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.

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.

Advent, Advent Wreath, Narrative Lectionary

Advent Wreath Liturgies for Narrative Lectionary Year 2

Updated to include Christmas Eve and an Advent Carol of response.

It’s time for Advent wreath liturgies again. This year I’ve done my utmost to tie the Narrative Lectionary texts to the Advent theme words (hope, peace, joy and love) by choosing short sections of Psalms to come before a responsive reading, followed by lighting the candle for the week. You’ll see the sermon title/weekly theme I’ll be using at the beginning of each week’s liturgy. The phrase repeats in the liturgy itself. I’ve included a suggested hymn to follow each week; they are all from the New Century Hymnal, in use at the UCC church I serve. I’ve also written a thematic carol to use, with weekly verses, which you can find here: Now It’s Time to Light the Candle (REGENT SQUARE or PICARDY). All texts are NRSV.

Permission is granted to use these liturgies and/or the carol; I ask that you leave a comment telling me your church name and location, because I love knowing where they are going.

Advent 1 – The Book of Hope – 2 Kings 22:1-10, [14-20]; 23:1-3

Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and shield.
Our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you. (Psalm 33:20-22)

One: Something’s coming.
Many: We’re waiting. We’re eager.
One: It’s more than presents.
Many: It’s more than lights.
One: We open the Book of Hope and read the promise.
Many: God will be with us.
One: Our hearts are glad; we trust God’s holy name.
Many: God’s never-ending love surrounds us.
One: Today we light the candle of Hope.
(Light the first candle.)
All: Our hope is in the Lord.

Suggested Hymn of response – O How Shall I Receive You

Advent 2 – The Promise of Peace – Isaiah 40:1-11

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people,
to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other. (Psalm 85:8-10)

One: Can you hear it?
Many: What is it?
One: God’s Word is coming.
Many: We’re listening. We’re eager to hear.
One: A voice cries out and declares the Promise of Peace.
Many: We stand in awe.
One: Things are going to even out in the world.
Many: All people will embrace each other.
One: Today we light the candle of Peace.
(Light the second candle.)
All: Our peace comes from God.

Suggested Hymn of response – It Came Upon the Midnight Clear

Advent 3 – The House of Joy – Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-4; 10-13

O send out your light and your truth;
let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
and to your dwelling.

Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God my exceeding joy;
and I will praise you with the harp,
O God, my God. (Psalm 43:3-4)

One: It’s getting closer.
Many: We feel it!
One: The days are shorter, but the lights burn brighter.
Many: We’re listening. We’re eager to hear good news.
One: We’ve gathered together in the House of Joy.
Many: We’re here to praise God with our voices.
One: We’re here to praise God with beautiful music.
Many: We’re here to praise God with all we have.
One: Today we light the candle of Joy.
(Light the third candle.)
All: We worship God with exceeding joy!

Suggested Hymn of response – On Christmas Night All Christians Sing

Advent 4 – The Language of Love – Luke 1:5-13, 57-80

I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever;
with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;
your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.
You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to my servant David:
‘I will establish your descendants forever,
and build your throne for all generations.’” (Psalm 89:1-4)

One: New life is coming.
Many: We can count it in days now.
One: God is breaking through.
Many: God’s Word will change the world.
One: We will all be changed by the Language of Love.
Many: The covenant has come down Advent-Wreath-Joythrough the generations.
One: The love of God is never-ending.
Many: We give thanks for God’s faithfulness.
One: Today we light the candle of Love.
(Light the fourth candle.)
All: We give thanks for God’s steadfast Love.

Suggested Hymn of response – Love Came Down at Christmas

***

Christmas Eve – The Word Incarnate – John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

One: Every year we light our candles.
Many: We watch the flames flicker with wonder.
One: God’s light is here.
Many: This light is life for all people.
One: The darkness will never overcome it.
(Light the Christ candle.)
All: The Word is with us. Thanks be to God.

Advent, Advent Wreath, Narrative Lectionary, Revised Common Lectionary

Advent Wreath Liturgies for 2014 (NL Year 1 and RCL Year B)

Advent Wreath Lighting for Year B

LOOKING FOR NARRATIVE LECTIONARY YEAR 2? CLICK HERE.

Here are two quick links to Advent Wreath liturgies tied to this year’s lectionary readings.

Narrative Lectionary Year 1

Revised Common Lectionary Year B

You are welcome to use these liturgies in weekly worship at your local church. These liturgies were created, and are copyrighted, by the Rev. Martha K. Spong, (NL 2014, RCL 2011).  You are also free to adapt them to your circumstances (using multiple or single readers, for instance). Please leave a comment to let me know where they will be used. You are also welcome to share the blog links.

This does not constitute permission to publish the readings as a set or to claim credit for them online or in print. 

Advent, Narrative Lectionary

Advent Wreath Liturgies (Narrative Lectionary Year 1)

Adventwreath
By Kittelendan (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
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.

Alternate Advent 2 – Peace (Ezekiel 34:1-6, 11-16)

One: People of God, Ezekiel the prophet called for people to take better care of each other.
Many: We want peace to overcome struggle, neglect and cruelty.
One: We want the weak, the lonely, and the injured to have the care they need.
Many: God will seek out the lost and bring the flock together again.
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, we are the flock of the Great Shepherd.
All: We give thanks for 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!

*********************************

These liturgies were created, and are copyrighted, by the Rev. Martha K. Spong, 2014. 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 the wonderful people at Working Preacher, for inventing and refining the Narrative Lectionary.

Looking for RCL Year B? Click here.