Advent 3 Liturgy

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone.
The Lord is near!
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
—Philip. 4:4-7


O God, the source of all happiness:
We your people have been drawn together in the darkness
to seek for your light.
As we look forward to your Son’s coming into the world,
may we experience the joy of your presence.
Thus may we celebrate Christmas with love and gratitude.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

We belong to you, O God, and we thank you
that our only comfort in life
is your Son, Jesus Christ, to whom we belong.
We thank you, gracious God, that you seek us as we are,
and in all our encounters with you,
you truly see us and love us completely.

On this Sunday of joy, we bring to you our memories of years past,
we offer to you our longing for a happy Christmas,
and our fear of loneliness and emptiness during the holiday season.
May the good news of your coming fill our hearts with genuine joy.

May the downcast find comfort,
and may those who are in conflict be open to reconciliation.
Show the path of your Son’s teachings to those who wander aimlessly.
Help those of us
who are lost in the glitter of decorations and in the blare of Christmas carols
to find meaning.
Bless those who take refuge in alcohol or substance abuse with freedom.
And on all who are on the brink,
grant your mercy and the knowledge of your grace.
Heal us and our world with your unfathomable love.
And hear us now as, in the silence of this sacred space,
we pray to you for ourselves and our loved ones.

[A silence is kept.]

Grant us your Advent hope and peace and joy,
for we ask it in the Name of Jesus Christ your Son,
who with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, God forevermore. Amen
—inspired by Reformierte Liturgie (1999)
Thank you, O giving God, for this festive season of the year.
We praise you that in the deepest darkness of winter,
we can look forward to the birth of a Child
who will bring us hope, peace, joy, and love.
May your Spirit inspire us to spread this good news to the world around us,
for we pray in the Name of the Christ Child. Amen.

Our worship has ended.
Let your service begin.
Go your way into the week and into the world.
Share who you are with those who seek wholeness.
Share what you have with those who are needy.
And do not be mournful,
for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Go your way
in the Name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
—see Nehemiah 8:10