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Hymn
Hills of the North, rejoice,
    river and mountain-spring,
hark to the advent voice;
    valley and lowland, sing.
Christ comes in righteousness and love,
he brings salvation from above.

Isles of the Southern seas,
    sing to the listening earth,
carry on every breeze
    hope of a world's new birth:
In Christ shall all be made anew,
his word is sure, his promise true.

Lands of the East, arise,
    he is your brightest morn,
greet him with joyous eyes,
    praise shall his path adorn:
your seers have longed to know their Lord;
to you he comes, the final word.

Shores of the utmost West,
    lands of the setting sun,
welcome the heavenly guest
    in whom the dawn has come:
he brings a never-ending light
who triumphed o'er our darkest night.

Shout, as you journey home,
    songs be in every mouth,
lo, from the North they come,
    from East and West and South:
in Jesus all shall find their rest,
in him the universe be blest.

Words: Charles Ernest Oakley (1832–1865)

Readings: 

Isaiah 64:1-9


O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
    so that the mountains would quake at your presence—
as when fire kindles brushwood
    and the fire causes water to boil—
to make your name known to your adversaries,
    so that the nations might tremble at your presence!
When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,
    you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
From ages past no one has heard,
    no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
    who works for those who wait for him.
You meet those who gladly do right,
    those who remember you in your ways.
But you were angry, and we sinned;
    because you hid yourself we transgressed.
We have all become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth.
We all fade like a leaf,
    and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
There is no one who calls on your name,
    or attempts to take hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us,
    and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.
Yet, O Lord, you are our Father;
    we are the clay, and you are our potter;
    we are all the work of your hand.
Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord,
    and do not remember iniquity forever.
    Now consider, we are all your people.

Psalm 80: 1-8
1    Hear, O Shepherd of Israel,  you that led Joseph like a flock;
2    Shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim,  before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
3    Stir up your mighty strength and come to our salvation.
4    Turn us again, O God; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.
5    O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry at your people’s prayer?
6    You feed them with the bread of tears; you give them abundance of tears to drink.
7    You have made us the derision of our neighbours, and our enemies laugh us to scorn.
8    Turn us again, O God of hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

Mark 13:24-37
“But in those days, after that suffering,
the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will be falling from heaven,
    and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”

Benedictus
Bless the Lord, the God of Israel,
who has come to set us free.
He has raised for us a Saviour
sprung from royal David’s tree.
Through his prophets God had spoken
of the hope the Christ would bring;
of his faithfulness and mercy
let each generation sing.
 
Long ago God made a promise
he would set his people free,
that in all our life and worship
we might know true liberty,
to be holy, to be righteous
in his sight throughout our days;
now this child will be a herald
making ready all God’s ways.

Let all people know salvation
through forgiveness of their sin,
as our God in his compassion
bids a shining dawn begin.
So may all who dwell in darkness
see the shadows disappear
while he guides our feet in pathways
where his peace is ever near.
 
To the Father be all glory
with the Spirit and the Son,
as it was, is now and shall be
while eternal ages run.

Words: Anne Harrison

Collect for the First Sunday of Advent
Almighty God,
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility;
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen

Hymn
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here,
until the Son of God appear:
    Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel
    shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Rod of Jesse, free
thine own from Satan's tyranny;
from depths of hell thy people save,
and give them victory o'er the grave:

O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer
our spirits by thine advent here;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
and death's dark shadows put to flight:

O come, thou Key of David, come,
and open wide our heavenly home;
make safe the way that leads on high,
and close the path to misery:

O come, O come, thou Lord of Might,
who to thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
in ancient times didst give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe:

Words: John Mason Neale (1818–1866)

Copyright: Common Worship © The Archbishops' Council  © The Archbishops' Council 2000;
Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. 
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Hymns are reproduced under CCLI: 938092 and CCLI Streaming Licence 1001311