Advent Prayer

Advent 2O God,
by your holy prophets
you promised that your only Son
would come in the flesh for us
and be born of a virgin.
In these last days you have fulfilled your Word.
When he who came to redeem the world
comes to be our judge,
let us not be put to shame;
through the merits of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Mozarabic Collect for the Second Sunday in Advent, freely modified from  Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Halle, New York, 1881, p.15 #2

May We always Watch and Pray

veit-dietrichLord God, heavenly Father, by your Son you have revealed to us that heaven and earth will pass away, that our bodies will rise again and that we all must appear before the judgment throne. Keep us by your Holy Spirit in your Word, establish us in the true faith, graciously defend us from sin and preserve us in all temptations, that our hearts may not be obsessed with carousing, drunkenness, and foolish cares, but that we may always watch and pray and trust fully in your grace, await with joy the glorious coming of your Son and at last, obtain eternal salvation, through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy  Spirit, one true God, now and forever. Amen.

Source: Veit Dietrich

Source of this version: Freely modified from The Lutheran Hymnary, 1913, http://olcc.us/liturgical-resources/collects-veit-dietrich/ (Advent 2)

Make Us Watchful

Advent 1O Lord our God,
make us watchful and heedful
as we await the coming of your Son,
Christ our Lord,
that when he comes and knocks,
he will find us not sleeping in sins
but awake and rejoicing in his praises;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: Gelasian Sacramentary 

Source of this version: Modified from Ancient Collects, and Other Prayers, ed. William Bright, 1902, p. 16 #4

The Blessing of a Nativity Scene

This rite is available as a pdf file here: the-blessing-of-a-nativity-scene

All gather around the nativity scene.

L:  Our help is in the name of the LORD,
R:  The Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8)

L: The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the second chapter.

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3And everyone went to register, each to his own town. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the town of Nazareth, into Judea, to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was from the house and family line of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, his wife, who was pledged to him in marriage and was expecting a child.

6And so it was that while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8There were in the same country shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified! 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. For behold, I bring you good news of great joy, which will be for all people: 11Today in the town of David, a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude from the heavenly army, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward mankind.” (EHV)

L: The Gospel of the Lord.
R:  Praise be to you, O Christ.

L: Let us pray.
God of glory, when the set time had fully come, you sent your only Son to be born of the virgin Mary, and made the good news of great joy about his birth known to shepherds, who then spread abroad the news about the holy Child.

Bless us as we remember his birth. Speak to our hearts with the news of his birth, and continue to renew our faith with the peace of his gospel. Move us to respond and to share this good news with those around us with the message of your love reflected in our lives, and also in word, art and song; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
R:  Amen.

A Christmas carol reflecting on the birth of Christ may be sung.

This rite is based loosely on The Blessing of a Manger or Nativity Scene from Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers © 2008, USCCB.

The prayers are newly composed, © 2016 Paul C. Stratman, https://acollectionofprayers.wordpress.com/

All Scripture is from The Holy Bible: Evangelical Heritage Version. www.wartburgproject.com