At first glance, today's readings seem to echo the previous Sunday's in theme and “players” (e.g., John the Baptizer). But there is a subtle and important shift that moves us closer to the mystery of the incarnation celebrated at Christmas.

Isaiah 35:1-6, 10. The messianic age is a transformative time. The land that once was home to one of Israel's bitterest enemies, the Kingdom of Edom, will be transformed after Edom's destruction into a garden. God is acting on behalf of the people, even to the point of healing people who are blind, deaf, and otherwise afflicted. This passage is directly quoted in the Gospel today.

Psalm of the Day: Ps (145) 146
This is an “acrostic” poem, each line beginning with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which celebrates God as king. The divine rule is marked by the same signs that herald the coming messianic age: justice, freedom, healing, and mercy.

Alaba, Alma Mía, al Señor: Respuesta II (Reza) FYC 277
Come, Lord, and Save Us PSL A-8/SS
Lord, Come and Save Us (Alstott) BB
Lord, Come and Save Us (Ancell) JS 113
Lord, Come and Save Us (Batastini/Murray) CBW 23
Lord, Come and Save Us (Guimont) GC2 1010/LPMG 7
Lord, Come and Save Us (Honoré) WC 451/WS
Lord, Come and Save Us (Janco) PRM A-3/PMB 560
Lord, Come and Save Us (Joncas) GP 283/SP2 74
Lord, Come and Save Us (LeBlanc/Gelineau) WOR 772/RS 194/LPGG 772
Lord, Come and Save Us (Schiavone) LP 14/JS 884
O Lord, Come and Save Us (Hunstiger) SS
Ven, Señor/Lord, Come and Save Us (Schiavone) SS
Ven, Señor, a Salvarnos: Respuesta II (Taulé) FYC 278

James 5:7-10. James weighs in with a call for patience (see the second reading for last Sunday), but this time the call is not for patience with each other in the Christian community but for patience with God.

Matthew 11:2-11. On the two previous Sundays, the images of the end time found in the first reading and in the Gospel were in strong contrast. Now they are united in a focus on the messianic age as a time of healing, justice, and mercy. Jesus holds up the example of John as the expected messenger who would herald the coming of the new age. But he also points out that those who participate in God's new age can be considered greater even than John.

Music Suggestions

Choral Anthems

Music Suggestions

Songs for the Liturgy
Advent Gathering (1,G) GC 324/GC2 338/RS 492/SS
*Are You the Coming One? (G) HG 71
Arise, Your Light Is Come! (1,G) CBW 302
Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn (1,G) GC2 351/WOR 360/CBW 303/RS 494/WC 465/WS/SS
Awake, Awake: Fling Off the Night (1) CBW 304
Be Light for Our Eyes (1,G) GC 509/GC2 511/CBW 305
*Be Patient, Beloved (G) PSL A-9/SS
Be Strong! (1) LMGM 237
Clear the Voice (G) JS 317
Come, Emmanuel (1) PMB 192/WC 474/WS
Come, Light of the World (1) WC 463/WS
Come, Lord Jesus (1,Ps) BB
Come, O Long Expected Jesus (1,G) WOR 364/CBW 300, 306/BB/LMGM 5/GC 323/GC2 345/WC 459/JS 328/RS 496/GP 309/PMB 189/WS/SS
Creator Alme Siderum‑‑Latin/English (1,G) WOR 368/CBW 307/BB/LMGM 7/GC 337/GC2 334/WC 476/JS 325/RS 483/GP 305/PMB 187/WS/SS
Each Winter as the Year Grows Older (G) GC 339/GC2 350
Flow River Flow (1) MI‑BB/JS 541/GP 455
God Has Chosen Me (1,Ps,G) MI‑BB/GC 682/GC2 669/JS 831/GP 546
God of All People (G) GC 331/GC2 349/CBW 314/SS
Hail to the Lord's Anointed (1,G) PMB 225/WC 517/SS
*Hold Me in Life (G) MI‑BB/JS 702/GP 596/GC 599
Listen, My People (1,G) CBW 309
Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming (1) WOR 374/BB/LMGM 24/GC 368/GC2 373/WC 497/JS 338/GP 320/PMB 210/WS/SS
Maranatha (1) BB/GP 295/GC2 324, 335/SS
O Come, Divine Messiah (1,G) WOR 367/CBW 310/BB/GC 333/GC2 333/WC 467/JS 316/RS 479/PMB 195/WS/SS
*O Heavens, Let the Just One (E) IH 4
On Jordan's Bank (G) WOR 356/CBW 351/LMGM 8/BB/GC 321, 322/GC2 344/WC 471/JS 315/RS 490/GP 296/PMB 190/WS/SS
Patience, People (2) GP 303/BB/JS 314
People, Look East (1) WOR 359/BB/GC 318/GC2 337/WC 460/JS 329/RS 482/GP 300/PMB 188/WS/SS
People of the Night (2) GC 340/GC2 346
Proclaim the Joyful Message (1,G) PMB 197/WC 482/WS
Ps 85: Lord, Let Us See Your Kindness (1)
Ready the Way (1) BB/JS 323
*Rejoice in the Lord (E) PSL A-7/SS
The Spirit of God (G) PMB 399/GC 458/WC 807/WS
The Voice of God Goes Out through All the World (G) WOR 358/CBW 433
Walk in the Reign (1) GC 319/GC2 325
Warm the Time of Winter (1) GC2 339
When the King Shall Come Again (1,G) WOR 355/GC 327/GC2 327/RS 487/JS 318/SS
You Have Anointed Me (1,Ps,G) GC 676/GC2 662/RS 795/GP 555
Your Mercy Like Rain (1,G) GC 330


Choral Anthems

Title of Anthem, Voicing & Instrumentation Composer/arranger/editor Publisher & edition #  

Advent Carol, An (Unison)

Lindh, Jody

Choristers Guild (CGA-648)


Advent Supplication (SATB) Hopson Morning Star Music 1, G

All the Earth Rejoicing (SSAATTBB)

Mendelssohn, Felix

Walton (M-109)


And the Glory of the Lord (from Messiah, SATB)

Handel, G.F.



Behold, I Send a Messenger (SA)

Willan, Healy

Concordia (97-7160) *


Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus (SSATB)
E C Schirmer
St James Press
1, G

Confortamini (Be Ye Comforted) (SATB)

DiLasso, Orlando

Concordia (98-2422) *


Creator Alme Siderum (SATB) Praetorius GIA 1, G
Creator of the Stars of Night (Unison)
Creator of the Stars of Night (Unison/Handbells)
Creator of the Stars of Night (SATB)
Creator of the Stars of Night (SB)
H. W. Gray
Morning Star
E. C. Schirmer
1, G
Daughter of Zion (SAB) Handel/Lundquist E. C. Schirmer E, 1, P

Drop Down Dew, O Heavens

Twynham, Robert

OCP Publications (9631)


E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come (SATB)

Manz, Paul

Morning Star #50 - 0001


Hail to the Lord's Anointed Lovelace E. C. Schirmer 1, G

Hark! The Glad Sound! (from Anthems (p. 126)

Davies, H.W.



How Lovely Are Thy Messengers

Mendelssohn, Felix

Lo! How a Rose (SATB/SAB) Praetorius/Houkom Concordia (98-2216) * (1)
Lo! How a Rose (SATB) Neswick St. James Press (1)
Lo! How a Rose (SATB) von Herzogenberger St. James Press (1)
Lo! How a Rose (SATB) Saylor Paraclete (1)
Lo, How a Rose (SATB) Distler, Hugo Arista (AE109) (1)
Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming Praetorius, M/arr. Overby Augsburg (11-1036) * (1)
Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming (SATB) Rentz Oxford (1)
Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming (SATB) Adelmann Trinitas/OCP (1)
Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming (Six A cappella Christmas Carols)(SATB) Proulx GIA (1)
Make Straight in the Desert a Highway (SATB) Hunnicutt GIA 1, G
On Jordan's Bank Armstrong Concordia (G)
People Look East (SATB) Clemens WLP 1

Praise the Lord, O My Soul (SATB)

Butler, Eugene

Abingdon (APM-918)


Prepare the Royal Highway (Unison) Hopson Morning Star G

Prepare the Way of the Lord (SATB/2-part)

Rowan, William

Hope (A 596)


Prepare! (SB)

Pote, Allen

Choristers Guild (CGA-705)


Prepare to Receive Him (Unison) Bach/Currie GIA G

Psalm 146 (SATB)

Berger, Jean

Augsburg (11-1952) *


Psalm 146 (SB)

Powell, Robert

GIA (G-2089)


Redeemed of the Lord, The (SATB)

Jaeschke, Christian

Boosey & Hawkes (#6032)


Rejoice in the Lord Always (Four Entrance Antiphons)(SATB) Chiusano Trinitas/OCP E

Say to Them That Are of a Fearful Heart(SATB)

Titcomb, Everett

Carl Fischer (CM 436)


Springs in the Desert (SATB)

Jennings, Arthur

H.W. Gray (CMR 580)


Thou Long Expected Jesus (SATB)
Thou Long Expected Jesus (SATB)
Thou Long Expected Jesus (SATB)
Thou Long Expected Jesus (SATB)
Thou Long Expected Jesus (SATB)
Thou Long Expected Jesus (SATB)
Thou Long Expected Jesus (SATB)
E. C. Schirmer
Morning Star
H. W. Gray
Morning Star Music
Two Advent Introits #2 Bold E. C. Schirmer G
Veni Jesu (SATB) Cherubini CPDL G
Veni Jesu Amor Mi Cherubini GIA G
Voice of God Goes Out, The (SATB) McCabe Paraclete G
We Will Rejoice! (SATB) Hopp GIA E, 1, P