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YEAR B - ADVENT CANDLE LIGHTING
The Righteous Branch

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THE CANDLES OF ADVENT: HOPE - PEACE - JOY - LOVE
For Year B of The Revised Common Lectionary

The following "Advent Candle Lighting" litanies for each Sunday of Advent - Year B have been prepared with three objectives in mind. The first objective is to honour the Advent tradition of the "Jesse Tree". Hence the first two phrases of the litany for each Sunday of Advent begins with the words of the prophet Isaiah concerning the branch that will sprout from the root of Jesse. The second objective was to bring together the themes of the First Lesson for each Sunday of Advent (Year B) with the traditional themes of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. And the third objective was to highlight the theme of the present and approaching light of God.

Every Sunday of Advent the candle lighting is preceded by the Words of Welcome and the Introit: "Prepare Ye The Way of The Lord" (Voices United, no. 10). Because of copyright considerations this introit or another suitable "preparation" introit should be used as they may be found in your tradition's hymnal.

The readers/candle lighters chosen for the Sunday should come come forward during the singing of the Introit. The candle lighting litany includes the prayer of Approach for the day - and is followed by the singing of "A Candle Is Burning" by the congregation. "A Candle Is Burning" is a song by Sandra Dean (1986) and is found in Voices United, the hymn book of the United Church of Canada. The tune is "Away in A Manger". The words are reproduced here by permission of the Author. If you use this song in worship, please acknowledge her authorship amd date. Sandra Dean lives in Ottawa, Canada and is Director of Music at Southminster United Church. She is delighted to share the song with you.

When the verse is over the candle lighting group may return to their seats.


THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT: HOPE

Minister   - The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God
           and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
                
People     And also with you.
             
Minister   - Let us Sing our Advent Introit - "Prepare Ye The Way Of The
           Lord" (VU 10)

             Prepare the way of the Lord!
             Prepare the way of the Lord!
             Make a straight path for him, make a straight path;
             prepare the way of the Lord!

VOICE   A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a
        Branch will bear fruit.  The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him
        - the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of
        counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of
        the Lord.

VOICE   He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by
        what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge
        the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of
        the earth. 

VOICE   Our Hope is in the Lord our God - and in the One whom he has sent
        to be judge of the living and of the dead - the one who has come
        forth from Jesse and whose return in glory we even now await.

VOICE   Our hope may falter - but God never fails.  He sends forth light
        to encourage us and to light our way as we await the fulfilment
        of the promises made to Israel and to all the earth.
   
Light the First Candle

VOICE   Let us Pray  - Loving God, we thank you for the light that you
        have sent and are sending into the world, the light that even now
        lights our path.   Come among us and make your name known to all
        people.  We are the clay, you are the Potter.  Form us as you
        will, so  that songs of praise may ascend to you - both now and
        forevermore.  Amen

SONG      A Candle is burning, a flame warm and bright,
          a candle of hope in December's dark night.
          While angels sing blessing from heaven's starry sky,
          our hearts we prepare now for Jesus in nigh.


THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT: PEACE

Minister   - The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God
           and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
            
People     And also with you.
              
Minister   - Let us Sing our Advent Introit - "Prepare Ye The Way Of The
           Lord" (VU 10)

             Prepare the way of the Lord!
             Prepare the way of the Lord!
             Make a straight path for him, make a straight path;
             prepare the way of the Lord!

VOICE   A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a
        Branch will bear fruit.  The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him
        - the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of
        counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of
        the Lord.

VOICE   He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by
        what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge
        the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of
        the earth. 

VOICE   In that day he will bring peace to the earth.  The wolf will live
        with lamb and the and the leopard will lie down with the goat. 
        No one will harm or destroy another, for the earth will be full
        of the knowledge of the Lord.

VOICE   Until that day we are called to live as Children of Peace, as
        ones who turn from the darkness of sin and death and walk by the
        light and in Spirit that God gives.

Light the First and Second Candles

VOICE   Let us Pray - Loving God, we thank you for the light that you
        have sent and are sending into the world, the light that even now
        lights our path.   Come among us and grant to us hearts that are
        humble and ready to receive your peace.  Reveal to us your glory
        and comfort all your people.  Fill us with your Spirit as we
        await the One in whom we hope.  Amen
 
SONG:     A Candle is burning, a candle of peace,
          a candle to signal that conflict must cease:
          for Jesus is coming to show us the way;
          a message of peace humbly laid in the hay.


THE THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT: JOY

Minister   - The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God
           and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
                 
People     And also with you.
                 
Minister   - Let us Sing our Advent Introit - "Prepare Ye The Way Of The
           Lord" (VU 10)

             Prepare the way of the Lord!
             Prepare the way of the Lord!
             Make a straight path for him, make a straight path;
             prepare the way of the Lord!

VOICE   A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a
        Branch will bear fruit.  The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him
        - the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of
        counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of
        the Lord.

VOICE   He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by
        what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge
        the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of
        the earth. 

VOICE   He will provide those who grieve a crown of beauty instead of
        ashes, to those who mourn he  will give the oil of gladness, and
        upon those who live in sorrow and despair he will pour out a
        spirit of praise.     

VOICE   As the soil makes the sprout comes up and a garden causes seeds
        to grow, so the Lord will  shine forth upon us and bring to us
        and our world everlasting joy.  

Light the First, Second, and Third Candles   (* the third candle is the
pink candle) 

VOICE   Let us Pray  - Loving God, we thank you for the light that you
        have sent and are sending into the world, the light that even now
        lights our path.  Come among us and fill us with the joy that you
        want all your children to have. Make us ones who by word and
        action bring praise and glory to you and your chosen one, the
        Christ who redeems all people.  Amen.

SONG      A candle is burning, a candle of joy.
          A candle to welcome brave Mary's new boy.
          Our hearts fill with wonder, and eyes light and glow
          as joy brightens winter like sunshine on snow.

THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT: LOVE

Minister   - The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God
           and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
                   
People     And also with you.
                      
Minister   - Let us Sing our Advent Introit - "Prepare Ye The Way Of The
           Lord" (VU 10)

             Prepare the way of the Lord!
             Prepare the way of the Lord!
             Make a straight path for him, make a straight path;
             prepare the way of the Lord!

VOICE   A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a
        Branch will bear fruit.  The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him
        - the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of
        counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of
        the Lord.

VOICE   He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by
        what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge
        the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of
        the earth. 

VOICE   The Lord our God will fulfill all his promises to through him. 
        He will receive the throne of David and his Kingdom will endure
        forever.   Through him and in him we will have rest from all our
        enemies.  His love will vanquish the power of sin and death.  

VOICE   He will be known as the Light of the World.  All who dwell in Him
        will dwell in everlasting love and no darkness will be in them.  
        He is our hope, our peace, our joy, and our love.

Light the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Candles  

VOICE   Let us Pray  - Loving God, we thank you for the light that you
        have sent and are sending into the world, the light that even now
        lights our path.  As you visited Mary and promised to her to
        bring forth from her the Promised One from of old, so visit us
        this day and give us eyes to see and hearts to welcome your
        presence.  Make us a people who receive and give birth to your
        love in the world.  Amen
          
SONG      A candle is burning, a candle of love,
          a candle to point us to heaven above,
          A baby for Christmas, a wonderful birth,
          for Jesus is bringing God's love to our earth.
copyright - Rev. Richard J. Fairchild - Spirit Networks, 2002 - 2006

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