Resources for the Season of Advent

 

Blessed are you, God of all creation,
and blessed is the communion
into which you gather us.

Your Word is conceived within us,
and we grow heavy with hope,
eagerly awaiting the day when all creation
will be delivered into your glorious freedom.

Send your Holy Spirit
to call us by name and lead us home.

The prophets crying in the wilderness awaken us
with their holy anger and passionate hope.
Come, Lord Jesus, bring the day of justice to birth.

Send your Holy Spirit
to call us by name and lead us home.

As the shadows shrink and the sun begins to bite,
we anticipate your coming with joy and fear.
Come, Lord Jesus, give us the courage to yield
to the purifying fire of your love, raging towards us.

Send your Holy Spirit
to call us by name and lead us home.

 

 

Written by Nathan Nettleton, 2000.

 

O God, you search us out and know us,
and all that we are is open to you.
We confess that we have sinned:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we scoff at those who await your return,
and live as though you were never here:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we long for your coming to change the world,
and yet are unwilling to change even our own hearts:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we do not make straight paths for justice,
nor offer a welcome when you come as a stranger:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we dismiss prophets and angels
and refuse to nourish your seed within us:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we reduce our preparation for your coming
to reckless expense and trivialities:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

We turn to you,
O God of infinite mercy;

We renounce evil;
We claim your love;
We choose to be made whole.

 

 

Prayers of Confession Stanza 1 & conclusion by Janet Morley, All Desires Known, London:SPCK, 1992, p.40.

Stanzas 2 - 6 by Nathan Nettleton

We believe in God,
creator and lover of the earth,
origin and destiny of us all.

We believe in Jesus the Christ
- God coming to us
in the fragile promise
of a baby yet unborn -
who emerges as the herald of hope,
God's laughter in the face of despair.
Plunged into death and hell,
he broke free the captives,
and is leading the way
to the land of promise
where justice and peace will flourish.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
who implants the seed of truth,
brings us to birth
as the body of Christ,
and empowers us
to confront and transform
all that is corrupt, degrading and deceitful.

We believe in the coming reign of God.
Announced by the Baptist,
it has drawn near to us in Jesus,
and will be consummated
in the glorious marriage of earth and heaven,
when all who have passed through
the world's deep sorrow
will be raised from the waters,
robed in righteousness,
and gathered into the joyous fulfilment
of God's desire.

For the coming of that day on this day,
we work and pray:
Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

Written by Nathan Nettleton

 

We are the body of Christ.

His Spirit is with us.

Let us lift up our hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

(Insert the Preface of the Week here - available from Laughing Bird Weekly Texts)

 

Traditional

Therefore with the whole realm of nature around us,
With earth, sea and sky,

We sing to you.

With the angels and archangels who envelop us,
With all the saints before us and beside us,
With brothers and sisters, east and west, north and south,

We sing to you.

And with our loved ones,
separate from us now,
who yet, in this mystery are close to us,

We sing the hymn of unending praise:

Adapted from "The Prayer of Thanksgiving" on page 67 of The Iona Community Worship Book, Wild Goose Publications, Glasgow, 1991.

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of truth and light,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!

Traditional

Blessed are you, O God,
who is
and was
and is to come,
the beginning and the end.

Blessed are you and blessed is your son, Jesus,
born to proclaim the gospel of grace,
to overcome the world's deceiver,
and to unveil for us our ancient destiny.

We bless you for Christ,
who was wounded and died for our freedom,
and yet is alive forever,
who guides us to life's wellspring
that we may receive from it freely
and be strengthened to endure in hope
until the powers of evil are thrown down
and death itself is destroyed.
Then you will have made all things new, O God,
and mourning and crying and pain will be no more.

Adapted by Nathan Nettleton from a Thanksgiving by Philip Newell, An Earthful of Glory, London:SPCK, 1996, p.121-122.

Blessed is our brother Jesus,
the coming one who makes all things new;
who, on the night when he was betrayed,
while speaking of the fulfillment of salvation,
took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and said:

"This is my body, which is for you.
Do this to remember me."

In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying:

"This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, whenever you drink it,
to remember me."

Institution Narrative adapted by Nathan Nettleton from versions by Janet Morley, All Desires Known, London:SPCK, 1992, p.48 and Philip Newell, An Earthful of Glory, London:SPCK, 1996, p.122.

So, as we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

Christ has died;
Christ is risen;
Christ will come again.

Traditional

Therefore, here in this place,
we celebrate the life that was born at Bethlehem,
the life that Jesus has shared
among his community through the centuries,
And shares with us now.

From The Iona Community Worship Book, Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications, 1991, p.67

Made one with him,
and thus one with each other,
we lay before you these gifts of bread and wine,
in token of our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving,
for here we offer and present to you ourselves,
our bodies, minds and spirits,
to be a holy and continuous sacrifice to you.

Adapted by Nathan Nettleton
from "The Desert Missal" of the Anamchara Celtic Church. http://web2.airmail.net/anmchar1/disert.htm

Come, Holy Spirit, Come. Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

Come and brood over these bodily things,
this bread and this wine.
May they be for us the body and blood of Christ;
healing, renewing and making us whole.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come. Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

Come and embrace us with your life-giving power
that as bread and wine are made one with us,
we may become one with you;
bone of your bone, flesh of your flesh.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come. Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

Come and make of your gathered people
the real presence of Christ for the world,
living our prayer and praying our life
till earth and heaven are reconciled,
and all are free as Christ is free.

Epiclesis adapted by Nathan Nettleton from prayers by Janet Morley, All Desires Known, London:SPCK, 1992, p.47 & 49; and "Prayer of Blessing for the Sunday Morning Communion" The Iona Community Worship Book, Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications, 1991, p.67.

Glory be to you, O God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
&emdash; one God and mother of all creation &emdash;
as in the beginning, so now, and forever.
Amen. Amen.

Adapted from traditional texts by Nathan Nettleton

Blessed is our God,
and blessed is the One
who is coming to fulfil the communion of our God.

As the sun ascends ever higher, turning up the heat,
we anticipate his coming with joy and fear.
Let us yield to the purifying fire, raging towards us,
and pray for the coming of that day on this.

O Wisdom,
you are the breath of God filling the lungs of creation,
singing to us from every rock and tree,
weaving your strength and integrity into all things:
Come now and teach us the song lines of salvation.

Come, Lord, come quickly! Come, Emmanuel.
Lord Jesus, come!

O Lord,
leader of your wilderness-wandering tribes;
you called to Moses from the burning bush
and gave him your law on the mountaintop:
Come quickly, set the world ablaze
with a passion for peace that will never go out.

Come, Lord, come quickly! Come, Emmanuel.
Lord Jesus, come!

O Root of Jesse, rising from the ashes of death,
you are a sign that the victims of tyranny
will see the day of justice.
Before you, all who wield power fall silent:
Come, and cut down all callousness and greed.

Come, Lord, come quickly! Come, Emmanuel.
Lord Jesus, come!

O Key of David, guardian of God's people;
what you open no one can close,
and what you close no one can open:
Come and set free all who are imprisoned
in dark hellholes of bitterness and despair.

Come, Lord, come quickly! Come, Emmanuel.
Lord Jesus, come!

O rising sun of justice,
your splendour lights up the horizon,
promising an end to the dark hours of terror.
Come, shine on all who are haunted
by shadows of fear and the chill grip of death.

Come, Lord, come quickly! Come, Emmanuel.
Lord Jesus, come!

O Ruler of the nations,
you are the great leader we long for,
the one rock around which all humanity can unite:
Come, save us, the people you formed from dust.

Come, Lord, come quickly! Come, Emmanuel.
Lord Jesus, come!

O Emmanuel,
hope of all our dreaming,
our true God, and Saviour of all:
Come, and deliver us into your glorious freedom.

Come, Lord, come quickly! Come, Emmanuel.
Lord Jesus, come!

Adapted by Nathan Nettleton from the traditonal texts.

O Wisdom
coming towards us on the breath of God,
seeping into every crack and corner of the world
with strength and gentleness to order everything just right:
Come now and show us the way to health and wholeness.

Lord draw near.
Draw near and save.

O Adonai
Shepherd of God's people,
you made yourself known to Moses in a burning bush,
and let him in on life's best secrets on that very same mountain:
Come now, take us into your confidence as well.

Lord draw near.
Draw near and save.

O Root of Jesse,
budding from a dead branch as a sign of hope for everyone,
the leaders of the world will stand in amazement at you,
and all their people as well:
Come quickly to deliver us from the rottenness of our politics.

Lord draw near.
Draw near and save.

O Key of David,
true Pastor of all God's people,
you open doors that no-one can close,
and close doors that no-one can open:
Come now to set the prisoners free,
all those who live in darkness and despair.

Lord draw near.
Draw near and save.

O Radiant Dawn,
glory and beauty of God's own face,
eternal Sun of justice and peace:
Come now to shine for everyone
who lives in the shadow of death.

Lord draw near.
Draw near and save.

O Shepherd of all the world,
desire of every heart and nation,
you are the heartbeat of our fragile humanity:
Come now to save us,
we whom you formed from the dust of the earth.

Lord draw near.
Draw near and save.

O Immanuel,
rightful ruler and giver of the secrets of life,
desire of every heart and saviour of the world:
Come now to make us your children,
for you are our God, the Lord of all.

Lord draw near.
Draw near and save.

Adapted by Garry Deverell from the traditonal texts.