Fourth Sunday of Advent – 23 Dec – Luke 1:39-56 ~ Blessed because you believed.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Prayer

Who are we, Lord God, that you should come to us? Yet you have visited your people and redeemed us in your Son. As we prepare to celebrate his birth, make our hearts leap for joy at the sound of your Word, and move us by your Spirit to bless your wonderful works. We ask this through him whose coming is certain, whose day draws near: your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

“Canticle of Magnificat” (Lk 1:46-55) – Song of Mary sung in Latin by the Daughters of Mary

[46] And Mary said: My soul * doth magnify the Lord: [47] and my spirit hath rejoiced * in God, my Savior.

[48] Because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid: * for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed, [49] because He that is Mighty hath done great things to me; * and Holy is His Name. [50] And His Mercy is from generation unto generations, * to them that fear Him. [51] He hath shewed might in His arm: * He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. [52] He hath put down the mighty from their seat, * and hath exalted the humble. [53] He hath filled the hungry with good things: * and the rich He hath sent empty away. [54] He hath received Israel, His servant, * being mindful of His Mercy: [55] as He spoke to our fathers, * to Abraham and to his seed for ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, * and will be forever. Amen.

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-56 (NLT)

A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”

Mary responded,

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!

_ For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
_ For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me.
_ He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him.
_ His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
_ He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
_ He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble.
_ He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands.
_ He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful.
_ For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.”


Prayers of Intercession:

Mighty God: We rejoice with the blessed virgin Mary at the birth of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior. Pour out your Spirit on us and fill us with an abundance of faith that we might receive your blessing as well. We pray especially –

+ for all believers around the world, that their faith may be strengthened at the celebration of Christmas…
+  for all who faithfully labor in obscurity, that they may receive your blessing at the celebration of Christmas…
+ for all who are burdened by sin and shame, that they may receive mercy and pardon at the celebration of Christmas…
+ for all who are waiting for a miracle, that they may be encouraged by the wonder and mystery of Christmas…
+ for all who are waiting for justice, that they may be confident in the truth and righteousness of Christmas…
+ for all who are poor and needy, that they may receive the essentials of life through the generosity of Christmas…

Mighty God: We rejoice with the blessed virgin Mary at the birth of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior. Fill us with wonder and joy at his Birth, and prepare us to welcome his Return with confidence and faith, through the power of our Word and Spirit at work within us – all to your glory. Amen.

“Magnificat” – by Kim André Arnesen (Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway)

(Lk 1:46-55) [46] Et ait María: Magníficat * ánima mea Dóminum: [47] et exsultávit spíritus meus * in Deo, Salutári meo.

[48] Quia respéxit humilitátem ancíllæ Suæ: * ecce enim ex hoc beátam me dicent omnes generatiónes, [49] quia fecit mihi magna qui Potens est: * et Sanctum Nomen Eius. [50] Et Misericórdia Eius a progénie in progénies * timéntibus Eum. [51] Fecit poténtiam in bráchio Suo: * dispérsit supérbos mente cordis sui. [52] Depósuit poténtes de sede, * et exaltávit húmiles. [53] Esuriéntes implévit bonis: * et dívites dimísit inánes. [54] Suscépit Ísraël, púerum Suum, * recordátus Misericórdiæ Suæ: [55] sicut locútus est ad patres nostros, * Ábraham et sémini eius in sǽcula.


May God the almighty and merciful bless you by the light of Christ’s coming, and enrich your lives with every grace. May God make you steadfast in faith, joyful in hope, and untiring in love all the days of your life. And may God reward you with eternal life when our Redeemer comes again in glory.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!