Below you will find prayers, songs, readings, and a message to help you experience worship.  You can light a candle to remind yourself of the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Whether you are alone or with others, we hope that you can feel each other’s presence, and the presence of God, as we find creative ways to worship together, even though we are not in the same building.  One good thing about virtual worship is that if you really like a song, you can listen to it again!  Do what you need to do to worship God wherever you are.

announcements & Call to Worship

(Click video to play)

We come from a world of darkness, into Christ’s world of light. We come from a world of weariness, into God’s strength and hope. From the comfort of our homes we gather to worship. Whether through printed word, or through the gift of technology we are a community. Here we seek connection to God and to each other. Strengthened by the Spirit, we come to awaken our souls and watch for the coming of Christ.  Come, let us worship!

Hymn of Praise                      
Glory to God

(Click video to play)

Glory be to God on high.  Peace, goodwill to all the earth.  Let us sing a joyful song to the Christ, the Living Word.  Gloria in excelsis Deo; Gloria in excelsis Deo. 

Love has come to dwell with us.  Light now shines on everyone.  Hope has lifted up our hearts.  Joy has made, in us, a home.  Gloria in excelsis Deo; Gloria in excelsis Deo. 

Prayer of the Day

Stir up the wills of your faithful people, Lord God, and open our ears to the words of your prophets, that, anointed by your Spirit, we may testify to your light; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Lighting the Third Advent Candle ~ Joy                            
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 & John 1:6-8, 19-28

(Click video to play)

We want everything to look nice: the decorations of the season, our homes with their lights and tinsel, wreaths and ribbons. We want to lighten the darkness around us, bring beauty to the ugliness that wears us down. Yet, when we look around, we see shadows of sadness, families who have lost loved ones, people in prison, people who are isolated and feel on their own.  When we look around, we see shadows of grief, people dreading the holidays because of painful memories, because they don’t want to spend another Christmas alone.

From Psalm 5:11, we hear these words, “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, so that those who love your name may exult in you.”

We light this candle as a sign of our joy in this season. In the face of sadness, in the face of grief, in the face of loss, we light a candle of joy. (Light the third candle in your Advent wreath.)

May the light from this candle overwhelm the world.

May the light from this candle say to all that God’s joy is coming, on earth as it already is in heaven. 

Loved children of God, be not afraid, God’s joy is at hand!

Advent Song                  
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

(Click video to play)

O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.  Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, O Wisdom from on high, embracing all things far and nigh:  in strength and beauty come and stay; teach us your will and guide our way.   Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, O come, O Lord of might, as to your tribes on Sinai’s height in ancient times you gave the law in cloud, and majesty, and awe.  Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

(Click video to play)

1The 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; 2to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3to 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.  4They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former  devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.

8For 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.  9Their 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.  10I 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.  11For 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.

Children’s Moment

(Click video to play)

Gospel and Message             
John 1:6-8, 19-28

(Click video to play)

6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

19This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” 21And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23He said,
 “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
 ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ ”
as the prophet Isaiah said.
24Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” 26John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, 27the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” 28This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

Hymn of the Day  
On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry

(Click video to play)

On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry announces that the Lord is nigh; awake and hearken, for he brings glad tidings of the King of kings!

Then cleansed be ev’ry life from sin; make straight the way for God within, and let us all our hearts prepare for Christ to come and enter there.

We hail you as our Savior, Lord, our refuge and our great reward; without your grace we waste away like flow’rs that wither and decay.

Stretch forth your hand, our health restore, and make us rise to fall no more; oh, let your face upon us shine and fill the world with love divine.

All praise to you, eternal Son, whose advent has our freedom won, whom with the Father we adore, and Holy Spirit, evermore.

Thanksgiving for the Word

(Click video to play)

Holy God, the Beginning and the Ending, our Hope as we wait, we praise you for joining us to your people of old. We bless you for your prophets who call us to righteousness and promise a new earth with peace for all. For the Word of your covenant, we thank you, O God.

We praise you for the coming of Jesus our Lord, who lifts up the lowly, heals the suffering world, and proclaims your way of mercy and truth. For your Word who is Christ, we magnify you, O God.

Send your Spirit on all who receive your Word. Nurture our faith with your grace, accompany us with your might, and empower our zeal for your justice and joy. For your Word through the church, we praise you, O God.

All praise to you, holy God, today, tomorrow, and forever. Amen.


(Click video to play)

Held together in one body by the Spirit of Christ, let us pray for the church and the world, and all who are in need.

God of love, give the leaders of every nation a love of justice and a commitment to serve the common good. Calm tensions in the Middle East, and bring peace where civil conflicts rage. Equip regions to rebuild cities that have been destroyed by war. Lord, hear our prayer.  

God of exiles and wanderers, give a homeland to refugees. Provide housing for those whose dwellings have been destroyed. Uphold the work of ELCA Good Gifts, Lutheran Disaster Response, Lutheran World Relief, and all disaster relief organizations. Comfort all who feel isolated from others. Lord, hear our prayer. 

God of the sorrowing and the brokenhearted, give health to the sick, relief to medical workers, and comfort to mourners. Attend to those with lifelong illness. We beg for an end to the coronavirus and a fair distribution of the vaccines. Lord, hear our prayer. 

God of each one of us, we await peace and justice, health and wholeness. Sustain us as we await your coming. Hear all of our unceasing prayers. Lord, hear our prayer. 

God of sinners and saints, while facing sadness and death, we grieve; yet we offer you praise for all the saints.  At the end, gather us into the joy of your glory. Lord, hear our prayer. 

God beyond all things, God dwelling among us now, receive these prayers for the sake of Jesus Christ, who came, who comes, and who is coming now and forever.  Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

(Click video to play)

Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us.

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.

Sending Song                      
Come Now, O Prince of Peace

(Click video to play)

Come now, O Prince of peace, make us one body.  Come, O Lord Jesus, reconcile your people.

Come now, O God of love, make us one body.  Come, O Lord Jesus, reconcile your people.

Come now and set us free, O God, our Savior.  Come, O Lord Jesus, reconcile all nations.

Come, Hope of unity, make us one body.  Come, O Lord Jesus, reconcile all nations.


(Click video to play)

May God, who gathers us in love, lead you in pathways of righteousness and justice. May God, who knows us more deeply than we know ourselves, lead you in pathways of forgiveness and freedom. May God, who fills us with good things, lead you in pathways of equity and abundance.

The creator of the stars bless your Advent waiting, the long-expected Savior fill you with love, the unexpected Spirit guide your journey now and forever.


Go in peace. Prepare the way of the Lord.

Worship Assistants

Music:  Lori, Ian, Andrea, Izzy, Camilla
Message: Pastor Kristin
Readers: Lori, Rose, Alex, Dawn, Ian, Maddy Jo, Miki, Callyn, Jenavieve
Children’s Moment: Pastor Kristin

From Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2005 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.  Reprinted and streamed by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS002432.  New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Hymns reprinted and streamed with permission. CCLI#1162147.  Portions of the All Saints Liturgy adapted from Rev. Leslie Mamas, United Church of Christ

Sunday school material used with permission from Spirit & Truth Publishing. God’s Word @ Home: Family Faith Formation.

Advent Candle Lighting adapted from The Salt Project (saltprogect.org) and Discipleship Matters (umcdiscipleship.org).