Worship Service, Third Sunday of Advent

Dec 12, 2021, 11:00 am12:00 pm
Princeton University Chapel
Attend in person* and virtual option



Event Description


Sunday, 11am, Princeton University Chapel

Join us for worship in the University Chapel with preacher Rev. Alison L. Boden, Ph.D., Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel at Princeton University. Music by the Princeton University Chapel Choir with Nicole Aldrich, Director of Chapel Music and of the University Chapel Choir and Eric Plutz, University Organist.

The Worship Service is live streamed on the ORL YouTube page each week.

*All persons, including members of the broader community, are welcome to attend this event if they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 if over age 12. Face coverings must be worn at all times by everyone over age 2. Registration is required for contact tracing purposes.

Register in advance through this link

The bulletin for this service is below.

Third Sunday of Advent, December 12, 2021

You are invited to rise, in body or spirit, for those parts of the service marked with an asterisk (*)

Invitatory: Partita on “Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele”(Chorale with two Variations) by Johann Pachelbel  (1653-1706) and Partita on “Winchester New” (I: Chorale; II: Meditation; III: Bicinium; IV: Aria; V: Trio; VI: Toccata) by Bruce Neswick (b 1956)

Welcome and Announcements: Dean Boden

*Hymn No. 110: Now Bless the God of Israel (Forest Green)

*Call to Worship: Otis Byrd, Jr.

Leader: We have lit a third candle as a sign of the coming light of Christ.  Advent means coming.  We are preparing ourselves for the days when the nations shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.  The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.  The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing.

(All sing):O come, o come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israelthat mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.  Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.  O come, O come, O Adonai, who came to all on Sinai high, and from its peak a single law proclaimed in majesty and awe.  Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.  O come, O shoot of Jesse, free your own from Satan’s tyranny, from depths of hell your people save, and give them victory o’er the grave.  Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.


Leader: Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

All: Have mercy on us, most merciful Creator; in your compassion forgive us our sins, known and unknown, things done and left undone; and so uphold us by your Spirit that we may serve you in newness of life, to the honor and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Savior.  Amen.

*Assurance of Pardon: Friends, hear the Good News of Advent.  God's love is known across time, in Jesus Christ, and at this very moment.  Hear these words of assurance that God, who makes all things new, also covers us with grace, love, and forgiveness.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.

Reading: Zephaniah 3:14-20    Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel!  Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!  God has taken away the judgements against you and has turned away your enemies.  The ruler of Israel, the Almighty, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more.  On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. Adonai, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; God will rejoice over you with gladness and renew you in God’s love; God will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival.  I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach for it.  I will deal with all your oppressors at that time.  And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.  At that time I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says God.

Anthem: E’en So, Lord, Jesus, Quickly Come by Paul Manz (1919-2009)  Revelation 22, adapted by Ruth Manz    Peace be to you and grace from him who freed us from our sins, who loved us all and shed his blood that we might saved be.  Sing holy, holy to our Lord, the Lord, Almighty God, who was and is and is to come; sing holy, holy, Lord!  Rejoice in heaven, all ye that dwell therein, rejoice on earth, ye saints below, ror Christ is coming, is coming soon, for Christ is coming soon!  E’en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come, and night shall be no more; they need no light nor lamp nor sun, for Christ will be their All!

Reading: Luke 3:7-18    John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers!  Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bear fruits worthy of repentance.  Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.  Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”  And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?”  In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.”  Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?”  He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.”  Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?”  He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”  As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”  So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.

Sermon: “Renewed in God’s Love” by Dean Boden

*Hymn No. 115: The Baptist Shouts on Jordan’s Shore (Winchester New)

Prayers of the People: Otis Byrd, Jr.

If there are prayer requests that you would like to share, please raise your hand and after each petition:

Leader: God of love and mercy,

People: Hear our prayer.

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 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, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Choral Response: O Lord, How Shall I Meet You by Johann Crüger (1598-1662) and Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676)    O Lord, how shall I meet you, how welcome you aright?  Your people long to greet you, my hope, my heart’s delight.  Oh, kindle, Lord, most holy, your lamp within my breast to do in spirit lowly all that may please you best.  Your Zion strews before you green boughs and fairest palms; and I, too, will adore you with joyous songs and psalms.  My heart shall bloom forever for you with praises new and from your name shall never withhold the honor due.

*Exchange of the Peace

Leader: The peace of God be always with you.

People: And also with you.

People may exchange the peace with one another.

Offertory Sentence

Music at the Offering: Gabriel’s Message arranged by Robert Grogan (Basque carol)

*Doxology: (Sung to the tune of hymn no. 27; Lasst uns erfreuen)    Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise God all creatures here below, alleluia, alleluia. Praise God above ye heavenly hosts, Creator, Christ, and Holy Ghost, Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

*Prayer for Princeton: (To be said by all.)O Eternal God, the source of life and light for all peoples, we pray you would endow this University with your grace and wisdom: give inspiration and understanding to those who teach and to those who learn; grant vision to its trustees and administrators; to all who work here and to all who bear her name give your guiding Spirit of sacrificial courage and loving service.  Amen.

*Hymn No. 120: There’s a Voice in the Wilderness (Ascension)


Voluntary: Partita on “Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele” (Variations Three and Four) by Johann Pachelbel

The University Chapel is a welcoming community of faith.  We gather to sing God's praises, to hear God's living Word, to seek justice, and to proclaim God's love for all people.

University Chapel Staff: The Rev. Alison L. Boden, Ph.D., Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel; The Rev. Dr. Theresa S. Thames, Associate Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel; Nicole Aldrich, Director of Chapel Music and of the Chapel Choir; Eric Plutz, University Organist; Elizabeth Powers, Chapel Administrator; Otis Byrd, Jr. Seminary Intern; Edgar Gomez, Sexton; Lisa McGurr, Sexton

If you would like to make a contribution toward Sunday flowers in the chapel as a memorial, please contact Liz Powers for details at 609-258-3048.  Every Sunday of every month the congregation is invited to bring non-perishable food items to be donated to Arm in Arm.   The offering this morning will go to Habitat for Humanity.

Singers!  Join the Christmas Eve Chorus at Princeton University chapel.  The service will be on Friday, December 24th at 8pm.  Rehearsals: Sunday, Dec 19, from 1pm to 3pm and Monday Dec 20, from 7pm to 9pm.  Contact Nicole Aldrich, 609-258-3654, [email protected] if you are interested.  All singers must be fully vaccinated and will be masked at all times.

Calendar of Upcoming Services and Events:

Today, Sunday, December 12, 2021 - You are invited to coffee hour immediately following the service.  Hallelujah Church @ Princeton, Murray-Dodge Hall, Room 104, 1:30pm - A service of exciting worship, inspiring music, and a place of grace where love, hope and faith come alive. 

Sunday, December 19, 2021, 11:00 a.m., Worship Service for the fourth Sunday of Advent. The preacher will be Dean Thames.

Friday, December 24, 2021, 8:00 p.m., Christmas Eve Service: - The prelude starts at 7:30 with seasonal music.  The preacher will be Dean Boden.

Saturday, December 25, 2021, 11:00 a.m., Christmas Day Service with celebration of Holy Communion.  The preacher will be Dean Thames.

Copyright information: “E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come” © 1954, 1982 Concordia Publishing House; © assigned 1987 to Birnamwood Publications. “Gabriel’s Message” music © 2001 E. C. Schirmer Music Company. All rights reserved. Reprinted and streamed/recorded by permission under OneLicense.net #L-541135.

Office of Religious Life