Liturgy for the First Sunday of Advent

First Sunday of Advent

by Christine Sine

The advent of the Lord is near.
New light dawning where there has been darkness.
The advent of the Lord is near.
New hope reigning where there has been death and despair.
The advent of the Lord is near.
New light, new hope, new life for all creation.

(Pause for lighting of the Advent candle)

This is a season of watchfulness,
We watch and wait for the One who heard our cries and entered the suffering of our world,
We expect 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,
This is a season of preparation,
We watch and wait for the One who broke down the barriers separating us from God, from each other and from God’s creation,
We wait with repentant hearts to prepare the way of the Lord,
This is a season of promise.
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 in hope for our Redeemer to bring God’s love into our broken world,
This is a season of reflection,
We watch and wait expecting to be transformed by the light of 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,
This is a season of fulfillment,
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,
This is a season of joyful anticipation,
Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on that day and 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.

Scriptures for the day –
Follow each scripture with the following refrain
We wait in anticipation and hope for your coming O Christ

Lord whose light shines in the darkness,
Have mercy upon us,
Christ whose birth gives hope to all creation
Have mercy upon us,
Lord whose advent brings joy and love
Grant us peace

Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Into our troubles and weaknesses,
Into the barren places of our souls, Come Lord,
Come down, come in, come among us and make us whole.
Into the war torn and the refugee,
Into those who live in conflict, Come Lord,
Come down, come in, come among us and make us whole.
Into the homeless and the unemployed,
Into those who feel abandoned, Come Lord,
Come down, come in, come among us and make us whole.
Into the sick and the disabled,
Into those with Ebola and with cancer, Come, Lord
Come down, come in, come among us and make us whole.
Into the poor and the starving,
Into those who are oppressed or abused, Come Lord
Come down, come in, come among us and make us whole.
Into the lives of loved ones,
Into those from whom we are estranged, Come Lord,
Come down, come in, come among us and make us whole.
Into our joys and celebrations,
Into our work and our achievements, Come, Lord
Come down, come in, come among us and make us whole.

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

Final prayer: Ray Simpson, Celtic Worship Through the Year, London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1997, p19

This liturgy orginally produced for Waiting for the Light: An Advent Devotional