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Advent At Home
ADVENT AT HOME
The four Sundays and weeks of waiting before Christmas is a time to reflection, devotion, penitence and hope. How will you and your family celebrate this year? How will you wait? There are many traditions, secular and Christian, to help us count the days or pray the days.  Here are blessings for using the advent wreath any configuration of four candles will work. Traditionally candles would be purple for the royalty of Christ or blue for hope as we wait.  Below find blessings for use with the nativity and the Christmas tree. Here are some free resources available on the internet. Download Jesse Tree ornaments and readings or choose an advent calendar. There are devotions and activities for all ages and interests.
Sundays and Seasons
Lighting the Advent Wreath
 
Week 1
 
Written for two leaders (L1 and L2) and assembly.
 
Song
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel ELW 257, st. 1
 
Litany
L1: At every beginning there is a yearning
for the one who is coming.
O Emmanuel,
Wake us up to your coming.
 
L2: We gather together to expect the unexpected
and imagine the unimaginable.
O Emmanuel,
Wake us up to your coming.
 
L1: We wait for the day
when God will recycle tanks into tractors
and transform minefields into soccer fields.
O Emmanuel,
Wake us up to your coming.
 
L2: We stay awake by telling stories
that offer a glimmer of a future
and agitate dormant hope within us.
O Emmanuel,
Wake us up to your coming.
 
L1: Jesus, we welcome your presence now
with the lighting of this candle,
whose flame brings warmth to winter
and fills this place with the glow of hope.
Amen.
Light the first candle.
 
Song
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel ELW 257, st. 3
 
 
Week 2
 
Written for two leaders (L1 and L2) and assembly.
 
Song
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel ELW 257, st. 1
 
Litany
L1: At every beginning there is a yearning
for the one who is coming.
O Emmanuel,
Prepare us for your coming.
 
L2: We gather together to get ready for what?
Only heaven knows.
O Emmanuel,
Prepare us for your coming.
 
L1: We wait for the day
when God will create a prevailing peace on the earth,
and natural-born enemies turn into newborn friends.
O Emmanuel,
Prepare us for your coming.
 
L2: We get ready for God to come close
by laying our lives open to Jesus,
asking him to sort through all our mixed motives.
O Emmanuel,
Prepare us for your coming.
 
L1: Jesus, we welcome your presence now
with the lighting of these candles,
whose flames bring warmth to winter
and fill this place with the glow of hope.
Amen.
Light two candles.
 
Song
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel ELW 257, st. 6
 
 
Week 3
 
Written for two leaders (L1 and L2) and assembly.
 
Song
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel ELW 257, st. 1
 
Litany
L1: At every beginning there is a yearning
for the one who is coming.
O Emmanuel,
Open us up to your coming.
 
L2: We gather together to allow our deeply held hopes
to be reshaped by God's promises.
O Emmanuel,
Open us up to your coming.
 
L1: We wait for the day
when God will make for us a future
that is no longer predicated on our fear.
O Emmanuel,
Open us up to your coming.
 
L2: We find a new receptivity within us
that desires God's will over our own will
and relies on God's justice and mercy to accomplish it.
O Emmanuel,
Open us up to your coming.
 
L1: Jesus, we welcome your presence now
with the lighting of these candles,
whose flames bring warmth to winter
and fill this place with the glow of hope.
Amen.
Light three candles.
 
Song
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel ELW 257, st. 4
 
 
Week 4
 
Written for two leaders (L1 and L2) and assembly.
 
Song
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel ELW 257, st. 1
 
Litany
L1: At every beginning there is a yearning
for the one who is coming.
O Emmanuel,
Surprise us by your coming.
 
L2: We gather together to let God's good news
reorient our lives.
O Emmanuel,
Surprise us by your coming.
 
L1: We wait for the day
when all the world will see the sign
that God is with us.
O Emmanuel,
Surprise us by your coming.
 
L2: We are shocked by how God comes close,
even at this very moment.
O Emmanuel,
Surprise us by your coming.
 
L1: Jesus, we welcome your presence now
with the lighting of these candles,
whose flames bring warmth to winter
and fill this place with the glow of hope.
Amen.
Light all four candles.
 
Song
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel ELW 257, st. 5
 
Adapted from the Clayfire Collection, "What Happens When God Comes Close," by Ryan Marsh, Church of the Beloved, Edmonds, Washington. Used by permission of Augsburg Fortress.
 
Blessing of the Nativity Scene
 
O Lord our God, with Mary and Joseph, angels and shepherds, and the animals in the stable,
we gather around your Son, born for us.
Bless us with your holy presence and inspire us to help those who have no place to dwell.
Be with us that we might share Christ's love with all the world, for he is our light and salvation.
Glory in heaven and peace on earth, now and forever.  Amen.
 
LIGHTING THE CHRISTMAS TREE
 
Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
let the sea thunder and all that is in it;
let the field be joyful and all that is therein.
Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy
at your coming, O Lord,
for you come to judge the earth.
You will judge the world with righteousness
and the peoples with your truth. (Ps. 96:11-13)
 
Be praised, O God, for the blessings around us that point to you.
Be praised, O God, for the signs of this holy season that awaken in us wonder.
Praise for the steadfast green of this tree, like your love, enduring all seasons.
Praise for the light that illumines our darkness, like Christ, who brings light to the world.
Join our voices with those of the tree and of all creation, who sing at your coming:
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God's people on earth.  Amen.
 
From Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2013 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #20485.
 
And here are some free resources available on the internet.
Devotions can be delivered to your email or mobile device at http://www.lutheranhour.org/
Devotions for use with an Advent wreath, which can be made by configuring any four candles, can be found at https://www.rca.org/resources/advent
A Jesse Tree can be created from any branch, or use the Christmas tree. Devotions and ornaments can be found at http://www.eriercd.org/jessetree.htm or http://www.loyolapress.com/the-jesse-tree.htm or https://www.rca.org/resources/advent-discipleship-children/making-jesse-tree
Interactive and print Advent Calendar at http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-resources/advent/index.cfm or http://www.loyolapress.com/childrens-advent-calendar.htm
The Woodlands Junior Advent Calendar 2015 online interactive advent calendar contains fascinating facts and information about how Christmas is celebrated in different countries around the world         http://projectbritain.com/Xmas/calendar/index.html
The Christmas Story and Advent Coloring Books can be found at  http://www.dltk-bible.com/advent/index.htm and
http://ministry-to-children.com/advent-coloring-book/
And don’t forget to check Grace’s web page weekly http://www.growingingraceclarion.com/  We will be posting blessings for advent wreaths, Christmas trees and nativities.
The Great O Antiphons are a collection of ancient prayers, each one employing an Old Testament title for God and expressing a sense of longing for the coming of the Messiah. Although the precise origin of the prayers is unknown, they have been found in manuscripts dating back to the early church. In use, the O Antiphons became associated with Vespers (Evening Prayer) during the Advent sea- son, when they were chanted, one each day from December 17 to 23. They have also become familiar in the form of the beloved Advent hymn “O come, O come, Emmanuel” (ELW 257). An online search will identify art, music, and inspiration for visual resources to enhance the sense of longing for the Messiah during this season. A search can begin with http://campus.udayton.edu/mary/resources/oantiphons.html



 
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