Sally Brochu ARCWP, Co-Presider Praying at Lighting of 
Advent Candles

Advent Candle Lighting Blessing Prayer
Presider: Like our ancestors, we honor the cycles and the seasons 
that remind us of the ever-changing flow of life of which 
we are a part. Ritual acts give life meaning – 
they honor and acknowledge the 
unseen web of Life that connects us all.
ALL: We light this second candle and remember our ancestors who 
feared death, evil and all the dark powers of winter. 
We, too, in our day, fear the darkness of war, discrimination, 
xenophobia and selfishness that threaten us and our planet 
to an eternal winter. And so we respond: Let us kindle the light of 
Presider: Indeed, let us welcome the light within each other.

Opening Song: “You Come, You come, Emmanuel 
(Tune of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” #38)

You come, you come, Emmanuel,
You gather all who stumbled and fell.
You share your life, you share your love;
Your dawn breaks forth in wondrous light above.
Rejoice, rejoice, O people of the earth!
In God’s great love we comprehend our worth!
You come, with grace, O Source of Light,
You teach us to find courage in the night.
Your way is justice, mercy and peace,
Your wisdom is the path to true release.
Presider: Nurturing God, you became human in Jesus and 
showed us 
how to live life fully. You know what it means to laugh and cry, 
to walk and talk, to love and be loved. We know that 
your mothering presence is always with us. May we, 
like Mary, rejoice as we give birth to God within us, and 
may we give birth to God in everything we say and do. 
ALL: Amen.

ALL: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on 

O loving God, we worship you, we give you thanks, 
we praise you for your glory. 
O Jesus Christ, holy Child of our loving God; You fill us with joy 
in your presence. You who are with our God, receive our prayer. 
For you alone are the Holy One; you alone are Messiah. 
You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ; with the 
Holy Spirit in the glory of God. Amen.


Marjorie Alaimo, Lector, first reading

First Reading: Isaiah 11: 1-10 R. Thanks be to God
Psalm Response: #56 Advent Litany “Maranatha, maranatha. 
Come, O God, and set us free”,

Karen Hylen, lector, 2nd reading

Second Reading: Romans 15: 4-9 R. Thanks be to God

Gospel Acclamation: ALLELUIA! #44 “Litany of the Word“
Gospel: Matthew 3: 1-12 R. Glory and praise to you Jesus Christ

HOMILY for the Second Sunday of Advent, Year A, 2016

Janet Blakeley ARCWP
In this season of Advent we read from Isaiah of Israel’s 
for a long-expected savior who would restore justice and 
kindness to the land.   
Even though we believe that the savior has already 
come in the person of Jesus, we still read this.   
Paul tells us why:
“Everything written before our time was written for our 
that we might derive hope from the lessons of patience 
and the words of    encouragement in the scriptures.”   
(Romans 15:4)
True enough.  Although Isaiah wrote these words nearly 
3,000 years ago, they provide what we need for the year 
2016 as we enter 
into a new era – an era which promises to be chaotic 
at best, 
deadly at worst, and unjust at the very least.   
Isaiah identifies the very things we fear, 
but assures us that the Spirit of God will come to 
rest on us:

“Not by appearance will this one judge,
Nor by hearsay will a decision be made;
But the poor will be judged with justice,
And the lands afflicted will be given their rights.

There will be no harm or destruction on all my holy 
For as waters fill the sea,
So will the land be filled with knowledge of Our God.”

Reassuring words.   But, if the Spirit of God has already 
 how will the Spirit of God “come to rest on us”?   
Granted – anything is possible with God and we have 
imaginations, so the Spirit of God may very well 
come to rest
 on us again with a transformative power.

Having moved forward in our understanding, 
we might do well to abandon thrilling 
expectations of 
God’s descending on clouds or bursting out in 
Rather, we must look within ourselves for that 
indwelling Spirit, 
and listen for prophetic voices in others.   
For if our evolving understanding tells us that 
God is 
believed to be found within creation, that is where 
we must go.   
It is from creation – including our own, individual 
small selves – 
that the Spirit of God will be seen and heard – 
not judging by 
appearance, nor making decisions by hearsay, 
but judging the 
with justice and giving afflicted lands their rights.   
The call for justice must come from within humanity.   
Even as people in one place are trampled, people in 
another place 
must speak because we are not separate people.   
We are one Body.

These days we look less for a coming Messiah and hope 
more for the ability to see and hear the already present 
 If we implore the Messiah to “come,” we must mean 
something like 
“come into my awareness.”

We are are obliged, then, to find new ways to
 “prepare the way of 
Our God” as John the Baptist said.   
How do we prepare the way for a God who is already 
within us and 
What does it even mean to prepare the way?

Profession of Faith: ALL: 

We believe in God who is creator and 
nurturer of all. We believe in Jesus, the Christ, 
who is our love, 
our hope, and our light. We believe in the Holy Spirit, 
breath of 
Wisdom Sophia, who energizes and guides us to 
build caring 
communities and to challenge injustices. 
We believe in the 
communion of saints our heavenly friends, 
who support us 
on life’s journey. 
We believe in the partnership and equality 
of women and men in our church and world.
We believe that all 
are one in the community of creation. 
We believe that God who calls us to live fully, 
love tenderly, 
and serve generously. Amen.

Presider: For a deeper coming of Christ in our world,
 let us pray.
Response: Nurturing God, hear us.
Presider: That we may experience the coming of 
God anew in 
our lives, we pray. R.
Presider: That people who suffer from destitution 
and despair, 
may experience the mothering comfort of God, we pray. R.
Presider: That the sick and suffering may receive the 
nurturing, healing love of God, we pray. R.
Presider: That those who have died may rest in God’s 
eternal embrace, we pray. R.
(Other Intentions)
Offertory Hymn: “Open Our Eyes, God, we want to 

see Jesus,
To reach out and touch him and say that we love him,
Open our eyes, God, we want to see Jesus,
Open our eyes, God, we want to see Jesus.
Open our ears, God, and help us to listen,
To reach out and touch him and say that 
we love him,
Open our ears, God, we want to hear Jesus,
Open our ears, God, we want to hear Jesus.

Preparation of the Gifts

Mary and Bob Murray
Roman and Theresa Rodriguez

Left to right: Janet Blakeley ARCWP and Sally Brochu ARCWP, 

Presider: Blessed are you, God of all life, through your goodness 
we have bread, wine, all creation, and our own lives to offer. 
Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation. 
ALL: Blessed be God forever.
Presider: God is with you. ALL: And also with you.
Presider: Let us lift up our hearts. ALL: We lift them up to God.
Presider: Let us give thanks and praise to our God.
(Please join us around the table of Life)
Voice One: Mothering God, you brought forth all creation from 
Life-Giving Womb. 
O Love of the Ages, we praise you and leap for 
joy i
n your presence.

Voice Two: Holy One of ancient Israel, you revealed yourself in 

Mary’s womb, in a shining star, in humble shepherds, in a baby 
wrapped in swaddling clothes. You embrace us with 
infinite love in every situation and relationship. 
You dwell in the depths of our hearts.

Voice Three: We invite you this day to deepen our awareness

 of your boundless love as we gather around the table of 
abundant life. With grateful hearts, we proclaim your praise:
ALL: Holy, Holy, Holy, Creator of heaven and earth. 

All beings are pregnant with your glory. 
Hosanna in the Highest. Blessed are you who dwell in all things. 
Hosanna in the Highest.

Voice Four: Praise to you, all-giving God, born of Mary. 

You are the body and blood of woman. 
We glorify you, nurturing God for the dawning of the sacred 
promise of God’s Anointed, fulfilled in Jesus, the Christ.
Voice Five: We celebrate the birth of Jesus, our newborn 

Emmanuel , who came to give us the fullness of life. 
During this holy season we share the bread of freedom 
and lift the cup of salvation.
(raise hands toward bread and wine for Invocation of the 
Holy Spirit)
All: Come Holy Spirit deepen your Presence within us and 
in these gifts of bread and wine, that they may become 
the Body of Christ.
Presider: As Jesus gave birth to the New Covenant, 
he took bread, gave thanks, broke the bread, and s
hared it with all those present saying:
ALL: Take this all of you and eat it. This is my body.
Presider: Then Jesus took a cup of wine, blessed you, 
Loving God, shared the cup with all those present saying:
ALL: Take this all of you and drink from the covenant, 
poured out for you and for everyone. Do this in memory of me.
Presider: Let us proclaim the sacred presence of our 
nurturing God:
ALL: Christ, by your life, death and rising, 
you have blessed us 
with abundance that will never end.
Second Invocation of the Holy Spirit: (

Place hands on each other’s shoulder)
All: God of all people, You call us “beloved.” 
Give us courage to accept your faith in us and to live your 
compassion in the world. You infuse us with Sophia,
 Holy Wisdom, to serve you in the last and the least.

Voice Six: As we wait with joyful hearts for the fulfillment of 

your loving presence in our lives, we remember the prophet,
martyrs and saints who have gone before us: 
Deborah, Isaiah, Mary of Magdala, Peter, Martha, 
Bishop Oscar Romero, Ita Ford, Maura Clark, Dorothy Kazel, 
Jean Donovan and all those we remember as heroes and 
heroines in our church who inspire us today. 
(Community names mentors whom they want to remember, 
living and dead.)
Voice Seven: God of our dreams, may we give birth 

to the Word Made Flesh in us everyday. 
May we give birth to the church of our dreams and hopes. 
May we give birth to a deep reverence for earth and live in 
harmony with all creatures on the earth.
ALL: Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, 

all praise and glory are yours, Holy God, 
through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
ALL: Our Father and Mother …
Presider: As we do so well, let us share a sign of peace 
with one another as an expression of our recognizing 
the Christ that lives within each of us.  
Namaste and peace.

ALL: Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power. 
We will do so. 
Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. 
We will do so. Loving God, You call us to be Your 
presence in the world. 
We will do so.
Presider: This is Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, loving us 

All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love.
ALL: May we be who we are the Body of Christ.
Presider: Let us share the Body of Christ with the 
Body of Christ!
 ALL: Amen.

COMMUNION SONG: Instrumental

Marie shares Communion with Mary

POST COMMUNION SONG: #54 “Christ Circle Round Us“ 
verses 1,3,6

Presider: God of new beginnings, thank you for nourishing 
your sacrament. May your tender presence continue to 
open our hearts to the daily miracles of life that 
surround us each day, through Emmanuel, God-with-us.
ALL: Amen.
Presider: Our God is with you.
ALL: and also with you.
(everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing)
ALL: May our loving God fill us with radiant joy. 
May our liberating God fill us with deep peace, and 
may our compassionate God bless us always with 
strength to serve the broken and excluded. Amen.
Presider: Let us birth Christ anew in our world today. 
Go in the peace of Christ. ALL: Thanks be to God.
CONCLUDING HYMN: #604 “Christ Be Our Light“

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, standing in front of Christmas 
tree at
St. Andrew UCC