Opening Prayer and Scripture: Isaiah 7:13-14, Isaiah 9:6-7
LEADER: In Advent, Love opens the door between two worlds. God waits for us at its threshold and welcomes us into a new place of belonging. Here in this place of encounter, heralds await us: John the Baptist , Elizabeth, Joseph and Mary. They bring the good news that the Light has come into the world. Here too we meet our Marist founders who urge us to create a simple place of welcome for each other, and for those in need. And here we also meet one another, friends, fellow Marists, Lay, Religious and Associates—the family of Mary which God has loved into being. As Advent unfolds its mystery of unconditional love, we are invited again to risk our own inward journey into the heart of God and our Marist mission of building a Marian church of mercy, spreading the love of Jesus as disciples of hope.
Song: Magnificat - Holy Is God's Name (John Michael Talbot)
or another version of your choice.
Light a Christ Candle as everyone sings:
REFRAIN: Christ, be our light! Shine in our hearts, shine through the darkness. Christ, be our light! Shine in your Church, gathered today. REFRAIN
READER 1: I, John, prophet and martyr, was sent by God to reveal the light of truth coming into the world, Jesus, the Christ: Christ, be our light… REFRAIN
READER 2: I, Mary, Mother of mercy, was asked by God to be filled with the Holy Spirit to birth and mother the beloved Son; light of justice & salvation for the world. REFRAIN
READER 3: I, Elizabeth, mother of John, the herald of Christ, was chosen by God to share love, encouragement, acceptance and hospitality with Mary and the unborn Jesus. Through her presence I received the Holy Spirit with my child and was the first to hear Mary sing her exultant Magnificat. REFRAIN
READER 4: I, Joseph, was chosen by God to love Mary and Jesus; guiding, protecting and providing for them as husband and father. REFRAIN
READER 5: We, Marists and friends, faith-filled women and men of the Church, are called by God to share the compassion of Jesus as instruments of mercy. REFRAIN
READER 5: (Lift the Christ candle before all) I, Jesus, the Christ of God, am the light of the world. I welcome all who want to walk in the light, follow me. Redeem this time for the people of all time. REFRAIN
(Adapted from prayers by –Sr. Mary McCormick, SC)
Leader: Let us give thanks for the birth of the Child Jesus whom we celebrate this Advent season
All: He who came to earth as a helpless babe, - lived, died, and rose as our Saviour. We long for His coming again with expectant hope and love
Leader: Let us sing The Servant King: (Verse 1) Words/Music: Graham Kendrick
From heaven you came, helpless babe,
Entered our world, your glory veiled;
Not to be served but to serve,
And give your life that we might live.
This is our God, the Servant King,
He calls us now to follow him,
To bring our lives as a daily offering
Of worship to the Servant King.
Leader: Let us pray for the children of the world.
For infants who are not held in love.
For children who are abused physically, emotionally, sexually and spiritually.
For the children in our neighbourhood who know nothing of Jesus.
For children who live in shelters throughout our country and world.
For children who live in substandard housing, who live on the streets, and in war-torn nations or refugee camps.
For children who are hurting throughout our world and for children who have been robbed of their childhood.
Let us Sing:
What Child is this (Greensleeve's)
What Child is this
Who laid to rest
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping
So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come Peasant, King to own Him
The King of Kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
Leader: Let us pray . . .
For the child found in the hearts of the elderly.
For those who wait for human touch and for those who cry silent tears of loneliness.
For those who hunger to hear your word and for those who must choose between going hungry or paying for medicine.
For those who have separated themselves from their families and for those whose families have forgotten them.
We pray for the elders who still dream the dream of a world where the city streets are filled with God's children playing - God's world of peace.
Leader: Let us sing The Servant Song
Brother, sister let me serve you.
Let me be as Christ to you.
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant, too.
We are pilgrims on a journey.
We are brothers on the road.
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load.
I will hold the Christ-light for you
In the night time of your fear.
I will hold my hand out to you;
Speak the peace you long to hear.
I will weep when you are weeping.
When you laugh, I'll laugh with you.
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we've seen this journey through.
Leader: Let us pray ...
For the child within ourselves, trying to live the calling to follow Christ.
For one another, (name each person present in your heart or if appropriate touch the hand/shoulder of the person next to you and pray in silence)
For our ministry as Marists / Marian Mothers / other……
For our families, and all those we hold in our hearts. Silent Prayer
Close of Prayer - ALL:
We make all these prayers in the name of Jesus, the Child of Hope, the Child of Mercy and Compassion, Child of God and Child of Mary, the Christ Child, Saviour of the world.
Leader: Let us sing Come Thou Long Expected Jesus (or similar)
Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.
Lord as we Go into the world fill us with your peace and love, equip us to be instruments of mercy and disciples of hope and fill us with the spirit of Mary, so that we can share your love with our longing, waiting world.