This Sunday evening (5:00pm) we will observe a Longest Night Service, a time to remember and release the pain we have experienced. Below is the litany we will use as we light the Advent wreath:
Leader: The first candle we light is to remember those whom we have loved and lost.
We pause to remember their name, their face, their voice,
the memory that binds them to us in this season.
People: O God, may your eternal love surround them.
Leader: The second candle we light is to redeem the pain of loss,
whether through illness, jobs, divorce, or other events.
We pause to gather up the grief of the past and offer it to God,
asking that from God’s hands we receive the gift of peace.
People: O God, accept the gift of our brokenness and lead us into your peace.
Leader: The third candle we light is to reclaim our faith in Jesus Christ,
the Great Physician, the Shepherd of the sheep,
the Author and Finisher of our faith.
We pause to focus on Christ, whose mercy is the mystery that saves us.
People: O God, through your faithfulness our faith is renewed.
#218 It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, verses 1-2
(You are invited to place your candle on the altar during the hymn. Someone will assist in lighting.
You may kneel at the communion railing or return to your seat to pray.)
Leader: The fourth candle we light is to renew our hope in the Coming One
by whose stripes we are made whole.
We await our fulfillment in Christ and we hold fast to the promise of
Christmas – Emmanuel, God is with us now and always.
People: Come, Lord Jesus, deliver us. Amen.