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Advent Prayer Service

Donna Wuhrer

Opening Song

Leader:  During this season of Advent, we pray for the openness and grace we need to live and grow as God’s people.  May God’s light shine brightly through us!

Candle One: Hope

Glory to you, God of Hope…breathe into us new life, new meaning, new hope this Advent.

Candle Two:  Peace

Glory to you, God of Peace…guide our footsteps and lead us in the way of peace and justice.

Candle Three:  Joy

Glory to you, God of Joy…may we be bearers of Visitation joy and welcome to all we meet.

Candle Four:  Love

Glory to you, God of Love…fill our hearts, our homes, our world with your abundant love.

Reading 1: The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander

Advent is the season of the seed:  Christ loved this symbol of the seed.  The seed, He said, is the Word of God sown in the human heart.  “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed.”  Even his own life-blood: “Unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, itself remains alone.”

The Advent, the seed of the world’s life, was hidden in Our Lady.  Like the wheat seed in the earth, the seed of the Bread of Life was in her.  Like the golden harvest in the darkness of the earth, the Glory of God was shrined in her darkness.

Advent is the season of the secreat, the secret growth of Christ, of Divine Love growing in silence.  It is the season of humility, silence, and growth.  For nine months Christ grew in his mother’s body.  By His own will she formed Him from herself, from the simplicity of her daily life.  She had nothing to give Him but herself.  He asked for nothing else.  She gave Him herself.

Reading 2: “Advent” a poem by Jessica Powers

I live my Advent in the womb of Mary.

And on one night when a great star swings free

from its high mooring and walks down the sky

to be the dot above the Christus i,

I shall be born of her by blessed grace.

I wait in Mary-darkness, faith’s walled place,

with hope’s expectance of nativity.

 

I knew for long she carried me and fed me,

Guarded and loved me, though I could not see.

But only now, with inward jubilee,

I come upon earth’s most amazing knowledge:

Someone is hidden in this dark with me.

 

Reading 3

This is our Advent vocation—to be present to the questions that the Lord will present to us. He asks, “Can you wait for me? Can you be silent and watch and pray? Can you hear what I am saying to you? Can you slow down and be patient? Do you have hope? What can you share with the poor? What do you need to receive?” As we listen to these questions, the Lord moves tenderly into our lives and helps us to realize that His calling is not a once and for all occurrence. He comes to us many times, as He calls to us many times.  Each of His comings, each of His calls leads us more deeply into the mystery of our vocation, our life with Him. (adapted from Aids in Ministry, Winter, 1986, by Sister Roseann Kasayka, OSF)

Reflection Questions

  1. How might God be inviting you to enter into this Advent season?
  2. What hopes do you have this Advent?
  3.  Is there something in you waiting to be born…or born anew?
  4.  What would the experience of waiting in Mary-darkness be like for you?

Silent Reflection and Group Sharing

Leader:  Let us take a few moments of silence to pray for ourselves and for people and situations in our lives and in our world in need of God’s hope, peace, joy, love, and healing. (pause)  We ask Mary to be our intercessor for all of our intentions as we pray…

 

Litany of Mary of Nazareth  - written by Jean Wolbert, OSB, in collaboration with Anne McCarthy, OSB, and Margaret Wehrer (adapted)

(1st) Mary, wellspring of peace….be our guide.                            (2nd) Mother of the liberator…pray for us.

Model of strength…                                                                        Mother of the homeless…

Model of gentleness…                                                                   Mother of the dying…

Model of trust,                                                                                Widowed mother…           

Model of courage….                                                                      Unwed mother…

Model of patience….                                                                     Mother of the political prisoner…

Model of openness…                                                                    Mother of the condemned…

Model of perseverance…                                                              Mother of the executed criminal…

(3rd) Oppressed woman…lead us to life.                                    (4th) Woman of mercy…empower us.

Liberator of the oppressed…                                                       Woman of faith…   

Marginalized woman…                                                                Woman of contemplation…

Comforter of the afflicted…                                                          Woman of wisdom & understanding

First disciple…                                                                             Woman of Visitation…

Political refugee…                                                                       Woman of grace and truth…

Seeker of God’s will…                                                                Woman, pregnant with hope…

Witness to Christ’s resurrection…                                              Woman, centered in God…

All:  Mary, Queen of Peace, we entrust our lives to you.  Help us to imitate you by saying “yes” to this moment, this season--and joyfully welcome God in all of the ordinary and extraordinary moments of our lives.  Shelter us in your womb this Advent so that wrapped in Mary-darkness we may be open and present to Emmanuel—God with us. Amen

Closing Song

 

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