Blessings for Advent

Throughout Advent our dismissals will be responsive blessings based on the Epistle readings, which are often overlooked in this season. This Sunday’s blessing is based on 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13:

Leader:  May our Heavenly Parent and our Master Jesus

prepare the way for you.

People:  May the Lord make your love grow

               and multiply for all people.

Leader:  May God strengthen your hearts with holy passion

People:  for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessing the Advent Wreath

This Sunday begins the Advent Season. If you keep an Advent wreath in your home, consider using the liturgy from Sunday mornings as a part of your family prayers when you light the candles. This is the blessing of the wreath that comes from The United Methodist Book of Worship:

Leader: Christ came to bring us salvation and has promised to come

again. Let us pray that we may always be ready to

welcome him.

People: Come, Holy Jesus.

Leader: That the keeping of Advent may open our heart to God’s love,

People: Come, Holy Jesus.

Leader: That the light of Christ may penetrate the darkness of sin,

People: Come, Holy Jesus.

Leader: That this wreath may constantly remind us to prepare for the

coming of Christ.

People: Loving God, your church joyfully awaits

   the coming of its Savior,

   who enlightens our hearts and dispels the darkness   

of ignorance and sin. Pour forth your blessings upon us

as we light the candles of this wreath.

May their light reflect the splendor of Christ,

forever and ever. Amen.

 

When lighting the first candle, add these words:

Leader: We light the first candle as a symbol of Christ our hope,

for he is the righteous branch who will establish justice.

People: Come, Holy Jesus, and reveal your hope for the world.

 

What to Call Jesus on Christ the King Sunday?

This Sunday is Christ the King or the Reign of Christ Sunday and it always poses a problem about the words we use in worship. Words such as ‘king’ and ‘kingdom’ are outdated and sexist; and yet, the meaning of words and their usages change over time. For example, ‘lord’ may have been used generations ago to refer to human authorities but today it rarely has that usage. So here are some alternatives from the thesaurus (I am not sure I like any of them but the will make you think):

 

King:

emperor

monarch

sultan

baron

caesar

caliph

czar

kaiser

khan

magnate

maharajah

majesty

mikado

mogul

overlord

pasha

potentate

prince

rajah

rex

shah

sovereign

tycoon

crowned head

gerent s

imperator

 

 

Lord:

aristocrat

baron

bishop

captain

commandant

commander

count

don

duke

earl

governor

leader

liege

magnate

marquis

monarch

nobility

noble

nobleman

overlord

parliamentarian

patrician

potentate

royalty

ruler

seigneur

sovereign

superior

viscount

 

Kingdom:

commonwealth

country

county

crown

division

domain

dominion

dynasty

empire

field

lands

monarchy

nation

possessions

principality

province

realm

reign

rule

scepter

sovereignty

sphere

state

suzerainty

sway

territory

throne

tract

 

 

Health & Healing Sunday

November 15 will be Health and Healing Sunday. At the end of the service anointing with oil and laying on of hands will be offered at the altar railing. Here is the liturgy for this Sunday, which comes from The United Methodist Church and the Methodist Church of Great Britain. Use these prayers in your personal devotions this week to help you prepare for Sunday worship:

Litany of Intercession (Methodist Church of Great Britain):

Leader: Christ our Savior, born for us, bring healing and peace to all people. Lord, have mercy,
People: Christ, have mercy.
Leader: Christ, baptized in the Jordan, give hope to all who come to you. Lord, have mercy,
People: Christ, have mercy.
Leader: Christ, tested in the desert, give courage to those who are tempted. Lord, have mercy,
People: Christ, have mercy.
Leader: Christ, who comforted and healed, bring wholeness to all who are broken. Lord, have mercy,
People: Christ, have mercy.
Leader: Christ, who hung in agony on the cross, bring strength to those who suffer. Lord, have mercy,
People: Christ, have mercy.
Leader: Christ, who died to save us, give peace to all who face death. Lord, have mercy,
People: Christ, have mercy.
Leader: Christ, raised from the tomb, bring light and life to all the world. Lord, have mercy,
People: Christ, have mercy.
Leader: Christ, present among your disciples, unite all your people in love. Lord, have mercy,
People: Christ, have mercy.
Leader: The grace of Christ attend us, the love of God surround us, and the Holy Spirit keep us, this day and for ever. Amen.

The Prayer After Laying on of Hands/Anointing with Oil (The United Methodist Church):

Almighty God,
we pray that our brothers and sisters
may be comforted in their suffering and made whole.
When they are afraid, give them courage;
when they feel weak, grant them your strength;
when they are afflicted, afford them patience;
when they are lost, offer them hope;
when they are alone, move us to their side;
when death comes, open your arms to receive them.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.