17th December 2023 10.30am – 3rd Sunday of Advent – Eucharist

17th December 2023: 

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Download the order of service here: 23 12 17 3rd Sunday of Advent Eucharist

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The Readings

Isaiah 61. 1 - 4, 8 - end

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 broken-hearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour,
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 peoples;
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.    


John 1. 6 - 8, 19 - 28

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.


Scripture Quotations are from: New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

The Sermon
By the Revd Canon Dr Matthew Rhodes, Assistant Priest.

To be uploaded shortly.

The Prayers
Prepared by Veronica.

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father.

O God our Father, you sent your servants John and Isaiah to tell people about your coming Son,
who would do great things. At this time of year we await the birth of Jesus, not as a great king, come
to rule the earth, but as a little baby, born in a stable because there was no room in the inn. We pray
that we shall observe his birth by coming to worship at the manger, always giving you thanks for his
wonderful life which showed us the way to salvation through his death.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We pray for all people for whom this Christmas is not a happy time, for those in countries at war, for
people struggling financially, for the homeless. May we do whatever we can to help them at this
time. Show us how we can best help all those for whom this is not a happy time with family and
friends, both through prayer and by giving to charity.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We give you thanks for the wonderful Walkley Christmas Market held in our Church and Hall and all
along South Road yesterday. May we always be here to serve our local community by providing
venues, and also worship Sunday by Sunday, and make everyone welcome in this place. We give you
thanks for our City of Sheffield, with its amazing countryside on our doorstep, and also its very
friendly people.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We pray for all who are ill at this time, and for those approaching the end of this mortal life. We give
you thanks for the work and skills of our doctors, nurses and care workers who do amazing work,
often under very difficult circumstances. We pray also for family members giving support to the ill
and dying. Give them strength to maintain their efforts. In a moment of quiet we pray for all known
to us who are ill or reaching the end of their life and those who care for them…………….
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We remember before you all those we have known – friends and family members – who have
passed on into your nearer presence. We pray for the recently bereaved, including many of my
friends, that they may find comfort. In quiet reflection before you, we remember them all…………
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of our partner churches, St John’s, St Mark’s and our congregation here at
St Mary’s, and all your saints, we commend ourselves and the whole creation at this coming
Christmastide to your unfailing love.
Merciful Father:
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour, Jesus Christ.


Common Worship: Times and Seasons, material from which is used here is copyright (c) 2010 The Archbishops' Council