Advent-3 (Yr B) December 17, 2023



PRELUDE              “Short Advent Preludes on Carol Melodies”              Alexandre Pierre Boealy


OPENING HYMN               “People look East”                                                WLP #724


1  People, look East. The time is near

    of the crowning of the year.

    Make your house fair as you are able,

    trim the hearth and set the table.

    People, look East and sing today:

    Love the guest is on the way.


2  Furrows, be glad. Though earth is bare,

    one more seed is planted there:

    Give up your strength the seed to nourish,

    that in course the flow’r may flourish.

    People, look East and sing today:

    Love the rose is on the way.


3  Birds, though you long have ceased to build,

    guard the nest that must be filled.

    Even the hour when wings are frozen

    God for fledgling time has chosen.

    People, look East and sing today:

    Love the bird is on the way.


4  Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim

    one more light the bowl shall brim,

    shining beyond the frosty weather,

    bright as sun and moon together.

    People, look East and sing today:

    Love the star is on the way.


5  Angels, announce with shouts of mirth

    Christ who brings new life to earth.

    Set every peak and valley humming

    with the word, the Lord is coming.

    People, look East and sing today:

    Love the Lord is on the way.



Celebrant     Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

People     And blessed be God’s kingdom, now and forever. Amen



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



HYMN OF PRAISE                      “Glory to God”                               S278 Matthias


Glory to God in the highest,

and peace to his people on earth.


Lord God, heavenly King,

almighty God and Father,

we worship you, we give you thanks,

we praise you for your glory.


Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the


Lord God, Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world;

have mercy on us;

you are seated at the right hand of the Father;

receive our prayer.


For you alone are the Holy One,

you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High,

     Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God the Father. Amen.



Celebrant   The Lord be with you.

People   And also with you


Celebrant: Let us pray

Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and
prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake
our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.


                    Please be seated for the lessons.



FIRST LESSON      Isaiah 40:1-11    A Reading from the Book of the prophet Isaiah


The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me;


he has sent me to bring good news to
the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted,


to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;


to proclaim the year of the LORD‘s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our
God; to comfort all who mourn;


to provide for those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a garland instead
of ashes,


the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantle of praise instead of a
faint spirit.


They will be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, to
display his glory.


They shall build up the ancient ruins,
they shall raise up the former devastations;


they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.


For I the LORD love justice,
I hate robbery and wrongdoing;


I will faithfully give them their recompense,
and I will make an everlasting
covenant with them.


Their descendants shall be known
among the nations,
and their offspring among the


all who see them shall acknowledge
that they are a people whom
the LORD has blessed.


I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,
my whole being shall exult in my
God; for he has clothed me with
the garments of salvation,
he has covered me with the robe
of righteousness,


as a bridegroom decks himself with a
garland, and as a bride adorns
herself with her jewels.


For as the earth brings forth its
shoots, and as a garden causes
what is sown in it to spring up,


so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness
and praise to spring up before
all the nations.


and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother



The Word of the Lord            People:  Thanks be to God.



PSALM                 Psalm 126  


1 When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, *
then were we like those who dream.


2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, *
and our tongue with shouts of joy.



3 Then they said among the nations, *
“The LORD has done great things for them.”


4 The LORD has done great things for us, *
and we are glad indeed.


5 Restore our fortunes, O LORD, *
like the watercourses of the Negev.


6 Those who sowed with tears *
will reap with songs of joy.


7 Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, *
will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.



Epistle    1 Thessalonians 5:16-24    A Reading from the second letter of Peter to the Thessalonians


Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is
the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise
the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from
every form of evil.


May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul
and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.


The Word of the Lord Response:   Thanks be to God.



GRADUAL         “Hark! A thrilling voice is sounding”                            Hymn #59


1  Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding:

        “Christ is nigh,” it seems to say;

    “Cast away the works of darkness,

        O ye children of the day.”



2  Wakened by the solemn warning,

        from earth’s bondage let us rise;

    Christ, our sun, all sloth dispelling,

        shines upon the morning skies.



3  Lo! the Lamb, so long expected,

        comes with pardon down from heaven;

    let us haste, with tears of sorrow,

        one and all to be forgiven;



4  so when next he comes with glory,

        and the world is wrapped in fear,

    may he with his mercy shield us,

        and with words of love draw near.



5  Honor, glory, might, and blessing

        to the Father and the Son,

    with the everlasting Spirit

        while unending ages run.



GOSPEL                      John 1: 6-8,19-28


Deacon or Priest: The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John


People:  Glory to you Lord Christ.


There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness
to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the
light, but he came to testify to the light.


This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from
Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed,
“I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” Then they said to
him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you
say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’” as the prophet Isaiah said. Now they had
been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you
are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize
with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is
coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” This took place
in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.


The Gospel of the Lord. Response:    Praise to you Lord Christ



SERMON                                                                                                               The Rev. Cricket Park





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


     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 worshiped 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.






Our celebration continues with the Prayers of the People.  After every petition the People respond:   Lord, have mercy.


Deacon or other leader:  In peace, let us pray to the Lord, saying, “Lord, have mercy”.


For the holy Church of God, that it may be filled with truth and love, and be found
without fault at the day of your coming, we pray to you, O Lord.


For Michael our Presiding Bishop, for Kristin our Bishop-Elect, for all bishops and other
ministers, and for all the holy people of God, we pray to you, O Lord.


For all who fear God and believe in you, Lord Christ, that our divisions may cease,
and that all may be one as you and the Father are one, we pray to you, O Lord.


For the mission of the Church, that in faithful witness it may preach the Gospel to the
ends of the earth, we pray to you, O Lord.


For those who do not yet believe, and for those who have lost their faith, that they
may receive the light of the Gospel, we pray to you, O Lord.


For the peace of the world, that a spirit of respect and forbearance may grow among
nations and peoples, we pray to you, O Lord.


For those in positions of public trust, especially Joseph our President and Michael our
Governor, that they may serve justice, and promote the dignity and freedom of every
person, we pray to you, O Lord.


For all who live and work in this community, especially volunteers and staff of Neighborhood
Bridges, Hope 4 Riverside, CARE House, and the St. Paul’s Food Pantry, we pray to you O Lord.


For a blessing on all human labor, and for the right use of the riches of creation, that
the world may be freed from poverty, famine, and disaster, we pray to you, O Lord.


For the poor, the persecuted, the sick, and all who suffer; for refugees, prisoners, and
all who are in danger; that they may be relieved and protected, we pray to you, O Lord.


For this congregation, that we may be delivered from hardness of heart, and show
forth your glory in all that we do, we pray to you, O Lord.


For our enemies and those who wish us harm, and for all whom we have injured or
offended, we pray to you, O Lord.


For all who have commended themselves to our prayers; for our families, friends, and
neighbors; that being freed from anxiety, they may live in joy, peace, and health, we
pray to you, O Lord.


For those on our hearts this day (especially ______________), we pray to you O Lord.


For all who have died in the communion of your Church, and those whose faith is
known to you alone, that, with all the saints, they may have rest in that place where
there is no pain or grief, but life eternal, we pray to you, O Lord.


Rejoicing in the fellowship of Mark and all the saints, let us commend ourselves, and
one another, and all our life to Christ our God.
To you, O Lord our God.


Silence            The Celebrant adds a concluding Collect, or the following Doxology.


For yours is the majesty, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; yours is the kingdom and the
power and the glory, now and for ever. Amen.



Deacon/Celebrant:   Let us then confess our sins against God and our neighbor.


Most merciful God: We confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.  




Celebrant:  Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life.  Amen.




Celebrant:     The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

Response:      And also with you.


Please greet one another with a sign of peace.





OFFERTORY/ANTHEM                 “A Thrilling Voice is Sounding”                       Eugene Butler




At this time the ushers will bring up the offering of money and any pantry items. As they do this, please stand and sing the following:


Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise God all creatures here below;

Praise God above ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.



THE HOLY COMMUNION                   Prayer B


Celebrant   The Lord be with you.

People         And also with you.


Celebrant      Lift up your hearts.

People          We lift them to the Lord.


Celebrant     Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

People         It is right to give him thanks and praise.


The Celebrant continues, with the congregation joining in the words in bold type.


It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you,
Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.


Because you sent your beloved Son to redeem us from sin and death, and to make us
heirs in him of everlasting life; that when he shall come again in power and great triumph
to judge the world, we may without shame or fear rejoice to behold his appearing.


Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all
the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your


SANCTUS                                                                                                                     HYMN S128


All: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.



Then the Celebrant continues


We give thanks to you, O God, for the goodness and love which you have made
known to us in creation; in the calling of Israel to be your people; in your Word
spoken through the prophets; and above all in the Word made flesh, Jesus, your
Son. For in these last days you sent him to be incarnate from the Virgin Mary, to be
the Savior and Redeemer of the world. In him, you have delivered us from evil, and
made us worthy to stand before you. In him, you have brought us out of error
into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.


On the night before he died for us, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he
had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat:
This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”


After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to
them, and said, “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is
shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this
for the remembrance of me.”


Therefore, according to his command, O Father,


Celebrant and People


We remember his death,
We proclaim his resurrection,
We await his coming in glory;


The Celebrant continues:


And we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to you, O Lord of all; presenting
to you, from your creation, this bread and this wine.


We pray you, gracious God, to send your Holy Spirit upon these gifts that they may be
the Sacrament of the Body of Christ and his Blood of the new Covenant. Unite us to
your Son in his sacrifice, that we may be acceptable through him, being sanctified by
the Holy Spirit. In the fullness of time, put all things in subjection under your Christ,
and bring us to that heavenly country where, with Mark and all your saints, we may
enter the everlasting heritage of your sons and daughters; through Jesus Christ our
Lord, the firstborn of all creation, the head of the Church, and the author of our


By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is
yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever.   AMEN.

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 forever.  Amen 




Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us. 

Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us. 

Jesus, redeemer, redeemer of the world,

give us your peace, give us your peace.





Celebrant: Behold who you are. May you become one with the One you receive.


Everyone is welcome to come forward for communion or a blessing. You may receive the bread and the wine, or the bread or the wine. If you prefer a blessing only, please cross your hands over your chest as a signal to the priest.



COMMUNION HYMN            “Hark! The glad sound, the Savior Comes”               HYMN #72


1 Hark! the glad sound! the Savior comes,

      the Savior promised long:

   let every heart prepare a throne,

      and every voice a song.



2 He comes, the prisoners to release

      in Satan’s bondage held;

   the gates of brass before him burst,

      the iron fetters yield.



3 He comes, the broken heart to bind,

      the bleeding soul to cure;

   and with the treasures of his grace

      to enrich the humble poor.



4 Our glad hosannas, Prince of Peace,

      thy welcome shall proclaim;

   and heaven’s eternal arches ring

      with thy beloved Name.




Celebrant:  Let us pray.

Almighty and everliving God, we thank you for feeding us with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; and for assuring us in these holy mysteries that we are living members of the Body of your Son, and heirs of your eternal kingdom.


And now, Father, send us out to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord. To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever.  Amen.





May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in
the knowledge and love of God, and of God’s son, Jesus Christ our Lord. And the
Blessing of God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, be with you now and remain with you always.



RECESSIONAL HYMN        “O Zion, haste, thy mission high fulfilling”               Hymn #539


1  O Zion, haste, thy mission high fulfilling,

          to tell to all the world that God is Light;

     that he who made all nations is not willing

          one soul should fail to know his love and might.


              Publish glad tidings:

                   tidings of peace,

              tidings of Jesus,

                   redemption and release.


2  Proclaim to every people, tongue, and nation

          that God, in whom they live and move, is Love:

     tell how he stooped to save his lost creation,

          and died on earth that all might live above.




3  Send heralds forth to bear the message glorious;

          give of thy wealth to speed them on their way;

     pour out thy soul for them in prayer victorious

          till God shall bring his kingdom’s joyful day.




4  He comes again! O Zion, ere thou meet him,

          make known to every heart his saving grace;

     let none whom he hath ransomed fail to greet him,

          through thy neglect, unfit to see his face.







The congregation is dismissed by the deacon or the priest.

People    Thanks be to God.


POSTLUDE                             “On Jordan’s Bank”                                  David Lasky



        Please join us for coffee in the Fellowship Room of the Community Building.






Welcome to St. Mark’s! During the service, please assume the postures of prayer and
devotion as best suits your ability. If you are able, please stand for the Gospel, singing
hymns, and the prayers. Kneeling and sitting are also appropriate for the prayers of
the people and the Eucharistic prayers. Remember, the posture of your heart is more
important to God than the position of your body.



Ministers for December 17, 2023
Altar Guild for December: Mary-Anna Welch, Stephanie Welch, Janet Reuter
Organist: Donna Larsen Vocalists: St. Mark’s Choir
Acolyte: Jackie Hoskinson
Lay Readers: Gary Welch and Gabe Walch
Chalice Bearers: Elizabeth Wagner-Weber and Carol Williamson
Tech Table: Dave Reuter
Ushers: Dave Reuter and Carol Williamson
Counters: Dave Reuter and Gary Welch
Open/Close: Wagner/Altar Guild
Coffee Hour: Jackie and Jim Hoskinson
Flowers given in honor of family members with December birthdays by Mike and
Katherine Wagner



Ministers for December 24, 2023
Altar Guild for December: Mary-Anna Welch, Stephanie Welch, Janet Reuter
Organist: Donna Larsen Vocalists: St. Mark’s Choir
Acolyte: Stephanie Welch
Lay Readers: Jackie Hoskinson and Judy Rudd
Chalice Bearers: Kendall Rubino and Jim Rudd
Tech Table: Gary Welch
Ushers: Ginny Tuxhorn and Jim Rudd
Counters: Jim Rudd and Tony Rubino
Open/Close: TBA
Coffee Hour: No Coffee Hour today.



Ministers for December 24, 2023—Christmas Eve
Altar Guild for December: Mary-Anna Welch, Stephanie Welch, Janet Reuter
Organist: Donna Larsen Vocalists: St. Mark’s Choir
Acolyte: Elizabeth Reuter and Gabe Walch
Lay Readers: TBA
Chalice Bearers: TBA
Tech Table: TJ Walch
Counters: Jim Rudd and Tony Rubino
Open/Close: TBA
If you are able to fill in the blanks—please let Rev. Cricket know.



Calendar items:
December—Neighborhood Bridges “Stuff the Care Closet Month”

December 17—Advent III and Food Pantry collection day
December 21—Vestry Meeting, 7:00pm, on Zoom
December 24—Advent IV, 10:30am; Christmas Eve and pageant, 5:00pm
December 31—Christmas II—Lessons and Carols


Neighborhood Bridges helps meet basic needs of lower income students in our community. Their Care Closet is running low on some specific supplies. We have a mini-Closet with the Care closets most urgent needs represented as cutouts – you can take one as a reminder to throw an extra item in your shopping cart or there are rough dollar estimates listed on the back. Contact Meg Hull Ortiz at

            with any questions.

Also, NB requests hats, gloves, underwear and socks for ages 5 to adult. These must be new items. There are pieces of paper with specific family needs, if that is more your style. Thank you for your generosity during this holiday season.


   Bethlehemian Rhapsody
After church….grab a quick snack and come back to the
sanctuary to get a puppet and do a run-through or two. We’ll
also rehearse after church on December 24th in the morning.


Upcoming Events


Adult Forum: The Revelation to John
Beginning December 3rd and continuing through Epiphany: The Revelation to John.
The final book of the Bible is 24 chapters of some very creative prose and symbolism.
Please join us for this wild ride of a Bible Study. NOTE: There will be no Bible Study
on December 24th.


Christmas Lessons and Carols—December 31st
Defy the secular paradigm! Come to church and sing Christmas Carols after Christmas
Day. Donna Larsen has chosen lovely tunes to be sung in between readings of
the story of Christ. Bring friends and enjoy the whole season of Christmas!


Christmas Flowers: Last Chance!
Please email Rev. Cricket with your honorarium/in memory of requests today so
that she can put them in the Christmas Eve bulletin.



St. Mark’s is a parish in the Diocese of Southern Ohio, which is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion.



Libby Nicholson, Senior Warden

Kendall Rubino, Junior Warden

Jackie Hoskinson

Patricia Tallman

Elizabeth Wagner-Weber

Jenna Walch


Don Nancarrow, Treasurer

Dave Reuter, Recorder



Rev. Cricket Park;

Office Hours by appointment. 937-256-1082







Our Mission Statement:


“We gather for worship, education and mutual support;

welcome all people; and serve the community in God’s name”.


A prayer for St. Mark’s in a time of transition

O Lord, Father of life and change, of new and old: You gifted us with abilities to speak and listen, to hear and decide, to choose and know. We thank you for teaching us how to used these abilities, though we must at times remember to combine them with patience. Remind us to speak with kindness, to listen to understand, to hear all voices, to decide on what is just and true, to choose the path of peace, and to know we are not alone. Be with us in this time of transition, that it is as effective as it is unsettling, as comforting as it is confusing. And never leave our side on the journey ahead, as we strive for an unknown destination. In the name of your Son Jesus, who walks alongside us, we pray. Amen.

(written by Elizabeth Wagner-Weber)



The Rev. Cricket Park, Interim



Libby Nicholson – Senior Warden; Kendall Rubino – Junior Warden,


Donna Larsen, Music Director/Organist,


St. Mark’s Episcopal Church

456 Woodman Drive

Dayton, OH 45431



Office Phone: 937-256-1082




Facebook: St Mark’s Episcopal Church, Dayton OH

Instagram: St Mark’s Dayton

Licensing for music use and streaming:

One License – #A-740839: Annual license with podcasting;

B – 26 to 100 average weekend attendance.



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Dave Reuter – Webmaster