The First Sunday Of Advent Candle Lighting (2008)

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Candle Lighting Service

As our days grow shorter and our nights longer,

we who are people of faith turn to symbols

such as candles, evergreens and wreaths

to proclaim our belief in the unquenchable light.

In hopeful anticipation,

we prepare for the coming of the Reign of God.

Listen to the Word of the prophet Isaiah (60:1-5)

for the first Sunday of this new church year:

 1 "Arise, shine, for your light has come,
       and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.

 2 See, darkness covers the earth
       and thick darkness is over the peoples,
       but the LORD rises upon you
       and his glory appears over you.

 3 Nations will come to your light,
       and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

 4 "Lift up your eyes and look about you:
       All assemble and come to you;
       your sons come from afar,
       and your daughters are carried on the arm.

 5 Then you will look and be radiant,
       your heart will throb and swell with joy;

As we begin our journey to the light,

we confess that our lives have not always been lived

in ways that are pleasing to God.

Our shame has left us feeling distant from

the One who has created us all.

Yet even now,

our longing for the One

who tears open the heavens and comes down

kindles like a fire in our soul.

Even now as we wait, we dare to hope.

In this season of Advent waiting,

as a people of faith,

we are pregnant with anticipation

and we feel hope rise up within us.

And so we light this first candle

and name it Hope.

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