[We] must be men and women of ceaseless hope, because only tomorrow can today’s human and Christian promise be realized; and every tomorrow will have its own tomorrow, world without end. Every human act, every Christian act, is an act of hope. But that means [we] must be men and women of the present, [we] must live this moment – really live it, not just endure it – because this very moment, for all its imperfection and frustration, because of its imperfection and frustration, is pregnant with all sorts of possibilities, is pregnant with the future, is pregnant with love, is pregnant with Christ.
–Walter J. Burghardt, quoted in An Advent Sourcebook, Liturgy Training Publications: Chicago, 1988, pg 81.
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Holy Spirit of all Creation, promise maker,
promise keeper, we come here hungry to know
that we are in your holy presence.
People: We come, hungry for the Good News
that you are present here,
in this world which you are creating.
Leader: We come, bringing our hopes,
our fears and our commitment to be with you.
People: We hope that you will show us
how to be people of this time, this place,
this pregnant moment in history.
Leader: Holy God, Creator of this world without end,
All: Help us claim the promise of the Messiah,
your promise to a frightened world.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: Ask not, doubt not.
You have, my heart,
already chosen the joy of Advent.
People: It is the advent of the great God.
Leader: Say this with faith and love,
and your holy past
and your life’s eternal future
will draw together in the now.
All: The heart comes to the one who is Advent,
already in the process of coming
and who has already come to redeem us.
Leader: Radiant God of comfort and hope,
you have promised to renew creation,
to bring forth a new heaven and new earth
in which righteousness and steadfast love
will embrace forever.
People: We look forward to your promised coming,
but we cling to a world
in which privilege and power make all the rules.
Leader: We yearn for peace and justice,
but we are afraid
of the tearing and rending that will come
with changing the way things have always been.
All: As we await the reality of your coming reign,
we confess our unwillingness to live
as though it has already arrived.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: In the promise of renewed creation,
God’s love and forgiveness save us
to heal a broken world.
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION
All: Holy One, we come today
to claim our relationship with you.
We pray for the commitment to grow together,
sharing the gifts you give us with others
here and in the wider world.
Give us strength and discipline
to nurture our relationship with You;
to care for every part of Your Creation;
to foster justice and be in solidarity with those in need;
to work to end all war, and violence, and discord;
and to respond joyfully when you call,
freely giving our selves as you have shown the way.
We open our hearts to you and your Creation
in the name of Jesus, who is the Christ.
Leader: The Holy One who feeds the flock like a shepherd,
and who promises that they who sow in tears
will reap with shouts of joy,
walks with us through this pregnant time
as we leave this place to heal and to love and to serve,
even as we wait. Amen.
Responsive Reading by Karl Rahner in An Advent Sourcebook, Thomas J. O’Gorman, ed. © 1988. Archdiocese of Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, Chicago, Illinois. pg 56.