Advent Candllighting — Fourth Sunday, the Sunday of Love

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. For the Fourth Sunday, the Sunday of Love the reading is from Savithri Devanesen who is the director of “Roofs for the Roofless” in Chennai, southern India.We will also pick up lines from each of the preceding three candle lightings.

Two Christmas Prayers from India

Lord,
it is Christmas,
and I have traced my way
to a manger
by the light of a beam
from a tear drop,
of a new born child
crying
for love,
for peace,
in a war torn
broken world,
filled
with greed and lawlessness,
with violence and destruction,
draping
this beautiful earth
in clouds
of despair,
of disunity.

Lord,
this Christmas,
Give us
new hope and strength,
new meaning and power
to Change
with love,
with understanding,
to face challenges
with courage
believing that
a life centered in Thee
will never fail
to build a world
of Peace
of Brotherhood
of Love.
The Love that was born at Christmas. Amen.

Lord, It is Christmas,
and my shattered mind
wings its flight,
through flames of terror and injustice
through clouds of poverty and ignorance
through cries of pain and suffering,
searching for life
in the debris of human forms
destroyed
by deathblows of destructive technology,
by furies of nature,
by human unkindness.
And my down trodden spirit
struggle to soar to mystic groves of Hope,
to star speckled skies
of my deathless dreams
for Faith
for Love
to the straw-lined cradle
with its gift at Christmas
of a new life,
in this new era of untold challenges.

Lord,
rekindle in us the dying embers of Faith
with the power
of the Incarnation
of the Cross
of the Resurrection
to rebuild our broken world
with friendship and laughter
with music and dance
with Thy Life-giving Spirit,
to weave all creation
and all nations
in your garland
of changeless Love. Amen.
Savithri Devanesen, India

The Fourth Week in Advent

Reader 1 :Our readings this year for the Advent candles come from all over the world, This morning’s reading comes from India and is written by Savrithri Devanesen who is the director of “Roofs for the Roofless.”

It is nearly Christmas,
there is an enchantment in the air,
casting a mysterious spell of expectancy
on all creation
this beautiful planet draped in gossamer mists
and shy opal dawns,
vibrant sunsets, and night skies hung
with many stars.

Reader 2: It is nearly Christmas,
and we have traced our way
to a manger by the light of a beam
from a tear drop, of a new born child
crying for love, and for peace,
in a war torn broken world.
This Christmas, we seek new hope and strength,
new meaning and power to change
with love and with understanding,
to face challenges with courage
believing that a life centered in Christ
will never fail to build a world
of Hope and Peace, of Joy and  Love.
The Love that was born at Christmas.

Reader 3: Lighting the first Advent Candle:  This is the candle of Hope – our readings of  hope were from Africa.

“O Come, O come Emmanuel.”
Come, lift the weight of weariness…”

Lighting the second Advent candle.  This is the candle of Peace –  our readings of peace were from Latin America.

“May the spirit of love, of life and peace,
continue raising us up and giving us life …”
“Que el Espíritu de amor, de vida y paz,
nos siga levantando y animando.”

Lighting the third (pink) candle: This is the candle of joy – our readings of joy were from Taiwan, Spain, and Nicaragua.

“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…”

Lighting the fourth Candle. This is the Candle of Love – Love that comes into the world through Christ, but must be shared by us.

One of the Readers:
Let us pray
Lord, rekindle in us the dying embers of Faith with the power of the Incarnation, of the Cross, and  of the Resurrection to rebuild our broken world with friendship and laughter with music and dance with your Life-giving Spirit, to weave all creation and all nations into your garland of changeless Love. Amen.

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