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Hymn and Prayers for the 4th Sunday of Advent

"Hark the Herald Angels Sing"

"Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven"

Reading & Collect

Our weekly reflection will be part of our Online Service on our Facebook Page on Sunday


Gabriel’s Annunciation Jan Richardson

For a moment I hesitated on the threshold. For the space of a breath I paused, unwilling to disturb her last ordinary moment, knowing that the next step would cleave her life: that this day would slice her story in two, dividing all the days before from all the ones to come.

The artists would later depict the scene: Mary dazzled by the archangel, her head bowed in humble assent, awed by the messenger who condescended to leave paradise to bestow such an honor upon a woman, and mortal.

Yet I tell you it was I who was dazzled, I who found myself agape when I came upon her— reading, at the loom, in the kitchen,

I cannot now recall; only that the woman before me— blessed and full of grace long before I called her so— shimmered with how completely she inhabited herself, inhabited the space around her,

inhabited the moment that hung between us.

I wanted to save her from what I had been sent to say.

Yet when the time came, when I had stammered the invitation (history would not record the sweat on my brow, the pounding of my heart; would not note that I said Do not be afraid to myself as much as to her) it was she who saved me—her first deliverance—her Let it be not just declaration to the Divine but a word of solace, of soothing, of benediction for the angel in the doorway who would hesitate one last time— just for the space of a breath torn from his chest— before wrenching himself away from her radiant consent, her beautiful and awful yes.

To Pray for

  • Those who are feeling anxious about the increasing cases of Covid

  • The thousands of people fleeing the typhoon in the Philippines and all affected by the tornado in the USA

  • The homeless at what is a difficult time of year for them

  • Kindess to one another

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