Advent-4 (Yr B) Dec 20, 2020



O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

Alfred Fedak





Celebrant         Our help is in the name of the Lord.

People              Who has made heaven and earth.


Let us pray:  O Lord Jesus Christ who art the true light that lights every one who comes into the world: bless, we pray, this wreath and its candles which we have lit in preparation for your coming; and so enkindle our hearts with the fire of your love that we may receive you with joy and gladness, and evermore stand fast in the faith, who lives and reigns, world without end.    Amen.




The Word of God


Celebrant Blessed are you, holy and living One.


People You come to your people and set them free.


Celebrant Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy Name through Christ our Lord.  Amen.



Celebrant Holy God,
Holy and Mighty,
Holy Immortal One,
People Have mercy upon us.



Collect of the Day


Celebrant The Lord be with you.

People And also with you

Celebrant Let us pray.

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.




A Reading from the Second Book of Samuel 7:1-11, 16


Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.” 


But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle.  Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house.


Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.


The Word of the Lord.


People   Thanks be to God





Canticle 15


My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,

     my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; *

for he has looked with favor on his  lowly servant


From this day all generations will call me blessed: *

the Almighty has done great things for me,

              and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him *

in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *

he has scattered the proud in their conceit.


He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *

and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *

and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel, *

for he has remembered his promise of mercy,

The promise he made to our fathers, *

to Abraham and his children for ever.





A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans 16:25-27


Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.


The Word of the Lord.


People   Thanks be to God.





Celebrant     The Holy Gospel of Our  Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke 1:26-38


People        Glory to you,  Lord Christ.


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.


People      Praise to you,  Lord  Christ.




The Sermon


With God all things are possible.


The story of the Blessed Virgin Mary reminds us that through an ordinary person, God can do extra ordinary things.


That a thirteen- or fourteen-year-old girl became highly favored, shows that God can use whoever God chooses to achieve God’s purpose. This divine event of Mary’s pregnancy shows that with God all things are possible.


Who could have believed what God did through Mary? Mary like any other girl of her age at that time probably hoped to get married and have children one day. But not like what just happened to her.


On this fateful day she was probably doing what she always did, then an Angel greeted her as someone who was highly favored, and who the Lord is with.


Can you imagine how Mary must have felt at the voice of the Angel? The Scripture says she was greatly troubled about what the Angel said. Who wouldn’t be? The Angel told her not to be afraid. Yeah, right.


Mary was informed she was highly favored and would be pregnant and bear a Son who will be named Jesus. Jesus would also be called the Son of the Highest.


I want all of you who are listening to me in the Church and through livestream to imagine for the sake of this Gospel to imagine for a moment that you are Mary a thirteen- or fourteen-year-old girl. Imagine with me that you will have a child without your husband or any other man involved. Question: How will that make you feel?


And listen to this — What would Mary tell her betrothed, Joseph that she was pregnant when their two families had met and they were already preparing for the marriage.


What would she tell her friends? That the Holy Spirit got her pregnant. I could just hear the friends ask, the who got you pregnant?


Thank God what Mary’s friends thought was probably a joke was true. Mary’s pregnancy was a Mystery and not a joke.


God has done great things like that song says and Holy is God’s Name.


The story of Christmas shows God is believable and that with God all things are possible. Mary will have a Child who would usher in salvation for all who believe in Him as God and the Son of Man.


Our call is to pray that the Holy Spirit will sanctify our hearts as we wait for Christ to be born anew in us this Christmas, so that when the Holy Baby is born or when Christ comes again, He will find a place in our hearts and together with all the Believers we will sing O come all you faithful. May it be so.  Amen.





“Prepare the Way, O Zion”

Dale Wood





The Nicene Creed

(BCP p. 358)


We believe in one God

      the Father, the Almighty,

      maker of heaven and earth,

      of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

      the only Son of God,                     

      eternally begotten of the Father,

          God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God

begotten, not made,

of one Being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

 For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven:

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate

from the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

    For our sake he was crucified

          under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

  On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand

of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father    and the Son.

    With the Father and the Son he is

worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and

   apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism

for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come.  Amen.





Prayers of the People


In the Anglican cycle of prayer, we pray for mission agencies and their ministry throughout the Anglican Communion.


In the Diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for St. Edward’s in Columbus, St. James in Piqua, and St. Timothy’s in Cincinnati.


In our Parish cycle of prayer, we pray for George Snyder, Mary Sones, and Linda Stagles.





Father, we pray for your holy Catholic Church;

That we all may be one.


Grant that every member of the Church may truly and humbly serve you;

That your Name may be glorified by all people.

We pray for all bishops, priests, and deacons;

That they may be faithful ministers of your Word and Sacraments.


We pray for all who govern and hold authority in the nations of the world;

That there may be justice and peace on the earth.


Give us grace to do your will in all that we undertake;

That our works may find favor in your sight.


Have compassion on those on our Parish Prayer List (N), and for all who suffer from any grief or trouble;

That they may be delivered from their distress.


Give to the departed eternal rest;

Let light perpetual shine upon them.


We praise you for your saints who have entered into joy;

May we also come to share in your heavenly kingdom.


Let us pray for our own needs and those of others.




The People may add their own petitions.




Father of love, through your most Holy Spirit, Mary the Jewish girl conceived your Son; may his beauty, his humanity, his all-transforming grace be born in us, and may we never despise the strange and stirring gentleness of your almighty power.  Amen.


(from A New Zealand Prayer Book, page 647)



The Peace


Celebrant          The peace of the Lord be always with you.

People                And also with you




The Lord’s Prayer


Celebrant          As our Savior Christ has taught us, we now pray,


Our Father in heaven,

              hallowed be your Name,

              your kingdom come,

              your will be done,

                   on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins,

 as we forgive those

      who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power

and the glory are yours,

now and for ever.  Amen.




Act of Spiritual Communion


My Jesus,

I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.  I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul.  Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.  I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you.  Never permit me to be separated from you.  Amen.








The congregation is dismissed.



People Thanks be to God.





“The King Shall Come”

Michael Burkhardt





For today’s announcements, click HERE.


To read a copy of the November 19 Vestry Minutes, click HERE




St. Mark’s Vestry


Senior Warden: Gary Welch

Junior Warden: Katherine Wagner

Treasurer: Don Nancarrow

Secretary: Dave Reuter


Vestry Members:

Carol Nancarrow, Tracey Swartz

Susan Kendall

Kendall Rubino, Jenna Walch


St. Mark’s Staff

Transitional Priest in Charge The Rev. Dr. John Agbaje

Parish Administrator Katherine Wagner

Music Director Donna Larsen

Sexton Douglas Plummer

Webmaster Dave Reuter



Look for us…


On the web:

Facebook:  St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Dayton, Ohio

Instagram:  stmarksdayton