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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:
Advent Candle Lighting Rituals from 2014
Hanging of the Greens for use on Advent 1, if desired
see also: Preparing for the Great Preparation
Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal
119: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
125: Come, O Long Expected Jesus
708: My Lord, What a Morning
124: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
398: Be Known to Us in Breaking Bread
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.
Advent Hymn by David T. Chafin, 2013
Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2018, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On Jeremiah 33:14-16
The promised day is coming,
the day fulfillment dawns.
It comes in noble wonder
in righteousness’ employ.
The day arrives in honor,
the consummate delight:
the day of satisfaction
when all is come to joy.
That promised day of wonder,
the day relief arrives,
when wonder sprouts, alarming
and satisfying hope –
that day fulfilling justice
for those whose hope is thin;
it answers in righteousness,
the longing and the dread.
Upon this day of promise,
upon the hope of joy,
we find ourselves committed
unto the Lord on high.
For in God’s promise is found
security in love
and all is supplied: our Lord
is our righteousness now.
184.108.40.206.D Suggested tune: Llansglaffan
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: Psalm 25 is not in the hymnal.
Concerning the Following Items: 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.
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.
Call to Worship
(adapted by the editor)
L: The Spirit and the church cry out:
P: Come, Lord Jesus.
L: All who await Christ’s appearance pray:
P: Come, Lord Jesus.
L: The whole creation pleads:
P: Come, Lord Jesus! Renew the whole creation!
Also: see Chalice Hymnal 120 (the “O Antiphons”)
Today is God’s day of hope—hope for us, hope for all humanity. The darkness that surrounds us will not overtake us, for God is light; and in God there is no darkness at all. Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.
Invocation or Prayer of Approach
As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, we would be open to your presence, O God. Free us from the seasonal sentimentality that turns our attention from the sometimes painful decision to pursue peace and justice. Through this worship, nudge us toward seeking reconciliation rather than revenge, the well-being of all rather than the victory of the few. Speak to us of peace, O God, and hear us as we pray. (Now we join with the confidence of your children to pray as Christ has taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
We rejoice in you, O God our hope, for in Jesus Christ you enter our world to bring to life your new creation. May our lives be remade by the glory of your appearing, and may we lift up the name of your Son in our worship, our work, and our leisure; for we pray in his name (as he taught us saying, “Our Father…”)
Prepare your way within us, O God, as the new year of life in your Church unfolds. Make of us a people ready to receive you, to learn from you, to receive your gifts, and to live out your calling in mission. Prepare your way within us and fill us with hope, we pray, through the name of the Coming One, Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Act of Confession (adapted by the editor)
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven, and to bring us to eternal life. Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all. (Common Worship)
Because we have seen pain without being moved, because we forget your love with solemn pride, because we pass by comfortably before poverty and sadness, Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
For speaking of love without loving our sister or brother, for speaking of faith without living your word, for living as people who do not recognize our own sinfulness, Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
For our tranquility in our affluent life, for our great falsehood in preaching about poverty, for wanting to make excuse for injustice, Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Hear the good news, people of God! The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. He bore our sins in his body on the cross, that we might be dead to sin and alive to God.
In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.
In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven. Glory to God. Amen.
Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions
How strong your voice, O God. How it thunders across the lands, calling forth blossoms from parched earth and turning back waters from flooded ground. You stand at the world’s door and knock; who can withstand the sound of your voice?
How soft your voice, O God. How it murmurs in the morning, calling life forth from its bed and hastening the night to its own. You come to us, walking in the garden in the cool of the day; who can hide from the sound of your voice?
Tarry with us, O God. Let your word love our eyes into seeing all those around us. Let it love our ears into hearing the voices calling to us. Let it love our hands into healing with the gifts you have granted your children. Let our words be words of love as we pray for those who are in greatest need…
In these days of Advent, may our voices ring with joy, with peace and with hope. Wherever you send us, may we be diligent in following. For we are ever in search of your salvation, even as we continue to search for the child, the Christ, our Savior in whose name we sing for joy and offer our prayers.
Prayers from Common Worship*
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
O Lord our God,
make us watchful and keep us faithful
as we await the coming of your Son our Lord;
that, when he shall appear,
he may not find us sleeping in sin
but active in his service
and joyful in his praise;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
as your kingdom dawns,
turn us from the darkness of sin
to the light of holiness,
that we may be ready to meet you
in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of
darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of
this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit
us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come
again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the
dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him 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 (© 2018, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
Unto the pensive Advent of our Lord, O God,
we look with tentative and furtive anxiety.
For the uncertainties abound
and our waiting finds us
mid stride in this world
while walking, waiting still
in your revisionary call.
Bring us in your strength and joy
to the Advent of our Lord, our life, our joy.
Service of Table
While all of our congregations navigate the Sacred Board in a different way, it seems, there are common elements in most, which are provided here. We would love to hear if your congregation has variations to these elements which we might address in the future.
Offertory / Invitation to Give
As God has seen our need and provided for us all things in the coming of Jesus into our world, let us look at the world in need around us, and realize that in Jesus we have all that is needed to meet the world with life, hope, and wholeness.
God is at work in the world, renewing, remaking, resurrecting, bringing hope through the faith, the gifts, and the work of the church. We trust in God, and together we work for peace and justice through God’s Spirit as we offer our tithes and gifts. Let us rejoice in our God-given opportunity to share in God’s work.
May these gifts indeed give light to those in darkness, hope to those in despair, and justice to the oppressed, as we bring them to you as an act of sharing your love with the world. Here the proud are brought low, and the poor and broken lifted up. May it be so in all your kingdom, we pray, as we dedicate ourselves to you. Amen.
Thank you, God of hope, 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.
Invitation to the Table
With hope and expectation, we draw near to the Table which God has set with the fruits of righteousness and promise of life. May God now send the power of the Holy Spirit upon these gifts and upon us as we receive them. Make Christ’s presence known among us, and in all the world, as we look to the coming of Christ whose reign shall know no end.
Prayer of Thanksgiving (Prayers for Bread and Cup)
(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)
from William Flewelling, adapted
Lord God, in memory and in anticipation we draw near together, drawn in faith to the life and to the coming of Jesus Christ our Lord. We are thankful, Lord God, for the opening of life for us in Jesus of Nazareth. Our Lord gave us his heart, his love that in him we too might be bold to give our hearts, our love. He opened wide his arms for us in blessing and in death, death on the cross. He breathes on us the gift of Holy Spirit. He feeds us as he fed his own on broken bread, and on a cup of wine, the new covenant. O Lord God, seal in us your covenant of love and grace; give in us your including Spirit; make of us one people. And, O Lord, Come now upon us to fulfill in us your love and your beauty; in Jesus Christ our Coming Lord.
With hope and expectation, O God, we draw near to the Table which you have set with the fruits of righteousness and promise of life. Bless now this bread which we break that it may be for us Christ’s body, and this cup which we lift, that it may be his blood. Send now the power of your Holy Spirit upon these gifts and upon us as we receive them. Make your presence known among your people, we pray, and in all the world, as we look to the coming of Christ whose reign shall know no end.
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.
Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2018. Calendar for 2019
Sun 2 Dec 2018. CW* Almanac and Lectionary 2018-19. Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary. for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2018. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2018 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries
using Almanac Maker. compilation © Simon Kershaw 2018 Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010-2018.
Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.
NOTE: We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday. We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary. Send your comments or content here.