Advent begins today. The season is at its maximum length this year, with 28 Advent days before the celebration of Christmas in a month’s time. During the first part of the season, the Church focuses on the end of time, when Christ will come in glory. Then, for the fourth week of Advent, we will prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ.
Advent Wreath blessing (shorter form) Let us pray (pause for silent prayer) Father, all powerful Lord of Light, bless + our wreath of evergreens. May the increasing light of these candles brighten our minds and hearts to be steadfast in faith, joyful in hope and untiring in love, so that we are ready again to receive in true peace Jesus, the Light of the World, who lives and reigns with you, for ever and ever. Amen. Sprinkling follows. Then: Penitential Rite: As we begin our Advent journey, we call to mind God’s gracious forgiveness of our sins: (pause) I confess….
Introduction to the Scripture Readings (Year B)
Isaiah 63:16-17, 64:1, 3-8 — Isaiah regrets that God’s people stray, but affirms that God is the potter, and we the work of his hand. 1 Corinthians 1:3-9 — Paul thanks God for the graces received by the Christians in Corinth, and prays that they will remain steady. Mark 13:33-37 — Be on your guard, says Jesus, because the Master may come unexpectedly.
The General Intercessions
Introduction (by the Presider) Because we believe God that will come to our help, we present our prayers:
- For believers everywhere who wait for the Lord’s coming, that this Advent may help them prepare. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- For all the people who look forward to the celebration of Christmas, that Christ’s words and values may find a place in their hearts. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us
- For the nations where there is war, poverty and human suffering, especially Egypt, Iraq and Pakistan, that their troubles may soon be a distant memory for them. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- For those who suffer from anxiety, for all who are sick in mind or body, that they may know the Lord’s healing power. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- For people trying to rebuild their lives after the experience of abuse or violence and the betrayal of trust, that they may know the intimate love of God, on whom they can rely. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- For all the members of this community who have died (especially N and N), that God’s light may shine on them and on all we have lost. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) God of hosts, your hand protects your chosen people, listen to our prayers, we ask you, through Christ our Lord. Amen
Other Liturgical suggestions Preface of Advent 1 – page 402. Eucharistic Prayer 1. Solemn Blessing 1 – page 547. Songs ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’; ‘Maranatha’; ‘Wait For The Lord’.