Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 22, 2019 Cycle A
Purple priestly vestments symbolize penance and preparation.

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Liturgical Year Cycle 2019-2020
                                             Introductory Acts Of Worship

The Entrance Prayers:
   On Sunday, usually a hymn praising God is sung in place of reciting a Psalm from the Bible which invites us to enter more deeply into the mystery of God's love for us.  The recited weekday Psalm expresses a youthful heart and spirit, delighted that we may come before the living God.

Entrance Song / Entrance Psalm (Antiphon)           
Entrance Song
Isaiah 45:8   D
rop down dew from above, you heavens, and let the clouds rain down the Just One; let the earth be opened and bring forth a Savior.

The Priest Approaches and Kisses the Altar:  The altar is a symbol of Christ.  In it are cut five crosses to recall the five wounds of Christ.  The altar also represents the Church and has embedded in it the relics of her saints.  The priest comes to the altar to celebrate the Sacrifice in the Church's name.  Because of the glory surrounding the altar upon which the divine Sacrifice will be made, the kiss of the priest unites the Church to Christ, its Redeemer.

Priest:    In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
All:   
Amen.

The Greeting:  We are welcomed in God's name.  Our response unites us to our neighbor, to the priest and to God.  (The priest may select from several forms of greeting).

Priest:  
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
All:     
And also with you.


The Penitential Prayers:  We recognize our guilt for past sins, express our sorrow for them, and ask that Mary, the angels, the saints, and our brothers and sisters in Christ pray for the Lord God's mercy.  (The priest may select from several forms).

Priest:  Brethren, let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.   
Priest / All:  I confess to almighty God and to you  my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.         

The Absolution
:

Priest:   May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.
All:    Amen.

The Collect:  The priest lifts the united prayers and petitions of the congregation to God the Father through the merits of Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.

Priest:   Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ your Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may by his Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection.  Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

                                          Liturgy of the Word

Christ is made known to us through the Old Testament which prepares us to recognize Him.  In those days, God inspired men who spoke His message.  Now, the New Testament Gospel reading announces His presence to us directly through His Son.  Both readings bring God's message to us.  Our responsibility is to respond.

The First Reading:  From the Old Testament

Priest/Reader:  
A reading from the prophet Isaiah.

First Reading:   Isaiah 7:10-14

T
he Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying: Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God; let it be deep as the netherworld, or high as the sky!  But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask!  I will not tempt the Lord!”  Then Isaiah said:  Listen, O house of David!  Is it not enough for you to weary people, must you also weary my God?”  Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.

Priest/Reader:    The Word of the Lord.

All:   T
hanks be to God.


The Responsorial Psalm:  This Psalm praising God, is a prayer to God, or recommends the practice of virtue.  It is sung as an interlude between the scriptural readings.  It provides yet another instructional setting and invites the assembly to imitate the cantor who sings a repeated response to the verses of an ancient Psalm many of which are attributed to King David.  The verses are sung first by a cantor (song leader) accompanied by instruments, the refrain is sung by the people. 


Psalm 24;1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Cantor:   Let the Lord enter; he is king of glory.
All:   R/:  Let the Lord enter; he is king of glory.
Cantor:  The Lord's are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it.  For he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
All:   R/:   Let the Lord enter; he is king of glory.
Cantor:   Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord,  or who may stand in his holy place?  One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain.
All:   R/:   Let the Lord enter; he is king of glory.
Cantor:   He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, a reward from God his savior.  Such is the race that seeks for him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
All:   R/:   Let the Lord enter; he is king of glory.

The Second Reading:  Taken from the New Testament, often from a letter written by St. Paul.

Priest/Reader:    A Reading from the first letter of Saint Paul to the Romans.   

Second Reading:   Romans 1:1-7

Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised previously through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, the gospel about his Son, descended from David according to the flesh, but established as Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness through resurrection from the dead,  Jesus Christ our Lord.  Through him we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith, for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles, among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy.  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Priest/Reader:   The word of the Lord.
All:     T
hanks be to God.  

The Alleluia:  An ancient expression of joy anticipating the Lord's message we will hear in the Gospel.
Cantor:    Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!
All:  R/.  A
lleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!
Cantor:    T
he virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel.
All:  R/.  Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

The Gospel:  The Liturgy of the Word is completed by the reading of the Gospel.  Before its reading, the members of the assembly trace the sign of the cross upon the forehead to indicate their mental acceptance of the Truth, on the lips to indicate their readiness to announce it, and over the heart to indicate their sincere desire to accept it into their lives.  The "Good News" of the Gospel tells that God's kingdom has come for all to hear, accept, and announce to the world for its salvation.  It is God who is speaking to us.  Christ comes to teach us by the example of His life and by His own words.

Priest:   C
leanse my heart and my lips, almighty God, that I may worthily proclaim your holy Gospel.  Through the words of the Gospel may our sins be wiped away.

Priest:   The Lord be with you.
All:    A
nd also with you.
Priest/Deacon:   A
reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew.
All:    G
lory to you, Lord.

The Gospel:   Matthew 1:18-24

Matthew wrote to show that Christ was the
Messiah and fulfilled the Jewish prophecies.

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.  When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.  Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.  Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.  For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.  She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet; Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.”  When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

Priest:   The Gospel of the Lord.
All:    P
raise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

The Priest's Sermon:    The priest develops, explains, and comments upon the Master's words, so our minds may be enlightened, and our hearts enriched.

(A priestly reflection upon this Gospel)

Profession of Faith:
     We state in the Nicene Creed the principles of our faith in precise and definite terms.

All:   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, one in Being with the Father.  Through him all things were made.  For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.  For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died, and was buried.  On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  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 worshipped 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.  Amen.

General Intercessions:   We pray for the needs of the pope, civic leaders, our own needs, those of others, the sick, the dying, those who have died, the church, and the world.  The response of all to each intercession:  Lord, hear our prayer.

All:   L
ord, hear our prayer.

                  The Liturgy of the Eucharist

Gifts of bread and wine symbolizing ourselves are presented to the priest who will offer them to God the Father.  Through the Holy Spirit, they will become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ whom we receive in Holy Communion.  Jesus unites Himself with us for our spiritual nourishment and strength.  Today, when individuals do not present their own personal offerings of bread and wine, the monetary contribution symbolizes the material of their united sacrifice.  The priest makes and offering of the bread and wine to God.

Preparation of the Bread and Wine:

Priest:    B
lessed are you, Lord, God of all creation, through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made.  It will become for us the bread of life.
All:    Blessed be God for ever.

Priest:
     By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity.

Priest:    Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you; fruit of the vine and work of human hands it will become our spiritual drink.
All:
    Blessed be God for ever.

Priest:    Lord God, we ask you to receive us and be pleased with the sacrifice we offer you with humble and contrite hearts.

The Priest's Hands are Washed: T
his act was traditionally necessary because the priest handled the various gifts presented by the people.  Now, the cleansing act using water reminds the priest and ourselves of the need to cleanse not only the hands but the soul.  Soon, the priest's hands will hold the actual body of Christ, and we will become His dwelling place.   

Priest:    Lord, wash away my iniquity; cleanse me from my sin. Pray, brethren, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father.

All:    
May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good, and the good of all his holy Church.

Prayer over the Gifts:  Speaking in our name, the priest asks the Father to accept the gifts we offer through him.

Priest:   May the Holy Spirit, O Lord, sanctify these gifts laid upon your altar, just as he filled with his power the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Through Christ our Lord.
All:    Amen.

Eucharistic Prayer:   (Number Two: The priest may select from several forms).

Priest:
    The Lord be with you.
All:    And with your spirit. 

Priest:
    Lift up your hearts.
All:    We lift them up to the Lord.

Priest:    Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.
All:    It is right and just. 

Preface Prayer: 

Priest:   It is truly right to give you thanks, truly just to give you glory, Father most holy, for you are the one God living and true, existing before all ages and abiding for all eternity, dwelling in unapproachable light; yet you, who alone are good, the source of life, have made all that is, so that you might fill your creatures with blessings and bring joy to many of them by the glory of your light.

And so, in your presence are countless hosts of Angels, who serve you day and night and, gazing upon the glory of your face, glorify you without ceasing.

With them we, too, confess your name in exultation, giving voice to every creature under heaven, as we acclaim:

Acclamation:

Priest / All:   Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of hosts.  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.

Priest:   We give you praise, Father most holy, for you are great and you have fashioned all your works in wisdom and in love.  You formed man in your own image and entrusted the whole world to his care, so that in serving you alone, the Creator, he might have dominion over all creatures. And when through disobedience he had lost your friendship, you did not abandon him to the domain of death.  For you came in mercy to the aid of all, so that those who seek might find you.  Time and again you offered them covenants and through the prophets taught them to look forward to salvation. 

And you so loved the world, Father most holy, that in the fullness of time you sent your Only Begotten Son to be our Savior.  Made incarnate by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, he shared our human nature in all things but sin.  To the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation, to prisoners, freedom, and to the sorrowful of heart, joy.  To accomplish your plan, he gave himself up to death, and, rising from the dead, he destroyed death and restored life.

And that we might live no longer for ourselves but for him who died and rose again for us, he sent the Holy Spirit from you, Father, as the first fruits for those who believe, so that, bringing to perfection his work in the world, he might sanctify creation to the full.

Therefore, O Lord, we pray: may this same Holy Spirit graciously sanctify these offerings, that they may become the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for the celebration of this great mystery, which he himself left us as an eternal covenant.

The priest repeats the words which Christ used at his Last Supper when He changed the bread into His Body and the wine into His Blood.  His Body and Blood are truly present but under the appearance of bread and wine.  The death of Christ is prolonged in each of those who receive Him worthily.  We apply His death to ourselves so that we may share His glory.  This moment is the most solemn on earth because it is Divine act which enables us to apply to ourselves the Cross which Christ willingly took upon Himself. 

We are called to die to sin and lift our very selves to God so that we become changed; to do as God would have us do, to become what God would have us become.  Our own little cross can lift us into union with Christ's Cross so we may earn the joys of everlasting happiness with God the Father.

The Lord's Supper:  For when the hour had come for him to be glorified by you, Father most holy, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end: and while they were at supper, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: 

Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my Body, which will be given up for you.

In a similar way taking the chalice filled with the fruit of the vine, he gave thanks, and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying:

Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.  Do this in memory of me.
 

Memorial Acclamation: (The priest may select from several forms). 
Priest: 
   The mystery of faith.
Priest / All:    When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.

Therefore, O Lord, as we now celebrate the memorial of our redemption, we remember Christ's Death and his descent to the realm of the dead, we proclaim his Resurrection and his Ascension to your right hand, and, as we await his coming in glory, we offer you his body and Blood, the sacrifice acceptable to you which brings salvation to the whole world.

Look, O Lord, upon the Sacrifice which you yourself have provided for your Church, and grant in your loving kindness to all who partake of this one Bread and one Chalice that, gathered into one body by the Holy Spirit, they may truly become a living sacrifice in Christ to the praise of your glory.

Therefore, Lord, remember now all for whom we offer this sacrifice: especially your servant ____ our Pope, ____ our Bishop, and the whole Order of Bishops, all the clergy, those who take part in this offering, those gathered here before you, your entire people, and all who seek you with a sincere heart.  Remember also those who have died in the peace of your Christ and all the dead, whose faith you alone have known.

To all of us, your children, grant, O merciful Father, that we may enter into a heavenly inheritance with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with Blessed Joseph her spouse, and with your Apostles and Saints in your kingdom. 

There, with the whole of creation, freed from the corruption of sin and death, may we glorify you through Christ our Lord, through whom you bestow on the world all that is good.

Doxology:
                  
Prayer of Praise:  
Through him, with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, for ever and ever.
All:   Amen. 

                                                 Communion Rite

In the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we symbolically offer ourselves to the Lord through the gifts of bread and wine.  At the Consecration, we offer our very lives to be united the God the Father through the Cross of Christ.  In Communion, we find that we have not died at all, but have come to life.  We have surrendered ourselves to God through His Divine Son, Jesus Christ.  In return become ennobled and enriched.  We give up time and we get eternity, we give up our sin and we receive grace, we surrender our self-will and receive the strength of the Divine Will, we give up ourselves and we receive everything.  For the Son of God says to us that unless we receive Him we shall not have Divine life in us.  But it is not really we who receive Christ as it is Christ who receives us, bringing us into Himself.

God makes His Cross the very means of our salvation and our life.  While we have crucified Him, His eternal love cannot be extinguished.  Christ willed to give us the very life we crucified in our Redemption, the Consecration of Holy Thursday into Communion, His death into our everlasting life.

The Lord's Prayer:

Priest:   At the Savior's command and formed by divine teaching we dare to say: 
Priest and All:
   Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be they 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 trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Priest:
   Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

All:   F
or the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever.

Prayer for Peace:

Priest:   Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles: I leave you peace, my peace I give you. Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and grant us peace and unity of your kingdom where you live for ever and ever. 
All:   Amen.

Priest:   The peace of the Lord be with you always.
All:   And with your spirit.

                                     

Priest:    Let us offer each other the sign of peace.

Breaking of the Bread:

Priest:   May this mingling of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it.

Priest and All:   Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
                          
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
                           
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Communion of the Priest:

Priest Preparation:  M
ay the receiving of your Body and Blood, Lord Jesus Christ, not bring me to judgment and condemnation, but through your loving mercy be for me protection in mind and body and a healing remedy.

Priest:   Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world.  Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb. 

Priest and All:   Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the world and my soul shall be healed.

Priest:   May the Body of Christ keep me safe for eternal life.
              May the Blood of Christ keep me safe for eternal life.

Communion Antiphon:

Isaiah 7:14
Priest:   
Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a son; and his name will be called Emmanuel.

Communion of the Faithful:

Priest:    The Body of Christ.    
The Faithful:   
Amen.
 

Priest:    The Blood of Christ.   
The Faithful:    
Amen.

 

 

 

 


 


Cleansing of the Vessels:

Priest:   What has passed our lips as food, O Lord, may we possess in purity of heart, that what has been given to us in time may be our healing for eternity.

Prayer after Communion:

Priest:  Having received this pledge of eternal redemption, we pray, almighty God, that, as the feast day of our salvation draws ever nearer, so we may press forward all the more eagerly to the worthy celebration of the mystery of your Son’s Nativity.  Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.  Amen.

                                                    Concluding Rite

Priest:   The Lord be with you.
All:   And with your spirit. 
Priest:   Bow down for the blessing.

Dismissal Prayer:
 
(The priest may select from several forms)

Priest:   May the almighty and merciful God, by whose grace you have placed your faith in the First Coming of his Only Begotten Son and yearn for his coming again, sanctify you by the radiance of Christ's Advent and enrich you with his blessing.
All:    Amen.
Priest:   As you run the race of this present life, may he make you firm in faith, joyful in hope and active in charity.
All:    Amen.
Priest:   So, that rejoicing now with devotion at the Redeemer's coming in the flesh, you may be endowed with the rich reward of eternal life when he comes again in majesty.
All:    Amen.
Priest:   And may the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, come down on you and remain with you for ever.
All:    Amen.

Priest:   Go fourth, the Mass is ended.
All:   Thanks be to God.

 
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. 
  
  Save us from the fires of hell. 

  Lead all souls to heaven,

  especially those in most need of your mercy.

 www.Divinemasterplanforlife.com
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