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Event Series Event Series: Worship (In Person and Online)
Choir members singing in red robes

Second Sunday of Advent

  • Date: Sunday, December 10, 2023
  • Time: 10:30am11:30am
  • Location: Sanctuary

Order of Worship

December 10, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.

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O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, setting by Michael D. Costello

*Call to Worship

(The congregation responds aloud with the bold text)

Wilderness living calls us to seek God in the voice that cries out,
“Valleys will be lifted up and mountains will be made low,”

to seek God in the sound of the one who speaks of peace,
“The day of the Lord is coming,”

to seek God in the loud noise that foretells what will be made new.
In the wilderness, let us listen only for God’s voice.

Let us worship God!

*Hymn #93, “Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates”

1. Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates;
behold the King of glory waits;
the King of kings is drawing near;
the Savior of the world is here.

2. Fling wide the portals of your heart;
make it a temple, set apart
from earthly use for heaven’s employ,
adorned with prayer and love and joy.

3. Redeemer, come! I open wide
my heart to thee; here, Lord, abide.
Let me thy inner presence feel;
thy grace and love in me reveal.

Prayer of Adoration

Lighting of the First Advent Candle

Response: Hymn #842, “The Lord Is My Light”

The Lord is my light, my light and salvation;
In God I trust; in God I trust.

Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession

Merciful God, as we watch and wait for signs of your expansive love,
forgive our narrow thinking.

As we repent in the wilderness with John,
we confess that we often lack the imagination to testify to the coming light.

As we visit the home of Elizabeth,
we lament our loss of wonder and our failure to recognize miracles among us.

Even as we hear the witness of angels and the shepherds,
we confess that we do not make haste to go and see the Christ.
Forgive our apathy and small-mindedness.
When the wait is over and all is finished,
open our minds to recognize the strength and wisdom of Christ, God with us.

Silent prayer of confession

Assurance of Pardon

Hear this good news: in Christ, there is strength and wisdom,
expansive love and everlasting grace.

We are forgiven and being transformed
to go and proclaim the wonder
of the one who is coming.

Come, Lord Jesus. Come.

May we find in him freedom and peace; joy and hope.

*Response of Praise: Hymn #654, “In the Lord I’ll Be Ever Thankful”

In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful;
in the Lord I will rejoice!
Look to God; do not be afraid.
Lift up your voices, the Lord is near.
Lift up your voices; the Lord is near.

*Passing of the Peace

Life in Community

Thank you for joining us for worship! Explore the calendar of events and recent announcements to take another step into our life together this week. If you’re joining us for the first time or would like to learn more about Catonsville Presbyterian, you’re welcome to share your email with us. We’ll send some information that will help you get connected.

Children’s Message

[Sung] Light the Advent candle, two;
Think of humble shepherds, who
Filled with wonder at the sight
Of the child of Christmas night.

Candle, candle, burning bright,
Shining in the cold winter night;
Candle, candle, burning bright,
Fill our hearts with Christmas light.

Prayer for Illumination

Mighty God, send your Holy Spirit to speak peace, that the good news of this age may be proclaimed through your word, which stands forever. Amen.

Scripture: Isaiah 40:1-11

Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry out!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass;
their constancy is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers; the flower fades,
[[when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers; the flower fades,]]
but the word of our God will stand forever.
Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
See, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him
and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms
and carry them in his bosom
and gently lead the mother sheep.

Hymn #89 (verses 3-4): “My Soul in Stillness Waits”

For you, O Lord, my soul in stillness waits;
truly my hope is in you.

3 O Root of Life, implant your seed within us,
and in your advent, draw us all to you,
our hope reborn in dying and in rising. (Refrain)

4 O Key of Knowledge, guide us in our pilgrimage;
we ever seek, yet unfulfilled remain;
open to us the pathway of your peace. (Refrain)

Scripture: Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ.

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,

“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way,
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
make his paths straight,’ ”

so John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And the whole Judean region and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him and were baptized by him in the River Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the strap of his sandals. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Sermon: “On the way” Ken Kovacs

Call to Offering

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Offering of Tithes and Gifts

Offertory: Huron Carol, arr. Dan Forrest, adapted

*Doxology #607, “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow”

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Christ, all people here below;
Praise Holy Spirit evermore;
Praise Triune God, whom we adore. Amen.

*Prayer of Dedication

Lord, we give you thanks that in the coming of Christ your steadfast love and faithfulness have met, and your righteousness and peace have kissed. May the gifts we offer this day lift up those in need and prepare the way of your salvation. Amen.

Prayers of the people & the Lord’s Prayer

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 debts, as we forgive our debtors;
and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom and the power
and the glory, forever. Amen.

*Hymn #106, “Prepare the Way, O Zion”

1. Prepare the way, O Zion,
your Christ is drawing near!
Let every hill and valley
a level way appear.
Greet One who comes in glory,
foretold in sacred story.

O blest is Christ who came
in God’s most holy name.

2. He brings God’s rule, O Zion;
he comes from heaven above.
His rule is peace and freedom,
and justice, truth, and love.
Lift high your praise resounding,
for grace and joy abounding.

O blest is Christ who came
in God’s most holy name.

3. Fling wide your gates, O Zion;
your Savior’s rule embrace,
and tidings of salvation
proclaim in every place.
All lands will bow rejoicing,
their adoration voicing.

O blest is Christ who came
in God’s most holy name.

*Charge and Benediction

May faithfulness spring up from the ground
and righteousness look down from heaven
as you walk in the way of peace;

and may the blessing of God—Father, Son, Holy Spirit—be with you now and always. Amen.


Fanfare on “Wake, Awake, for Night is Flying,” setting by Michael Burkhardt


  • Dorothy Boulton
    Associate Pastor
  • Audrey Coker,
  • Keith and Kathy Glennan
    A/V Production
  • The Frank Family
    Candle lighters
  • Bill Henderson
  • Wendy Johnston,
    Organist and Assistant Director of Music
  • Ken Kovacs,
  • Greg Knauf,
    Director of Music
  • Vickie Lord,
    Social media support


  • Call to Worship: Liturgy, Music, Preaching, and the Arts, Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Theology and Worship (Louisville: Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, 2023).
  • Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013).
  • Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-734388; CCLI Copyright License B 20481088 + Streaming License B 481071
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