Monday, November 27, 2017

An Advent Garden (3 December 2017)

Some years ago Katherine Cotton developed a liturgical introduction to Advent to be used by our church school.  It became so popular that it has formed the rite we use on at the 10.00 service on the First Sunday of Advent.

We gather in the Hall which has been darkened.  In the centre of the hall is a labyrinth made of cedar and fir boughs.  At the centre of the labyrinth is a single candle on a stand.

After the liturgy begins, the community is invited to walk the labyrinth with a votive candle.  At any point on their journey they may leave the candle.  By the end the room is filled with light.

The First Sunday of Advent

3 December 2017

The Advent Garden

The Gathering of the Community

Thanksgiving for the Light

The Deacon begins the liturgy by reading the following.

            1.1 In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.  3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

A single candle is lit in the midst of the Advent Garden.  After the candle is lit, the Deacon continues as follows.

4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.  5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.  And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

The Presider then begins the Thanksgiving for the Light.

Arise shine, our light is coming;
the glory of the Lord is rising upon us.
Though night still covers the earth
and darkness covers the nations,
over us will the Lord arise,
over us will the glory of God appear.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
ruler of the universe, creator of light and darkness.
In this holy season,
when the sun’s light is swallowed up
by the growing darkness of the night,
you renew your promise to reveal among us
the splendour of your glory,
enfleshed and visible to us in Jesus Christ your Son.
Through the prophets
you teach us to hope for his reign of peace.
Through the outpouring of his Spirit,
you open our blindness to the glory of his presence.
Strengthen us in our weakness.
Support us in our stumbling efforts to do your will
and free our tongues to sing your praise.
For to you all honour and blessing are due,
now and for ever.  Amen.

After the Thanksgiving the Community is invited to walk the Labyrinth.  As they walk the Labyrinth they may light their own candles to bring light into the space.  During the walking of the Labyrinth and the lighting of the candles appropriate music will be played.  When all are finished, the following Hymn is sung.

Hymn of Light

‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’  Common Praise #89 vv. 1, 2, 3

Opening Prayer

The Presider leads the Community in the following Prayer.

Let us pray.

God of unveiled truth,
in times od darkened sun and waning moon,
lift up our hearts and waken our love
to announce the coming dawn of unexpected peace;
through Jesus Christ, the one who is to come.  Amen.

The Proclamation of the Word

The First Reading:  Isaiah 64.1-9

A reading from the prophet Isaiah.

            64.1 O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence — 2 as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil — to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence!  3 When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.  4 From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.  5 You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways.  But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.  6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth.  We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.  7 There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.  8 Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.  9 Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Thanks be to God.

The Psalm:  Psalm 80.1-7, 16-18 from Songs for the Holy One

Refrain (sung twice):  O Holy One restore us.  Reveal your radiance so we can be freed.

Israel’s Shepherd, please, oh please listen!
Joseph’s Guide, enthroned on cherubim,
flash forth in splendour on your people!
Rouse your boundless powers!
Come, set us free!

Refrain:  O Holy One restore us.  Reveal your radiance so we can be freed.

Sovereign God, how long?
How long will you fume at your people’s prayers?
You fed us misery for bread;
you made us drink overflowing tears.
You made us fair game for our neighbours;
our enemies sneer in our faces.

Refrain:  O Holy One restore us.  Reveal your radiance so we can be freed.

You plucked a vine out of Egypt;
you drove out the peoples,
planted the vine.
May your arms support the people of your right hand,
those you have made strong for yourself.
Then we will never desert you.
Give us life!
We will always call upon you.

Refrain:  O Holy One restore us.  Reveal your radiance so we can be freed.

The Second Reading:  Mark 13.24-37

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.
Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

            13.24 [Jesus said,] But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.  26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in cloudswith great power and glory.  27 Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

            28 From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.  29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates.  30 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.  31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

            32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.  34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.  35 Therefore, keep awake for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36 or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly.  37 And what I say to you I say to all:  Keep awake.

The Gospel of Christ.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Hymn of the Day

‘When the King Shall Come Again’  Common Praise  #114

The Prayers of the Community

Intercessions, Petitions and Thanksgivings

The appointed person leads the following intercessions, petitions and thanksgivings.

Let us offer our intercessions, petitions and thanksgivings, saying,
‘O God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.’
O God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the peace of the world,
that our instruments of war may be transformed into instruments of peace,
and that nations shall cease to learn way any more.
O God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the church,
that we may become more and more a means of grace and peace in the world.
O God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all people of good will to cast off the works of darkness,
that we may be enlightened through our service of others in the name of Christ.
O God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all who are in need [especially . . . ],
that we may be alert to the presence of Christ in them and ready to reach out in love.
O God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who are assembled here today,
that we may be clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ
and go forth from this place to be Christ in the world.
O God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all who have asked for our prayers [especially . . . ],
that we may faithfully wait upon God with confidence
in that love which sustains us in every moment of our lives.
O God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We praise you, Lord our God,
that you have called us to be your people
and the instruments of your presence in the world.
O God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Grant us grace to discern your will and the strength to do it,
through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The Offertory Hymn

‘Blessed Be the God of Israel’  Common Praise #11

Prayer over the Gifts

After the gifts have been received, the Presider leads the Community in the following prayer.

Let us pray.

God of love and power,
your word stirs within us the expectation
of the coming of your Son.
Accept all we offer you this day,
and sustain us with your promise of eternal life.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The Lords Prayer

Awaiting his coming in glory,
let us pray as our Saviour has taught us,

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever.  Amen.

The Sending Forth of the Community

The Exchange of the Peace

The Deacon sends the Community forth with these words.

May the peace of Christ whose day draws near be with you.
And also with you.

The Community exchanges the Peace with one another.

No comments: