a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

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

POP: restore and magnify

Let us pray to the Lord our God saying:
“Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.”:

Our souls magnify you, O Lord, and our Spirits rejoice in you, our Savior!
For you have looked upon the lowliness of your servants,
you have heard our cry and saved your people.
We shall be called blessed because we are called by you to be a blessing to others.
Your mercy is from generation to generation.
Your mercy called Adam and Eve into being.
Your mercy kept vengeance from taking Cain’s life.
Your mercy saved Noah and his family from the flood.
Your mercy caused Sarah’s womb to be fruitful.
Your mercy gave Joseph’s dreams the power to save a nation.
Your mercy heard the Israelites’ cry and called Moses to action.
Your mercy charged Mary with the most special of tasks.
Your mercy strengthened Joseph to care for her.
Your mercy creates Jesus, who has come to save us.
We give you thanks for your mercy; may it continue to shine upon us!

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.

We remember this day those upon our hearts that crave your shining face,
who long for the light, who need your power to drive out the darkness:
for those who suffer from depression and other mental illnesses,
for those who cannot bring themselves to forgive others,
for those who cannot forgive themselves,
for those who seek refuge, but have been denied shelter,
for those who seek shelter, but have been denied a home,
for those who have lost loved ones in the past year,
for those who have lost physical and mental abilities,
for those who care for aging spouses and loved ones,
for those who have been living with cancer and other debilitating illnesses.

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.

We ask that you would strengthen us as a congregation:
as we seek to be the best stewards of the money with which we’ve been blessed,
as we struggle with the financial burden of an aging building,
as we search for the truth of your word and do our best to live it out in our lives,
as we hold in tension that which we have been with that which you call us to be,
as we serve one another and those with whom you called us into fellowship,
as we continue to grow together as a congregation in a period of transition,
as we wait, watch, and wonder in preparation of the coming of your Son.

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.

Gracious God,
as we finish this advent journey,
may we wait with Mary’s joyful anticipation
as we prepare to welcome your Son, our Savior,
into this broken world in need of his redeeming.
Gather us, guide us, and keep us as your people.
Send us into the world that Christ’s hands might be our own,
and his mind one with ours in all that you would have us do.

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.  Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

opening prayer: silence

One:     We come into your holy place, O God, hoping for a glimpse of your presence

All:       Silence us when we allow our voices to drown out yours.

            Silence us when our words in the sanctuary and our actions outside do not line up.

            Into that silence, speak again your word of life and your call to live the gospel.

One:     Help us to be still and know that you are God.

Make space in our hearts and minds to trust your word—and not just our hearts and minds,

but also our choices and actions.

All:       Tune our voices to sing of your glory, to share your good news.

            And then open our lips, and our mouths shall proclaim your praise. Amen.

 

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