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Advent 3A

ADVENT 3A

Dec. 11

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Isaiah 35:1-10

Psalm 146:5-10 or Luke 1:47-55

James 5:7-10

Matthew 11:2-11

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal:

130-My soul gives glory to my God

136-Christians all, your Lord is coming

143-Joy to the world

104-Of the Father’s love begotten

What Child Is This

169-O thou joyful  

 

Opening Prayer

We come, O God, with adoration and praise, as well as thanksgiving, to you.  Our anticipation grows as we come nearer to the day of great celebration of the birth of your Christ.  Open our hearts that we may truly receive the gift of your Son, and know the true joy of life with you.  This we pray through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

The following were services used in 2007 at Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Huntington, WV.  You are welcome to use the materials in them as desired.  They are offered to show how Advent Sundays were woven into the texture of those largely traditional orders of worship.  The scripts for the readings used are also republished here from 2014.

Words of Welcome and Call to Worship

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.

Organ Prelude and Lighting of Altar Candles

* Greeting—PROJECTED

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!

* Hymn of Praise:  Title                           The Hymnal # 123 

Opening Prayer

Let us pray:  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 as he taught us saying…

* The Lord’s Prayer 

* Praise Chorus:   Gloria Patri                                                 The Hymnal #623

Lighting of the Advent Wreath (from Isaiah 2:2-5)

Response: One Candle Is Lit   projected

Bible Reading:           Romans 13:11-14

Musical Offering:  Just When We Truly Needed Peace

Psalm of Praise (from Psalm 122)

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”

Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem–built as a city that is bound firmly together.

     To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, as was decreed for Israel,

     to give thanks to the name of the LORD.

For there the thrones for judgment were set up,

The thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.

Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers.”

For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, “Peace be within you.”

For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good.

Bible Reading: Matthew 24:36-44  

Reflections on the Word

Invitation and Hymn of Discipleship:  Title     The Hymnal #  133

Those desiring to make public profession of faith, to renew faith commitments, or to

join this faith community may speak with the Pastor during the hymn or following worship.

Moments for Mission and Ministry

Concerns, Celebrations and Expressions of Faith

Song of Preparation:      

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.

© 2007 David T. Chafin; All rights reserved.

Prayers for Church and World, for Self and Others

Invitation to the Table

Communion Song:     Title                   Worship Songs #118

Thanksgiving for Bread and Cup

Sharing of Bread and Cup

Offering of Our Tithes and Gifts to God

* Doxology  (Praise God from Whom all blessings flow…)  The Hymnal #625

* Prayer of Thanksgiving 

* Sending and Blessing

* Mission Hymn:  “Lift Up Your Heads, O Mighty Gates”

 


 

Advent 2 (2007) – beginning of service only

Musical Meditation

Words of Welcome and Call to Worship

Friends, we have heard the promise:  God’s chosen One will soon be among us.  We must make ready our lives for the coming of the Lord.  The wilderness places of our lives may threaten to overwhelm us, and we may easily lose our way.  But the light grows stronger, day by day – the light of the glorious appearing of our Savior.  Let us watch and wait with eager longing.

Organ Prelude and Lighting of Altar Candles

* Greeting—PROJECTED

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.

* Hymn of Praise:  Title                           The Hymnal #   124

Opening Prayer

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; for we pray as he taught us saying…

* The Lord’s Prayer 

* Praise Chorus:   Gloria Patri                                                 The Hymnal #623

Lighting of the Advent Wreath (from Isaiah 11)

Response: One Candle Is Lit   projected

Litany    projected

etc…

Psalm of Praise (from Psalm 72)

Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son.

            May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.

May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.

            May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the             oppressor.

May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.

            May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.

In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound;

            May righteousness flourish and peace abound until the moon is no more.

Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.

            Blessed be his glorious name forever.

May God’s glory fill the whole earth.

            Amen and Amen.

   etc…


Advent 3 (2007)

Musical Meditation

Words of Welcome and Call to Worship

Friends and fellow-travelers in faith, let us listen for the voice of the one who calls out in the wilderness of our world and of our lives: “Prepare the way of the Lord; make God’s paths straight.”  As we gather for worship, may we make space for the coming of the Sovereign Lord, and be empowered to proclaim him through every moment of our lives.

 

Organ Prelude and Lighting of Altar Candles

* Greeting—PROJECTED

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!

* Hymn of Praise:  Title                           The Hymnal #  125

Opening Prayer

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…

* The Lord’s Prayer 

* Praise Chorus:   Gloria Patri                                                 The Hymnal #623

Lighting of the Advent Wreath (from Isaiah 35)

Response: One Candle Is Lit   projected

Litany   Psalm of Praise (from Psalm 146)

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God.

We give thanks to you, O God, for the promise of full joy that this

            season brings to light.

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God.

            For all the troubles life can bring, you bring amazing possibilities

            that fill our hearts with joy.

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God.

Renew in us this day the promises of light after darkness, day after

            night, hope after despair, joy in this and every morning, for our trust

            is in you.  Amen.

  etc…

The Song of Mary from Luke 1

My soul magnifies the Lord,

     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

For God has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.

     Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

For the Mighty One has done great things for me.

     Holy is God’s name.

God’s mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.

     He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the

     thoughts of their hearts.

He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,

     and lifted up the lowly;

He has filled the hungry with good things,

     and sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy.

     This was the promise God made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his

     descendants forever.

  etc…


Advent 4 (2007)

Musical Meditation

Words of Welcome and Call to Worship

Organ Prelude and Lighting of Altar Candles

* Greeting—PROJECTED

L: Long ago the people were given a sign of God’s presence.

P:  “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God with us.”

L: God’s promise to us remains sure and true:  God’s anointed Son will soon walk among us, to lighten our darkness, to restore the joy of our salvation, to save us from sin.

P:  God—the God of all love—is with us.  Praise the Lord!

* Hymn of Praise:  Title                           The Hymnal #  131

Opening Prayer

Let us pray:  God of all love, our hearts are moved by your gracious promises fulfilled for us in Jesus Christ.  Give us the grace we need to live lovingly in all of life, and empower us to make your love known through the deeds of our lives; for we pray as your Son Jesus taught us saying…

* The Lord’s Prayer 

* Praise Chorus:   Gloria Patri                                                 The Hymnal #623

Lighting of the Advent Wreath (from Matthew 1)

Response: One Candle Is Lit   projected

Litany   projected

etc…

Psalm of Praise (from Psalm 80)

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock!

            You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth!

Stir up your might, and come to save us!

            Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

O LORD God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?

            You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.

You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.

            Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.

            Then we will never turn back from you;

Give us life, and we will call on your name.

            Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

 

Hanging of the Greens

Hanging of the Greens

The following was designed for use on the First Sunday of Advent

Choral Introit – “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming

Lighting of the Altar Candles

The significance of the candles

Organ Prelude

Call to Worship

L:  As quietly as the winter steals upon us, the season of hope approaches.

P:  We wait for our redeemer, for god’s promise to be fulfilled.

L:  The day is coming quickly. The God of mercy draws near.

P:  Therefore, we wait with hope, attentive to all the signs of his coming.  Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Hymn of Praise:  Lift Up Your Heads, O Mighty Gates #129

Invocation and Lord’s Prayer

THE ADVENT WREATH

The First Lesson:  Jeremiah 33:14-16

The significance of the Advent Wreath

The Lighting of the Candle of Hope

The Litany of Hope

L: Christians around the world begin this day to await the advent of Christ.  We join a joyous and hopeful throng in lighting the Advent candles, symbols of our faith and signs of God’s love.

P:  We gather as a people of hope.

L: Christian people around the world stand together in breathless anticipation of a miracle that has been

repeated for hundreds of years, yet that astounds us anew each year.

P:  Our hope springs anew, from an ancient vision.

L:  As we light the first Advent candle, let it stand for hope based not on wishful thinking, but on deep conviction.  We believe, we have seen, we have received the Prom ise and the Great Gift, and therefore, in the midst of darkness and imperfection, we hope.

P:  We gather expectantly, joyfully, and with deep commitment, for we have heard that a special child is to come, that god is to be among us, and that soon we will see a new creation on earth.  We are a people of hope.

The Hymn of Hope:  One Candle is Lit, verse 1, #128

Children’s Lesson:  The Holly and the Ivy

Solo:  The Holly and the Ivy

Congregation at Prayer

meditation:  Creator of the Stars of Night verse 1, #127

response:  Creator of the Stars of Night, verse 2, #127

The Second Lesson:  Isaiah 61: 1-4, 10-11

Sermon:  “Getting ‘Decked Out’ For Christmas

Hymn of Discipleship:  O Come, O Come, Emmanuel   #119

Communion:  Come, O Long Expected Jesus #125

Offering

Dismissal  When God is a Child   #132, verse 1


Full Text

Significance of the Altar Candles (as the candles are being lit)

The lighting of candles has been a part of religious worship for centuries.  The Hebrews burned candles for eight days as a part of their Feast of Lights.  Since Jesus has been referred to as “the light of the world” in the New Testament, the lighting of candles has become an important part of our Christian worship.  Some early Christian leaders stated that the body of the candle represented the body of Christ, while the wick symbolized his soul, and the flame portrayed his divine nature. When Joseph and Mary presented Jesus in the temple, Simeon referred to the Christ child as a “light to lighten the Gentiles.”  As we light these candles upon the altar we symbolize his coming in the world of darkness, sin and evil, war and strife, stress and turmoil, suffering and death.  He came to bring hope and help to those who were held captive by oppression, and to guide them to personal peace and joy through the illumination of the love of God.

Invocation

O God, in the weeks to come, our attention to this blessed and holy event, the birth of your Son, will be continually distracted.  help us to distinguish between the secular and the sacred, and to remember the true meaning of our joy and excitement.  Help us to refocus our minds and hearts on your loving and most precious gift to us, your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in whose name we pray as he taught us, saying, Our Father….

Advent Lighting:

Advent is a time of expectation, and this is symbolized not only by the four-week period of preparation, but also by the lighting of an Advent candle on each Sunday of the season.  The flame of each new candle reminds the worshiper that something is happening, but something more is still to come. The Advent season will not be complete until all four candles are lighted, with the central Christ candle also burning brightly on Christmas Eve.

The tradition of the Advent wreath is traced back to an old Scandinavian custom that celebrated the coming of light after a season of darkness.  In that day candles were placed on the edge of a horizontal wheel.  As the wheel was spun around, the lighted candles would blend into a continuous circle of light.  Today we use a circle of evergreen to remind us of the continuous power of God, which knows no beginning nor ending.

There is also symbolism in the colors of the candles in the Advent wreath.  The three purple, or white, candles symbolize the coming of Christ from the royal line of David.  He is coming as the King of Kings as well as the Prince of Peace.  the pink candle is lighted on the third sunday of the Advent season.  This candle symbolizes joy; its use goes back to the Latin church which asked the worshipers to fast during this period of time.

A progression is noted in the lighting of the candles of the Advent wreath.  The first symbolizes expectation and hope.  The second reminds us that we are involved in a season of preparation for peace in the coming of Christ.  The third candle is proclamation, as we proclaim that Christ brought joy to the world when he appeared.  The revelation of God’s love for all humankind is portrayed by the lighting of the fourth candle.  The culmination of the season comes on Christmas Eve, or Christmas Day, as the Christ candle is lighted.

Let us join now in this season of expectation and hope as we light our first candle, the Hope Candle, and join in our Litany of Hope.

 

Advent Candle Lighting

Republished from 2014:

The following materials were adapted from various sources, and built around common texts used during Advent lectionaries.  They offer the opportunity for a number of people to participate at the Advent Wreath, as well as a responsive piece and suggested hymn for use by the congregation.  Any parts may be re-assigned or divided as needed for use in your congregation.     — ed.

——————

Advent 1

The text is divided into 4 readers; you may divide it any way you wish, and include someone to light the candles at the appropriate time.

 

Reader 1

Listen to the prophet Isaiah:

In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.   Many peoples shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.   O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!

(Isa. 2:2-5)

 

Reader 2

The poet George Herbert once wrote: “He that believes in hope dances without music.”

This is a good picture for a life of faith. To hope in God’s grace is to move to a rhythm that other people may not hear. It is to act out a drama others cannot imagine. It is to glide through life guided by a tune that plays only in your own heart.

The hopes of our faith make no sense from the outside. It’s a rough world, with forces that try to dominate our lives. But we hope in a God of truth and justice to have the final word.

In a world where violence and force always seem to win the day, we hope in a force of love that is the supreme power. In a world where wealth and status seem to have the upper hand over desperate, needy people, we hope that poverty and innocence have God’s special blessing.

 

Candle-lighter: Light 1 candle

 

All sing the candle-lighting hymn.(Suggested: “One Candle Is Lit,” Chalice Hymnal #128, verse 1)

Reader 3 As the hymn ends…

            Having hope means constantly expecting a different kind of future, even when history seems to confirm our fears. Hope is for those who feel the pain of the world. Hope is for those who agonize at human cruelty. Hope is for those who hear the cries of homeless and hungry children, and cry along with them.

In a world where hope seems so far away, we are a people of hope. We listen for the voice of angels in the wind. We stretch to see the first light of a new day on the horizon. We long for a new birth of grace in every human heart. We wait. We listen. We hope.

 

Reader 4 (may be offered responsively or by one voice)

Let us pray:

Christ we sit in darkness, but you are our light. We long for your coming into our hearts, into our lives and into our world.

            You are the One for whom all the peoples of the earth wait. Our world has been shaken by fire and earthquake and storm; Our security has been shaken by bombings and wars and uncertainty.

            We wait in anticipation expecting God’s light to penetrate our darkness and radiate within us.

In the midst of our doubts and our insecurities we are reminded that you are never shaken. Your faithfulness reaches to the ends of the earth.

            We watch and wait expecting new light to shine as the season of joy approaches.

You are our rock and our refuge, an ever present help in trouble. Come down, come in, walk with us so that we trust in you and not be shaken.

            We wait in hope attentive to all the signs of Christ’s coming.

 

 

Advent 2

The text is divided into 7 readers; you may divide it any way you wish, and include someone to light the candles at the appropriate time.

Reader 1

Listen to the Prophet Isaiah:

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.

Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

ALL:

The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.

Reader 1 (continues)

They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.

 (Isa. 11:1-10)

Reader 2

Advent is about peace. And we do so long for peace. We live in a world of chaos and discord. The trademark of our times is violence. In a nation awash in guns, we continue to raise our children on myths of machismo. Our movie heroes are tough-talking, gun-wielding musclemen. Our streets are dangerous. Our civil dialogue has given way to abusive rhetoric. And a routine trip through a busy intersection is often enough to give us a glimpse of at least one other driver’s middle finger. In all of it, we do long for peace.

 

Reader 3

The state of our minds often mirrors the state of our world. We juggle hyperactive schedules, fragmented families, and hypertensive pressures. We worry about our children, we agonize over how to care for our parents, and no job seems secure. Our choices of antacid are outnumbered only by our spiritual options. We grasp for gurus and scan self-help books in serial confusion. Stress is the name of our days. And we do so long for peace.

 

Candle-lighter: Light 2 candles

 

All sing the candle-lighting hymn.(Suggested: “One Candle Is Lit,” Chalice Hymnal #128, verse 2)

 

Reader 4: As the hymn ends…

Surely the peace of our world starts with the peace of a heart. We are reminded that there is a peace of God which passes all understanding. At the core of each of us, if we will only listen, there is a still, small voice which can calm our fears, quiet our lives, and dispel our desperation. At the heart of each of us, if we only seek it, there is a spirit that rests in the grace of God. An assurance at the center of our lives can tame the chaos at the edges.

 

Reader 5

That spirit of God is also the hope of our world. Peace can come only when we can understand each other, knowing that God’s spirit makes us truly one. In the eyes of even a murderer, I can see my own anger. In the face of a terrorist, I can see my own desperation. In the breast of my enemy, I can feel my own fear. Peace is possible because we share that one spirit that rests in the presence of God.

 

Reader 6

Not one of us is a stranger to the other. Every passion or malice that might separate us I can find and recognize in my own heart, and so our differences lose their force. We are one with each other, and one with God, and that is a peace beyond the power of any stress or violence that can assault us. As we await the Bringer of Peace, the peace of God is already with us.

 

Reader 7 (may be offered responsively or by one voice)

Let us pray:

Prepare the way! The promise is come!

            The lion shall dwell with the lamb.

Prepare the way! The old with the young!

A child shall teach us to stand.

Prepare the way! Make the paths straight!

Earth shall fill her deep valleys!

Prepare the way! Break down walls of hate!

            The Way is approaching! Servants keep watch. Soon we shall see the salvation of our God!

 

Advent 3

The text is divided into 6 readers; you may divide it any way you wish, and include someone to light the candles at the appropriate time.

 

Reader 1

Listen to the word of God from Isaiah:

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. …Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God’s people…the redeemed shall walk there.

And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

 (Isa. 35:1-10)

Reader 2

Advent is about joy. But our times seem little suited for rejoicing. Our culture irritates and entertains, intoxicates and numbs, but rejoicing seems like a foreign idea. You can’t do it on cue. Joy can’t be bought and sold. You can’t plan for it or train for it. It doesn’t fit into a well-ordered life, and it’s not FDA approved.

 

Reader 3:

Joy comes only when least expected. We rejoice only when life has been turned on its ear; when—whatever we feared, whatever we steeled ourselves against–some gift of God has presented itself instead. When we rein in our loves to protect ourselves from pain, when we curtain our hopes from fear of disappointment, when we equip ourselves with cynicism to avoid looking foolish, we do so at the expense of joy.

 

Candle-lighter:  Light 3 candles (in places where a pink candle is available, this should be the 3rd one lit)

 

All sing the candle-lighting hymn.(Suggested: “One Candle Is Lit,” Chalice Hymnal #128, verse 3)

Reader 4: As the hymn ends…

As freedom can only be tasted in all its sweetness by those who know the feel of chains, so joy sings with its most full-throated glory only in spirits enlarged by the weight of despair and softened by the brine of tears. Pleasures floats on the surface of life. Happiness flits across a moment or an hour. But joy springs from the depths.

 

 

Reader 5

Joy is new life beating in a heart that has been broken. Joy is awakening to a fair morning from a nightmare of reality. Joy is a flight sunward on wings you had forgotten you had. Joy is the sound of laughter erupting from a procession of grief. Joy is God’s melody amid the discord of life, a song carrying the rhythm of eternity and touching the chords of longing in our souls.

Hand microphone to Reader 6

 

Reader 6: (may be offered responsively or by one voice)

Let us pray:

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God.

We give thanks to you, O God, for the promise of full joy that this

            season brings to light.

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God.

            For all the troubles life can bring, you bring amazing possibilities

            that fill our hearts with joy.

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God.

Renew in us this day the promises of light after darkness, day after

            night, hope after despair, joy in this and every morning, for our trust

            is in you. Amen.

 

 

Advent 4

The text is divided into 6 readers; you may divide it any way you wish, and include someone to light the candles at the appropriate time.

 

Reader 1

Listen to the Gospel according to Luke:

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”

But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”

The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

 (Luke 1:26-38)

Reader 2

Advent is about love. Francis Bacon once wrote: “A crowd is not company, faces are but a gallery of pictures, and talk is but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love.”

We are social beings. That is our blessing and our curse. We long for each other. We long to touch, to share, to bare some part of ourselves, to be understood, to invite others into our lives. We all long to lessen the loneliness that lurks in the background of even our most crowded moments.

 

Reader 3:

We are born alone and we will ultimately die alone, but in between we desperately want to be known, to be understood, to belong, to find some kind of acceptance just as we are—some intimacy of soul. And so we reach out with fragile, delicate efforts of love.

But love is dangerous. We can hurt each other. Hearts can be broken. Rejection can come. If you try to belong, you can be excluded, and that can hurt more than being alone.

Love, and the vulnerability that comes with it, can be the riskiest business of all. But there is no love without such risks. Like hunger and thirst, the longing for love is implanted deeply within us, and God offers us many opportunities to care, to reach out, and to love.

 

Candle-lighter: Light 4 candles

 

All sing the candle-lighting hymn.(Suggested: “One Candle Is Lit,” Chalice Hymnal #128, verse 4)

 

Reader 4: As the hymn ends…

There is some part of this gift of life that can’t be stored up or locked away. Some part of this spirit that God has placed in us will die if we do not spend it or share it or give it away.

 

Reader 5

Love is always a risk, but it is a risk upon which the very heart of our life depends. To love is to touch the heart of God. To look into the eyes of another and recognize our common soul is to see the face of God. Even to feel the ache of a heart broken for love is to discover God’s grace.

 

Reader 6: (may be offered responsively or by one voice)

Let us pray:

Your love, O God, is great, and the risks you have taken were supreme.

Teach us the way of love, and help us to walk in it.

From the depths of your creating love, you made us male and female.

Teach us the way of love, and help us to walk in it.

In the goodness of your covenant, you created us a community of your love.

Teach us the way of love, and help us to walk in it.

In the fullness of time you sent us Jesus, a man of love that risked all for the sake of the world.

Teach us the way of love, and help us to walk in it.

In your resurrection power, you have revealed your love to all humanity.

Teach us the way of love, and help us to walk in it.

Help us, O God, to reveal your love as we discover anew the tremendous power of the Christmas story and meet again the Christ-child, born anew among us.

Amen and Amen.

 

Christ the King/Reign of Christ C

 

Nov. 20

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

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:

Jeremiah 23:1-6  Luke 1:68-79 Psalm 46 Colossians 1:11-20 Luke 23:33-43

Thanksgiving Sunday is also recognized in some congregations.  This is not at all inappropriate, considering the nature of the lectionary and a careful study of the nature of the holiday in American culture.  However, it is important to be aware of the universality of the Church, and of this observance of Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday.  It is not to be trivialized into a rehash of American triumphalism or a “divine rights” celebration.  All are urged to let the texts speak for themselves, and to use care in pairing music and other elements of the day in concert with the themes of scripture. The texts above are certainly appropriate to the day, but also see:

Deuteronomy 26:1-11 Psalm 100 Philippians 4:4-9 John 6:25-35

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

Come, ye thankful people, come,

276-We gather together

234-Crown him with many crowns

429-You satisfy the hungry heart

717-Let all things now living

 

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.

More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.   

 

Hymn of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Colossians 1:11-20

 

The way of Jesus is repair,

the constancy of hope.

So linger in this radiance

that fullness bring embrace.

 

Intent on thankful praise, arise:

give intimate desire.

For God has qualified this stand

in Jesus’ glorious bound.

 

With lively care, with opulence,

where heart exceeds design,

become the answering allure

as kingdom dawns for us.

 

The image of our God adorns

beginnings once and all,

as Jesus owns our livid joy

and echoes cross borne peace.

 

CM               Suggested tune: Crimond

 

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 46 is on p. 742

 

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.

 

Greeting

Let us proclaim a day of thanksgiving among ourselves, people of God – a day of gratitude for the one who has promised to gather the remnant of his flock from all the lands, and bring us back into the fold where fruitful life may be propagated.  God has promised to raise up a shepherd  for us, so that we might not fear or wander away – a shepherd who will deal with us and with all earth’s people  carefully and justly.  In Jesus Christ, we have a great Shepherd.  Let us return with thanksgiving to the one who guards and guides our lives.

 

Call to Worship  (from Psalm 100)

L: Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.

P:  Worship the LORD with gladness; come into his presence with singing.

L: Know that the LORD is God. It is he that made us, and we are his;

P:  We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

L: Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to God, bless his name.

P:  For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

 

OR from Psalm 93

L: The LORD is king, robed in majesty; the LORD is robed, girded with strength.

P: God has established the world; it shall never be moved.

L: More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters, more majestic than the waves of the sea, majestic on high is the LORD!

P: Your decrees are very sure; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

O God, you call us into your holy place – this solemn assembly.  Let our hearts be made full of praise, our eyes full of wonder at your mercies, and our lips quick to tell of your blessings to us in your son Jesus Christ our Sovereign Lord.  Let our praise be for the guidance of your hand and the righteousness with which you execute justice, that we might be your presence to our broken and hurting world.  This we pray through Christ our Lord  (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

 

Almighty and wonderful God.  We enter your courts with thanksgiving and praise, knowing that you have made us, and remembering we are loved.  We have come to praise your mighty acts, to offer our petitions, and celebrate remembrance.  Let us know your guarding presence, as sheep with their shepherd, as we seek to honor you for all your good works; this we pray through Christ our Lord  (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

 

  How vast and deep is your love O God, for us and for all the world. As we give you thanks for the beauty of creation and for the gift of life, we turn to you for strength and guidance to help those of our world in need of care and healing. May your Spirit bring your people to truly live faithfully as servants of Christ our Sovereign Lord  (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

1.

God of Creation, God of Wonder, hear this offering of prayer and praise as a gift from our thankful hearts. We thank you for the wonders all around us. For grains of sand, the smell of rain falling on dry ground, for the shifting of the seasons and the sound of laughter. We thank you God for one another – for the joys and struggles of relationships that nurture us and help us to grow. God, we thank you for your eternal presence in our midst and for the good news of your deep abiding love for all of creation. Even as we give thanks, we lift up the concerns that burden us this day. We ask your peace and blessing on all those we have named in this place today and all whose names and circumstances remain in the safe sanctuary of your Spirit’s care. We pray for all who are suffering in body, mind or spirit and for all who provide care for the needs of others. We pray for the lonely and the despairing…for those who struggle with addiction…for those who feel trapped in situations of abuse…for those who making difficult decisions in life… God we pray for your church and its mission in the world.  Bless all of your children God, and pour your Spirit upon us, bringing healing, comfort and strength wherever it is needed. All this we ask in the name of the One who calls us forward in faith, Jesus Christ our Sovereign Lord (who taught us to pray, saying “Our Father…”)

 

2.

Gracious God, who supplies us with every blessing in abundance, lift up our hearts in gratitude and thanksgiving.  Open us to remember the gifts we seldom notice, the bounty we take for granted, the rich possibilities you provide.  For bread without scarcity, for water that is pure, for houses to live in and friends to enjoy, we give you humble thanks.

We lift to you all those whose lives are linked with our own.  We remember (_______and) all those whom we name to you in silence.

Touch their lives with your grace and your peace, that they would know your love in these days of illness and unknowing and struggle.

In the days ahead, may we be more aware of the bounty for which we need to be grateful and of all the little things that make us who we are which we often overlook or ignore.  Help us to be more mindful every day of your goodness and love.

For beauty and bounty, for healing and hope, for the gospel of our salvation, we lift our voices in praise to you, Creator God, in Christ’s name.

 

3.

Our tender and compassionate God asks us to pray for all people.  Let us offer our prayers for the world in need, trusting in God’s great love.

Gracious God, we pray for the church around the world.  As the broken bread, though once scattered as grain on the hillsides become one loaf, so may your church be one in spirit throughout the earth, and one in witness to your saving love;

Gracious God, lead our leaders throughout the Church.  Grant them your wisdom, that by their deeds they may encourage the faithful and witness to the world and its people;

Eternal ruler of the universe, we pray for those who govern every land, and for the people committed to their charge.  Look with grace upon the president of our country, and the legislators who guide our lives.  Turn the hearts of leaders and peoples to you, that governments may seek the good of humanity and of all who suffer;

God, you suffer with those who suffer.  We pray for those who are denied what they need to live and those whose dreams have been shattered by war and disaster.  We pray especially for those who suffer in the season of plenty.  Reach out and bring healing through the hands of your faithful people;

Holy Comforter, healing Spirit, grant your peace to those who are sick and those who grieve, and especially those of our own church families who are suffering today.  Radiate through their lives with the light of your presence, that renewed healing and strength may be theirs.

We pray, dear Lord, for those whose actions offend us most and for those whom we have learned to fear and despise.  Through your great love, make tender all hearts hardened by hatred, bigotry and suspicion; and work your justice among us.

God of hope and new life, help us to see the joy and abundant life you intend for us. Forgive our shortsightedness and often miserly attitudes toward the created world which you have entrusted to our care.  Give us your peace–peace which is not so much an absence of trouble, as an awareness of your guiding presence and bounteous gifts in all that we do; for these our prayers we bring to you in the name of Jesus the Christ.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

Eternal Father,

whose Son Jesus Christ ascended to the throne of heaven

that he might rule over all things as Lord and King:

keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit

and in the bond of peace,

and bring the whole created order to worship at his feet;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

 

Stir up, O Lord,

the wills of your faithful people;

that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works,

may by you be plenteously rewarded;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Alternative Collect

 

God the Father,

help us to hear the call of Christ the King

and to follow in his service,

whose kingdom has no end;

for he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, one glory.

 

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all

things in your well beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of

lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided

and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together

under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Luke 22:33-43

 

The way of your desires, Lord God,

surprises us in rigor

and in grace, in readiness

and in reserve.

Become in this confusion, Lord,

the way of prayer that offers all

in prime simplicity and awe.

 

Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

We are a blessed people.  In this season of Thanksgiving, it is good that we recall God’s many gifts in our lives, and grace which God has given us to help us use them all for good.  As we ready ourselves to join the great Feast of Thanksgiving, a feast which God has made for us in Christ Jesus, let us consider just how welcome we are to receive of it – all of us – and to share the gifts of it for the sake of the world.  For the gifts of God are many, and they are made real in this meal, and in the family of God gathered around it.  Let us bring forth our tithes and offerings.

 

Offertory Prayer

We would crown you as our Sovereign, O Christ, as you have crowned the year with mercy and kindness in the giving of yourself for the sake of the world.  May our lives, expressed in these offerings, and may the ministries of your beloved church, truly proclaim what our hearts have believed: that you are our Lord who will reign forever and ever.  Amen.

 

Invitation to the Table  from Phil. 2

L: We gather at the Table of Christ to join our hearts and minds in praise of God.

P:  God has exalted Jesus and given him a name above every name.

L: So let every knee bend, in heaven and on earth, and every tongue confess:

P:  Jesus Christ is Lord.  Glory to God forever!

 

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)

  1. It is always right and just to praise you, God our Father, for you have always sought and found us.  As we give you praise for Jesus Christ, the shepherd and guardian of our souls, we offer thanks for this bread, which is to be for us his body.  May we who receive him from your hands be encouraged to lives of thankful praise, and be empowered by your Spirit to offer him to the world which you have redeemed through your own great love.

 

  1. This cup, O God, we offer to your service.  Send down your Holy Spirit, we pray, that as we receive your gifts – bread broken and wine poured – our lives might be made whole, and be offered to you anew for faithful service.  This we pray in the name of Christ our Lord and King.

 

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…’

 

MORE…

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 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.

 

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.

 

Pentecost +26, Proper 28C

 

Nov. 13

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

Scripture  (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):

Isaiah 65:17-25 or Malachi 4:1-2a Isaiah 12 or Psalm 98 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 Luke 21:5-19

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

25-Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

703-When all is ended

711-O day of peace that dimly shines

417-We place upon your table, Lord

 

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.

More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.   

 

Hymn of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Malachi 4:1-2a

 

The rising of the sun, we find

brings sharpness to the longing eyes.

Intent on all that marks the day

we find the sun’s bright agony.

 

The arrogant and rude observe

the new day’s sun as scorching heat,

a ray that agonizes life

and batters hope with withered dross.

 

Come yet, devoted to the Lord,

whose ardor rouses evermore,

for day rise come as righteousness

and healing lingers in this light.

 

For dawn devises means to find

division by the Spirit’s sight,

that lean discernment of the heart

found boundlessly alert and live.

 

LM            Suggested tune: Church Triumphant

 

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 98 is on p. 750

 

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 Worship  adapted by the editor from Canticle 9: Ecce Deus – drawn from Isa. 12)

L: Behold, God is our salvation.  We will trust and not be afraid.

P:  The Lord God is our strength and song, and has become our salvation.

L: With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

P:  Give thanks to the Lord, call upon God’s name.

     Make God’s deeds known among the nations.

L: Shout and sing for joy, you who dwell in Zion.

P:  For great in our midst is the Holy One of Israel.

 

OR

L: God has promised a new heavens and new earth.

P: There, the former things are forgotten and all things are made new. 

L: In God’s promised world, there is hope for justice and peace among all peoples.

P: May our eyes be opened to the promised future as we celebrate God’s faithful presence with us this day.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

Great is your name, O God of all creation, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ.  As we give you thanks and praise in this gathering of your people, we pray that you would adjust our vision and align it with your own – your vision for a world made new – that we may fervently pray for it and work for it in the days that lie ahead.  This we pray in the name of Christ  (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

Lord God, we give you thanks for all your gifts to us—for daily food, for health, for each breath we take, for freedom to choose, and for the gifts of your word, your power and your love.  Our hearts are truly overwhelmed, O God, when we consider how you have entrusted so much to us.  May we be worthy of that trust—may we be a people who are unafraid to live as fully and as richly as you want us to live.

 

Help us, O God, as followers of Jesus, to multiply all that you have given us, to risk spreading your word and perhaps see it misunderstood, to gamble by loving those whom others think worthy only of hate, to take chances by doing good to those who have not done good to us. Help us be faith filled and desire to increase your glory and your goodness in this world.  Make us people who share in both word and deed that which you have given to us.

 

We pray for the church gathered today, both here and around the world, that it may encourage all of its members to discover, develop and use all their gifts, those of nature and those of grace.

 

We pray for those who are poor in body or in spirit, for those oppressed and heavy laden, for those sick or in despair.   Minister by your Spirit and by us, to all those for whom we have prayed, and help us walk faithfully in the path of our Lord Jesus Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect for the Second Sunday before Advent

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.

 

Post Communion for the Second Sunday before Advent

Gracious Lord,

in this holy sacrament

you give substance to our hope:

bring us at the last

to that fullness of life for which we long;

through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

 

Additional Collect for the Second Sunday before Advent

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.

 

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for

our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn,

and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever

hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have

given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Luke 21:5-19

 

That Day, Lord God, evades our sight

and teases us relentlessly:

we think to be prepared.

But all along the word arrives

by messenger of some conceit.

And all along there is delay,

the sort that teaches patience.

Grant us the simple trust in your delight,

the organizing plight of life.

 

Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

God has offered the world a new vision of life which is full and abundant, teeming with all the good gifts that have been lavished upon us in Christ Jesus.  May we be open to receiving them with gratitude, and in offering them, along with ourselves, for the sake of others, even as the gifts of this Table are offered not for us alone, but for the salvation of the whole world.  Let us bring forth our tithes and offerings to God.

 

Offertory Prayer

Bring forth the fullness of your vision to us, O God, as we open our hearts to you in the giving of these gifts.  Like the praise we sing, may they bring glory to your name, now and in your world forever.  Amen.

 

Invitation to the Table

(Communion Affirmation – offered in Chalice Hymnal, #401 from the words of A. Campbell)

L: You, my beloved, once and alien, are now a citizen of heaven: once a stranger, are now brought home to the family of God.  You have owned my Lord as your Lord, my people as your people.

P:  Under Jesus the Messiah we are one.  Mutually embraced in the everlasting arms, I embrace you in mine: your sorrows shall be my sorrows, and your joys my joys.

L: Joint debtors to the favor of God and the love of Jesus, we shall jointly suffer with him, that we may jointly reign with him.

P:  Let us, then, renew our strength, remembering our Sovereign, and hold fast our boasted hope unshaken to the 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)

  1. You, O God, are the helper of the helpless.  In every age of our distress, you have come to us with an outstretched arm, a word of forgiveness, and nourishment for the journey.  As we give you thanks for your faithful love and consecrate this bread to your purposes, receive our gifts, we pray, that as they are offered to you again you may multiply them, so that we and your hungering world might be fed.

 

  1. Lord of Life, as you have blessed the earth with fruit and inspired your children to make good use of it, we ask that you would now bless this wine – fruit of the earth and work of human hands – that it might be for us the blood of Christ, the cup of our salvation.  Send down the power of your Spirit upon these gifts and upon us who gather here out of love for you, that as we receive and find renewal, we might learn to give of ourselves for the salvation of the world.  This we pray in Christ’s name.

 

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…’

 

MORE…

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 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.

 

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.

 

All Saints Sunday

Pentecost +25, Proper 27C

 

Nov. 6

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

For All Saints Day/Sunday, Year C: All Saints’ Day/Sunday C: Nov. 1 or 3

For Other Years see:

All Saints’ Day (or Sunday nearest Nov. 1) Year A

All Saints Day (or Sunday): Nov. 1 (Oct. 28 or Nov. 4) (for year B)

Preparing for All Saints’ Day/Sunday Celebration

Hymn for All Saints’ Day (by the Editor)

 

ITEMS WHICH FOLLOW ARE FOR USE WITH PROPER 27C

Also note that the date in some congregations will include the Honoring of Veterans of the Military

Some suggestions from textweek.com for observance of Veterans Day

Suggestions for Observing Veterans’ Day in Worship, UMC GBOD.

“Remembrance Sunday Sermon,” PreacherRhetorica, 2012.

A Pacifist’s Dilemma on Veteran’s Day, J. Harader, Spacious Faith, 2012.

Memorial Day Call to Worship and Confession, The Fat Pastor, 2012.

Veterans Day Litany, The Fat Pastor, 2012.

Justice for Veterans and the Vulnerable, Bruce Epperly, Patheos, 2010.

Worship Offerings, thoughts, prayers, etc., Gord Waldie.

With Gratitude and Honor, UCC Worship Ways, 2008.

Remembrance Resources, Oremus, 2005.

Lectionary Hymns, Day of Mourning and Remembrance, National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

“We Remember All Those…” UCC, 2003.

Sermon and Worship Resources for Remembrance Sunday, (Ordinary 32B), Rev. Kim Gilliland.

Service of Remembrance and Healing for those who have experienced armed conflict, Worship Resources by Lisa Frenz, Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church, Portland, OR.

With Children: Remembrance Day Word Search, sermons4kids.com.

 

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:

Haggai 1:15b-2:9 or Job 19:23-27a Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21 or Psalm 98 or Psalm 17:1-9 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17 Luke 20:27-38

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

6-Sing praise to God who reigns above

487-Help us accept each other

393-One bread, one body

713-God of our life

 

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.

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:  Psalm 98 is available on p. 750

 

Psalm 17  (vs. 1-4) – metrical setting by David T. Chafin

 

  1. Lord, hear the just, regard my cry, my prayer from lips sincere;

Send your approval from on high, my righteousness make clear.

You tried my heart throughout the night and found it faithful in your sight.

 

  1. Determined to in faithful speech and action now to live,

I choose the path of life for me, and all my self I give.

For help, O God, I pray and you will answer for your word is true.

 

  1. You save from every terror those who trust in your command,

Protecting them from all their foes by your almighty hand.

Your lovingkindness let me see, your wondrous mercy, full and free.

 

  1. O guard me well, as you would guard the apple of your eye;

While deadly foes are pressing in, to you, O God, I cry.

To me your rest and refuge bring, and shadow me within your wing.

 

C.H.M. (86.86.88) – “Auch jetzt macht Gott” is available online or in the UMC Hymnal

 

 

Hymn of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Luke 20:27-38

 

In questing to know, imagine the case

where all that is thought is daily at pace.

Intent on confusion, begin to arise,

for in the conclusion of faith is surprise.

 

Begin with the grandeur, all we observe,

and how in the wonder of God we stand.

This God of the living, the God we adore,

is named by the Patriarchs God called by name.

 

Beyond comprehension, fulfilled in joy,

the gathering God impels us to join

begins in the surge adoration assumes

and lingers in unity wither God joys.

 

10.10.11.11.        Suggested tune: Hanover

 

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.

 

Words of Greeting/Call to Prayer  (adapted by the editor from the UCC)

L: Be still and know that God is.

P:  God was, also, in the beginning.

L: And when all human striving has ceased, God will still be.

P:  From everlasting to everlasting, God is God, and alone is worthy to be worshiped.

 

OR

L: The coming of our Lord is a sure thing.

P: It will be one which shakes heaven and earth, though our eyes and ears may not perceive it. 

L: How might the Lord come to us today?  In word?  In sign?  In this community?

P: We will hold fast to the sure presence of God, and join in praise as one people.

 

Prayer of Approach  

L: The Lord be with you.

P:  And also with you.

L: Let us pray.  You are holy, O Lord our Creator and God, giving us mercies beyond number.  You are holy, O Savior Jesus Christ, loving and setting us free.  You are holy, O Spirit of truth and peace, leading us in ways that are right.  O holy eternal Trinity, we praise you for ever and ever. (And we join the prayer of Christ who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Intercessions

Mighty and merciful God, may your kindness be known to all. Hear the prayers of all who cry to you; open the eyes of those who never pray for themselves; have mercy on those who are in misery; deal gently with those who sit in darkness; increase the number of those who love and serve you daily. Preserve our land from all things hurtful, preserve our Church from all dangerous error, preserve our people from forgetting that you are their Lord and Saviour. Be gracious to those countries that are made desolate by war, famine, disease, or persecution, and grant that the course of the world may be so ordered in obedience to your will that the people may live in security and freedom from want, and their children grow up to be makers of peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

from Common Worship

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

Almighty Father,

whose will is to restore all things

in your beloved Son, the King of all:

govern the hearts and minds of those in authority,

and bring the families of the nations,

divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin,

to be subject to his just and gentle rule;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Collect for the Second Sunday before Advent

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.

 

Post Communion

 

God of peace,

whose Son Jesus Christ proclaimed the kingdom

and restored the broken to wholeness of life:

look with compassion on the anguish of the world,

and by your healing power

make whole both people and nations;

through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

Post Communion for the Second Sunday before Advent

Gracious Lord,

in this holy sacrament

you give substance to our hope:

bring us at the last

to that fullness of life for which we long;

through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

 

Additional Collect

 

God, our refuge and strength,

bring near the day when wars shall cease

and poverty and pain shall end,

that earth may know the peace of heaven

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Additional Collect for the Second Sunday before Advent

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.

 

 

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might

destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God

and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may

purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again

with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his

eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

 

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Luke 20:27-38

 

Our God, conceptions rattle loosely,

playing games with minds and hearts.

Lead us afresh into your open ways

wherein we find you give us sight

of living thoughts

and lively hearts

lest we be trapped in wily snares.

 

Service of Table  

Preparation (Invitation to Stewardship)

God has prepared a rich feast for those who desire to receive it – a coming reign of justice and peace, a life of promise without fear, a world made new. We participate in that blessed life to come, even today with our tithes and offerings, enabling Christ’s church to make a way in the world for the promises of God to be fulfilled.  Let us bring forth our gifts and offer our lives anew to God.

 

Offertory Prayer

Here, O God, your children offer to you the substance of our lives and labors.  We come humbly, recognizing that all that we are and all that we have belong to you; and we come boldly, recognizing that you alone have moved us to share of our substance for the sake of others.  Take and us these gifts and our lives, limited though they may be, for your great work for the sake of the future of your world. Amen.

 

Invitation to the Table

Christ invites to this Table all who seek to know God and to walk in peace with God and their neighbor.  It is a place of welcome for you, all of you, with great faith and with little faith.  It is the faith of Christ which matters, and it is the faith of Christ which shall sustain us til the end of the age.

 

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)

  1. We praise you, O God, for your promised presence with us as we gather in your name.  We thank you for all the good gifts of life, and for the gift of this Table which offers your love for us in real bread, broken and shared.  Bless now, we pray, this bread which we offer to you.  May it be for us the body of Christ, that we might be remade as his body in the world, readied for faithful service.
  2. Send down the power of your Holy Spirit, O God, upon us gathered here, and upon these gifts.  As the cup of salvation is offered to us once again by the resurrected Christ, may we who drink of it be refreshed and renewed in his Spirit, so that all of our lives may glorify you in the Church and in the world forever.

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…’

 

MORE…

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 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.

 

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.