me in merry measure, Fa la la la la, la la la la. While I tell of Yule tide treasure, Fa la la la la, la la la la.



The Gathering - Opening sentences (from Zephaniah 3:14-20)


One: Sing, O daughter of Zion. Shout, O Israel. Be glad and joyful with all your heart, O people of Jerusalem.

All: For the ruler of Israel, even God, is with you in your struggle against evil.

One: Jerusalem, do not be afraid. Zion, do not be slack.

All: Your God who is with you is strong, and will save you.

One: God will be very proud of you.

All: God will greatly love you.

One: God will sing to you: "I will gather the sorrowful and those burdened with shame and guilt.

All: 'I will take away whatever causes you to be slow and whatever has caused you to feel left out, and will make you famous everywhere you have been put to shame."


Collect:

God of power and mercy, you call us once again to celebrate the coming of your Son. Remove those things which hinder love of you, that when he comes, he may find us waiting in awe and wonder for him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Advent Candle Lighting- ADVENT 1 - HOPE

(Based on Psalm 80) (from the bigandthesmall.com) We light our first Advent candle, a symbol of Hope. Lighting of the first candle Like a single candle lit in the darkness, hope can sometimes be a fragile, flickering thing… Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved. In a world that sometimes feels like there is no hope, in a year that sometimes feels like all hope has been lost, stir up your might, O God, and come to save us! Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved. God, we trust that you are with us, fanning our flicker of hope into a flame that can light up the whole world. Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved. Let us never turn away from you, let us proclaim the truth to the ends of the earth, we have hope because God is with us! Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.



Song for Candle Lighting: Hope Shines MV220


Hope shines as the solitary star, faith is inner light. You and I together mirror the Light of Lights, And illuminates the pathway home.


The Meaning of the Service


Hymn; Adorning Your House O God

WORDS: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, 2009

Words copyright © 2009 Steve Garnaas-Holmes.


Adorning your house, God, with branches of green,

we pray that your glory may clearly be seen.

Now fill us with love that your promise imparts,

with hope and with joy in the rooms of our hearts.


These beautiful branches, O Jesus so dear,

remind us your humble sweet advent is near.

So bless us each day as your coming draws near,

to live so that others can tell you are here.


We ask for your Spirit to pour from above.

That we may be gentle, with patience and love.

Like green living branches, may all that we do

be signs that your promise is now coming true.


The Proclamation of the Word and the Decorating of the Church:


1. The Holly Garland: God Promises Eternal Life Isaiah 61:1-4:


The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion-- to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, to display his glory. They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.


Background to the Holly Garland: Holly is evergreen, a symbol of eternal life obtained through Christ Jesus, who shed his blood, as symbolized by the red berries and thorns, that we might have life. Life is filled with thorns and red berries, but God also gives us a feeling of happiness, of being alive, of being green.


Carol: The Holly and the Ivy.


The holly and the ivy,

When they are both full grown Of all the trees that are in the wood

The holly bears the crown Chorus O the rising of the sun And the running of the deer The playing of the merry organ Sweet singing of the choir


The holly bears a blossom As white as lily flower And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ To be our sweet Saviour Chorus

The holly bears a berry As red as any blood And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ To do poor sinners good Chorus The holly bears a prickle As sharp as any thorn; And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ On Christmas Day in the morn. Chorus


The holly bears a bark As bitter as any gall; And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ For to redeem us all. Chorus

The holly and the ivy Now both are full well grown, Of all the trees that are in the wood, The holly bears the crown. Chorus


2. The Poinsettia: God's people will blossom with life Isaiah 61:10-11:



I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.


Background to the Poinsettia: It has red leaves, the red again a symbol of Christ's blood, which gives us life, symbolized by the green leaves. The poinsettia, a Christmas flower, reminds us that Christ is like a flower, which will bloom in the desert - the desert may refer to the waiting of Advent and to our human situation - when God comes at Christmas. The story of the poinsettia is that a Mexican girl was going to church on Christmas, but had no gift to bring. She knelt down and wept because of her poverty, and from her tears sprung the poinsettia.


Hymn: Lo How a Rose CP117


Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming from tender stem hath sprung, of Jesse's lineage coming As seers of old have sung. It came, a flower bright amid the cold of winter When half-gone was the night.

Isaiah 'twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind; with Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind. To show God's love aright she bore to us a Savior, when half-gone was the night.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air, dispel in glorious splendor the darkness everywhere; true man, yet very God, from sin and death now save us, and share our every load.



3. The Wreath: God promises to surround us with love Hosea 14:4-8:


I will heal their disloyalty; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them. I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily; he shall strike root like the forests of Lebanon. His shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive tree, and his fragrance like that of Lebanon. They shall again live beneath my shadow, they shall flourish as a garden; they shall blossom like the vine, their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon. O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like an evergreen cypress; your faithfulness comes from me.


Background to the Wreath: The wreath is made of evergreens, a symbol of eternal life which Christ is coming at Christmas to bring. The circle suggests the everlasting covenant God makes with us, and also the love of God which encircles us and holds us close, like we hold a baby, like Mary held her infant.


Carol: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.


Have yourself a merry little Christmas; Let your heart be light. From now on, Our troubles will be out of sight.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas; Make the Yule-tide gay. From now on, Our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days, Happy golden days of yore; Faithful friends who I dear to us They gather near to us once more.

Through the years we all always be together If the Fates allow. Hang a shining star upon the highest bough,

and have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

4. The Mistletoe: God promises a peaceful ruler Zechariah 9:9-10:


Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations; his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.


Background to the Mistletoe: Mistletoe has no roots and no seeds. Its propagation is a mystery - like the mystery of God's love and God's presence with us in an infant. Where the mistletoe hung, was a place to meet in peace, to exchange the kiss of peace (not merely the romantic variety).



Carol: Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.


Have a holly jolly Christmas; It's the best time of the year. I don't know if there'll be snow, But have a cup of cheer.

Have a holly jolly Christmas; And when you walk down the street, Say hello to friends you know and ev’ryone you meet.

Oh, ho, the mistletoe Is hung where you can see; Somebody waits for you; Kiss her once for me.

Have a holly jolly Christmas, And in case you didn't hear. Oh, by golly, have a holly jolly Christmas this year.

Oh, ho, the mistletoe Is hung where you can see; Somebody waits for you; Kiss her once for me.

Have a holly jolly Christmas, And in case you didn't hear, Oh, by golly, have a holly jolly Christmas this year.



5. The Christmas tree: God promises to beautify his church. Isaiah 60:13-15:


The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the cypress, the plane, and the pine, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will glorify where my feet rest. The descendants of those who oppressed you shall come bending low to you, and all who despised you shall bow down at your feet; they shall call you the City of the LORD, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, with no one passing through, I will make you majestic forever, a joy from age to age.



Background to the Tree: The psalmists, like Isaiah, also speak of being planted like a tree by the waters. It reminds us of waiting, of being patient for God's coming. It reminds us to be steadfast. Some of the ancient peoples of Europe worshipped at sacred trees. Christian missionaries encouraged them to keep their devotion using the trees, but to change their focus to create a Christian tradition.



Carol: O Christmas Tree


O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree, How lovely are your branches! In beauty green will always grow Through summer sun and winter snow. O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, How lovely are your branches! O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree, You are the tree most loved! How often you give us delight In brightly shining Christmas light! O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree, You are the tree most loved! O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree, Your beauty green will teach me That hope and love will ever be The way to joy and peace for me. O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree, Your beauty green will teach me.



6. The Candles and the Lights: God promises to give light. Isaiah 60:1-6:


Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' arms. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD.



Background to lights: Christ Jesus is the light of the world. In the darkness of Advent, a Light is going to shine; there is Light at the end of the tunnel.


Hymn: When the Wind of Winter Blows MV71


When the wind of winter blows, bringing times of solitude, fill the silent icy night; be our hearts compassion.


Holy Light, warm our night; warm the time of winter. Holy Light, warm our night; warm the time of winter.


When we shiver in despair, when the chill of death comes near, hold us, Spirit, calm our fear, while the evening deepens.


Holy Light, warm our night; warm the time of winter. Holy Light, warm our night; warm the time of winter.


When in days of fallen snow, change confounds or love burns low, from ashes may there rise phoenix of our growing.


Holy Light, warm our night; warm the time of winter. Holy Light, warm our night; warm the time of winter.


Blessing of the decorations: Bless, O God, these gifts of the earth and the work of faithful hands, which has beautified this place and furnished it in preparation for the celebration of the birth of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Grant that in these earthly things we may behold the order and beauty of heavenly things. Amen.


Gospel Luke 21: 25-36

The Lord be with you And also with you. The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke (21: 25-36) Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. ’Then he told them a parable: ‘Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. ‘Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.’

The Gospel of Christ. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ



Offering Hymn: Let the King of Glory Come. By, Michael Joncas


Lift up, you gates, lift up your arches: Let the King of glory come! Lift up your hearts and sing, you people: Let the King of glory come!

Let the King of glory come!


Who is the King of glory?

Yahweh, holy and strong! Who is the Lord of majesty? Yahweh, mighty and strong!


Lift up, you gates, lift up your arches: Let the King of glory come! Lift up your hearts and sing, you people: Let the King of glory come!

Let the King of glory come!


Come, O come, Emmanuel: come and dwell with us! Come, O come, you Lord of might: banish death and fear!


Lift up, you gates, lift up your arches: Let the King of glory come! Lift up your hearts and sing, you people: Let the King of glory come!

Let the King of glory come!


Come, O come, bright Wisdom:

come and make us wise!

Come, O come, you Day spring:

Love, unclose our eyes!


Lift up, you gates, lift up your arches: Let the King of glory come! Lift up your hearts and sing, you people: Let the King of glory come!

Let the King of glory come!


Come, you Key of David, come:

Open our heavenly home!

Come, Desire of nations, come:

Bring us into your peace!


Lift up, you gates, lift up your arches: Let the King of glory come! Lift up your hearts and sing, you people: Let the King of glory come!

Let the King of glory come!



Prayer Over the Gifts

God of love and power, your word stirs within us the expectation of the coming of your Son. Accept all we offer you this day, and sustain us with your promise of eternal life. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Intercessions and Thanksgivings:


Surrounded by warmth and love, let us remember those who struggle in a cold and violent world: The lights,

O God, remind us of Christ who comes to be the Light of the world.

May we, your church, provide light to the world.


O God, the mistletoe reminds us of the peace Christ brings.

May east and west, north and south, meet in unity and understanding.


The poinsettia reminds us that you will restore the earth as a garden of paradise.

May we be true caretakers of the earth's bounty.


The tree, O God, reminds us of the tree Christ died on, that we might live.

May our community of faith give life and love to those in need around us.


O God, the garland reminds us of the hope and joy you give in the midst of sorrow and pain.

May those in any kind of pain or trouble experience your presence incarnate in us.


The wreath reminds us of your promise of eternal life.

May we, like those who have gone before, remain in the circle of your love. Amen.



Closing Sentences (from Philippians 4:4-9)

One: Whatever is true, whatever is honest, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is beautiful, whatever is of good reputation, if they be full of virtue and praise, think on them. Rejoice in God always, and let your moderation be well known, for God is near.

All: Amen.

One: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, through prayer and thanksgiving, let your needs be known to God.

All: Amen.

One: May the peace of God, which is beyond human understanding, fill your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

All: Amen.


Closing Song: We Wish you a Merry Christmas


We wish you a merry Christmas; We wish you a merry Christmas; We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Good tidings to you wherever you are;

Good tidings for Christmas and a happy new year.


Oh, bring us some figgy pudding; Oh, bring us some figgy pudding; Oh, bring us some figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer.


Good tidings to you wherever you are;

Good tidings for Christmas and a happy new year.


We won't go until we get some; We won't go until we get some; We won't go until we’ve got some, So bring some out here.

Good tidings to you wherever you are;

Good tidings for Christmas and a happy new year.


We wish you a merry Christmas; We wish you a merry Christmas; We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord

All: Thanks be to God



Postlude: My Favorite Things. Words by, Oscar Hammerstein II. Music by, Richard Rodgers.


Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens; Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens; Brown paper packages tied up with strings; These are a few of my favorite things.

Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels; Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles; Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings; These are a few of my favorite things.

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes; Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes; Silver-white winters that melt into springs; These are a few of my favorite things.

When the dog bites, When the bee stings, When I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things, And then I don't feel so bad.