Advent Candlelighting — First Sunday, the Sunday of Hope

Advent begins next Sunday. Throughout this season I will post on the preceding Monday resources for Advent that can be turned into an Advent Wreath Candlelighting liturgy. First I will share the original pieces. Then I will prepare them for worship. Some lines will be added or taken away, some words changed. Shape, order and line length may be adjusted. I want to share these wonderful resources but also suggest ways to adapt materials so that they can be more easily experienced with others. This first Sunday has only the slightest of changes.

Come Emmanuel –An Advent Prayer for Africa

“How long, O Lord?”
“How long?”  they ask in Africa.
In camps where homeless hungry wait,
in towns where rebels rape and loot,
in fields where women pull the plows
designed for oxen dead of thirst,
in queues where many wait long hours
to see uncaring bureaucrats,
in streets where congregate young men
for whom a job’s a distant dream
in chanceries where clerks add up
the debts owed nations far away —
“How long?” they ask in Africa.

In ancient days the prophets gave
to such a query harsh reply:
“Till cities crumble, mighty fall,
till millions die of hunger, plague,
and all the land lies desolate.”
Is that the word for Africa?

“O Come, Emmanuel,” we respond.
“O come, O Shoot of Jesse, come.”
Sprouting Branch, shooting out
from a stump we took for dead,
grow tall and strong, branches spread
to shelter all who seek repose.

“O Come, O Key of David, come.”
Key to every door that’s closed
against the quest for fullest life,
open wide those portals grim
and free the captives waiting long.

“O Come, O Dayspring, come.”
Morning Star, eternal Light,
rise wherever darkness reigns.
Let day break upon the foes
of peace, the purveyors of pain.

“O Come, O come Emmanuel.”
Come, lift the weight of weariness.
Bring in the awaited age of hope.
Set all free to sing your praise,
to offer service all our days.

How long?  Not long.
Emmanuel is come to us, to Africa.
Allen Myrick, South Africa, Zimbabwe

Prayer
Birthing God, bringer of joy, hope, love and new beginnings, keep our imaginations active and our hearts generous. Help us to meet this Christmas time with deeper appreciation of all that Christmas means. Keep us mindful that the work of Christmas is never done. We offer ourselves as Christmas people.  Amen
Rosalie May Sugrue, Aotearoa / New Zealand

First Week of Advent  (play softly O come, O Come, Emmanuel)

Reader 1: Our readings this year for the Advent candles come from all over the world – this Advent prayer is from and for Africa and also for all of us and our unison prayer response is from Aotearoa/ New Zealand

“How long, O Lord?”
“How long?”  they ask in Africa.
In camps where homeless hungry wait,
in towns where rebels rape and loot,
in fields where women pull the plows
designed for oxen dead of thirst,
in queues where many wait long hours
to see uncaring bureaucrats,
in streets where congregate young men
for whom a job’s a distant dream,
in chanceries where clerks add up
the debts owed nations far away —
“How long?” they ask in Africa.

Reader 3: Lighting the first Advent Candle:  This is the candle of hope – we light it to bring hope in all places and at all times.

Reader 2:
“O Come, Emmanuel,” we respond.
“O come, O Shoot of Jesse, come.”
Sprouting Branch, shooting out
from a stump we took for dead,
grow tall and strong, branches spread
to shelter all who seek repose.

Reader 3:
“O Come, O Key of David, come.”
Key to every door that’s closed
against the quest for fullest life,
open wide those portals grim
and free the captives waiting long.

Reader 2:
“O Come, O Dayspring, come.”
Morning Star, eternal Light,
rise wherever darkness reigns.
Let day break upon the foes
of peace, the purveyors of pain.

Reader 3
“O Come, O come Emmanuel.”
Come, lift the weight of weariness.
Bring in the awaited age of hope.
Set all free to sing your praise,
to offer service all our days.
How long?  Not long.
Emmanuel is come to us, to Africa, to all places.
(Zimbabwe)

Reader 1: Let us pray:

Birthing God, bringer of joy, hope, love and new beginnings, keep our imaginations active and our hearts generous. Help us to meet this Advent with deeper appreciation of all that Christmas means. Keep us mindful that the work of Christmas is never done. We offer ourselves as your Advent people.  Amen
Aotearoa / New Zealand

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s