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Advent 1: peace be within you

Call to Worship

One: As we begin this Advent Season let us say to one another…
All: Peace be within you!
One: As we begin this Advent Season let us say to the communities we live, work and play in…
All: Peace be within you!
One: As we wait for the birthing of the Christ Child, full of newness and light…
All: Peace be within you!
One: As we open our hearts, our souls to your transforming ways…
All: Peace be within you!
One: Advent begins today! Let us wait and watch together saying always…
All: Peace be within you!

Prayer of Confession

As we begin this Advent Season we confess that we have not always been patient. We have wanted life to speed up quickly, our prayers to be answered yesterday, or our lives to make sense today. We have wanted to rush rather than wait, we have seen slowing down as a sign of weakness. We struggle to live with unanswered questions, wanting instead absolute truths so that we do not have to engage in the practice of discerning your will.
As we begin this Advent Season, O Living Spirit, help us to slow down so that we might see you. Guide us to let go so that we might hear you. Allow us to trust so that we might embrace. We pray all these things in the name of the Risen Christ, for whom we long in this Advent season. Amen and Amen.


submitted by Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church, Plainfield, NJ

Advent 1: The Path to the Holy Mountain

Call to Worship/Lighting Advent Candles

Thanksgiving is over, and Christmas will soon be here.
Even so, it is not yet time to celebrate.
First we must get ready.

Advent is a time of preparation, a season to get our house in order.
While we are decorating our homes, purchasing our gifts,
and getting ready for Christmas,
we also are called to turn our hearts to God,
to set our eyes on the mountain of the Lord,
the place where we find God’s grace, love, and peace
breaking into our world anew.

As we light this first Advent candle and wait for this new day to come,
we remember that God’s light is our guide for life in the world.
In the midst of any darkness that might surround us,
the light of the Lord will still prevail.

Friends, let us share our hope for this journey together:
Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!

Prayer of Confession

God of mercy and compassion,
you invite us to join you on your holy mountain,
to follow you on a new path,
yet we prefer another way.

We stay close to the ways we know
rather than take up something new.

We prefer to stake out our own path
rather than watching for your way to emerge before us.

We place our trust in other guides
rather than having confidence that you will show us the way.

Forgive us, Lord.

Open a new path for us.
Show us the way to your holy mountain,
that we might know your ways and walk in your paths.

Give us eyes to see and ears to hear the new thing you are doing in our midst,
and give us hearts of hope and joy that walk in your light each and every day
until you come again.


submitted by Rev. Andy James, First Presbyterian Church, Whitestone, New York
part of The Path to the Holy Mountain series