Prepare ye the way



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Prepare ye the way”
An Advent Observance for the Community of Emmanuel College
December 2, 2015
§ Indicates that the congregation may choose to stand as able.

Choir “The Huron Carol” ~ “Jesus Ahatonhia” arr. Alan Gasser
A Bidding Prayer
People of God,

in this advent season, we wait

– expectantly, longingly, and thoughtfully–

knowing that it was in the darkness of his mother’s womb

that the Christ child made ready to enter our world . . .
. . . with them . . . we celebrate the Mystery that was and is:

the Expected One, Emmanuel.

In his words, we join our hearts and voices, to say:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.

For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever. Amen.

Canon [Music Insert] Prepare the way of the Lord (sung 3 times)
Let us prepare for God’s eternal Word, touched and seen in Jesus

by bringing things we can touch and see as signs of God’s goodness and love.


Choir Love that rules the universe, lived and died and rose for us,

life abundant, touched and seen, ever living, ever green. Δ

Presentation of CEDAR: a sign of God’s majesty
Listen to this promise from the prophecy of Jeremiah (23.5)
Choir O come, O Wisdom from on high, who orders all things might-ily;

to us the path of knowledge show, and teach us in her ways to go.



All: Rejoice, rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
Cedar was regarded in ancient times as a royal tree, a sign of immortality.

We place this cedar branch to praise the living Christ who forever rules the universe

with love. Δ
All: Love that rules the universe, lived, and died, and rose for us . . .
Presentation of HOLLY and IVY: signs of pain and love
Prophecy found in the book of Isaiah (53: 2-5)
Choir O come, O Rod of Jesse’s stem, from every foe deliver them

that trust your mighty power to save,

and give them victory o’er the grave.

All: Rejoice, rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
Ivy has bitter bark and holly has prickly leaves; the berries are red, the colour of blood.

We place ivy and holly to remember how Jesus endured suffering,

wore a crown of thorns, and gave his life for us. Δ

All: Love that rules the universe, lived and died, and rose for us . . .
Placement of an EVERGREEN WREATH: a sign of Life and Peace
Words of hope found in the prophecies of Isaiah (9)
§ ALL: O come, Desire of nations, bind all peoples in one heart and mind.

O bid our sad divisions cease, and be for us the Prince of Peace.

Rejoice, rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
The green that remains after other leaves fall shows life undying, and hope that is

forever green. We place this wreath, shaped as a circle, as a sign of enduring life

and hope: the circle without end. Δ
All: Love that rules the universe, lived, and died, and rose for us . . .

Kindling the Advent Lights (Advent 1, 2)


South side: Isaiah the prophet declares that when God comes among us,

the deaf shall hear, the blind shall see,

and the tongue of the speechless shall sing for joy.

North side: We light these candles to signal our hope

that God’s love in Christ may bring healing to us,

and to the whole world.

All: Light of our world, shine in our lives, and shine among us now. ∆
A reading from Luke 1 (26-35, 38) Gabriel’s message
Prayer :

Who are we, O God, that you should come to us?

Yet you have visited your people and redeemed us in your Son.

As we prepare to celebrate his birth, make our hearts leap for joy

at the sound of your word, and move us by your spirit

to bless your wonderful works.

We ask this through him whose coming is certain,

whose day draws near, even Jesus, the Christ. Amen.

§Hymn [Music insert] Tomorrow Christ is coming, as yesterday he came
A reading from Luke 2 (1; 4 - 7) A birth in Bethlehem
Choir Watts’ Cradle Song arr. Chrys Bentley

Hush! My dear, be still and slumber; Holy angels guard thy bed . . .

Prayer:

Blessed are you, O Christ child, that your cradle was so low that shepherds,

the poorest and simplest of earthly people, could yet kneel beside you,

and look level-eyed, into the face of God.

Blessed One, we await your presence with reverence. (Uganda)

Hymn [Music insert] Born in the night


A reading from Hebrews 1 (1-9) God has spoken
Solo Jesu Bambino Pietro Yon (sung by Theresa Kim)

When blossoms flowered amid the snows, was born the Child, the Christmas rose;

The angels sang, the shepherds sang: O come let us adore him.
Prayer:

O God, beginning and end, by whose command time runs its course:

Bless our impatience; perfect our faith;

and while we await the fulfillment of your promises,

grant us hope in your Word. Amen.
A reading from a scribe of our day: “Refugee” by Malcolm Guite
Prayer:

Ever faithful God, through prophets and angels

you promised to raise up a holy child who would establish

a household of peace and justice.

Open our hearts to receive that Child,

that you may open our doors to welcome all people as sisters and brothers,

and establish your household, your justice, in our time.
Hymn [music insert] Immanuil from Palestine
Closing Meditations
God of hope, you call us home from the exile of selfish oppression

to the freedom of justice,

to the balm of healing, and to the joy of sharing.

Make us strong to join you in your holy work

as friends of strangers and victims,

companions of those whom others shun,

and guides for those whose hearts are broken,

that we may live into your kindom on earth all our days. Amen.

Silence
God of stable, stars, and surprises; of light; and hope, and new life:

Open our eyes and hearts to your presence in this world;

forgive our obsession with property and possessions;

forgive our compromises and narrowness of vision.

Open us to your grace, that we might hear the renewed song of the angels,

and respond with a song in our hearts, and in our lives,

through the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Silence


For unto us in Aklavik is born a child in

Attawapiskat Gaspé Cornerbrook, Newfoundland.

And a son is given, in

Wetaskewin, Bella Coola, Flin Flon.

And the future of the whole earth

Is placed upon the shoulders of the daughter of

Tuktoyaktuk Tignish Trois Rivieres . . .
. . . For unto us, for into all, this season,

is born a child, and the places of their birth,

and nativity is given every name. (John Terpstra, Hamilton)
§Advent Carol VU 9 People look east. Besançon Carol
§ Sending forth
May the eagerness of the shepherds, the joy of the angels;

the perseverance of the Magi, the faithfulness of Joseph and Mary,

and the peace of the Christ child be yours in this time of waiting, and always.

Materials marked Δ are taken from Advent, Christmas and Epiphany: Liturgies and Prayers for Public Worship.



Louisville, KY (Westminster John Knox Publishing, 2008). They are reproduced with permission. © 2007 Brian Wren.


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