Advent Candle Lighting Rituals offers some scripted options for your use. A simpler alternative, as published by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Pennsylvania, may be found this file in PDF format (or this file in Word).
Advent Hymn is offered by the editor for your use.
Call to Prayer ©2007 David T. Chafin (tune: Hyfrydol)
Come, O God, commune here with us, as we lift to you our cares.
You, our hope and our deliv’rance, promise to receive our prayers.
God of love and understanding, you alone know heart and soul.
Listen to our intercessions, recreate us, make us whole.
Scripture (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):
Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources:
Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal
The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates). Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available. Visit the Oremus Hymnal.
129 Lift Up Your Heads, O Mighty Gates
527 More Love to Thee, O Christ
136 Christians All, Your Lord Is Coming (alt tune: Holy Manna 277)
124 Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (or Chalice #135 for alternate noted in Psalm of the Day)
121 Prepare the Way of the Lord
More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.
Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:
Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent). A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin. Where practical, these may be offered here as well. You may also want to visit http://lectionarypsalms.org/
This week: The “Benedictus” is found in many settings. Hymn #135 provides a beautiful sung setting. 137 provides the spoken version.
Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2014-2015, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On Luke 3:1-6
Time to begin arrives,
stirrings by God to rise
come to the soul.
As John discovered need
answered the urging call
so in this morning’s hour
we look to God.
When all is readied, set
then in this ferment’s time
lift your eyes high.
That in preparedness
all may be set in hope
that in this moment we
may answer life.
Ready before the scene
as every longing rings,
lift our hearts high.
For, Lord, in you we hope
in your abiding trust
that in this eagerness
thy way be given.
126.96.36.199.6.6.4. Suggested tune: Olivet
Note: Except where otherwise noted, items are created or adapted by the editor. If you are aware of source notations which are missing, please bring them to his attention. No copyright infringement is intended, but is sure to happen.
Words of Greeting/Call to Prayer
L: We celebrate the coming of the Promised One in whom dwells the spirit of God –
P: The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
L: The spirit of counsel and might,
P: The spirit of knowledge and awe.
L: We bear witness to the fulfillment of God’s promises in Jesus, by living in that same spirit.
P: We will open ourselves to the presence of God in our lives and seek to live as God’s witnesses.
Prayer of Approach
L: The Lord be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: Let us pray. O God, you have truly brought to all the earth the hope of peace in your Son Jesus Christ. By the example of his life, the words of his lips, and the wondrous act of your resurrection power, we have seen and known the extent of your love and grace. Help us in our worship and in all of our lives to faithfully live after the pattern he has set for us, and to glorify you in all that we do; through Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
O God of all, God of shalom, we come before you with hearts seeking to know and understand the words of the prophets, the words of the angels, the words of peace that rise around us in this holy season. We pray that you will open us to the meaning of peace, that you will teach us the way of peace, that we will indeed understand your will for justice for all of your world. Help us to be faithful to the call that you have put on our hearts to live as people of hope.
This joyous season puts many demands on our lives. We pray that you would slow us down, open our hearts, and our eyes, that we may see the beauty of the season, feel the joy of hope and peace alive within us and live our days in celebration.
For so many this season is, however, a season of sadness and pain. So many are struggling with illness, some with routine colds and flu, while others are touched with illness that threatens their lives. We pray that you will touch us all with your healing balm and that you will look with favor and blessing upon them. May we all understand the gift of life that you have given us.
Give us grace and hope to live our days as your people, for it is Jesus’ coming that we celebrate and it is through his name that we lift our prayers, for he is indeed our Christ, the Prince of Peace.
Prayers from Common Worship*
O Lord, raise up, we pray, your power
and come among us,
and with great might succour us;
that whereas, through our sins and wickedness
we are grievously hindered
in running the race that is set before us,
your bountiful grace and mercy
may speedily help and deliver us;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honour and glory, now and for ever.
Father in heaven,
who sent your Son to redeem the world
and will send him again to be our judge:
give us grace so to imitate him
in the humility and purity of his first coming
that, when he comes again,
we may be ready to greet him
with joyful love and firm faith;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
purify our hearts and minds,
that when your Son Jesus Christ comes again
as judge and saviour
we may be ready to receive him,
who is our Lord and our God.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to
preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation:
Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins,
that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our
Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2014-2015, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
In certain days, O God, those days
aligned by luminaries in the Temple,
honored faces in the Palace,
John appeared within the wilderness,
preparing the way of the Lord,
as a voice crying for repentance
Illumine for us the brilliance
of the voice announcing your delight
in the freshness of hope.
Service of Table
Through our offerings, we are invited to put God first in our lives, to show our gratitude and our commitment. We owe everything to God: our lives, our health, people who love us, meaningful work and activities. Let us respond in proportion to our gratitude.
Thank you, God of Love, for the promise of this season. We are grateful for the generosity aroused in us by Christ’s coming into the world. May these gifts represent a new spirit of joyous sharing among us, for the sake of all your children everywhere. Amen.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)
Holy One, you speak to us in silence, yet all languages interpret you. Because you call us into this community, we are able to become a gift to one another. We pray for your Holy Spirit to descend upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that in sharing them we may discern your presence which becomes our life. We thank you for your anointed one, Jesus, who through his life, crucifixion, death and resurrection lived fully the promise of redemptive wholeness that is available to all who would obey your creating will. We celebrate his gifts, we rejoice in your presence, loving God, now and always. Now, grant us your peace.
Conclusion: Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.
[if not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’”]
Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service. Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ to learn more.
Rev. Tim Graves offers Liturgy Bits with valuable, culturally sensitive and creatively contemplative works, well worth your time.
You may also want to visit Worship Connection at MinistryMatters.com, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.
Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University.
Liturgies created by Moira Laidlaw (Uniting Church in Australia) as a part of her doctoral dissertation are often helpful. Read more here.
Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2015. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2015 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2015; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010. The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992. The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010. http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary
Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.
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