Monday, November 07, 2016

Opening to the Light: Advent Candle liturgies for 2016

2016 Advent/Christmas Theme: Opening To The Light
Narrative Lectionary Year 3: Daniel 6, Joel 2, Isaiah 61, Luke 1
Musical verse is from Light the Advent Candle by Ruth Elaine Schram

Lit candle is carried in as congregation sings (tune: Picardy, except last two lines):

As we light the Advent candle
with the light of hope burning bright,
faithfully we wait for his coming;
faithfully it shines through the night.
In our humble hearts a fire burns as well;
hear the prayer these flames would tell.
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel.

Candle-bearer: The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

week 1 (Daniel 6.6-27):
Liturgist:  One candle shines as shadows lengthen and chaos roars—
the dawn of God’s kingdom in our midst.
All:  Courage awakens in us, a spark to brighten the way.

week 2 (Joel 2.12-13, 28-29):
Liturgist:  Two candles shine as light peeks through the cracks
and God’s dream overflows.
All:  Vision awakens in us, a spark to brighten the way.

week 3 (Isaiah 61.1-11):
Liturgist:  Three candles shine as God’s promise draws near,
beckoning us to be good news in body and spirit.
All:  Justice awakens in us, a spark to brighten the way.

week 4 (Luke 1.26-55):
Liturgist:  Four candles shine as God’s purpose is revealed
in word and flesh.
All:  Possibility awakens in us, a spark to brighten the way.

Liturgist:  Radiant flash and feeble flame break through;
a long time coming, yet unexpected.
Watching and waiting, we prepare him room.
All:  Christ is coming to make all things new,
and we are opening to the Light.



~~~
The middle section swaps out each week (not cumulative, as some previous years) so, for example, the bulletin for week 1 would look like this:

Lit candle is carried in as congregation sings
      As we light the Advent candle  
      with the light of hope burning bright,    
      faithfully we wait for his coming;
      faithfully it shines through the night.
      In our humble hearts a fire burns as well;
      hear the prayer these flames would tell.
                  O come, O come, Emmanuel,
                  and ransom captive Israel.

Candle-bearer: The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Liturgist:   One candle shines as shadows lengthen and chaos roars—
      the dawn of God’s kingdom in our midst.
All:           Courage awakens in us, a spark to brighten the way.
Liturgist:   Bright flash and feeble flame break through;
                  a long time coming, yet unexpected.
                  Watching and waiting, we prepare him room.
All:           Christ is coming to make all things new,
                 and we are opening to the Light.

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