Fortwilliam & Macrory

Presbyterian Church
Sat, 12/06/2014 - 21:39 -- revlesley

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Sunday Morning worship during the Advent Season begins with a candle lighting liturgy. We will publish these each week during the advent season.

 

ADVENT ONE: THE CANDLE OF HOPE

 

Reader One: We light our first candle

a single light that the deepest darkness cannot conquer –

small, insignificant –

but a sign of hope.

 

Reader Two: Let it speak to us of the tiny flame of hope 

buried within us –

the stubborn little light that refuses to be extinguished

by all that life has thrown at it.

 

Reader One: Now is the time of watching and waiting

A time filled with hope

A time to watch and pray.

 

Reader Two: Christ our Advent hope,

Remind us to prepare for your coming;

Remind us to prepare for this time

When the soles of your feet touch the ground,

When you will become one of us

To be a one with us.

 

Reader One: May we watch for the signs,

Listen for the messengers,

Wait for the good news to slip

Into our world, our lives.

Christ our Advent hope,

Help us to clear the way for you;

To clear the clutter from our minds,

To sift the silt from our hearts,

To move the boulders that prevents us meeting you.

 

Reader Two: May sorrow take flight,

And your people sing a song of peace

And hope be born again. 

Amen

 

 

ADVENT TWO: THE CANDLE OF JOY

 

Reader One: We light our second candle

a companion to the first –

equally small, equally insignificant –

but witnessing to hope that another light brings.

Reader Two: Let it speak to us of the lights of companionship –

of our families and our friends –

of strangers

and kindnesses found in unexpected places

that restored our hope in human nature.

 

Lighting of the candle 

 

Reader One: It may seem naive,

in a world of grief,

to choose to live in joy;

 

Reader Two: It may seem foolish,

in a world where solemnity is power,

to sing and dance to a different tune;

 

Reader One: It may seem cruel,

in a world of suffering and injustice,

to speak of light and celebration;

 

Reader Two: But you have come, Jesus,

to bring joy into our grief,

light into our darkness,

singing into our mourning;

and it is an act of healing and proclamation to believe 

and embrace the joy you offer.

 

Reader One: Joy to the world!

The Lord is come!

Hallelujah!

Amen.

 

 

ADVENT THREE: THE CANDLE OF PEACE

 

Reader One: We light our third candle

recalling nights of watching and waiting –

sleepless, anxious –

when dawn seemed to ebb further from the horizon

and hope seemed forlorn.

 

Reader Two: Let it speak to us of the sureness of morning –

of the passing of darkness

of suffering –

and the promise of an eternal sunrise

dawning for those we have loved and lost

and dawning too for us –

though we may yet be in that darkest hour 

before the dawn.

 

Lighting of the candle 

 

Reader One: The newspaper brings nothing new

only an old, old story of war—

more bombing, more shooting, more bloodshed.

One more family wailing a funeral song.

 

Reader Two: Against the backdrop of brutal images,

we hear the old, old story of an angel with good news,

who brought good tidings of great joy for all people.

 

Reader One: Angel of Bethlehem, 

we long to hear your song again this day.

We want good tidings 

for countries in crisis.

We want good tidings 

for soldiers caught in webs of violence.

We want good tidings 

for terrorists whose actions spread fear and anguish.

We want good tidings 

for all who grieve, and who see no end to grieving.

We want good tidings 

for children who long to inherit a country

where peace has blossomed.

 

Reader Two: Jesus, our Saviour,

you escaped Herod's best-laid plans.

May your Spirit of peace be born again this year

in the hearts of all who work for peace.  

Amen

 

 

ADVENT FOUR: THE CANDLE OF LOVE

 

Reader One: We light our fourth candle –

marking the closing of the Advent season

and the immediacy of Christmas –

a time of peace and joy 

we may not ourselves feel able to welcome –

as our spirits dwell in dark and wintriness.

 

Reader Two: Let it speak to us of love –

of being together in this place of healing and wholeness –

of our companionship this night

at the turning of the year –

of faith that we and those we have loved and lost

are held eternally in the hand of the 

One who brought light into being –

and who knows each one of us by name.

 

Lighting of the candle

 

Reader One: God of mystery and miracles,

Your Word brings light into the dark places of our lives;

Your presence gives us strength to endure

when we are pushed beyond our own strength.

You find us in our lost-ness and,

with love beyond our imagining,

you lead us home.

 

Reader Two: In this season of longing,

grant us grace to bring all that we are to you, O Christ;

all the broken places;

all the lost wanderings;

all the weariness from trying to please others.

 

Reader One: Hold them all in the fullness of your love.

Then, be born in us,

that we may find our home,

our life,

our joy

in You, Lord of light and love.

Amen

 

 

CHRISTMAS DAY: THE CANDLE OF CHRIST

Reader One: Today is Christmas Day, in which we recall the hope we hav ein Christ.

Today we will light again the candles of hope., peace, love and joy.

 
Each candle will be lit as the reader speaks. 
 
Reader Two: We speak of hope - because God keeps his promises to us. 
 
Reader One: We work for peace - because Jesus is the ‘Prince of Peace’ and he calls his children to work for peace in his name. 
 
Reader Two: We show love - because Jesus gave everything for us and led us to know the forgiveness of God. 
 
Reader One: We share joy - because the Holy Spirit fills our hearts and minds with the presence the God. 
 
Reader Two: Now we light our last candle to remember the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. As the prophets promised so long ago, you have come to us once again; and with the shepherds, we are filled with wonder and awe. 
 
Lighting the Christ-candle. 
 
Reader One: Lord, you come as a tiny, fragile baby; yet we know that you are God and you are with us. May the flame of this candle remind us that you are the light of the world and that if we follow you, we will never walk in darkness, but will have the true light of life.
 
Amen. 
 

 

 

 

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