December 22, 2015

Christmas Eve Prayer

Posted in Advent, Christmas at 7:35 pm by davebayne

Christmas Eve Prayer by Kathleen Norris

O God, who spoke all creation into being:
When you created human flesh, we betrayed you by our disobedience.
When you led us out of slavery in Egypt, we doubted and defied you.
Yet you chose to come among us through your Son, Jesus Christ,
who suffered death on our behalf, putting an end to the power of sin and death.
For this great gift of your steadfast hope, we give you thanks.
Help us, O Lord, to keep vigil this night.
Help us to watch for the signs of your coming into our midst, not in the splendid palaces of power, but in hearts humbled by need.
Help us to believe that the darkness of cruelty and sin will never overcome the light, and the mercy, of Christ.
Help us to endure, knowing that the evil and injustice of this world cannot
prevail against your Word.
We ask this in the name of your Word made flesh, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
~Kathleen Norris

http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/2007/12/Christmas-Eve-Vigil.aspx?p=2#57RMVwfsJk1bpjuW.99

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December 24, 2014

A Christmas Day Prayer Litany :: When the Time Had Come

Posted in Advent, Christmas, Church Calendar at 3:23 pm by davebayne

A Unison Christmas Confession

We were heavy with sorrow, but joy interrupted.
We were deep in the night, but a star appeared.
We were silent with sadness, but the heavens rang.
And the splendor shone around them
When the time had fully come.

We were hardened by conflict, but love intervened.
We were frightened by shadows, but light took them away.
We were haunted by fears, but a child brought us hope.
And she laid him in a manger
When the time had fully come.

We were dismal and defeated, but faith set us on fire.
We were weary and complaining, but our hearts discovered praise.
We were doubtful and confused, but a door to life was opened.
And the guiding star went before them
When the time had fully come.

We were arrogant and angry, but his innocence disarmed us.
We were cruel, crude, and clumsy, but his grace made all things new.
We were selfish, narrow, greedy, but his joy we had to share.
And they offered him their treasured gifts
When the time had fully come.

We were sheep who had lost their way, but the shepherd knew our names.
We were strangers without a country, but our kingdom came to us.
We were children far from home, but God sent his Son to guide.
And the Word was flesh among us
When the time had fully come.

~ By Kenneth I. Morse, from “In Straw and Story,” p.80, Brethren Press, 1977.
Posted on: http://re-worship.blogspot.com

December 18, 2014

Prayer for Fourth Sunday of Advent :: Advent Bidding Prayer

Posted in Advent, Christmas at 4:41 am by davebayne

A prayer of intercession for the end of Advent (or Christmas Eve) when all four Advent candles (hope, peace, joy, love) have been lit.

Holy One, be the light in our darkness tonight.
As we have lit the candle of hope,
we pray for those who feel hopeless . . .

As we have lit the candle of peace,
we pray for all victims of violence . . .

As we have lit the candle of joy,
we pray for those whose hearts are weighed down by sorrow . . .

As we have lit the candle of love,
we pray for those who do not feel loved,
for those who struggle to love others . . .

Holy One, be the light in our darkness tonight,
that we might reflect your light into the dark corners of our world. Amen.

Taken from: http://re-worship.blogspot.com.ar/2012/11/prayers-of-people-advent-4.html
Written by Joanna Harader, and posted on her Spacious Faith blog: http://spaciousfaith.com/

December 25, 2013

A Christmas Day Prayer Litany

Posted in Christmas at 2:36 pm by davebayne

When the Time Had Come
A Unison Christmas Confession

We were heavy with sorrow, but joy interrupted.
We were deep in the night, but a star appeared.
We were silent with sadness, but the heavens rang.
And the splendor shone around them
When the time had fully come.

We were hardened by conflict, but love intervened.
We were frightened by shadows, but light took them away.
We were haunted by fears, but a child brought us hope.
And she laid him in a manger
When the time had fully come.

We were dismal and defeated, but faith set us on fire.
We were weary and complaining, but our hearts discovered praise.
We were doubtful and confused, but a door to life was opened.
And the guiding star went before them
When the time had fully come.

We were arrogant and angry, but his innocence disarmed us.
We were cruel, crude, and clumsy, but his grace made all things new.
We were selfish, narrow, greedy, but his joy we had to share.
And they offered him their treasured gifts
When the time had fully come.

We were sheep who had lost their way, but the shepherd knew our names.
We were strangers without a country, but our kingdom came to us.
We were children far from home, but God sent his Son to guide.
And the Word was flesh among us
When the time had fully come.

~ By Kenneth I. Morse, from “In Straw and Story,” p.80, Brethren Press, 1977.
Posted on: http://re-worship.blogspot.com

December 24, 2013

Nativity Reflection :: First Coming by Madeleine L’Engle

Posted in Christmas at 12:58 am by davebayne

He did not wait till the world was ready,
till men and nations were at peace.
He came when the Heavens were unsteady,
and prisoners cried out for release.

He did not wait for the perfect time.
He came when the need was deep and great.
He dined with sinners in all their grime,
turned water into wine.

He did not wait till hearts were pure.
In joy he came to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.
To a world like ours, of anguished shame
he came, and his Light would not go out.

He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh
the Maker of the stars was born.

We cannot wait till the world is sane
to raise our songs with joyful voice,
for to share our grief, to touch our pain,
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!
~ Madeleine L’Engle, in Cry Like a Bell, 57.
Taken from: http://re-worship.blogspot.com

A Prayer for Christmas Eve

Posted in Benediction, Christmas at 12:54 am by davebayne

Christmas Blessing

The story tells us
that it’s those who wait in the world’s shadows
who are the first to know of the Christ-child,
born into darkness
bringing great light.
So leave here today
to be carriers of the rumour of peace
and the truth of love
into a world longing for light.
Pray for the justice another is waiting for,
and speak of the hope another needs to breathe
And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
the love of God
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with us all
Amen.
By Cheryl Lawrie (http://holdthisspace.org.au/)
Taken from: http://re-worship.blogspot.com

December 25, 2012

A Litany for Lighting the Christ Candle

Posted in Advent, Christmas, liturgy at 8:12 am by davebayne

Sing to the Lord a new song, for God has done marvelous things;
God’s right hand and holy arm have worked salvation.
Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you.
The Lord has made salvation known and revealed righteousness to the nations.
Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you.
God has remembered his love and faithfulness to the people; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of God.
Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing.
Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you.
Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the Lord, for God comes to judge the earth. The Lord will judge the world with righteousness and the people with equity.
Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you.

We have now light the four outside candles of the Advent Wreath. The first candle reminds us of hope. The second candle is the candle of peace. The third candle represents our joy. The fourth candle is for love, our love of God, and God’s love for us. We now light the center candle, the Christ candle. Jesus Christ is our HOPE. Jesus Christ gives us PEACE. We can have JOY because Jesus has come to us. Jesus is God’s greatest gift of LOVE. And because of God’s loving gift of Jesus Christ, we have life now and forever.
Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you.

We Pray Together:
Loving God, we are thankful that the waiting of Advent is over. We rejoice that today in the city of David a Savior is born. We rejoice that our hope is fulfilled, and God’s peace has come to earth. We rejoice that we can fully know God’s love in Jesus Christ. Help us to celebrate today and always that a Savior has been born to us. Amen.

Taken from:
Readings for Advent and Christmas by Charles Wiessner
http://images.rca.org/docs/discipleship/advent-readings.pdf

December 21, 2011

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Posted in Advent, Christmas, hymn tagged , , at 5:00 am by arthur

We pray God’s silent gift of Jesus on those who need to know him today…

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And Peace to men on earth

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel

-Phillips Brooks

December 20, 2011

The First Noel

Posted in Advent, Christmas, hymn tagged , , at 5:00 am by arthur

Perhaps this is your first Christmas understanding who Jesus is. Or maybe it’s just a good reminder of the One who was born, worthy of our praise…

The First Noel, the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East beyond them far
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

And by the light of that same star
Three Wise men came from country far
To seek for a King was their intent
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

This star drew nigh to the northwest
O’er Bethlehem it took its rest
And there it did both Pause and stay
Right o’er the place where Jesus lay.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then entered in those Wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee
And offered there in His presence
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
That hath made Heaven and earth of nought
And with his blood mankind has bought.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

December 19, 2011

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Posted in Advent, Christmas, hymn tagged , , at 5:00 am by arthur

We still need you Jesus…

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heavens all gracious King!”
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled;
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world:
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.

O ye beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow;
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace, their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

-by Edmund Hamilton Sears

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