Devotionals and Liturgy
- Week 1 – The shepherds were on the edge of their society, who is on the edge of our community. What one thing could you do to show hospitality? Pray for all those on the edge of communities.
- Week 2 – The kings travelled from far away countries. Pray for migrants who are seeking asylum and safety. The Old Testament contains many calls to include everyone in your celebrations and society – who might you need to include?
- Week 3 – Mary would have been stigmatised by her wider society. Pray for any women today who might feel stigmatised, those suffering domestic violence, those in refuges.
- Week 4 – Mary and Joseph were welcomed eventually. Pray for all those who welcome others in hospitals, hospices, care homes and prisons.
You could also encourage others to use this liturgy, or livestream it via social media…
The first candle is lit
This candle is for the people of God, that’s us and those who walk beside us and those who walk before us.
Reading: Corinthians 1:9
It is God himself who called you to share in the life of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and God keeps faith.
Loving God – we pray for the church throughout the world that she may continue to be a light for you. We pray for the churches in this village that we may be a source of light and love to those around us. During this Advent bless your people as we prepare to celebrate again the coming of the Light of the World. Amen.
One candle is already lit. A second candle is lit.
This candle is for the prophets, those people who speak out for justice, who stand with those who feel the world has forgotten them. People who speak for God to a world that needs to hear.
Reading: Isaiah 40:9
Climb to a mountaintop, you that bring good news to Zion; raise your voice and shout aloud, you that carry good news to Jerusalem, raise it fearlessly; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Your God is here.’
Challenging God, we give thanks today for prophets of all kinds: those who work for justice in organisations such as Traidcraft, Tear Fund and Christian Aid, those who work with the poor and marginalised in homeless shelters or with people seeking asylum.
We pray for ourselves that we may be prepared to speak out for justice in your name. Amen.
Two candles are already lit. A third candle is lit.
This candle is for John the Baptist, sent by God to prepare for the ministry of Jesus.
Reading: Isaiah 40:3
A voice cries
Clear a road through the wilderness for the Lord,
prepare a highway across the desert
for our God.
We pray for those who prepare a place for others in our society. We remember those who work in the NHS and care home workers. People in the hospitality trade, those who work in hostels for the homeless, refuges and prisons
We pray for ourselves that we may always be ready to welcome you in the stranger.
Three candles are already lit. A fourth candle is lit.
This candle is for Mary who said yes to God even though she had no idea how difficult her life might be.
Reading: Luke 1 verse 38
‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ said Mary; may it be as you have said.
We pray for all those like Mary who have said yes to you with an open heart, not knowing where it might lead; those who have entered religious communities to give their lives to the work of prayer. People who have been called to serve you far from home in difficult circumstances.
We pray for ourselves that we may be prepared to answer yes to your call as generously as Mary did. Amen.
Four candles already lit. Centre candle is lit.
We light this candle to remember Jesus’ birthday, God come to us in a tiny baby.
Reading: Luke 2:6 – 7
While they were there the time came for her to have her baby, and she gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
We pray for all babies that will be born today. May they be loved and cared for, and have all the necessities of life.
We pray for ourselves that Jesus may shine in our hearts this Christmas day and always. Amen.