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.
GREETING AND GATHERING SONG:
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
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: 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.
LITURGY OF THE WORD
|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 STARTER/DIALOGUE HOMILY
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.”
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
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
God’s descending on clouds or bursting out in
Rather, we must look within ourselves for that
and listen for prophetic voices in others.
For if our evolving understanding tells us that
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
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
“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,
Wisdom Sophia, who energizes and guides us to
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,
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
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.
Offertory Hymn: “Open Our Eyes, God, we want to
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
O Love of the Ages, we praise you and leap for
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
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
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.
THE PRAYER OF JESUS
ALL: Our Father and Mother …
THE SIGN OF PEACE
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.
LITANY FOR THE BREAKING OF BREAD
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!
COMMUNION SONG: Instrumental
|Marie shares Communion with Mary|
POST COMMUNION SONG: #54 “Christ Circle Round Us“
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
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.
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 |
St. Andrew UCC
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