Advent Liturgy

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There was a great attendance at our Advent liturgy in Manresa, where the Jesuit community gave us a warm welcome. The readings were inspiring and prayerful; the singing and especially Luisne lifted us for Advent; and Pat Torpey made a wonderful appeal for Moyross National School in Limerick which saw over 1000 Euro in the collection.
[A transcript of the Advent Liturgy can be found if you scroll down past the photos]

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We all gave our neighbours a blessing.
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Patricia & Seamus and their 3 children bringing a candle.
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Pat making an appeal on behalf of Moyross National School.
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Luisne from Kilcoole leading us in our final prayer and song.
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Jackie who led the team who prepared the Advent liturgy.
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Louise who played the organ and led our hymns.

 

ADVENT LITURGY 2014

Welcome: general welcome/ exits/ tea and coffee/collection / introduce Luisne

(Brendan)

Quieting/opening: Luisne.

Responsory:

 

Phil: I look from afar;

All: And lo! I see the power of God coming, and a great cloud covering the whole earth.

 

Phil: Go out to meet him and say:

All: Tell us, are you the one that should come to reign over the people, Israel?

 

Phil: High and low, rich with poor, one with another; go out to meet him and say:

All: Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, tell us, are you the one that should come?

 

Phil: Stir up your strength, O Lord, and come,

All: To reign over the people, Israel.

 

Phil: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;

All: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

Pause.

 

Opening Reflection: (Soline and Colm, reading alternate verses)
Moving into the Unknown Future
 

Fear not the unknown,
But move swiftly and confidently into it,
Knowing that only the very best will come from it,
That all those secrets which have been hidden are there
Waiting to be revealed
And that now is the time for these revelations.

 

You must be prepared for the most wonderful
And yet unexpected things to come about,
For all old moulds to be broken.
All old conventions,
All those old links with the past
Which have held you bound and fettered.
You must be completely free to move into the new,
Having no ties with the past to pull you back.

 

Before you is the most wonderful and glorious future.
You are living by the ways of the Spirit
And it is the Spirit that leads you
Into the realms of the unknown,
Into the glorious new.

 

Only those who are strong and of good courage
Can move with complete freedom,
Only those who have real faith and belief,
Whose security is Me.

 

Be not a doubter , nor a waverer,
Let nothing throw you off balance.
Your foundations are built on rock,
They are built on Me.

 

You know that I am with you always,
That I am within you.
You know that when you have eyes to see
You can indeed see Me in everything and in everyone,
That I am the Allness of All.

 

Be consciously aware of all this,
Let your mind dwell on the wonder of it,
Absorb it,
Let it sink into you,
Become part of you,
So that you live it and breathe it.

 

(Eileen Caddy)

Pause for reflection.

 

Hymn: Lord of All Hopefulness (verses 1 and 2 only)

 

Blessing:

(Jackie)

Joan and Dairne come forward.

Water is a powerful symbol of new life and new beginnings. At this time when we hope for rebirth within our church, and pray for courage in working for renewal, I invite you to bless the person beside you with water by making the sign of the cross on his or her forehead while saying ‘May the new born Christ bless you with hope and courage.’

Jackie blesses Joan and Dairne, handing each a small bowl of water. They go to each end of the front row and bless the first person, handing him/her the bowl. When all have shared the blessing, Joan and Dairne return with the bowls and Joan blesses Jackie.

 

Quiet music during the blessing.

 

First reading: A reading from the prophet Isaiah:(Isaiah 9: 1-5)

(Joan)

The people who walk in darkness
have seen a great light.
A light has dawned
on those who live in the land of the shadow of death.

 

You have enlarged the nation;
you have increased their joy.
They rejoice before you,
as people rejoice at harvest time
as they rejoice in sharing the bounty.
For the yoke of their burden,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressors,
you have broken it as on the day of Midian.

 

Every warrior’s boot that tramped in war,
every cloak rolled in blood,
will be thrown out for burning
will serve as fuel for the fire.

 

For a child is born to us,
a son is given us;
the royal ornament is laid upon his shoulder,
and his name is proclaimed:
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

 

The word of the Lord.

Response: Thanks be to God.

 

Pause for reflection.

 

Hymn: O come, O come, Emmanuel.

 

Second Reading:

(Aidan)

 

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans. (Romans12:9-18)

 

Let love be sincere. Hate what is evil and hold to whatever is good. Love one another, be considerate, and outdo one another in mutual respect. Be zealous in fulfilling your duties. Be fervent in the Spirit and serve God.
Have hope and be cheerful, be patient in trials, and pray constantly. Share with other Christians in need, and be ready to welcome those who pass by on their journey.
Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not wish evil on anyone. Rejoice with those who are joyful, and weep with those who weep. Do not dream of extraordinary things, be humble and do not hold yourselves as wise.
Do not return evil for evil, but let everyone see your goodwill. Do your best to live in peace with everybody. Do not let evil defeat you, but conquer evil with goodness.

 

The word of the Lord.

Response: Thanks be to God.

 

Pause for reflection.

 

The Advent Wreath:

(Helen)

Our Advent Wreath represents a tradition which goes back at least to the Middle Ages in the Christian Church. The symbolism of the wreath is rich: its circular shape, which has no beginning or end, reminds us of the eternity of God; the evergreen foliage symbolises eternal life, while the pine cones represent death and resurrection. The four coloured candles represent the four weeks of Advent: three are purple suggesting the prayer, penance and good works we undertake at this time while the rose-coloured candle, lit on the third, Gaudete, Sunday, invites us to rejoice that we are mid-way through Advent and approaching Christmas. The white candle of course symbolises Christ Himself, the light of the world.

As we light the candles today we prefigure our Advent journey. We focus on our renewed efforts to lead a truly Christian life, as St. Paul has just outlined for us, and on our hopes for reform and renewal in our church, especially in relation to the ongoing work of the Synod on the Family.

 

The response to our prayers today is: “Help us to make our voices heard”.

 

Gina, Finbarr, Bernadette and John come forward together.

 

Prayer:

(Gina)

Jesus, Christ-child, you came into our world as a defenceless baby, entirely dependent on your family for love, nourishment and protection. We pray for all children: the millions all over the world, including many in our own country, who live and die in poverty and also for those who are abused within their own families, in the wider community and in our Church. We pledge ourselves to influence governments, in every way we can, to prioritize the needs of children, and we will constantly demand that every child is cherished, valued and protected.

 

Lord, give us hope and courage.

Response: Help us to make our voices heard.

 

Pause for reflection as Gina lights the first purple candle.

 

Hymn: Wait for the Lord (Taizé chant)

Wait for the Lord whose day is near,
Wait for the Lord, be strong, take heart (2).

 

Prayer:

(Finbarr)

Jesus, our brother, we remember that you chose to work your first miracle at a family occasion, a marriage feast. You chose to respond compassionately and generously to a simple human predicament – there was no more wine! May the leaders of our Church, as they continue the work of the Synod, be also moved to respond compassionately and generously to the voices of families all over the world who struggle with poverty, migration, unemployment, poor housing, fertility or lack of it, and many other problems. We pledge ourselves to champion the needs of   families in our Church and in the wider community.

 

Lord, give us hope and courage.

Response: Help us to make our voices heard.

 

Pause for reflection as Finbarr lights the second purple candle.

 

Hymn: Wait for the Lord (2).

 

Prayer:

(Bernadette)

Gaudete! God of joy, Christ our Saviour, we rejoice in your coming, we rejoice in your Good News of Hope, Peace and Loving-kindness. We rejoice too in our Pope, Francis, who gives us new hope for a more compassionate Church as he calls for consultation with all the People of God and speaks to assembled Church leaders of the dangers of ‘evil pastors who lay intolerable burdens on the shoulders of the faithful and do not lift a finger to remove them.’ Bless and protect him as he leads us towards a new vision of church. We pledge ourselves to support and encourage his efforts.

 

Lord, give us hope and courage.

Response: Help us to make our voices heard.

 

Pause for reflection as Bernadette lights the pink candle.

 

Hymn: Wait for the Lord. (2)

 

Prayer:

(John)

Jesus, hope of sinners, friend of the outcast, we remember that you said to all your followers: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, you cannot have life in you.” We believe that you intended the Eucharist to be ‘food for the journey’ for all of us pilgrims here on earth. We pray that our Church leaders may be inspired by the Holy Spirit to offer the sacraments to all Christians, whether they are gay or divorced or in second relationships or excluded for any other reason. We pledge ourselves to work for an inclusive Church which respects the individual conscience of every person of faith.

 

Lord, give us hope and courage.

Response: Help us to make our voices heard.

 

Pause for reflection as John lights the last purple candle.

 

Hymn: Wait for the Lord…(2)

 

Reading:

(Dairne)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John. (John 1:1-14)

Response: Glory to you, O Lord

 

In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God; He was in the beginning with God.

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing came to be. Whatever has come to be, found life through Him; life, which for human beings, was also light, light that shines in darkness, light that darkness could not overcome.

A man came, sent by God; his name was John. He came to bear witness, as a witness to introduce the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but a witness to introduce the Light; for the Light was coming into the world, the true Light that enlightens everyone.

He was in the world, and through Him the world was made, the very world that did not know Him.

He came to His own, yet His own people did not receive Him; but to all who receive Him He gives power to become children of God, for they believe in His Name.

These are born, but not by seed, nor carnal desire, nor by the will of man: they are born of God.

And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; and we have seen His glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father: fullness of truth and loving-kindness.

 

The Gospel of the Lord.

Response: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Pause for reflection.

 

The white candle, already lit, is carried into the room by Joan and placed in the centre of the Advent wreath.

 

Hymn: Cead Mile Failte Romhat

 

Final Prayer: A God who Gives

Gertrude, Brendan and Mary come forward together. They read verses 1 – 3 respectively. The remainder of the prayer is read by all present together.

 

A God who Gives

 

(Gertrude)

God of love and life,
The pattern of your presence among us is clear enough.
You give with overwhelming generosity
And we receive with our customary casualness.
You give more than we can ask or imagine,
And we receive, sometimes in wonder.

 

(Brendan)

You give us life and breath, and we receive;
You give rain and sunshine and food, and we receive.
You give yourself in prophetic voice,
And in the most unexpected holy people, and we receive;
You take and bless and break and give, and we receive.

( Mary)

But sometimes you challenge us in overwhelming mystery
And awesome destruction.
The world shakes on its foundations and we are terrified.
The waters move beyond their bounds and we feel engulfed.
The mountains crush the valleys
And we cry from the buried depths.

 

(All)

Do not, we pray, allow our hearts to go numb
When this happens.
Do not , we beg, allow us to give in to tempting paralysis.
Move us, in those times of dread,
To take our turn as the givers,
So that all may find food and shelter and care and nourishment.
Open our hearts to the cries of those who weep,
So that what we have received from you in abundance,
May be passed on to all.
Help us, O God who is love,
And O Love who is God,
To love, even in our own faltering way.

 

God of Life and Love,
The pattern of your presence among us is clear.
You give and we receive,
You challenge and we are afraid.
Be with us as we learn again to see you in the giving and the receiving,
The generosity and the fear,
The alarm and the hope.

 

(Julian of Norwich)

 

Pause for reflection

 

Pledge of Prayer:

(Rosy)

 

We understand Advent as a special time of prayer and effort to reach out to those who suffer. This bowl is full of stars, each star representing a group of ‘those who weep’ in our world. I invite you now to come forward, row by row, to choose a star. The group indicated on your star could be the focus of your prayerful attention during this holy season. May your star guide your footsteps to Bethlehem!

 

Quiet Music as all come forward.

 

Final Hymn: Lord of all Hopefulness (Verses 3 and 4)

 

 

Final blessing:

(Jackie)

For the final blessing we ask each of you to stand and place your left hand, holding your star, on your heart and your right hand on the shoulder of the person to your right.

 

The response to each blessing is ‘Amen’.

 

God our Father and Mother we honour you, and we thank you for bringing us together today. Bless us as we leave this place to share your life with others.

Response: Amen

 

May your Spirit guide us and strengthen us, may she increase our hope, our courage and our capacity to love as we prepare for the birth of Jesus.

Response: Amen

 

May the blessing of the Holy Trinity rest kindly upon us and all we love.

Response: Amen

 

And may Almighty God bless us

In the name of God our Father and Mother,

Our brother Jesus,

And of the Holy Spirit.

Response: Amen

 

Collection:

Brendan asks everyone to be seated for a moment and introduces Pat Torpey who will say a few words on the situation in Corpus Christi National School, Moyross.

The collection is then taken up by Bernadette and Finbarr

 

Luisne: I am that I am.