upper room daily devotions

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Contemplative Advent Service Liturgy

Each Thursday of Advent, our church is hosting a moment of silence and Holy Communion to help people quiet their minds and settle their hearts in preparation for the coming of the Christ child. Here is the liturgy for the first service; all those following will be similar. The prayers have been inspired by Henri Nouwen and by Brother Roger of the Taize community. The service itself relies heavily upon Taize; both congregational songs are from the Taize service:

Meditations on the Peaceable Kingdom

During this series of Advent services, we will pray for God’s Peaceable Kingdom. Each week will highlight a different theme: Hope, Love, Joy, Peace. We know that you bring your own hurts and hopes to these services, however, and you are invited to pray to God in any way that is most meaningful for you.

Week 1 - Hope

Please enter in an attitude of prayer.
Messiah Hwv 56 (Complete)
Panis Angelicus
Missa Papae Marcelli: Benedictus - Hosanna
Requiem in D Minor, K 626: VI Benedictus


First Bible Reading – Isaiah 11:1-9
The Branch From Jesse
1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD -
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling [a] together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,
and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.
Song – Wait for the Lord
Wait for the Lord,
Whose day is near.
Wait for the Lord:
Be strong, take heart!

Second Bible Reading – Matthew 6:25-34
Matthew 6:25-34 (NRSV)
25 ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you--you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 ‘So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today.


"We welcome you, small child of Bethlehem, whose coming we await with quiet attention. ...[E]ncourage us to turn our hopes to your coming. We know that the promise is hidden in the stable in Bethlehem and rooted in the offspring of Jesse; let us look for our salvation there." (Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri JM Nouwen, Compilation, Prayer, and Action by Judith A. Bauer, Liguori Publications, 2004).


The Great Thanksgiving

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed by thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory,
forever. Amen.

Sharing of the Bread and Cup

Bringing the Light
You may light candles as an act of prayer.

Song of Light - Our Darkness
Our darkness is never darkness in your sight:
The deepest night is clear as the daylight.


Concluding Prayer
Light of all lights and Life of all life, you move among us in the lowliest stations and bring life and justice to those who most need. In the depths of this winter, let us find the offspring of the root of Jesse in such a way that our world becomes a vibrant green even amid the gray of the skies and dark of the early evenings. Raise us up in this growing tree of life to have hope that your kingdom will one day come, perhaps even this day. Amen. (Katie M Ladd)

You may remain in prayer and leave at your own bidding.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
O Magnum Mysterium
In Dulci Jubilo
Lift Up Your Heads


Brother Marty said...

Sounds like an awesome service. I pray it will be meaningful to all who attend.

rev katie m ladd said...

Thanks. It's a small service, but I think it went well last week. We'll see how many return and if any new folks come this week. Because of the structure of Advent this year, we'll combine "Love and Joy" as our theme this evening.

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