Ardoch Parish Church

Sunday 13th December 2020

13th December Order of Service pdf

Download a copy of the Order of service

Ardoch Parish Church and our minister, Rev Mairi Perkins welcomes everyone to this Service celebrating the 3rd Sunday in Advent and Liz Paterson lights the third Advent candle

Our First Hymn: It was on a starry night

It was on a starry night, when the hills were bright

Earth lay sleeping, sleeping calm and still.

Then in a cattle shed, in a manger bed

a boy was born, king of all the world.

Chorus: And all the angels sang for him,

the bells of heaven rang for him

for a boy was born,

king of all the world.

And all the angels sang for him,

the bells of heaven rang for him

for a boy was born, king of all the world.

Soon the shepherds came that way

where the baby lay and were kneeling, kneeling by his side.

And their hearts believed again

for the peace of men,

for a boy was born, king of all the world.

Chorus: And all the angels sang for him,

the bells of heaven rang for him

for a boy was born,

king of all the world.

And all the angels sang for him,

the bells of heaven rang for him

for a boy was born, king of all the world

Prayer of Adoration and Confession

Our souls reach out to you our God,
we rejoice in the knowledge of you.

This week we come before you
And ask that you,
look with favour on your
humble servants.

We, like Mary the mother of Jesus,
give thanks:
for all the great things that you have done for us;
for your unending mercy, poured out on all;
for the strength to walk with you
through the trials of this life;
for the knowledge that through your grace
we are your beloved, blessed always.

We give thanks that in you
the weak will find strength;
the hungry will be fed;
the fearful will know peace;
the poor will have their needs met;
the powerful will know their place;
and all peoples will be united in your love:
in a world of pain and distraction we may not
always fulfil your wishes, but we ask today
for your help as we try to bring this new life ever closer.

Throughout the ages of our world,
you have been there,
protecting your people,
supporting and sustaining
keeping and shielding,
in your mercy, you have shown us undying love
and in that love, you sent your only
son to be with us forever.

In this Advent season, as we look forward
to the celebration of his birth,
we give thanks for all that you have given us,
all that we are and all that we can do in your name,
today and every day.

Lord It is almost here,
only a few more sleeps to the big day,
we are excited,
we are waiting,
we want to know what is going to happen,
but we have to be patient.

We hear the story of Mary,
how excited she must have been,
how scary it must have seemed.

Thank you, God, for sending
your son Jesus to be with us,
the real gift at this time of year.

Even though we are excited about all the
celebrations that come with
Jesus’ birthday, we pray that
you will help us to remember what is
most important of all
that we are celebrating the
same baby that Mary was told to expect,
all those years ago
and that he can change our
lives just as much as hers.

In the darkness,
in the long nights,
in the short days,
in the noise,
in the quiet,
we wait and prepare.

In the midst of joyful expectation,
in the midst of painful remembering,
we reflect on the year that has past
and look forward to what is to come,
all the while singing of God’s
steadfast love.

In a world aching from
division, disease, intolerance,
poverty, and war,
we await his coming,
to bring peace and unity,
to nourish our body’s
and our spirits.

Today we wait and prepare,
to celebrate his coming
once again, to heal this world
to gather us in love,
and to be with us forever.


Heather McDonald reads


Luke Chapter 1 v 26-56

Hymn: O Holy Night

Mairi’s Reflection

I know it is Christmas and all that, and everyone is busy singing carols and preparing for nativities, though from a particularly novel and peculiar angle this year,

but I have to interrupt.
My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
And as the festivities, and attempts at carol services and Christmas videos are put together for Christmas Eve, and technology is being used like it never has for the Christmas message

I have to interrupt.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
And as countries compete in new ways as we pull ourselves through the coronavirus pandemic, and we fight over vaccines, and put national economic plans in place, rather than global, and high streets reel in the wake of covid-19,

I have to interrupt.
He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
And as administrations settle in the US and the fallout there-of, and the UK skirts with the lie of the land due to Brexit and China and the West and Russia fall out, and the world shrinks in its vision as people’s expectations fall between what they would expect at this time of year and what is in reality possible,

I have to interrupt.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
And as communities redraw the paradigm of our age in the light of coronavirus and political changes, and injustices arise in their wake that have the potential to be used to redraw how we do economics and neighbourhoods and welfare and church, and the chance is missed,

I have to interrupt.
he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.
The reality is that in the midst of our world right now—and it so happens to be the legacy of pandemic that has given us the greatest existential experience of a generation—God breaks in with a song. It is a song that interrupts. It is meant to. It is meant to jar and annoy and provoke us. That is what happened first time around to a young woman whose life was pushed into the place of an outcast. And it still must.

This song of Mary has upset and annoyed governments, who have refused to let it be spoken, and people of faith who would rather surrender to the Victorian romance of Christmas, interrupts all of that with the core theme of incarnation.

It is a powerful message because it is a message of hope and hope is powerful when it disrupts the ways of the majority and powerful. It is a vision of another way of organising the world and vision is powerful when it confronts those who have relied on an alternative that is less that adequate. It is a word of justice and justice is powerful as a motive for those who have lived with injustice.

And so God interrupts Mary’s life, a Nation, the powerful, the politicians and the theologians. God interrupts the church, the season and the world as each surrenders to what it imagines is inevitable, post pandemic, with a reminder of what is possible now more than ever before. May we interrupt the season with God’s song, God’s message, God’s word.

Luke 1:46b-55 (Magnificat)

Let us pray for others and ourselves

Loving God, in your unending love you sent an angel to Mary, telling her that she is blessed and highly favoured;
as you were with her, we know today that you are with us and we give thanks.
Knowing your presence and rejoicing in the surety of your love we pray today for your blessing and your guidance.

On this winter’s day we remember the gift of your creation, given to us for sustenance and shelter,
for us to enjoy and to protect. Yet we have squandered this gift, and put the lives of future generations in jeopardy.
We ask for the strength to make changes now to protect and renew our planet before it is too late.

In this time of uncertain futures, we pray for your church, both world-wide and this community
of believers gathered before you today,
Grant us the wisdom to create and support new growth both spiritually and numerically,
as we dedicate ourselves once more to your great commission.

At this time of plenty, we give thanks for all that we have, for the joy that this season brings
and the time we set aside to celebrate, but we also remember those among us and those around us
with little, who struggle and go hungry, help us to be more generous and more loving this year.

We pray, today, for ourselves, your beloved children, as we seek to follow you.
As Christmas approaches, and expectations of plenty, of community, of happiness are set,
we remember that not all people enjoy this time of year, that the joy of others can cause pain in some,

We ask for the wisdom to care for and be sensitive to those who need our help at this time of year.
In the midst of fear, swamped by powerful emotions, Mary, who became mother of God,
took courage in both hands and offered:
Here I am:
Mary acceded not out of meekness or naïveté, but in boldness and the fierceness of love.
As we approach the Incarnation in the midst of pandemic with fear all around and emotions overwhelming
how can we offer our:
Here I am.

Offering not by repressing our fear or denying our emotion but, in the midst of those, dredging up a vestige of faith.
Faith that acknowledges wherever we are, whoever we are, God’s invitation to us is generous and grace filled:
to be midwives of God for this day.

In the midst of the trauma in which we live may we muster courage, boldness, grace and fierce love, offering to God:
Here I am.


We are delighted the Hot Chocolate Club members

are contributing each week to The Story

This week’s script is for two voices asking the question “Who are you?”

Our closing hymn: Christmas Hallelujah

This is the Christmas Hallelujah lyrics as sung by Kaylee Rodgers and the Killard House Special School choir. The hymn is derived from Leonard Cohen’s song Hallelujah which has been given a Christmas reworking.

I’ve heard about this baby boy
Who’s come to earth to bring us joy
And I just want to sing this song to you
It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
With every breath I’m singing Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

A couple came to Bethlehem
Expecting child, they searched the inn
To find a place for You were coming soon
There was no room for them to stay
So in a manger filled with hay
God’s only Son was born, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

The shepherds left their flocks by night
To see this baby wrapped in light


A host of angels led them all to You
It was just as the angels said
You’ll find Him in a manger bed
Immanuel and Saviour, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

A star shown bright up in the east
To Bethlehem, the Wise men three
Came many miles and journeyed long for You
And to the place at which You were
Their frankincense and gold and myrrh
They gave to You and cried out Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I know You came to rescue me
This baby boy would grow to be a man
and one day die for me and you
My sins would drive the nails in You
That rugged cross was my cross, too
Still every breath You drew was Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah