Second Before Advent

SECOND SUNDAY BEFORE ADVENT Hymns 355, 263, 295, 468

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 rest complacently on their dregs, 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.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 90 Response:  In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust, saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night. R
You make an end of them in their sleep;

the next morning they are like the changing grass,
Which at dawn springs up anew, but by evening wilts and fades. R
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long? Have pity on your servants! R
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,

*that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
And may the gracious care of the Lord our God be ours;
prosper the work of our hands for us! Prosper the work of our hands! *R


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 labour pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! But you, beloved, 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.

GOSPEL Matthew 25.14-30 ‘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. The one who had received the five talents went off at once 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 seed; 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.”


A very warm welcome to any new readers, and to visitors and newcomers to St Michael's. A special welcome and thanks to Fr Paul Matthias, our celebrant this morning, who will also kindly be saying Mass for us on Thursday at 10.30 am. If you are new to St Michael's, do join us in the Vestry Hall after the service, so that we can welcome you properly.

Our pre-Christmas Fair is nearer than we think! Please look out for things that would make good Tombola prizes, and think about home-made items such as cakes and jams (please attach a list of ingredients). Or provide something crafty, or Christmassy, or nice for the garden! There are boxes at the back of church for such items as prizes – please bring along what you can!

If you are willing to run a stall or come and help, don't leave Sara to wonder – please let her know! If she has to miss Mass for work reasons, Sara can be reached, with any offers or questions, on 07837 919761.

Interview Day for the priest(s) who wish to be considered for St Michael's will be on December 6th. There will be a lunch in church before the formal interview session in the afternoon. If you can offer to help with this in any way, please speak to Sue, who will be delighted to hear from you. And please, everyone, continue to pray for all concerned in the appointment process.

Everyone is welcome to join in the patronal festival celebrations of St Andrew's, Deal, on Thursday, November 30th. Mass at 7 pm will be followed by a fish-and-chip supper.

This weekend Canterbury Cathedral Shop offers a 20% discount on orders over £50 (no code required, offer closes November 20th). Visit and let your Christmas shopping benefit the Cathedral….

Also at the Cathedral - A chance to visit its stained glass studio workshop, which is celebrating 50 years of protecting, conserving and maintaining the Cathedral's magnificent windows, some of which date back to the 12th century. A special studio visit is offered on 1st December at 11 am, cost £25. Book online via

King's Reach Education, a Christian educational charity seeking to help disadvantaged young people and their families, and now registered as an independent special school, is looking for a “bespoke” SEN teacher and other team members. Contact

From our Tower:

Kent County Association Maidstone, Kent, St Michael and All Angels

Friday, 3 November 2023 in 40m (6–1–24 in C)

1271 High Halden Surprise Minor

  1.  Janice Byrne
  2.  Jacqueline Barlow
  3.  Philip Jarvis
  4.  Mark Elvers
  5.  Pam Thomas
  6.  Neil Jones (C) 

An 80th birthday compliment to Margaret Funnell (2/11/23).

Rung on the Saint's Day of Richard Hooker, Priest, Anglican Apologist, Teacher of the Faith (1600) snd Martin of Porres, Friar (1639).

Sunday, 5 November 2023 in 39m (6–1–24 in C)

1271 Ipswich Surprise Minor

  1.  Philip Jarvis
  2.  Jacqueline Barlow
  3.  Paul Barton
  4.  Mark Elvers
  5.  Pam Thomas
  6.  Neil Jones (C) 

In memory of Shiela Ann Barton, who passed to her final rest on 4th November 2022.

Rung on the Saint's Day of Frances D'Amboise, 1485.

For your prayers: Among the sick we pray for Margaret, Ellie, Pauline, Rue, Fr Leon, Antony, Fran, Ellie, Tom, Joseph, Valerie, Peter, Joan, Margaret, Lindsay, Glynis, Ethan, Sarah, Yvonne and Paul.

Please pray for all who have died, and are dying, as a result of war, and for members and friends of the St Michael's family whose year's mind falls at this time: Duncan Sherman, Irene Place, Connie Bridge, Tony Read, Monica Wakelin.

Could you pass this sheet on to someone else who might like to see it?