Fourth Sunday of Advent


We beseech thee, Almighty God, to purify our consciences by thy daily visitation, that when thy Son Jesus Christ cometh he may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen

First Lesson: 2 Samuel 7:4, 8-16
That night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying:

"Now then, tell my servant David, 'This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth. And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.

'The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.' "

Second Lesson: Romans 16:25-27
Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him-- to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Psalm: 132

  1. LORD, remember David, *
    and all the hardships he endured;
  2. How he swore an oath to the LORD *
    and vowed a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
  3. "I will not come under the roof of my house, *
    nor climb up into my bed;
  4. I will not allow my eyes to sleep, *
    nor let my eyelids slumber;
  5. Until I find a place for the LORD, *
    a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob."
  6. "The ark! We heard it was in Ephratah; *
    we found it in the fields of Jearim.
  7. Let us go to God's dwelling place; *
    let us fall upon our knees before his footstool."
  8. Arise, O LORD, into your resting-place, *
    you and the ark of your strength.
  9. Let your priests be clothed with righteousness; *
    let your faithful people sing with joy.
  10. For your servant David's sake, *
    do not turn away the face of your Anointed.
  11. The LORD has sworn an oath to David; *
    in truth, he will not break it:
  12. "A son, the fruit of your body *
    will I set upon your throne.
  13. If your children keep my covenant
    and my testimonies that I shall teach them, *
    their children will sit upon your throne for evermore."
  14. For the LORD has chosen Zion; *
    he has desired her for his habitation:
  15. "This shall be my resting-place for ever; *
    here will I dwell, for I delight in her.
  16. I will surely bless her provisions, *
    and satisfy her poor with bread.
  17. I will clothe her priests with salvation, *
    and her faithful people will rejoice and sing.
  18. There will I make the horn of David flourish; *
    I have prepared a lamp for my Anointed.
  19. As for his enemies, I will clothe them with shame; *
    but as for him, his crown will shine."

Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"

The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God."

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.

Collect & Psalm from the Book of Common Prayer
Other excerpts from the New International Bible

Sts. Vidicon & Isidore