Service for the Second Sunday before Advent – 19th November 2023
Welcome to St. Paul’s Athens especially if you are here for the first time or visiting Athens.
The presiding priest this morning is Fr. Terry Hemming, who is also preaching, the deacon is Deacon Christine Saccali. Please join us for coffee in the garden after the Liturgy. St. Paul’s has internet – ask the sidespersons for the password. There are Communion books for children available for use.
Entrance Hymn : 476 (Paderborn) Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim
Priest: Blessed be the Kingdom of God
All: Now and for ever
Priest: Our help is in the name of the Lord
All: Who has made heaven and earth
Priest: The Lord be with you
All: And also with you
The priest then welcomes the people of God and the Deacon leads us into Confession
We run the race set before us, surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. Therefore let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which clings so closely, bringing them to Jesus in penitence and faith. (A short period of stillness and silence)
Deacon: Your raise the dead to life in the spirit.
Kyrie eleison All: Kyrie eleison
Deacon: You bring pardon and peace to the broken in spirit.
Christe eleison All: Christe eleison
Deacon : You make one by your Spirit the torn and divided.
Kyrie eleison All: Kyrie eleison
Absolution: Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Gloria: Glory to God in the highest, peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us, you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive, receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen
Collect: Let us pray (remain standing as the priest prays the Collect of the Day)
whose blessed Son was revealed
to destroy the works of the devil
and to make us the children of God and heirs of eternal life:
grant that we, having this hope,
may purify ourselves even as he is pure;
that when he shall appear in power and great glory
we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom;
where he is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
First Reading : Zephaniah 1. 7, 12-18
Be silent before the Lord God,
for the day of the Lord is at hand!
The Lord has prepared a sacrifice;
he has consecrated his guests.
At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
and I will punish the people
who settle like dregs in wine,
those who say in their hearts,
“The Lord will not do good,
nor will he do harm.”
Their wealth shall be plundered
and their houses laid waste.
Though they build houses,
they shall not inhabit them;
though they plant vineyards,
they shall not drink wine from them.
The great day of the Lord is near,
near and hastening fast;
the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter;
the warrior cries aloud there.
That day will be a day of wrath,
a day of distress and anguish,
a day of ruin and devastation,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness,
a day of trumpet blast and battle cry
against the fortified cities
and against the lofty battlements.
I will bring such distress upon people
that they shall walk like the blind;
because they have sinned against the Lord,
their blood shall be poured out like dust
and their flesh like dung.
Neither their silver nor their gold
will be able to save them
on the day of the Lord’s wrath;
in the fire of his passion
the whole earth shall be consumed,
for a full, a terrible end
he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.
Reader: This is the word of the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God.
Responsorial Psalm: 540 (Psalm 145) I will bless your name for ever, my God and King.
Second Reading : 1 Thessalonians 5. 1-11
Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So, then, let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober, for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober and put on the breastplate of faith and love and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
Reader: This is the word of the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God.
Gospel Hymn 341 (Franconia) Blest are the pure in heart
Deacon: Alleluia! Speak Lord, for your servant is listening. You have the words of eternal life.
All (sung): Alleluia
Deacon: The Lord be with you
All: and also with you
Deacon: Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Matthew (Matt. 25. 14-30)
All: Glory to you, O Lord.
For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. At once the one who had received the five talents went off and traded with them and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things; I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things; I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you did not scatter, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance, but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
At the end of the Gospel
Deacon: This is the gospel of the Lord
All: Praise to you, O Christ.
Sermon : Fr. Terry Hemming (Please sit)
Creed (Please stand)
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, of one Being with the Father: through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with 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, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who 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.
Intercessions : (kneel or sit) Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer
Peace: To crown all things there must be love, to bind all together and complete the whole. Let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts.
All: And also with you.
Offertory Hymn: 379 (St. Andrew) In the cross of Christ I glory [during this hymn the collection is taken]
Priest: Be present, be present Lord Jesus Christ, our risen high priest: make yourself known in the breaking of bread. Amen.
The Great Thanksgiving Prayer (Please remain standing)
Priest: The Lord be with you
All: and also with you
Priest: Lift up your hearts
All: We lift them to the Lord
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God
All: It is right to give thanks and praise
And now we give you thanks
That he is the King of glory,
Who overcomes the sting of death
And opens the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
He is seated at your right hand in glory
And we believe that he will come to be our judge.
Priest: All glory and honour be yours always and everywhere, mighty creator, ever-living God. We give you thanks and praise for your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, who for love of our fallen race humbled himself, was born of the Virgin Mary by the power of your Spirit, and lived as one of us. In this mystery of the Word made flesh you have caused his light to shine in our hearts, to give knowledge of your glory in the face of Jesus Christ. In him we see our God made visible and so are caught up in the love of the God we cannot see. Therefore with all the angels of heaven we lift our voices to proclaim the glory of your name and sing our joyful hymn of praise:
All: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, 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: Priest: How wonderful the work of your hands, O Lord! As a mother tenderly gathers her children you embraced a people as your own. When they turned away and rebelled your love remained steadfast. From them you raised up Jesus our Saviour, born of Mary,
to be the living bread, in whom all our hungers are satisfied. He offered his life for sinners
and with a love stronger than death he opened wide his arms on the cross. On the night before he died, he came to supper with his friends, and taking bread, he gave you thanks.
He broke it and gave it to them, saying: Take eat: this is my body which is given for you, do this in remembrance of me.
At the end of supper, taking the cup of wine, he gave you thanks, and said: Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.
Deacon: Great is the mystery of faith
All: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again
Priest: Father, we plead with confidence his sacrifice made once for all on the cross: we remember his dying and rising in glory, and we rejoice that he prays for us at your right hand. Pour out your Holy Spirit as we bring before you these gifts of your creation; may they be for us the body and blood of your dear Son. As we eat and drink these holy things in your presence, form us in the likeness of Christ, and build us into a living temple to your glory. Remember Lord your Church in every land. Reveal her unity, guard her faith, and preserve her in peace with our Bishops Robert and David and all the congregations of this diocese; bring your church at the last with the Holy Mother of God, Paul, and all the saints to the vision of that eternal splendour for which you have created us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, by whom and with whom and in whom, with all who stand before you earth and heaven, we worship you in songs of everlasting praise;
All: Blessing and honour and glory and power be yours for ever and ever. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer: (to be prayed in whichever language you choose)
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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Priest: We break this bread to share in the body of the risen Christ.
All: Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread
Sung: Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us, have mercy on us (sing twice)
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, grant us peace.
Priest: Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper.
All: Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed
We do not presume to come to this your table, O merciful Lord,
trusting in our own righteousness,
but in your abundant and great mercies.
We are not worthy so much as to gather up
the crumbs under your table;
but you are the same Lord
whose character is always to have mercy.
Grant us, therefore, gracious Lord,
so to eat the flesh of your dear Son Jesus Christ,
and to drink his blood,
that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body,
and our souls washed through his most precious blood,
and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.
All baptized Christians may come forward to receive the body and blood of Christ. If you wish you may receive a blessing. Please let the Sides-people guide you forward.
Communion hymn: : 272 (All for Jesus) All for Jesus! All for Jesus!
Post Communion Prayer: Let us pray (please stand)
in this holy sacrament
you give substance to our hope:
bring us at the last
to that fullness of life for which we long;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
All. We thank you, Lord, that you have fed us in this sacrament, united us with Christ, and given us a foretaste of the heavenly banquet prepared for all peoples. Amen.
Christmas Bazaar on 3rd December at the War Museum. Contact Lynn Stavrou for details. St. Paul’s will be open the week leading up to the Bazaar for things to be delivered. (10.00-14.00hrs)
You can join our prayer connect group on Tuesdays at 09.00 on Zoom, the link can be found on the website
POS- the church has a POS machine, so donations and payments can be done by debit or credit card.
Opening The Doors—Our exciting new history book is now available at a cost of €10.00. It is a lasting legacy to the presence of the Anglican Church here in Athens.
Weekly Giving—If you would like to make your weekly giving to the church by our envelope scheme (which we would like to encourage) please speak to Nelly Paraskevopoulou.
Table Top Sales; There is often a Greetings a card stall and a second hand book stall in the gardens after the liturgy. Please do look out for them.
Coffee morning December 14th at the Swedish centre – 10:30 until 12:30. Contact Anne Dedes if you need information.
Christmas Services: Sunday 17th December 18.00 Carols Sing-a-long
Sunday 24th December 18.00 Lessons and Carols
Monday 25th December 10.00 Christmas Morning Liturgy
Post Communion Hymn: 351 (Neander) Come, ye faithful, raise the anthem
Blessing and Dismissal
Priest: Christ our King make you faithful and strong to do his will, that you may reign with him in glory; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be with you all, evermore. Amen
Deacon: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord
All: In the name of Christ. Amen.
Deacon Chris: Day Off – Friday 697 737 7655
Swedish Church: Fr. Bjorn 694 6072428
The Anglican Church in Greece (including St. Paul’s) is self – financing, and receives no income other than from the generosity of those who worship here. We are a legal body and we pay tax. Our tax number is 997073090. If you wish to donate direct to our bank (IBAN) the account with Piraeus Bank is: The Anglican Church in Greece, St. Paul’s Athens GR 820172 0500 0050 5008 6327 479 Swift code is PIRB GRAA
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- Liturgical material C the Archbishops’ Council.