First Sunday in Advent

Sunday, November 29, 2020 Indoor Worship Bulletin 

If you are looking for a pdf indoor worship bulletin to download, print, and use for the indoor service please click here.

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Gathering for God’s Word


Welcome & Announcements

Time of Silence & Ringing of the Bell

Call to Worship

[based on Psalm 130:5-7]

Leader: I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his Word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning. 

People: For there is no darkness with you, O Lord.

Leader:O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plenteous redemption.
People: For there is no darkness with you, O Lord.
Leader: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. 

People: For there is no darkness with you, O Lord.

Preparing for God's Word

Hymn of Adoration

Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus”

Come, Thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

“Angels We Have Heard on High”

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly swinging o'er the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains
Gloria In Excelsis Deo
Gloria In Excelsis Deo 

“O Little Town of Bethlehem”

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight


Prayer of Confession

All: Merciful God, you are always with us and always coming. But we confess that we do not know how to prepare for your Advent. It is so easy to forget how to hope in miracles and to ignore the promise of your kingdom. We get distracted by all the busyness of this season. Forgive us, God. Grant us the simple wonder of the shepherds, the intelligent courage of the Magi, and the patient faith of Mary and Joseph, that we may journey with them to Bethlehem and find the good news of a child born for us. Now, in the quiet of our hearts, we ask you to make us ready for his coming. Amen.

[time of silence]

Assurance of Pardon: 

[Based on Isaiah 40:1-2] 

Leader: Hear the Good News. Comfort, comfort my people, says our God. Our sins are pardoned. The penalty is paid.
Thanks be to God.


Hearing God's Word

Lighting The Advent Candle of Hope

[Based on Based Isaiah 9:6]
Leader: Advent means coming. We light the Candle of Hope as a sign of the coming light of Christ. We are preparing for the full coming of God’s kingdom:

PeopleFor unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor...

Let us prepare, then, the way of the Lord and hope for the coming Christ.

Prayer of Illumination

Creator God, you remind us that the darkness of ignorance and doubt cannot overcome your life-giving Word. May your Holy   Spirit, who first inspired these words of Scripture, shine your light and once again awaken us to the hearing and living o f this radiant truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

New Testament Reading: Luke 1:5-25 

5   In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron.  6 Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly.  7 But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years. 

8   Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God,  9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense.  10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside. 

11   Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.  12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.  13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.  14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,  15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.  16 Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God.  17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous — to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 

18   Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” 

19   The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.  20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.” 

21   Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple.  22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak. 

23   When his time of service was completed, he returned home.  24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion.  25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.” 


“The Christmas Angels... Who Shake Us Up"

Responding to God’s Word

Prayer of the People

Leader:  The Lord be with you.

People:  And also with you.

Leader:  Lift up your hearts.

People:  We lift them up to the Lord

Leader:  Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

People:  It is right to give him thanks and praise


(particular intercessions)


Leader:  Lord, in your mercy.

People: Hear our prayer​


All:  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 debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Hymn of Response

“Go Tell it on the Mountain"

Go, tell it on the mountain, 
over the hills and everywhere;
go, tell it on the mountain 
that Jesus Christ is born.

While shepherds kept their watching 
o’er silent flocks by night, 
behold, throughout the heavens 
there shone a holy light

The shepherds feared and trembled 
when lo! above the earth 
rang out the angel chorus 
that hailed our Savior‘s birth.

Down in a lowly manger
the humble Christ was born, 
and God sent us salvation 
that blessed Christmas morn. 

Offering and Prayer



[Based on Romans 15:12-13]

Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse shall come, the one who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles shall hope.” So now may the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, so that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen


Union Presbyterian Church

5615 Union Road, Gastonia, NC 28056

Phone: 704-864-7681    Fax: 704-864-7594


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