At Peace Mennonite this year, we will begin Advent with a service of prayer and anointing. This is similar to what other churches do for “Blue Christmas” or “Longest Night.” The order of our service is below. Blessings to all as you begin the Advent season.
Welcome, each of you, to this service of prayer and anointing as we begin the season of Advent. The purpose of this service is to acknowledge the grief that so often accompanies our experience of the holidays. Here together we give each other permission to grieve and we remind each other of God’s presence with us in our grief.
Taize Hymn & Lighting of Christ Candle: Stay with us 21
Prayer of Releasing and Receiving
We place ourselves in your presence.
Our minds and our spirits are cluttered. Help us make space for you. Help us to be fully present here, now.
We release to you all that we have done today–whether for good or for ill.
We release all that we feel like we should have done today, but did not do.
We release all of the people who weigh on our hearts and minds this evening.
We release our fears. We release our anxiety. We release our impatience. We release our pride.
All of the thoughts, all of the feelings that pull us away from you, O God, we release.
And now with open hearts we receive what you offer us now:
We receive the gift of this space and this time.
We receive the gift of being with each person here.
We receive the Holy Spirit’s presence within us for guidance and healing.
We receive the sacred words that will be spoken and thought.
We receive the holy touch of hand and heart.
We receive the silence.
We receive the music.
Fill us now with the peace of your deep, abiding presence.
We offer all of ourselves to you, our One God, Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer. Amen
Taize Hymn: Come and fill 28
Scripture: Psalm 6:2-4, 6-9
Taize Hymn: Come and fill 28
Invitation to time of reflection/response
- Anointing and prayer will be offered in the back of the worship space
- People may light a candle on the front table in remembrance of loved ones who have died and/or as a symbol of receiving the light of Christ into their lives for this season
- Materials will be provided for people to write out a prayer.
- Prayer request cards will be provided for those who wish to have someone pray for them throughout Advent.
Scripture: Matthew 11:28-30
Taize Hymn: Our darkness 14
Be the light within and around us in these days of Advent.
A light that is steady and constant against any darkness that we face.
A light that shows us the path toward healing and wholeness–for ourselves and for our world.
Hand out prayer request cards to those willing to pray for someone during Advent.
Blessing (from Romans 8)
As you go forth remember the promise: neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.