Resources for Worship for the Second Sunday Before Advent 2020

Wassily Kandinsky, The Last Judgment (1912)

These are resources for the Second Sunday Before Advent (the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost in the Anglican Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church in the USA) on Sunday, November 15, 2020. The resources are gathered from a variety of sources and, while assembled mainly for The Anglican Church of St Thomas the Apostle, Kefalas, on the island of Crete in Greece, others may find them useful.


At St Thomas’s we will be using Zephaniah 1:7,12-18, Psalm 90:1-8, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, and Matthew 25:14-30. The full range of possible readings can be found at The Lectionary Page.


All of Greece is in a lockdown until at least the end of November. As a result, all our liturgies will be online. You can join us by clicking this link or by joining by your Zoom app meeting ID: 850 4483 9927 with the passcode: 010209.

You can also worship at home by yourself using the materials here, interspersing the readings, prayers, and recorded sermon with the hymns below.


I think I will be preaching on Zephaniah and the Day of the Lord, and relating that to our apocalyptic times (fun, wow, eh?). Last week’s sermon for Remembrance Sunday is here.


Heavenly Father,
whose blessed Son was revealed to destroy the works of the devil
and to make us the children of God and heirs of eternal life:
grant that we, having this hope,
may purify ourselves even as he is pure;
that when he shall appear in power and great glory
we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom;
where he is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Heavenly Lord, you long for the world’s salvation:
stir us from apathy,
restrain us from excess
and revive in us new hope
that all creation will one day be healed
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

I bid your prayers for the Church:

  • for Robert Innes & David Hamid, our bishops;
  • for Justin Welby our archbishop, Stephen Cottrell the Archbishop of York, and the General Synod of the Church of England;
  • we pray especially for congregations that have been obliged to cease in-person services with the resumption of lockdown;
  • for the churches and peoples of East Timor (Timor Leste), Indonesia, and the Philippines (World Council of Churches Ecumenical Prayer Cycle);
  • in the Anglican Communion, we remember the the Church of Ceylon and its bishops, The Rt Revd Dhiloraj Ranjit Canagasabey – Bishop of Colombo and The Rt Revd Keerthisiri Fernando – Bishop of Kurunegala; and
  • (from the Prayer Diary of the Diocese in Europe) give thanks for:
    • for Frances Hiller (Bp David’s Chaplain),
    • in the Ministry Team,
      • for Bishop David (as Warden of Readers), and the Director of Reader Ministry: Paul Wignall; and
      • for all those training to be Readers in the diocese;
      • for Clare Amos (Director of Lay Discipleship);
      • for the work of the Friends (Secretary: Jeanne French)

I bid your prayers for the leaders and people of the nations; especially

  • Katerini Sakellaropoulou, President of Greece, and
  • Elizabeth, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and her other realms, and also in her role as Governor of the Church of England;
  • In the European Union,
    • Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission;
    • Charles Michel, President of the European Council; and
    • Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy;
  • For negotiations around Brexit;
  • the peoples of Belarus, Hong Kong, Nigeria, and Thailand as they continue to demonstrate for democracy and justice;
  • for peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and between Russia and Ukraine;
  • for the peoples of the United States in the wake of the elections on Tuesday;
  • for advocates of Indigenous rights and the adoption and implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
  • prisoners and captives, especially the over one million Uigers being held in detention in China;
  • for a lessening of tensions between Turkey and Greece; and
  • for peace in Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, and between Palestinians and Israelis.

I bid your prayers for the sick and suffering and all who minister to their needs;

  • remembering the over 14.6 million active cases of the novel coronavirus, and mourning with the families of the over 1.3 million who have died in the pandemic;
  • for the 1.2 million people in the UK with covid-19, the 50,900 who have died of it there, and the 55,600 active cases here in Greece, and the families of the almost 1000 dead here;
  • and also remembering those ill with other diseases, and those whose operations have been postponed;
  • the over 79.5 million refugees and nearly 4 million stateless person, remembering especially the crucial situation of Greece.

We pray for the coming of God’s kingdom.

You sent your Son to bring good news to the poor,
sight to the blind,
freedom to captives
and salvation to your people:
anoint us with your Spirit;
rouse us to work in his name.
Father, by your Spirit bring in your kingdom.

Send us to bring help to the poor
and freedom to the oppressed.
Father, by your Spirit bring in your kingdom.

Send us to tell the world
the good news of your healing love.
Father, by your Spirit bring in your kingdom.

Send us to those who mourn,
to bring joy and gladness instead of grief.
Father, by your Spirit bring in your kingdom.

Send us to proclaim that the time is here
for you to save your people.
Father, by your Spirit bring in your kingdom.

Lord of the Church,
hear our prayer,
and make us one in mind and heart
to serve you in Christ our Lord. Amen.


We will sing the four hymns following.

Here are also two versions of Dies Irae (“Day of Wrath”), which is a 13th century Latin Poem written by the Franciscan friar Thomas of Celano. It describes the Last Judgment on the Day of the Lord. It was originally sung with Gregorian Chant, but with the rise of orchestras and polyphonic choirs many great composers have tried their hand at it, including Mozart and Stravinsky, mainly because, up until the 1970s, it was a basic text of the Catholic requiem mass. Interestingly, the original theme is often quoted in many movie soundtracks, suggesting danger and doom.

In the version of Verdi’s Requiem the orchestra and choir are both massive, as is befitting the powerful message. And just look at that bass drum!

The version from Arvo Pärt is actually from his setting of Psalm 51, the Miserere. Traditionally Psalm 51 is a psalm of penitence, and most people know it from Allegri’s version, often sung on As Wednesday. Päert’s setting of the Miserere starts off with solo voices echoed by oboes and other wind instruments, sort of like Gregorian chant, but hesitant and relatively quiet. As the four soloists start singing together the tension builds, and then the fortissimo choir breaks in with the Dies Irae accompanied by the equally loud chamber orchestra and tubular bells; sticking the Dies Irae in the Miserere is a very unconventional but very dramatic move.

The soloists them seem to struggle back as they sing the rest of the penitential psalm, and it is resolved with a more comforting stanza from Dies Irae; whereas the first interpolation had a descending chorus, the concluding one ascends. The whole piece is here.

About Bruce Bryant-Scott

Canadian. Husband. Father. Christian. Recovering Settler. A priest of the Church of England, Diocese in Europe, on the island of Crete in Greece. More about me at
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2 Responses to Resources for Worship for the Second Sunday Before Advent 2020

  1. Joan Lawrence says:

    Thank you. I have particularly enjoyed your choice of hymns

  2. Bruce Bryant-Scott says:

    You’re welcome, Joan!

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