CALL TO WORSHIP
Sing out your joy, people of Advent–the day of salvation draws near.
Who us? Sing?
Dance, children of God, kick your heels together–joy returns.
Dance? We don’t dance.
Put on your dancing shoes; move with the beat.
Join in the chorus, off key or perfect harmony.
Rejoice for Emmanuel is here.
We will sing, we will join hands and dance for joy,
for God, the Melody Maker, is on the move.
OPENING SONG Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn
LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLE
There is much to despair for in our world.
The darkness of winter mirrors the shadows of evil threatening us.
Do not fear, the prophets relentlessly remind us.
Do not be afraid.
From the ashes of destruction and the tears of the broken-hearted, a spring of hope bubbles up.
Celebrations will break out on the streets.
There will be laughter, singing, music swinging,
and all of the world will dance with joy.
With steadfast determination we light the third candle of Advent, the light of joy.
With its flame burning boldly, we break the silence with words of hope to pierce the darkness.
Fear will be banished.
Peace will blossom.
The light of the world is coming soon.
SONG OF ADVENT When God Is a Child vs. 1-3
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Together let us pause as we bring our confessions to God.
(silence for reflection)
You call us to live with generous hearts.
We tighten our grip on our possessions.
You call us to be peacemakers.
We heed the voices of division.
You call us to lives of joy.
We tire of celebration and distrust happy folk.
You call us to welcome the stranger.
We make a list of exceptions.
You call us to pray for our enemies.
We cut our prayers short.
You call us to be disciples.
Time after time we fail.
Forgive us, God of compassion and joy.
Lord, pour out your grace upon us.
(silence for reflection)
In faith and hope we receive God’s mercy.
for Emmanuel comes to fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.
SONG OF PRAYER O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
COMMUNION LITURGY (pieces only)
INVITATION TO COMMUNION
If deep in your heart you cry, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” this invitation is for you.
If you long to see “Peace on earth, good will to all,” God has set a place for you.
For all who seek “rest beside the weary road,” you will find welcome here.
The feast of the Lord is made ready.
With great joy and deep gladness we receive God’s invitation:
All are welcome at Christ’s table.
Everyone is welcome at Christ’s table.
May the God of Advent be near to you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts, do not be afraid.
We will lift our hearts for your promise of joy.
Give thanks to the One who will set things right.
We praise the One who journeys with us.
We lift our hearts in praise to you, O Fulfiller of Promises.
In dry desert times you are a wellspring of life,
in anxious days you bring refreshing joy.
You have been our strength in days gone by,
and even now we place our hope in you.
We come face to face with your compassion in Jesus,
who brought release to the captives, hope to the despairing,
healing to the broken, and welcome to the outcasts.
In him we encounter the depth of your love,
in him we discover our true selves.
And so in trust we join our voices with those who have shouted your praises, and those who have whispered your name in prayer, saying,
Holy, Holy, Holy, God of Advent Joy.
Heaven and earth sing your praises!
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the One who welcomes all people into your grace.
God, our strength and our redeemer, in your great mercy send your gracious Spirit to settle on this bread and cup. In them may we experience the fullness of Christ.
As we share in this holy feast, may your same Spirit be upon us. May we go from this table, nourished, blessed, and overwhelmed by your great joy. In the name of Emmanuel, God with Us, we pray. Amen.
Rejoice, God is in our midst!
We have tasted the goodness of the Lord.
Give thanks, for Christ has been made known at this feast!
We are made one in his presence.
Fear not, the Spirit of God will walk with you!
With joy and peace we will prepare the way of the Lord.