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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.

Confession + Pardon: Darkness + Light

Holy and Beloved God, it is hard to hope when all seems lost. The darkness has a way of fuzzing our vision, of taking our eyes off of your holy light. It’s hardest to see your light when our eyes are shut – shut to you, shut to each other, and shut to the suffering that is just barely disguised by thin smiles and haunted eyes. Yet, your light shines. Your hope abides with us, awakening us to your love, and calling us to share your light with each other. Help us prepare a way for you in our hearts, that your love might open our hearts to see you fully in the world. Amen.


silence or musical response: Prepare the Way (Glory to God #95)


Awake, people of God! Open your eyes, open your ears, and open your hearts! The Holy One arose, yes, arose even from the depths of death, and calls you to do the same, with messages of hope, peace, joy and love. Know that God’s love and grace are greater than sin! Know that you are forgiven!

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, Okla.

illumination: love leaps

Holy Spirit, Holy Word,
may your love leap within us
and your stories seal themselves to our hearts.
As we prepare to welcome Jesus Christ,
may we first welcome your wisdom to our worship.  Amen.


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

confession: scurrying and striving

Lord, we have not trusted you. In all our scurrying to prepare, even spiritually, we have forgotten this one thing—to believe, to cling, to lay our burdens on you. We have failed to trust in your eternal realm. We brought it all on ourselves to carry the weight of sin, the need to fix our own problems and clean up our own messes. In all this striving, we missed the brightness of your morning star; we missed the fullness of the joy a life lived in you radiates. Fill us with your truth. Shape us into creatures who trust and obey, that we may rejoice with you in our salvation! Amen. 


Submitted by Rev. Elaine Murray Dreeben, Canyon Lake Presbyterian Church, TX

Prayer: prepare

God of our Lives,
we prepare for every important event in our lives,
weddings, funerals, baptisms, graduations, ordinations.
Help us this day prepare for the most important event in our lives:
the coming of your son to save us! Amen.


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

confession: prepared

call to confession
We are called to lift up our souls to God.
Often, we would prefer only to lift up the parts of our soul that we are proud of.
But it is equally important that we lift up to God our sins as well.
Let us do so together with honesty and courage.
Prayer of Confession
We are told to be on guard, to be prepared for your coming.

We confess, merciful God, that too often we are lazy
and do not trouble ourselves with the prayerful sabbath
that is required on this Advent road.
Help us to be alert at all times,
to be aware of your presence in our lives.
Make us to know your ways, O Lord;
teach us your paths and lead us in your truth.
This pray in your holy and merciful name. Amen.


Assurance of Pardon
The prophet Jeremiah reminds us
that the days are surely coming
when God will fulfill the promise God made to us.
A righteous branch is springing up!
God shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
The Lord is our righteousness!
Friends, I proclaim to you that our sins are forgiven!
Alleluia! Amen!


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