a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession: least likely

Your faithfulness is from generation to generation, O God. When we have lost our way, or turned away, you have sought us out, in the least likely of places. We confess that sometimes we would prefer that you stayed in the box we built for you, keeping out of our affairs. The systems we have built work for us, and you disrupt them with your insistence on lifting up the lowly and filling the hungry while sending the rich away empty. Forgive our self-centered ways, our narrow vision of justice, and our restricted love. Show your strength and favor once again, and help us follow in your way, according to your promise. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

A Spark of…. Advent Candle Liturgies (year B)

Week 1 (Hope) Candle (Isaiah 64, Mark 13)
One: Come, Emmanuel.
The world is over-full of things that do not satisfy.
We watch and prepare, for divine presence to shake our complacency.
~candle is lit~
All: A spark of hope lights the way—
Clearing our vision and renewing our minds
To recognize God’s glory in our midst.

 

Week 2 (Peace) Candle (Isaiah 40, Mark 1)
One: Come, Emmanuel.
The world is not ready, the field is still uneven,
Yet we watch and prepare to see God’s glory revealed, together.
~candle is lit~
All: A spark of peace lights the way—
Despite our fast-fading courage,
We w
ill follow the voice calling us in the wilderness toward Shalom.

 

Week 3 (Joy) Candle (Isaiah 61, John 1)
One: Come, Emmanuel.
Days grow short and to-do lists lengthen.
We watch and prepare, for the Word is coming, full of grace and truth.
~candle is lit~
All: A spark of joy lights the way—
Though the flame flickers against the shadows,
We will rejoice in God’s covenant of everlasting love.

 

Week 4 (Love) Candle (Luke 1)
One: Come, Emmanuel.
The time draws near, each moment magnified
As we watch and prepare, for God is doing great things!
~candle is lit~
All: A spark of love lights the way—
Turning the world around to match the promise:
That we love because God first loved us.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson.

POP: O Hear Our Cry

Beloved, we lift up prayers before God,
trusting in the mercy of the One who comes to shepherd all people.
Let us sing our prayers together:

O Hear Our Cry, O Lord v. 1-2

Save your people, O Lord,
and be especially present with those whom we have named before you.

O Hear Our Cry, O Lord v. 3-4

Turn your face toward your people,
and restore us in your mercy.

We pray in the name of the coming Christ,
and we join in the prayer he taught, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, IA

Communion: Turning

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Then let us sing!

Canticle of the Turning v. 1-3

Mighty God, we rejoice with all who hunger,
for your Son Jesus, whose coming we proclaim,
spreads a table of blessing before us
and feeds us with his very presence.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon this meal,
that we might be united with Jesus Christ,
and with all who magnify his name.
Sustain us with your presence
and keep us faithful to the end,
singing with joy and confidence:

Canticle of the Turning v. 4

We pray with the One whose life turns the world
and we say together:
The Lord’s Prayer

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, IA

Dedication: favor

Gracious God, you have looked with favor upon us and provided us with everything we need. We gratefully return this portion of your gifts to you, celebrating your enduring faithfulness to your promise, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, IA

dedication: filled to overflowing

We praise you, O God, for you have given yourself to us in Jesus Christ. You have fed us at the table of blessing. You have filled us to overflowing with good things. Receive our offering of gratitude and joy, in the name of the coming Christ. Amen.

 

Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, IA

Confession: Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Advent is a season of singing.
We sing as we prepare our hearts to receive Jesus.
Let us sing and pray our confession together:

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus v. 1

Lord Jesus, set us free from slavery to sin,
and establish your kingdom in our lives.

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus v. 2

Our hearts long for your blessing,
and our world yearns for your presence.
Come to us now with forgiveness
and rule in our lives forever.

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus v. 3-4

*suggested tune: Stuttgart

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, IA

Confession: Love Divine

Advent is a season of singing.

We sing as we prepare our hearts to receive Jesus.

Let us sing and pray our confession together:

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling v. 1

Lord Jesus, as we wait for your coming,

we admit the sin that holds us in captivity,

and we pray that you would change our hearts.

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling v. 2

Take away our love of sinning,

as we confess our sins before you in silence.

Time for silent confession.

Liberating God, set us free.

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling v. 3

Friends, hear the good news!

Our prayers have been heard.

Rejoice and sing with gladness, because our sins have been forgiven!

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling v. 4

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, IA

Advent Wreath Candlelighting: The Women

Advent Wreath Candlelighting: The Women of Matthew’s Genealogy

**Advent 1**

Tamar, a woman, was with child and bore twin sons.
We give thanks that Tamar confronted boldly the injustices which threatened to keep her barren. Tamar’s righteousness caused her to become a foremother of Jesus.

In these days, we need justice to roll down on us like water, and righteousness like an everflowing stream.

Hear then, O house of David!
The Lord will give you a sign.
A young woman shall bear a son,
And shall call his name Immanuel,
which means “God is with us.”

Advent Chorus

 

**Advent 2**

Rahab, a woman, was with child and bore a son.
We give thanks that Rahab, heroine of Jericho, kept Israel safe.
Rahab’s faith and knowledge mad this foreign woman an important person in Israel’s history.

In these days, we long for a new day — a day when the Earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord.

Hear then, O house of David!
The Lord will give you a sign.
A young woman shall bear a son,
And shall call his name Immanuel,
which means “God is with us.”

Advent Chorus

 

**Advent 3**

Ruth, a woman, was with child and bore a son. Ruth, once a childless widow, became a foremother of Jesus. Ruth was a resourceful woman. She created opportunities for herself to make choices about her future.

We look forward to the day when we who wait for the Lord shall be renewed in strength. We shall run and not be weary. We shall walk and not faint.

Hear then, O house of David!
The Lord will give you a sign.
A young woman shall bear a son,
And shall call his name Immanuel,
which means “God is with us.”

Advent Chorus

 

**Advent 4**

Uriah’s wife was with child and bore a son. Before her son was born, Uriah’s wife grieved for the deaths of her husband and another son., she and them victims of a powerful man’s desire for her. Uriah’s wife was Bathsheba, who, though victimized in her own lifetime, was a foremother of Jesus.

We wait for justice, but justice is far from us. Righteousness does not reach us. We wait for new life, and lo, there is death; and for hope, but we walk in gloom.

Hear then, O house of David!
The Lord will give you a sign.
A young woman shall bear a son,
And shall call his name Immanuel,
which means “God is with us.”

Advent Chorus

 

**Christmas Eve/ Christmas**

Mary, a young woman, found favor with God, and received these promises from God:
“You will conceive and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give 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. The child will be holy and will be called Son of God.”
Blessed is Mary, mother of Jesus, who believed that there would be fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.

My Spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for the Mighty One has done great things for us, and holy is God’s name.

God’s mercy is for those who have feared God from generation to generation.

God’s strength has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. God has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly. God has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.

Hear then, O house of David!
The Lord has given us a sign.
A young woman shall bear a son,
And shall call his name Immanuel,
which means “God is with us.”

Advent Chorus

 

Submitted by Rev. Sharon Mack Temple, Brookmeade UCC, Nashville TN

Opening to the Light–Advent Candle Liturgies

2016 Advent/Christmas Theme: Opening To The Light
Narrative Lectionary Year 3: Daniel 6, Joel 2, Isaiah 61, Luke 1

Lit candle is carried in as congregation sings (tune: Picardy, except last two lines):

As we light the Advent candle
with the light of hope burning bright,
faithfully we wait for his coming;
faithfully it shines through the night.
In our humble hearts a fire burns as well;
hear the prayer these flames would tell.
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel.

Candle-bearer: The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

week 1 (Daniel 6.6-27):
Liturgist: One candle shines as shadows lengthen and chaos roars—
the dawn of God’s kingdom in our midst.
All: Courage awakens in us, a spark to brighten the way.

week 2 (Joel 2.12-13, 28-29):
Liturgist: Two candles shine as light peeks through the cracks
and God’s dream overflows.
All: Vision awakens in us, a spark to brighten the way.

week 3 (Isaiah 61.1-11):
Liturgist: Three candles shine as God’s promise draws near,
beckoning us to be good news in body and spirit.
All: Justice awakens in us, a spark to brighten the way.

week 4 (Luke 1.26-55):
Liturgist: Four candles shine as God’s purpose is revealed
in word and flesh.
All: Possibility awakens in us, a spark to brighten the way.

Liturgist: Radiant flash and feeble flame break through;
a long time coming, yet unexpected.
Watching and waiting, we prepare him room.
All: Christ is coming to make all things new,
and we are opening to the Light.

 

Here is a bulletin-ready version:

week 1:

Lit candle is carried in as congregation sings
As we light the Advent candle
with the light of hope burning bright,
faithfully we wait for his coming;
faithfully it shines through the night.
In our humble hearts a fire burns as well;
hear the prayer these flames would tell.
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel.

Candle-bearer: The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Liturgist: One candle shines as shadows lengthen and chaos roars—
the dawn of God’s kingdom in our midst.
All: Courage awakens in us, a spark to brighten the way.
Liturgist: Bright flash and feeble flame break through;
a long time coming, yet unexpected.
Watching and waiting, we prepare him room.
All: Christ is coming to make all things new,
and we are opening to the Light.

 

week 2

(Lit candle is carried in as congregation sings)

Candle-bearer: The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Liturgist: Two candles shine as light peeks through the cracks
and God’s dream overflows.
All: Vision awakens in us, a spark to brighten the way.
Liturgist: Bright flash and feeble flame break through;
a long time coming, yet unexpected.
Watching and waiting, we prepare him room.
All: Christ is coming to make all things new,
and we are opening to the Light.
week 3:

(Lit candle is carried in as congregation sings)

Candle-bearer: The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Liturgist: Three candles shine as God’s promise draws near,
beckoning us to be good news in body and spirit.
All: Justice awakens in us, a spark to brighten the way.
Liturgist: Bright flash and feeble flame break through;
a long time coming, yet unexpected.
Watching and waiting, we prepare him room.
All: Christ is coming to make all things new,
and we are opening to the Light.

 

week 4:

(Lit candle is carried in as congregation sings)

Candle-bearer: The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Liturgist: Four candles shine as God’s purpose is revealed
in word and flesh.
All: Possibility awakens in us, a spark to brighten the way.
Liturgist: Radiant flash and feeble flame break through;
a long time coming, yet unexpected.
Watching and waiting, we prepare him room.
All: Christ is coming to make all things new,
and we are opening to the Light.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL

***song is an excerpt from “Light the Advent Candle” by Ruth Elaine Schram