Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 20, 2020
9:30 a.m.

Holy Spirit Lutheran Church
Lancaster, PA

Welcome to Advent! This season is necessary and important for us as we take this time to remind ourselves of our need of a Savior. Our worship during Advent also helps us look forward to our Savior’s second coming even as we prepare to celebrate his first coming at Christmas. The prayerful, thoughtful attitude of Advent makes our celebration of the birth of Christ a true time of happiness. Welcome into this time of preparation and hope.

Having worship during this time presents challenges that are unique. The most noticeable challenge is the one of spacing. While families may sit close together, the effort to maintain distance with others must be attempted as much as possible.

Within the liturgy, we will maintain the following practices for the sharing of the peace and the distribution of the sacrament of Holy Communion.

When sharing the peace of Christ, remain at your seat, make eye contact with someone and wave and say “peace.” Your smile is visible beneath your mask.

As regards the Holy Communion, the main difference is that each seating area will be sent forward separately. This will keep “traffic flow” simplified. The pastor and Assisting Minister will come to you, at the end of the aisle. Bring your communion cup with you that you picked up in the narthex. If you forgot, there are some at the front of the church. Keep your face mask on.

To receive the host, just hold out your hand. The pastor will drop (not place) the host onto your hand. Move immediately to the Assisting Minister, who will fill your cup. After having your cup filled, step to the side, and this is where you may lower you mask to consume the communion. Then raise your mask and return to your seat. There are receptacles provided for the used communion cups. Those persons not receiving communion are welcome to receive a blessing.

As you approach to receive, remember to maintain the proper distancing. The floor is marked for that purpose.

At the conclusion of the service, if you took a paper bulletin, keep your bulletin with you, and exit the building by way of the designated exit doors. The pastor will greet you outside. Because of the spacing requirements if you wish to have a conversation with someone, do so outside.

Thank you for your attendance and consideration as we all work to keep each other healthy.

Stay well.

Welcome and Announcements

Silence in preparation for worship.

The Prelude

The Brief Order for Confession and Forgiveness

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

Together let us honestly and humbly confess our sin before God.

Silence is kept for reflection.
Loving and forgiving God, we confess to you our sins, known and unknown. In spite of our best efforts, we have gone astray. Restore us, O God. Forgive us. Wake us up and renew us each day in the light of Christ. Amen.

People of God, hear this glad news: by God’s endless grace you are free- free from all that holds you back and free to live in the peaceable kingdom of God. Your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

The Apostolic Greeting

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you.

The Prayer of the Day

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Let us pray. Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. With your abundant grace and might, free us from the sin that would obstruct your mercy, that willingly we may bear your redeeming love to all the world, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Children’s Message

The children remain at their seat as the pastor share a message with them.

Lighting of the Advent Candle

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.
The virgin’s name was Mary.
The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
C You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.
Mary said here am I, the servant of the Lord.
C Amen.


Read in unison
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O come, O Branch of Jesse, free
your own from Satan’s tyranny;

from depths of hell your people save,
and give them vict’ry o’er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

The Reading

Luke 1:46b-55
A reading from Luke: And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
The word of the Lord
Thanks be to God


Luke 1:26-38
The Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke, the first chapter.
Glory to you, O Lord

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.


Silence for reflection follows.

The Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Prayers of the Church

God of power and might, tear open the heavens and come quickly to this weary world. Hear our prayers for everyone in need.

After each portion of the prayers:
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

The prayers conclude:
Into your hands, Gracious God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Savior.

The Sharing of the Peace

The peace of Christ be with you always.
And also with you.

Without leaving your seat offer a wave to your neighbor, sharing God’s peace, in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Please be seated.


The Offering is received as the Lord’s table is prepared.

Offertory Prayer

Let us pray. Generous God, you have created all that is, and you provide for us in every season. Bless all that we offer, that through these gifts the world will receive your blessing. In the name of Jesus, Emmanuel, we pray.

The Great Thanksgiving

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.

Eucharistic Prayer

Holy One, the beginning and the end, the giver of life:
Blessed are you for the birth of creation.
Blessed are you in the darkness and in the light.
Blessed are you for your promise to your people.
Blessed are you in the prophets’ hopes and dreams.
Blessed are you for Mary’s openness to your will.
Blessed are you for your Son Jesus,
the Word made flesh.

In the night in which he was betrayed,
our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;
broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.
Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,
and gave it for all to drink, saying:
This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.
Do this for the remembrance of me.

With this bread and cup
we remember your Word dwelling among us,
full of grace and truth.
We remember our new birth in his death and resurrection.
We look with hope for his coming.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Holy God, we long for your Spirit.
Come among us.
Bless this meal.
May your Word take flesh in us.
Awaken your people.
Fill us with your light.
Bring the gift of peace on earth.
Come, Holy Spirit.

All praise and glory are yours,
Holy One of Israel,
Word of God incarnate,
Power of the Most High,
one God, now and forever.

The Lord’s Prayer

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 trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen.

The Fraction

Even as we watch and wait, Christ is here. Come, eat and drink.
Thanks be to God.

Please be seated.

The Distribution of Holy Communion

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America practices open table hospitality. Baptized communicants of other Christian denominations, of all ages, are welcome to receive the sacrament. Today we will bring the sacrament to you. The pastor will drop the host into your hand, followed by the assisting minister with the chalice of wine, followed by the assisting minister with the receptible for your used cup. Those persons not receiving communion are welcome to receive a blessing.

Post Communion Blessing

The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.

Post Communion Prayer

Let us pray. Gracious and abundant God, in this bread and cup you give us life forever. In your boundless mercy, strengthen us and open our hearts to the world’s needs, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

The Blessing

The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord’s face shine on you with grace and mercy. The Lord look upon you with favor, and give you peace. In the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Sending to Serve

Go in peace. Prepare the way of the Lord.
Thanks be to God. We will!



Hambright School Christmas Gifts

Thank you for your generous outpouring of gift cards for the families of Hambright School! We collected a total of $895.00!

The Ladies at the Gatehouse

Today is the last day to give a special gift of warmth in the form of a HAT, PAIR OF GLOVES, or SCARF to the ladies at the Gatehouse. A large white laundry basket is in the breezeway next to the narthex, ready for your donations. Any gently used coat or jacket would also be an appreciated gift for one of the ladies. Thank you for your generous donations.

Christmas Eve Services

Join us at one of the services on Christmas Eve, 4:00 p.m. or 8:00. Please call or email the parish office to register to attend:
717-394-6771 *


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New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.

Readings for next week:
Christmas 1
Isaiah 61:10-62:3
Luke 2:22-40