The Gathering of the Community

Hymn: Blue #89 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Leader: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

All: And also with you

Celebrant: Almighty God

All: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden.  Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Collect of the Day

Leader: Heavenly Father, who chose the Virgin Mary, full of grace, to be the mother of our Lord and Saviour, now fill us with your grace, that we in all things may embrace your will and with her rejoice in your salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. AMEN.

The Proclamation of the Word

First Reading: Isaiah 7:10-16

Psalm 80: Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock!

Second Reading: Romans 1:1-7

Gradual Hymn: Blue #104 Joy Shall Come

The Gospel: Matthew 1:18-25

The Sermon

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.  We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father.Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.  For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.  We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.  With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.  He has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.  We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.  We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.  Amen.

The Prayers of the People

Watchful at all times, let us pray for strength to stand with confidence before our Maker and Redeemer. That God may bring in his kingdom with justice and mercy,

let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

That God may establish among the nations his sceptre of righteousness,

let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

That we may seek Christ in the Scriptures and recognize him in the breaking of the bread,

let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

That God may bind up the brokenhearted, restore the sick and raise up all who have fallen,

let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

That the light of God’s coming may dawn on all who live in darkness and the shadow of death,

let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

That, with all the saints in light, we may shine forth as lights for the world,

let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

We commend ourselves and all for whom we pray to the mercy and protection of our heavenly Father: Almighty God, as your blessed Son Jesus Christ first came to seek and to save the lost; so may he come again to find in us the completion of his redeeming work; for he is now alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

The Peace

The peace of the Lord be always with you

All:  And also with you.

Offertory Hymn: Blue #100 Comfort, Comfort Ye

The Holy Eucharist

A Prayer for Spiritual Communion

Leader: Jesus said, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:54-58)

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

All: Dear Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I desire to possess you within my soul. And since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to you, together with all your faithful people gathered around every altar of your Church, and I embrace you with all the affections of my soul. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

Concluding Prayer

Leader: Faithful God, in this sacrament we receive the promise of salvation. May we, like the Virgin Mary,
be obedient to your will. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. AMEN.

Hymn: Blue #95 O Come, Divine Messiah

Leader: Let us go in peace, to love and serve the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

We pray for: Wilma Pidhayny; Donald and Cathy Sturrock


Today! Advent Lessons and Carols: December 18, 4:30 p.m. at the church and 8:00 p.m. online
Bring your friends to hear the story of our salvation and sing our hope in Christ. The service will be published online later in the evening, with carols recorded live.

Giving in Advent
Jesus asks us, as we prepare our hearts for his coming, to reach out in love to each other as he comes in love to us this Christmas. There are several ways you can give to others at St. Matthew’s this Christmas. You can give to our Refugee Fund, as we prepare to welcome a young Eritrean woman to Canada. You can give to our new Ukraine Relief fund, to help people in need because of the war in Ukraine. Please designate gifts clearly – Refugee Fund OR Ukraine Relief. Finally, you can bring a special Christmas gift to church for our friends the Berberians. However you choose to help, may it bring you joy!

Poinsettia Fund
Each Christmas, we decorate our church with poinsettia plants to celebrate the birth of the infant Jesus.  We have an annual fund to pay for them.  If you would like to remember a loved one or give thanks through contributing to this fund, please place your donation in the envelope inserted into your bulletin.  Clearly print your name and memorials on the envelope and place it on the collection plate at the front of the church.  Donations can also be given through e-transfer.  Any amount is gratefully received.
The last day to contribute is today, Sunday, December 18th

St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, Riverdale

135 First Avenue, Toronto ON, M4M 1W9


Catherine Sider Hamilton

Catherine Sider Hamilton

Catherine Sider Hamilton is Priest-in-Charge of St. Matthew's Riverdale, and Professor of New Testament and New Testament Greek (part-time) at Wycliffe College. She has served also as Chaplain at Havergal College and Associate Priest at Grace Church on-the-Hill and St. John the Baptist, Norway (Toronto). She enjoys singing around the piano with her kids, her husband's Indian food, all things Italian -- and above all her two little grandchildren. Catherine and David live in Greektown. She blogs occasionally on feasts and fasts at