Advent 2

SECOND SUNDAY IN ADVENT Hymns 1, 11, 6, 7.

FIRST READING 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 people 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 people are 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 for ever. Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, 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.


Response: Let us see, O Lord you mercy and give us your saving help.

1. I will hear what the Lord God has to say: a voice that speaks of peace.

His help is near for those who fear him: and his glory will dwell in our land. R.

2. Mercy and faithfulness have met: justice and peace have embraced.

Faithfulness shall spring from the earth: and justice look down from heaven. R.

3. The Lord will make us prosper: and our earth shall yield its fruit.

Justice shall march before him: and peace shall follow his steps. R.

SECOND READING 2 Peter 3.8-15a But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed. Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home. Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.

GOSPEL Mark 1.1-8 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 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”’, John the baptist appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside 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 thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’

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


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 at 10.30 am on Thursday, the feast day of St John of the Cross Everyone is warmly invited to coffee in the Vestry Hall after Mass. If new to St Michael's, do join us so that we can welcome you properly!

Nothing to report about our appointment process, but some information may be available by the end of the week. Please continue to pray. Meanwhile, many, many thanks to Fr Paul for celebrating the deeply prayerful Mass that began the interview day, and to Sue for the amazing feat of organisation that culminated in a magnificent lunch enjoyed by everyone. Grateful thanks too to Sacristan Jonathan for the pre-Mass arrangements, and to all the kind people who contributed to the success of the lunch by setting-up, cooking, clearing away and transporting food on behalf of those unable to be present. We have received messages of thanks from a number of appreciative visitors, and whatever happens in the end, we feel that St Michael's was seen at its best.

School services: During this week we shall be welcoming to our church West Borough School for their Christmas concert and the St Michael's Schools for their Christmas service. Please, Sunday worshippers, can you kindly help us maximise space by removing the kneelers and packing them into the side pews?

Our Own Christmas Services:

Christmas Eve: Mass as usual, with Holy Baptism, at 10.30 am. Crib Service at 4.30 pm. Midnight Mass at 11.30 pm.

Christmas Morning: Mass at 10.30 am.

Do let your friends and neighbours know about these services. Last Christmas, the visitors to St Michael's almost outnumbered the “regulars”, which shows what an opportunity this is to encourage others to join in our worship.

Helen Grant, MP for Maidstone and The Weald, will be holding a Surgery in the Vestry Hall on 19th December, 1.30 – 3.30.

From Our Tower:

Kent County Association, Maidstone, Kent

St Michael and All Angels

Sunday, 3 December 2023 in 42m (6–1–24 in C)

1312 Spliced Surprise Major (4m)

352 Rutland; 320 each of Cambridge, Superlative and Yorkshirel; 40 com.

  1. Stuart Cox
  2. Paul Barton
  3. Jacqueline Barlow
  4. Philip Jarvis
  5. Stephen Coaker (C)
  6. Mark Elvers
  7. Kath White
  8. Michael Birkbeck

Remembering Thomas David Barlow 5/12/96 R.I.P.

Rung on the First Sunday of Advent.

Among the sick we pray for Paul's continued progress, and for Margaret, Ellie, Pauline, Rue, Fr Leon, Antony, Fran, Ellie, Tom, Joseph, Pamela, Valerie, Peter, Joan, Margaret, Lindsay, Glynis, Ethan, Sarah, Yvonne and Eileen.

Among the departed we remember Thomas David Barlow, Dorothy Bagnall, Sister Joan Michael of the Society of St Margaret, Charles Plummeridge, Grace Seabrook, Harry Hobbs, Mavis Pharo, and Georg Sadowski.