A Contemplative Service for Advent

by Hilary Horn
For the past 4 years, Cedar Park MB Church in Ladner BC, Canada, has held a contemplative service to mark the beginning of Advent. My good friend, Tom Balke, just sent the outline and photos to me and the pastor, Lee Kosa has graciously given us permission to share on Godspace:
The service includes Scripture, lectio divina, silence, and reflective worship.  People were seated in a circle with a candle in the middle.  A painting of Mary being visited by the Angel was also displayed.
This year the theme of the responsive reading was “Open my heart to you, O Lord.” The idea is to provide people with a breath prayer to use throughout the season of Advent (see below).
Toward the end of the service, people were invited to come up and take a little package with a gold colored Advent related verse inside (see photo). After a few moments to reflect on the passage, people around the circle each read their verse aloud.

Responsive Reading

Father, as we enter this season of Advent we come scattered. It is difficult to focus on the coming of your son Jesus into our lives. We yearn for your presence to not only break into the world, but into our lives.
Open my heart to you, O Lord.
At times our hearts feel closed to you.
Open my heart to you, O Lord.
In the midst of our worries, loneliness, strained relationships, illness, and grief.
Open my heart to you, O Lord.
In the midst of the hollowness of our consumer society, we find it difficult to share the good news of the coming of Jesus.
Open my heart to you, O Lord.
Deliver us from aimless chatter and from fear of silence.
Open my heart to you, O Lord.
In this season of heightened demands and expectations we yearn for your peace.
Open my heart to you, O Lord.
In the midst of the frenzy of purchasing gifts, visiting friends and family, and arranging activities.
Open my heart, O Lord.
As we find ourselves surrounded by pressures at work or lack of work.
Open my heart to you, O Lord.
In the midst of a suffering world with so many fleeing and seeking refuge, like Mary & Joseph long ago.
Open my heart to you, O Lord.
In the same way that you prepared Mary and Joseph’s hearts for the birth of Jesus.
Open my heart to you, O Lord.

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1 comment

Mary Harwell Sayler December 13, 2018 - 9:23 am

Excellent insights! Thanks and blessings.

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