Advent Wreath, Narrative Lectionary

Advent Wreath Liturgies, Narrative Lectionary Year 1

Advent 1 – Hope (Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:2-4; 3:17-19)

One: People of God, prophets like Habbakuk pointed to a future hope, a Savior.
Many: No one knew when he would come.
One: They only hoped they would recognize the Messiah, the Son of God.
Many: We wait with hope for the One who has come and is coming.
One: Today we light a candle to symbolize our hope. We hope in the One who will come.
(Light the candle of Hope.)
One: People of God, a New Hope is coming.
All: We will rejoice in the Lord.

Advent 2 – Peace (Esther 4:1-17)

One: People of God, Esther was a heroic woman who took a great risk to bring peace for her people. .
Many: We want peace to overcome struggle, violence, and cruelty.
One: It can be dangerous to call for peace.
Many: This might be the job God needs us to do.
One: Today we light a candle to symbolize God’s peace. We hope in the One who will come. We pray for God’s peace to prevail.
(Light the candles of Hope and Peace.)
One: People of God, take courage.
All: We take courage from the light of God’s peace.

Advent 3 – Joy (Isaiah 42:1-9)

One: People of God, Isaiah promised a servant God who would come to save us.
Many: The Savior will be a light to the nations.
One: People everywhere are eager for the justice he will teach and the joy he will bring.
Many: We will see prison doors opened and people set free.
One: Today we light a candle to symbolize the joy we anticipate. We hope in the One who will come. We pray for God’s peace to prevail. Our joy will come with God’s servant.
(Light the candles of Hope, Peace and Joy.)
One: People of God, great change lies ahead.
Many: We wait to see it with joy!

Advent 4 – Love (Matthew 1:18-25)

One: People of God, today we hear the story of an angel appearing in a dream.
Many: Joseph was a righteous man who heard God’s messenger.
One: Because of his deep faith, he trusted in God’s steadfast love.
Many: When we know God’s love, we can extend it to others.
One: Today we light a candle to symbolize the steadfast love of God. We hope in the One who will come. We pray for God’s peace to prevail. Our joy will come with God’s servant. God’s love never ends.
(Light the candles of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.)
One: People of God, remember you are God’s beloved children.
Many: We celebrate God’s steadfast love!

Christmas Eve – Christ Candle (Luke 2:1-14, [15-20])

One: People of God, when the angels appeared, the shepherds were terrified.
Many: We will not fear, for this is the night of Good News!
One: We celebrate the good news of a baby, born in a stable.
Many: Tonight we light a candle to mark his birth.
One: We hope in the one who has come, Jesus Christ.
(Light the Candle of Hope.)
We pray for God’s peace to prevail.
(Light the Candle of Peace)
Our joy comes with God’s servant.
(Light the candle of Joy)
God’s love never ends.
(Light the candle of Love)
Born as one of us, Jesus became God’s living Word of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.
(Light the Christ Candle)
Do not be afraid! The Good News is here!
All: Glory to God in the Highest!

Looking for a carol of response? Now It’s Time to Light the Candle includes Advent themes of hope, peace, joy and love.

Liturgies (2014) and carol (2015) are copyrighted by the Rev. Martha K. Spong. You are welcome to use these liturgies, based on the Narrative Lectionary Year 1, in weekly worship at your local church. You are also free to adapt them to your circumstances (using multiple readers, for instance). Please leave a comment to let me know where they will be used. This does not constitute permission to publish the readings as a set or to claim credit for them online or in print. Thank you, as always, to Working Preacher, for inventing and refining the Narrative Lectionary.

Liturgy, Narrative Lectionary, Reflectionary

All Age Liturgy for Narrative Lectionary Year 1, Week 1 (Noah and the flood)

Noah's Ark by Edward Hicks
Noah’s Ark by Edward Hicks

Call to Worship

One: We come together to read the old stories.

Many: We are looking for God’s word to all people, long ago and today.

One: Some of the stories we remember from Sunday School.

Many: The Lord said to Noah, There’s gonna be a floody floody!

One: Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God. And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Many: Get those children out of the muddy muddy!

One: Children of the Lord, let us worship God together.

 

Prayer of Confession

Holy One, you made the Earth and all that is in it. We give thanks for the sky and the seas, the mountains and the valleys, the trees and the flowers, the birds that fly and the fish that swim and all the animals that walk or crawl or creep on the land. You called on human beings to care for Creation, to serve you and praise you by loving all you have made.

We don’t always do it well.

We remember the story of Noah, and a time when people forgot to take care of the Earth and each other. We ask forgiveness for the ways we fail to love your world with our whole hearts. Help us to do better, one step at a time, just the way Noah built the ark one cubit at a time.

Assurance of Pardon

The Lord said to Noah, “But I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.” God made a covenant with Noah, and God keeps a covenant with us. No one will ever be left behind again. Come into the ark of forgiveness, beloved Children of God!

Passing the Peace

In the Ark of this church, we are one family of faith. Sometimes it feels like close quarters! That’s all the more reason to greet one other with a sign of God’s peace. The peace of Christ be with you.

Children’s Time – Have someone lead “Rise and Shine”

First Reading Genesis 6:18-22 (including Litany of Animals)

Reader 1: Hear the words God spoke to Noah.

Reader 2: Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above; and put the door of the ark in its side; make it with lower, second, and third decks.

Reader 3: For my part, I am going to bring a flood of waters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die.

Reader 4: But I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.

Reader 5: And of every living thing, of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.

Reader 6: Of the birds according to their kinds –

Chorus of Kids: Robins! Sparrows! Flamingos! Ducks! Geese! Chickens! Eagles!

Reader 6: …and of the animals according to their kinds –

Chorus of Kids: Dogs! Cats! Cows! Bunny rabbits! Groundhogs! Deer! Giraffes! Tigers! Lions!

Reader 6: of every creeping thing of the ground according to its kind –

Chorus of Kids: Snakes and Mosquitoes and Bears and Honeybees! Elephants and Kangaroosies-roosies!

Reader 6: …two of every kind shall come in to you, to keep them alive. Also take with you every kind of food that is eaten, and store it up; and it shall serve as food for you and for them.

Reader 1: Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him. This is the word of the Lord.

Congregation: Thanks be to God.

Second Reading     Genesis 9:8-15 (consider doing some kind of display of a rainbow to accompany v. 12)


I created this liturgy in 2014 for Mechanicsburg Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in Mechanicsburg, PA. To ask for permission to use it, please leave a comment here.

Books, Liturgy, Maundy Thursday, Narrative Lectionary

Maundy Thursday litany

One: Picture him in the garden, in the fever of the moment, left with the soldiers while his friends ran away.
Many: We can picture him, surrounded but alone.
One: Did the stories cross his mind, the moments he spent with his friends, the conversations they had?
Many: Did his life flash before his eyes?

One: A woman came into the house, carrying her jar of ointment. Its rich aroma filled the room where it happened, a beautiful sign of love and care. (Remove the jar.)
Many: We remember her anointing as a gentle act of prophecy.
All: O God, make us prophets.

One: The disciples sat close, across from the Temple, and listened to all he said, the last teachings he would offer in words, a warning that all the things they counted on would come crashing down. (Remove the rock.)
Many: We remember how he told them, “Keep awake.”
All: O God, make us wakeful.

One: A widow brought her offering to the Temple, giving all she had, just as he prepared to give his all. (Remove the coins.)
Many: We remember we are to love God with all we have: heart, mind, soul and strength.
All: O God, may we be truly giving.

One: The scribes and Pharisees came to question him, and he taught them with parables, predicting his own death in the story of the vineyard workers. (Remove the grapes.)
Many: We remember the beloved son, seized and beaten.
All: O God, help us to see the truth in his stories.

One: The people shouted as he rode into Jerusalem; they laid palm branches on the road, crying “Hosanna!” (Remove palms.)
Many: We remember, yet tomorrow they will shout, “Crucify him!”
All: O God, forgive them. Forgive us.

One: James and John asked to sit by his side, one on the left and one on the right, but he reminded them of the cup they would have to drink. (Remove chalice.)
Many: We remember. How blind they were to the truth!
All: O God, give us eyes to see.

One: The young man asked his question sincerely, and he stated his faith practices with confidence, but it was not enough. (Remove paten.)
Many: We remember the camel and the eye of the needle, the fields with persecutions.
All: O God! we may not starve, but it will not be easy.

IMG_7440One: Peter rebuked him when he spoke the truth about the kind of death he would die. He struck back with words. No one can keep this from happening! Get behind me!
Many: Get behind me!
All: Get behind me, Satan! (Remove ashes.)

One: If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.

All: All of them deserted him and fled.

*****
This litany is based on the texts in the Narrative Lectionary for Year 2, moving backwards through the narrative from Holy Week to Ash Wednesday. We’ll be removing the items mentioned from the worship center during the litany, which will come after reading Mark 14:43-50. I am happy to share this litany; just leave a comment saying where you will be using it.