[The children’s own Advent promises could be put out before the service – perhaps as rolled up scrolls to protect privacy. A purple hanging or tablecloth could be used and the empty manger from the crib with the figures of Mary and Joseph displayed.]
The angel Gabriel from heaven came, His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
‘All hail,’ said he, ‘thou lowly maiden Mary,
most highly favoured lady’. Gloria!
Advent is the time of year when we remember and wait.
We remember how God’s people waited for their Saviour
We remember how Mary waited for Jesus to be born.
We wait for Christmas when Jesus was born.
We wait for Jesus to return at the end of time.
We are going to think for a moment about some of the people who waited and trusted that God would send a Saviour.
Reader (1): Elizabeth and Zechariah trusted in God. They waited a long time for a baby son.
Reader (2): Joseph trusted in God. He listened to the messages God sent him. The time had nearly come for the Saviour to be born.
Reader (3): Mary trusted in God. Now it was the right time. The waiting was over. Jesus, the Son of God, came to the world.
‘For know, a blessed Mother thou shalt be,
all generations laud and honour thee,
thy Son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold;
most highly favoured lady.’ Gloria!
(4): A Reading from Gospel of Luke
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name his Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High.” 1:26-32
Reader (5): Lord Jesus, you fill the whole universe and hold everything together. You are strong and gentle. Come and teach us the way of truth.
All: Come Lord Jesus and teach us the way of truth.
Reader (6): Lord Jesus, you bring light to the whole world. Come to give us your light.
All: Come to give us your light.
(7): A reading from the Gospel of Luke
“Mary said to the angel, ‘but how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘the Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God…’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me’. Luke 1:35 - 38
Reader (8): Lord Jesus, you are God-with-us. You are very near. Come and stay with us always.
All: Come and stay with us always.
Let us have a moment of quiet to ask Jesus to always stay with us in our hearts.
Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ was born
in Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,
and Christian folk throughout the world will ever say
‘most highly favoured lady.’ Gloria!