Advent Traditions

On Saturday we set up our Advent wreath on the dinning room table. It is something we do every every year at this season.

Four bright red candles nestle in a bed of greenery around a central white candle. At breakfast each morning we light the appropriate candles, symbolic of the fact that Christ is our light in the darkness of the world. During the first week of Advent only one candle is lit. Then a fresh candle is lit each week until on Christmas Day all the candles are set alight to welcome Christ. Their brightness shines over our breakfast table throughout the twelve days of Christmas. As the candles burn brightly, we read the daily scriptures from the Revised Common Lectionary, focusing on our anticipation of the coming of Christmas and our celebration of Christ’s birth.

At this busy season of the year this short ritual helps me refocus my energy beyond the consumer culture to my faith. It brings tremendous refreshment and renewal to my spirit. In fact I now like to do most of my Christmas shopping before the beginning of Advent so that it does not interfere with my time of reflection and renewal.

Advent Liturgy

O Emmanuel we wait for your light,
In hope all the peoples of the earth wait,

(Silence)

 

We watch and wait, expecting new light to shine as the season of joy approaches
We wait in anticipation for God’s light to penetrate the darkness and radiate within us
We watch and wait and prepare our hearts for the promised coming of Emmanuel – God with us, God for us, God in us
We wait with repentant hearts to prepare the way of the Lord
We watch and wait for the coming of the One who broke down the barriers separating us from God, from each other and from God’s creation
We wait in hope for our Redeemer, to bring God’s love into our broken world
We watch and wait to be transformed by God’s holiness so that we might serve in God’s kingdom as bearers of light and guide others to the Light
We wait expectantly for God’s Saviour to come and dwell in our midst
We await and celebrate the coming of God’s Kingdom with its promise of shalom, of wholeness, of reconciliation and abundance for all.
We wait for the fulfillment of God’s covenant, for God’s Kingdom to come in its fullness
Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on that day and will become God’s people
And the glory of God’s Kingdom will be revealed and all people will see it together
We wait expectantly attentive to all the signs of Christ’s coming.

Into our world of darkness, into our places of strife
Into our troubles and weaknesses, Come, Lord
Come down, come in, come among us and awaken us to your presence
Come to lead the captives from their prisons, and the oppressed into freedom
Come to bring peace in the midst of war, Come Lord

Come down, come in, come among us and awaken us to your presence
Come to provide abundance in the midst of hunger, and life in the barren desert
Come to offer comfort in the presence of mourning, Come Lord

Come down, come in, come among us and awaken us to your presence

Come to those who are in need, and to those who are sick,
Come to those who are in despair, Come, Lord
Come down, come in, come among us and awaken us to your presence
Into our joys and celebrations, into our homes and loved ones
Into our work and our achievements, Come, Lord
Come down, come in, come among us and awaken us to your presence

 

Read daily scriptures from Revised Common Lectionary

After each scripture say together:

We wait in anticipation and hope for your coming O Christ

Light a candle as a reminder of those you pray for who need to see the presence of Christ more fully realized in their lives

Lord may we be attentive to all the signs of your coming
May we bring glimpses of peace in a world at war
And the offer of freedom for those who are oppressed.
May we see generous giving in the midst of hunger
And plant splashes of green in a sea of pollution.
May we be bringers of healing to those who are sick
And offer hope to those who are in despair.

O Christ we long for your coming. Hasten that day when those who seek you in every nation will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south and sit at table in Your Kingdom. Hasten the day when your Kingdom will come in all its glory and suffering and pain and sickness and oppression and death will be overcome forever. Hasten the day when we will be resurrected as a great multicultural family and live in peace, harmony, joy and love together in your kingdom.

Calm us to wait for the gift of Christ;
Cleanse us to prepare the way for Christ;
Teach us to contemplate the wonder of Christ;
Touch us to know the presence of Christ;
Anoint us to bear the life of Christ

AMEN

This is an Advent Posts for the Johannine Advent Blog project hosted by Brother Maynard. Participating bloggers are: