Advent, Prayers for Pastors

for the candle-lighters

Lord, we pray for the candle-lighters:
for the one who discovered late this afternoon that the Ave Maria Gift Shop closed last summer,
for the one who thought ahead and bought two sets of candles last year,
for the one who convinced the congregation to change to blue,
and the one who never will – remember, purple is pretty, too.

Lord, we pray for the candle-lighters:
for the new members asked to represent when they’ve never seen it done before,
for the single people who can hardly believe they’ve finally been asked,
for the family with the sick child who sent one parent and the other kids anyway,
for the little girl who nearly knocks over the table in her excitement, hair flying near the flames.

Lord, we pray for the candle-lighters:
for the big churches with the natural wreaths and the pillar candles so everyone can see,
for the little churches with the wax stuck in the candleholders so the candles don’t wobble,
for the church members who want to get on with Christmas and sing some carols,
for the communities of faith observing Advent for the very first time.

Lord, we pray for the candle-lighters:
for the snap of the match that lights the wick,
for the blue so dark it is almost black,
for the yellow-orange-red that flickers,
for the intimation of hope in a holy flame.

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