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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Glad Advent!

Today is the first of Advent...we enjoy celebrating the season in a special way.  Each Sunday of Advent, a family is chosen to read a liturgy, light the candle, and share in a prayer.  It is a wonderful tradition and a great way to mark the season.
We also had a baptism today so it was a full Sunday.  Full of God's grace and beauty!
Here is our liturgy from today.  
Reader One: Today is the first Sunday in Advent. Advent is celebrated during the 4 Sundays that precede Christmas as a way to help us prepare for Jesus' birth once again. The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming” or “visit.” In this season, we keep in mind both “advents” of Christ, the first in Bethlehem and the second yet to come.

Reader Two: Maybe it surprises you to see 3 purples candles and 1 pink one surrounding the taller white one. The traditional colors of advent are purple and pink. Purple is the color of royalty, demonstrating the anticipation and reception of the coming Christ King celebrated during Advent. Pink is also one of the colors of Advent used during the third Sunday. It represents joy or rejoicing and assures us that our waiting period is almost over! White is the color of the center Advent candle, representing purity. Christ is the sinless, spotless, pure Savior. Also, those who receive Christ as Savior are washed of their sins and made whiter than snow.

Reader Three: So today we light the first candle of Advent. This candle is typically called the "Prophecy Candle" in remembrance of the prophets, primarily Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. This candle also represents hope or expectation in anticipation of the coming Messiah.
(Light the candle the first purple candle.)

Reader Four: We light this candle in gratitude for God's divine and perfect love made visible to us at Christmas. We light this candle in thanks for our Emmanuel, God with us. We light this candle as symbol of God's light shining in the darkness. The Light has come into the world and it shines as brightly now as it did then. The darkness didn't overcome it then and it never will.

Reader Five: (prayer)
God of Advent: We are an impatient and busy people. We are propelled into Christmas and swept away by activity. Help us to slow down and savor Advent. Help us to look to the Light of Christ to be our source, that we might be beacons of that light in the dark world around. Hear our prayer now as we pray the prayer that you taught us to pray saying:

Our Father in heaven. Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial. Deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.

May you sense the Lord's growing presence in your life throughout these 4 weeks before Christmas