ADVENT COME LORD JESUS COME

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1 ADVENT COME LORD JESUS COME

2 Introduction The service begins with the lighting of the Advent Wreath. The Wreath is an important Advent symbol. It is made in the form of a ring. The ring is a symbol of eternity, since it has no beginning or end. It acts as a symbol for God who has no beginning or end. Advent itself is a time when we prepare for the coming of Christ. As we light each of the candles on the wreath (today/ over the next few weeks) let us reflect for a few moments on how we ourselves can do this in our own lives. CANDLE 1 The first candle represents the Old Testament prophets, who prepared the way of the Lord, by stressing the need to prove love of God by action for justice. Reflection Let us reflect on the fact that traditionally Christmas is a time for family and celebration. It is good that this should be so, because Jesus came to bring joy and peace. However, Advent is a suitable time to think about those who are dreading the thought of Christmas, because of loneliness, homelessness, or poverty. Jesus came that we could have life and have it to full. How am I bringing life to others? Who do I know who needs help this Christmas? What practical steps can I take to help people in need? Let us pray together Lord, they turned your family away at the inn, Help us to reach out to people in need. Hymn: O Come O Come Emmanuel

3 CANDLE 2 This candle represents John the Baptist. Scripture says of John; This is a voice of one who calls out in the desert Prepare the way for the Lord, make the road straight for him. Reflection The weeks before Christmas are always a time of preparation, buying presents, baking Christmas cakes, etc. They are also the time when we prepare for the coming of Christ. It is a happy season, a time of hope, but it is also a time for asking ourselves questions: What is the meaning of God s presence in my life? How can I live my life as God wants me to? How am I preparing for the coming of the Lord? Let Us Pray Together. God our Father, Help us to feel all the happiness your Son brings, and to celebrate his coming with Joy Amen. Hymn: Joy to the World

4 CANDLE 3 The third candle represents the human person who had the biggest part to play in the coming of Jesus. This person of course was his mother, Mary. She always answered yes to the challenges that God put before her. Reflection Mary was a poor woman, yet God chose her for a very important job. We often think of Mary as very different from ourselves. Yet it is the same God who loves Mary and who loves us. Mary was singled out to be saved, but so are we. God asked Mary the question Will you bring Christ into the World? Mary answered with the definite Yes. Today we are faced with the same question, How well are we answering? Do we know God? Do we want to know God? Let us pray together God, Help us to be open to your presence in our lives Amen. Hymn: Christ Be Our Light.

5 CANDLE 4 The fourth candle represents ourselves. Our prayer is that God will inspire us anew this Christmas, that Christ will be born again in our hearts and that his light will shine out to others through others. Reflection What are the difficult areas in my life? How does Christ light up my life? Do I bring the light of Christ to others? Advent and Christmas are times of the long dark Winter nights. As signs of hope and faith, we use symbols of light, the evergreen tree, and the Christmas lights. We all have problems in our lives. Jesus comes not as a fairy godmother, to magically end our problems, but to promise us that we never face these dark moments alone. He is the light, but he also challenges us to bring the light of Christ to others. Let us Prayer Lord Jesus, light of the world, Mary, light of God s people, Joseph, light of holiness, pray with us now to God the Father. Lord Jesus, come to birth in each of us, as we live our lives like you, come to birth in our society, as we try to treat each other as brothers and sisters in God our Father. Hymn:

6 A star is born. GOSPEL In the countryside close by there were shepherds who lived in the fields and took it in turn to watch their flocks during the night. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them. They were terrified, but the angel said, Do not be afraid. Listen, I bring news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. And here is a sign for you. You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, and suddenly with the angel there was a great throng of heavenly host, praising God and singing: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace to all who enjoy his favour. Now when the angels had gone from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us. This is the word of the Lord. MEDITATION. Wreaths and holly, fruit cake and turkey, Christmas tree ornaments, department store Santa Claus, Midnight Mass, ribbons and wrappings, reindeer, a miniature crib scene, relatives and friends, Christmas cards. Christmas and Christmas memories are special and easy to remember. The careful preparation, the great excitement, and the prolonged holiday spirit mark Christmas as a unique time each year. It s as if our whole world pauses in reverence and dramatically celebrates Christ s birth. We give gifts and receive gifts. Through it all we might sometime stop believing in the specific Santa Claus of our childhood, but we continue to believe and to understand much more deeply how giving and receiving bind all of us together. As we grow older we begin to discover the truth behind the old saying Its better to give than to receive.

7 And God have us his Son as a brother to us, the best Christmas gift of all. Each gift we give at Christmas out of love, and every gift we receive from a loved one, is but a small reflection of God s Christmas Gift to us. Think back over your Christmases. Recall as many as you can. Who were the people you were with? What gifts did you give and receive? What made each Christmas special in its own way? What is the best Christmas you remember? What is your idea of the perfect Christmas? That we may be able to understand the truth. Its better to give than to receive. we pray to the Lord. That the glitter of commercial Christmas may reflect the splendour of Christ s gift to us, we pray to the Lord. That each Christmas of our lives we may be better able both to give and receive, we pray to the Lord. That like the wise men, we may become wise people and recognise Christ in our midst, we pray to the Lord. That in giving of ourselves through our gifts we may better understand the miracle of Christmas, we pray to the Lord. You may want to add your own intentions at this time. That all of our intentions may be heard. We pray to the Lord.

8 Jesus, you are special and unique to us. Your birthday is a special time for us each year. We thank you once again for your great gift of yourself to us. Final Prayer. Come Lord Jesus, into our world of love and work, of pain and joy, of hope and doubt. Come with your gift of joy and peace this Christmas, to us and all we meet. Come to birth within us and among us, you, the Saviour of the world. Hymn: O Come All Ye Faithful The Music suggested are the traditional Christmas hymns. These are accessible to most children. One is free to choose any other suitable music. The following website provides ample material for all Liturgical events.

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