Advent Candlelighting — Third Sunday, the Sunday of Joy

We are in the season of Advent. Throughout this season I will post on the preceding Monday resources for Advent that can be turned into an Advent Wreath Candlelighting liturgy for the Sunday that follows. 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.

The selections of liturgy this week are connected. They were written by people from the United States of different denominations who lived and worked for long years in mission settings in other countries. They are people “from” two places. This blog doesn’t often share these voices.  Joy – this Sunday’s theme – is often sparked by the meeting of different cultures.

 From Thomas McNair, Taiwan

What does the Advent wreath mean?

The circle says God’s love and are eternal. The green leaves say that God’s love and care are renewed each day. The cheerful light of the Candles is like the brightness of Christian hope.

From Janet Ross-Heiner, Nicaragua:

The day when my eyes see light
In the eyes of a campesino
In the heart depths of a dictator
In the smile of a stable child
That day is Christmas.

The day when my ears hear the Messiah
In the chirp of a sparrow
In the din of the market place
In the lullaby of a young mother
That day is Christmas.

The day when my hands touch the body of the Savior
In the wounds of a refugee
In the picking of coffee in the mountains
In the toes of a newborn
That day is Christmas

The day when my tongue tastes the sweetness of God
In the honey of a bee
In the rice and beans of the people
In the tortillas of covenant and communion
That day is Christmas

The day when my heart finds peace
In the struggle and vision
In the tall palms gentle waving in the distance
In the swaddling clothes of Bethlehem
That day is Christmas.

From Richard Wilcox, Spain, a Christmas Prayer

O Holy One, Word made flesh, Eternity captured in a life within time, heaven laid in a manger stall; You, the Light dipped down into our darkness: we pray that you will forgive our sins and make us clean and open to receive you at your coming. Loose us today from our treacheries toward you and our cruelties toward one another.

Now we have come again, dear Lord, to the time of the Morning Star, to yourself moving as azure blue into our contamination; as open touch to our fisted exclusiveness; as a carol sung to our meagerness; as Rose to our bitterness; as love to our emptiness. You are upon us as sky, hands, songs, garlands, tastes … making us yours in joy. We marvel not that angelic hosts sang and shouted for joy. Amen.

The Third Week in Advent

Reader 1: Our readings this year for the Advent candles come from all over the world, This morning’s readings come from Taiwan and Nicaragua and Spain – three continents with one great joy – the anticipation of Emmanuel – God with us.

From Taiwan comes the question: What does the Advent wreath mean?

Reader 2:  The circle says God’s love and are eternal. The green leaves say that God’s love and care are renewed each day. The cheerful light of the Candles is like the brightness of Christian hope.

Reader 3: Lighting the first candle

These words are from Nicaragua:

The day when my ears hear the Messiah
In the chirp of a sparrow
In the din of the market place
In the lullaby of a young mother
That day is Christmas.

This is the Candle of Hope.

Reader 2: Lighting the second Advent candle.

The day when my heart finds peace
In the struggle and vision
In the tall palms gentle waving in the distance
In the swaddling clothes of Bethlehem
That day is Christmas.

This is the candle of Peace.

Reader 3: Lighting the third Advent candle, the rose candle.

The day when my tongue tastes the sweetness of God
In the honey of a bee
In the rice and beans of the people
In the tortillas of covenant and communion
That day is Christmas

This is the candle of Joy.

Reader 1: Let us pray a prayer written in Spain:

All: Now we have come again, dear Lord, to the time of the Morning Star, to yourself moving as azure blue into our contamination; as open touch to our fisted exclusiveness; as a carol sung to our meagerness; as Rose to our bitterness; as love to our emptiness. You are upon us as sky, hands, songs, garlands, tastes … making us yours in joy. We marvel not that angelic hosts sang and shouted for joy. Amen.

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One Response to Advent Candlelighting — Third Sunday, the Sunday of Joy

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