First week of Advent: Lighting the Advent wreath

By | November 25, 2009

0939advent-candles-wk1web2 Advent prayer:
Leader: Today begins a special time of year for us. This week we begin Advent – that season of waiting and preparation before Christmas. In order to help each of us prepare our own hearts for the birth of Christ, we take these few moments each week to pray together.

Light the first candle on the Advent Wreath
(Optional) Read aloud Jer 33:14-16; 1 Thess 3:12 – 4:2; and Lk 21:25-28, 34-36
Leader: What signs have you heard or seen this week that remind you of Jesus’ warning in Luke?
What signs of love have you seen that, as Paul said to the Thessalonians, have strengthened your heart this week?

Leader: “When people talked about us, wouldn’t it be great if they said they always saw us as a person just full of hope? The Bible passages that the church has chosen for this First Sunday of Advent point out two things that should fill us with hope:
• first, that God has promised he will care for us, and
• second, that if we follow his ways, we can cope with even the most frightful events of life.”

Advent series

Introduction: This year, let’s really do Advent.

Part 2: Second week of Advent

Ask the group to voice any things that they might need extra help in coping with this week and ask everyone to pray for it.
Leader: As we begin the season of Advent, the prophet Jeremiah sets the stage for hope, reminding us that God won’t forget his people. In the second reading and in the Gospel, Paul and Luke both suggest that now is a good time to be on our best behavior. Can we go this next week being “blameless in holiness before our God and Father?” The time to start living the right way is right now.

Closing prayer: (Leader may read all, or others in the household may each read a segment.)
• Dear God, help us to remain hopeful and trust in you no matter what trials and troubles life brings. During this first week of Advent, help us remember that we are your people and you are our God. Help us get our priorities straight and put the most important things first – loving God and loving our neighbor.
• Holy Spirit, guide the choices we make this week so that we choose to do what honors God and shows love to others.
• Father in heaven, we offer thanks for the many gifts and talents you have given to all people on the earth, to our family and friends, to the neighbors we know, and to the neighbors we have yet to befriend.
• Come Lord Jesus. Come into our hearts, so that when the time comes, we will be prepared to join you in everlasting joy.
Zyskowski is associate publisher of The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

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