Advent Prayer: May we be ready to meet Him at His Second Advent

December 4, 2015

O Almighty Father, fountain of light and salvation, we adore thine infinite goodness in sending thy only begotten Son into the world that, believing in him, we may not perish but have everlasting life; and we pray thee that, through the grace of his first advent to save the world, we may be made ready to meet him at his second advent to judge the world; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Bishop William Walsham How (1823-1897)

H/T The Rev. Kendall Harmon, at TitusOneNine

 

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Advent Poems: Christina Rossetti’s “Advent Sunday” (Behold the Bridegroom Cometh) – read by Malcolm Guite

November 29, 2015

One of the Advent Series I am most excited about is Anglican priest and poet Malcolm Guite’s series for Advent 2015.  He’ll be reading an Advent poem from his Advent poetry anthology “Waiting on the Word” each day.

Today, for Advent Sunday, his reading is Christina Rossetti’s poem “Advent Sunday” (Behold the Bridegroom Cometh)

Here’s the text of the poem, which I found here.

Advent Sunday

Source: The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti, with a Memoir and Notes by William Michael Rossetti (1904), page 156

BEHOLD, the Bridegroom cometh: go ye out
With lighted lamps and garlands round about
To meet Him in a rapture with a shout.

It may be at the midnight, black as pitch,
Earth shall cast up her poor, cast up her rich.

It may be at the crowing of the cock
Earth shall upheave her depth, uproot her rock.

For lo, the Bridegroom fetcheth home the Bride:
His Hands are Hands she knows, she knows His Side.

Like pure Rebekah at the appointed place,
Veiled, she unveils her face to meet His Face.

Like great Queen Esther in her triumphing,
She triumphs in the Presence of her King.

His Eyes are as a Dove’s, and she’s Dove-eyed;
He knows His lovely mirror, sister, Bride.

He speaks with Dove-voice of exceeding love,
And she with love-voice of an answering Dove.

Behold, the Bridegroom cometh: go we out
With lamps ablaze and garlands round about
To meet Him in a rapture with a shout.

Before 1886.

Each day’s poetry reading is accompanied by a beautiful illustration by Lancia SmithHere’s her image to accompany today’s poem:

2 Behold the Bridegroom cometh 1 - wm

art credit:  Lancia E Smith: Behold the Bridegroom Cometh


Recommended Devotional Sites & Resources for Advent 2015

November 29, 2015

This post is sticky. Look below for new entries.

advent_vespersHappy Advent! Below is a list of some of the best sites for devotionals and prayers throughout Advent. Almost all the sites featured below will have new entries each day of Advent. We will update this list from time to time as we discover new websites. Resources marked “*(A)” are from the Anglican tradition.

Please feel free to share recommendations for Advent links & resources in the comments!

Don’t forget our Advent Devotionals category here at Lent & Beyond.

Click on “Read the rest of the entry” to see all the links.

Read the rest of this entry »


Two Prayers for the first Sunday of Advent

November 29, 2015

The traditional Anglican collect for the First Sunday in Advent:

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.

***

A contemporary prayer for the First Sunday in Advent by Pastor Scotty Smith, from his blog Heavenward:

     You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isa. 40:9-11 (NIV)

     Dear heavenly Father, on this first Sunday of Advent, we praise, bless and adore, for the privilege of celebrating your great faithfulness and your immeasurable generosity. You sent Jesus to us, and have given him for us. Every promise you have made finds its emphatic “Yes!” in Jesus (2 Cor. 1:20).

     Fuel our wonder and enflame our hearts, Father. Help us engage again, with the story of Jesus’ birth, with childlike wonder and renewed hope. Bring familiar Scriptures alive in fresh and transforming ways. We don’t trust in a season, but in our Savior.

     I love how Isaiah describes the Messiah coming to gather us up in his “Advent arms.” To be tended as a helpless lamb, to be held close to your heart, to be gently led—what more could we possibly need or desire? We believe; help our unbelief.

     And in Jesus, you come near to us as the Sovereign Lord, with your sleeves rolled up as the great ruler. Your arm rules over all history and every heartache, over all kings and every crises. Nothing and no one can alter, subvert, or change the story you are telling, and the kingdom you are advancing, through Jesus. Thankfully, these aren’t mere metaphors, Father; for metaphors can’t save us, only inspire us. You really are this involved in our lives, and your really are this merciful and mighty.

     Indeed, the coming of Jesus puts all nations on notice: There is only one true King, and he is Jesus. And the coming of Jesus puts us—your people, face down in adoring love. Over the next several weeks, show us, yet again, how Jesus is a most wonderful and grace-full Savior—Immanuel, the God who is very much with us and totally for us. So very Amen we pray, with Advent longings, in Jesus’ matchless and merciful name.


A Prayer Litany for Marriage from the ACNA college of bishops

June 26, 2015

The ACNA bishops today released a unanimous statement on the Supreme Court’s decision re: same sex marriage.  You can read the full statement here.

At the end they issue a call to prayer, and include a wonderful litany for marriage.  I urge all of our readers to print this out and pray it regularly.

Today there is no place for either triumphalism or despair, so we prayerfully and sincerely urge a spirit of charity by all. We speak out of a concern for the consequences that our people and our neighbors will suffer from an unjust and unwise decision by five justices of the Supreme Court. We call those justices to repentance, even as we echo Jesus’ words, praying for God the Father to forgive them, for they know not what they have done.
We call our people to a season of prayer for marriage and offer the accompanying Litany and Prayer to guide us.
A Litany for Marriage
We thank you, heavenly Father, for graciously creating us in your image, male and female, and for ordaining
that a man and woman shall be joined as one flesh in the covenant of marriage.
We thank you, O Father.
We thank you for the gift and heritage of children and for placing them in homes which may be havens of
blessing and peace.
We thank you, O Father.
We thank you for the love between fathers and mothers and sons and daughters that binds together the
generations and undergirds our country’s social fabric.
We thank you, O Father.
Lord Jesus Christ, divine Bridegroom, we repent for all the situations in which we have dishonored the
covenant of marriage through selfishness or unfaithfulness.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
We repent as a Church where we have failed to prepare our children for holy matrimony, or to care for those
who are widowed, divorced or single.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
We repent where as citizens we have become complacent and neglected the defense of marriage in the public
square.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
We pray you, Holy Spirit, to restore marriage to its due honor in our country and to revive our marriages and
families as emblems of your love.
Deliver us by your grace and power.
We pray you to strengthen our bishops and other leaders as they join with faithful churches to make a strong
God-honoring defense of your design for marriage.
Deliver us by your grace and power.
We pray you to have mercy on those who have promoted false teaching about marriage and on those who
have been led astray and harmed by it.
Deliver us by your grace and power.
Grant us courage, O Triune God, to hold fast to the truth of your Word, and give grace to those who are
counted worthy to suffer for the Name of Christ.
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his
glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and
authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).
A Prayer for Marriage
Almighty God our heavenly Father, you have created us male and female in your image and have ordained that a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. Look down in mercy, we pray, on our families, our church and our nation. Knit together in constant affection those who, in Holy Matrimony, have been made one flesh. Turn the hearts of the parents to the children, the hearts of the children to the parents, and the hearts of all to those who are single or alone. Finally, grant that your Church may steadfastly defend the unchangeable bond of marriage which embodies the mystery of Christ’s love for us; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, now and forever.

A prayer for diligence in studying Scripture and strength to obey

June 15, 2015

This WONDERFUL prayer was posted by Trevin Wax at his blog over the weekend.  It really resonates with me.  So often I assume I can search and understand the Scriptures in my own strength instead of relying on the Holy Spirit. 

May Your Spirit, O Christ,
lead me in the right way,
keeping me safe from all forces of evil and destruction.
And, free from all malice,
may I search diligently in Your Holy Word
to discover with the eyes of my mind Your commandments.
Finally, give me the strength of will
to put those commandments into practice
through all the days of my life.

– Bede, 673-735


Stunning Easter Anthem: Blessed be the God and Father (Samuel Sebastian Wesley)

April 27, 2015

Via Twitter, I discovered this fantastic Easter Anthem by Samuel Sebastian Wesley.  The version in the YouTube below is sung by Consortium.

This version is available for purchase at iTunes here.  There is also a beautiful recording from the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, here.

Here are the lyrics via the Choral Wiki site:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which according to his abundant mercy
hath begotten us again unto a lively hope
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled,
that fadeth not away,
reserved in heaven for you,
Who are kept by the power of God
through faith unto salvation
ready to be revealed at the last time.

But as he which hath called you is holy,
so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.
Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.

Love one another with a pure heart fervently.
See that ye love one another.
Love one another with a pure heart fervently:

Being born again,
not of corruptible seed,
but of incorruptible,
by the word of God.

For all flesh is as grass,
and all the glory of man
as the flower of grass.
The grass withereth,
and the flower thereof falleth away.

But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.
Amen.


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