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:
Isaiah 12:2-6 Episcopal reading (RCL): Canticle 9
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.
284 – Gather Us In
140 – Hail to the Lord’s Anointed
138 – Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn
410 – Now We Come Before God’s Presence
142 – People, Look East
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: Philippians 4:4-7 – for which we offer no advice from the hymnal.
Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2014-2015, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On Zephaniah 3:14-20
Within our midst, our God is near,
here in these teeming hearts.
Rejoice, exult: excitement reigns:
God clears the judgment scene.
As on a day of festival,
when all are jubilant,
we lift our song in merriment,
our praises on a shout.
Such clarity of promise peals
as bells ring out the news
of how our Savior chooses life,
parades in coming home.
So suddenly reversal thrives,
rides in the coming near
that in our bleary joyful throes
we celebrate our God.
CM Suggested tune: Westminster
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: “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John…” He came to bring witness to the light, and we are called to do the same.
P: Christ is coming! We gain confidence from that assurance.
L: Now our hope grows even stronger, as three lights burn where there was darkness.
P: God, who comes to dwell among us, will quicken our imagination, and we will find new and creative ways to proclaim the wonderful news: Christ is coming; Christ is here!
Prayer of Approach
L: The Lord be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: Let us pray. All of heaven and earth sing to you, O Lord our God, for this earth which you lovingly made has been given a King and Savior in your Son Jesus Christ. As we prepare to fully welcome him, help us to be aware of the meaning of his coming—bringing hope among our empty lives, peace among those whose relationships are broken, and joy—great joy—where gloom and sorrow had once reigned. We open ourselves to receive your great gifts, praying as he taught us saying…
Intercessions (from Common Worship)
R=Lord, have mercy or Lord, hear our prayer.
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: R
That God may establish among the nations his sceptre of righteousness, let us pray to the Lord: R
That we may seek Christ in the scriptures and recognize him in the breaking of the bread, let us pray to the Lord: R
That God may bind up the brokenhearted, restore the sick and raise up all who have fallen, let us pray to the Lord: R
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: R
That, with all the saints in light, we may shine forth as lights for the world, let us pray to the Lord: R
Let us commend the world, which Christ will judge, to the mercy and protection of God.
Open prayer may be offered and silence is kept. The Collect and Lord’s Prayer follow.
Prayers from Common Worship*
O Lord Jesus Christ,
who at your first coming sent your messenger
to prepare your way before you:
grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries
may likewise so prepare and make ready your way
by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
that at your second coming to judge the world
we may be found an acceptable people in your sight;
for you are alive and reign with the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
We give you thanks, O Lord, for these heavenly gifts;
kindle in us the fire of your Spirit
that when your Christ comes again
we may shine as lights before his face;
who is alive and reigns now and for ever.
God for whom we watch and wait,
you sent John the Baptist to prepare the way of your Son:
give us courage to speak the truth,
to hunger for justice,
and to suffer for the cause of right,
with Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come
among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins,
let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver
us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and
the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2014-2015, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
Straightforward words of counsel ring, O God,
and in our hearing singe the soul,
the words of honor and compassion,
words of mercy and integrity.
Beyond these rings the promise heard
of more to come, the intimate with God.
Address our waiting patience, Lord,
with your igniting baptism of Spirit and fire.
Service of Table
The first letter of John says: “If anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” Let us open our hearts and our hands to give as God has so richly provided for us, that others might know the love of God through us.
Offertory Prayer (Church of Ireland)
Wise and gracious God, you spread a table before us; nourish your people with the word of life, and the bread of heaven.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)
Lord of all life and love, in your Son Jesus Christ you have come to us bringing joy. As we break the bread of life and drink from the cup of salvation, may we who receive Christ in them know the fullness of joy – joy that is overflowing into our neighborhoods, and into your world. Send forth your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts that all may come to rejoice in you, O God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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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