Seeds: Narrative Lectionary Liturgy for Dec. 16th

Themes for this week’s readings touch on light and freeing the captives.
These passages have much in common with Mary’s Song/The Magnificat, Luke 1:46-51.
The Nicene Creed (light from light) might go well with these themes as well.

Related hymns from the 1990 Presbyterian Hymnal are listed below. See to see whether the texts/tunes are available there if you don’t have this hymnal…

I’ve marked those that I think could have an Advent flavor and noted particularly pertinent verses/parts.

Pres Hymnal
Creator of the Stars of Night


Savior of the Nations Come


Hark! The Herald Angels Sing


Advent v. 3
In Bethelehem a Babe was Born


Joy to the World


Advent v.4
From a Distant Home


Advent Refrain only
What Star Is This, with Beams So Bright


Advent v.4
All Hail to God’s Anointed


Advent/Ps  72
My Song Forever Shall Record


Psalm 89
Praise the Lord?


Psalm 113
Sing Praise Unto the Name of the Lord


Psalm 113
Etenral Light, Shine in My Heart


Hope of the World


Arise, Your Light is Come!


The Church of Christ in Every Age


Lord of Light, Your Name Outshining


Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service


We Give Thee but Thine Own


Song of Hope


Today We All Are Called to Be Disciples


O Day of God, Draw Nigh



The Isaiah text is in the RCL but for Baptism of Christ (1/8/17 and Monday of Holy Week) While Matthew holds much in common with Isaiah, it is not in the RCL.

Opening Prayers

Almighty God,

you sent Jesus to proclaim your kingdom

and to teach with authority.

Anoint us with your Spirit,

that we too may bring good news to the poor,

bind up the brokenhearted,

and proclaim liberty to the captive;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever. Amen.

Everlasting God,

in whom we live and move and have our being:

You have made us for yourself,

so that our hearts are restless

until they rest in you.

Give us purity of heart and strength of purpose,

that no selfish passion may hinder us from knowing your will,

no weakness keep us from doing it;

that in your light we may see light clearly,

and in your service find perfect freedom;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever. Amen.

Lord, open unto me

Open unto me—light for my darkness.

Open unto me—courage for my fear.

Open unto me—hope for my despair.

Open unto me—peace for my turmoil.

Open unto me—joy for my sorrow.

Open unto me—strength for my weakness.

Open unto me—wisdom for my confusion.

Open unto me—forgiveness for my sins.

Open unto me—love for my hates.

Open unto me—thy Self for my self.

Lord, Lord, open unto me! Amen.

By Howard Thurman

Eternal Light, shine into our hearts;

Eternal Goodness, deliver us from evil;

Eternal Wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance;

Eternal Pity, have mercy upon us,

that with all our heart and mind and strength

we may seek your face

and be brought by your infinite mercy to your holy presence;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

By Alcuin of Tours

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not seek so much

to be consoled as to console,

to be understood as to understand,

to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

Attributed to St. Francis

O God, light of the hearts that see you,

life of the souls that love you,

strength of the thoughts that seek you:

to turn from you is to fall,

to turn to you is to rise,

to abide in you is to stand fast forever.

Although we are unworthy to approach you,

or to ask anything at all of you,

grant us your grace and blessing

for the sake of Jesus Christ our Redeemer. [46]


O God,

you are light to the lost,

bread to the hungry,

deliverance to the captive,

healing to the sick, eternal vision to the dying,

and harbor to every soul in peril.

Gather the wanderers from every corner of the world

into the community of your mercy and grace,

that we may eternally praise you

for our salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer of Confession (adapted for Advent)

Almighty God,

through the gift of Christ Jesus your Son

you shatter the power of sin and death.

We confess that we remain captive to doubt and fear,

bound by the ways that lead to death.

We overlook the poor and the hungry,

and pass by those who mourn;

we are deaf to the cries of the oppressed,

and indifferent to calls for peace;

we despise the weak, and abuse the earth you made.

Forgive us, God of mercy.

Help us to trust your power.

Be born in us

that we may know the joy of life abundant

incarnate in Jesus Christ

and given to us by the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Prayer for Illumination

Guide us, O God,

by your Word and Spirit,

that in your light we may see light,

in your truth find freedom,

and in your will discover your peace;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [

Prayers of the People

#1 Let us pray for all who suffer

and are afflicted in body or in mind:

for the hungry and homeless,

the destitute and the oppressed,

and all who suffer persecution, doubt, and despair,

for the sorrowful and bereaved,

for prisoners and captives

and those in mortal danger,

that God will comfort and relieve them,

and grant them the knowledge of God’s love,

and stir up in us the will and patience

to minister to their needs.

#2 in Jesus Christ you taught us to pray,

and to offer our petitions to you in his name.

Guide us by your Holy Spirit,

that our prayers for others may serve your will

and show your steadfast love;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [80]

Let us pray for the world.

Silent prayer.

God our creator,

you made all things in your wisdom,

and in your love you save us.

We pray for the whole creation.

Overthrow evil powers, right what is wrong,

feed and satisfy those who thirst for justice,

so that all your children may freely enjoy the earth you have made,

and joyfully sing your praises;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [81]

Let us pray for the church.

Silent prayer.

Gracious God,

you have called us to be the church of Jesus Christ.

Keep us one in faith and service,

breaking bread together,

and proclaiming the good news to the world,

that all may believe you are love,

turn to your ways,

and live in the light of your truth;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [82]

Let us pray for peace.

Silent prayer.

Eternal God,

you sent us a Savior, Christ Jesus,

to break down the walls of hostility that divide us.

Send peace on earth,

and put down greed, pride, and anger,

which turn nation against nation and race against race.

Speed the day when wars will end

and the whole world accepts your rule;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [83]

Let us pray for enemies.

Silent prayer.

O God,

whom we cannot love unless we love our neighbors,

remove hate and prejudice from us and from all people,

so that your children may be reconciled

with those we fear, resent, or threaten;

and live together in your peace;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [84]

Let us pray for those who govern us.

Silent prayer.

Mighty God,

sovereign over the nations,

direct those who make, administer, and judge our laws;

the President of the United States

and others in authority among us (especially N., N.);

that, guided by your wisdom,

they may lead us in the way of righteousness;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [85]

Let us pray for world leaders.

Silent prayer.

Eternal Ruler, hope of all the earth,

give vision to those who serve the United Nations,

and to those who govern all countries;

that, with goodwill and justice,

they may take down barriers,

and draw together one new world in peace;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [86]

Let us pray for the sick.

Silent prayer.

Merciful God,

you bear the pain of the world.

Look with compassion on those who are sick

(especially on N., N.);

cheer them by your word,

and bring healing as a sign of your grace;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [87]

Let us pray for those who sorrow.

Silent prayer.

God of comfort,

stand with those who sorrow (especially N., N.);

that they may be sure that neither death nor life,

nor things present nor things to come,

shall separate them from your love;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [88]

Let us pray for friends and families.

God of compassion,

bless us and those we love,

our friends and families;

that, drawing close to you,

we may be drawn closer to each other;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [89]

Other petitions may be added in the same manner.

Following all of the petitions, the following commemoration of those who

have died in the faith, or a similar commemoration (pp. 121–122), may be said.

God of all generations,

we praise you for all your servants

who, having been faithful to you on earth,

now live with you in heaven.

Keep us in fellowship with them,

until we meet with all your children

in the joy of your eternal kingdom;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [90]

The leader concludes the prayers with the following prayer, another brief collect

(pp. 123–124), or the prayer of the day (pp. 165–400).

Mighty God,

whose Word we trust,

whose Spirit enables us to pray:

Accept our requests

and further those which will bring about your purpose for the earth;

through Jesus Christ, who rules over all things. Amen. [91]

Prayer of Great Thanksgiving/Communion Prayer

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is truly right and our greatest joy

to give you thanks and praise,

O Lord our God, creator and ruler of the universe.

You formed us in your image

and breathed into us the breath of life.

You set us in this world to love and serve you,

and to live in peace with all that you have made.

When we turned from you,

you did not turn from us.

When we were captives in slavery,

you delivered us to freedom,

and made covenant to be our sovereign God.

When we were stubborn and stiff-necked,

you spoke to us through prophets

who looked for that day

when justice shall triumph

and peace shall reign over all the earth.

Therefore we praise you,

joining our voices with the celestial choirs

and with all the faithful of every time and place,

who forever sing to the glory of your name:

The people may sing or say:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

The minister continues:

You are holy, O God of majesty,

and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.

You sent him into this world

to satisfy the longings of your people for a Savior,

to bring freedom to the captives of sin,

and to establish justice for the oppressed.

He came among us as one of us,

taking the lot of the poor,

sharing human suffering.

We rejoice that in his death and rising again,

you set before us the sure promise of new life,

the certain hope of a heavenly home

where we will sit at table with Christ our host.

If they have not already been said, the words of institution may be said

here, or in relation to the breaking of the bread.

We give you thanks that the Lord Jesus,

on the night before he died,

took bread,

and after giving thanks to you,

he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:

Take, eat.

This is my body, given for you.

Do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way he took the cup, saying:

This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood,

shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.

Whenever you drink it,

do this in remembrance of me.

Remembering your gracious acts in Jesus Christ,

we take from your creation this bread and this wine

and joyfully celebrate his dying and rising,

as we await the day of his coming.

With thanksgiving we offer our very selves to you

to be a living and holy sacrifice,

dedicated to your service.

The people may sing or say one of the following:


Great is the mystery of faith:

Christ has died,

Christ is risen,

Christ will come again.


Praise to you, Lord Jesus:

Dying you destroyed our death,

rising you restored our life.

Lord Jesus, come in glory.


According to his commandment:

We remember his death,

we proclaim his resurrection,

we await his coming in glory.


Christ is the bread of life:

When we eat this bread and drink this cup,

we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus,

until you come in glory.

The minister continues:

Gracious God,

pour out your Holy Spirit upon us

and upon these your gifts of bread and wine,

that the bread we break

and the cup we bless

may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ.

By your Spirit make us one with Christ,

that we may be one with all who share this feast,

united in ministry in every place.

As this bread is Christ’s body for us,

send us out to be the body of Christ in the world.

Intercessions for the church and the world may be included here.

Strengthen us, O God, in the power of your Spirit

to bring good news to the poor

and lift blind eyes to sight,

to loose the chains that bind

and claim your blessing for all people.

Keep us faithful in your service

until Christ comes in final victory,

and we shall feast with all your saints

in the joy of your eternal realm.

Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

all glory and honor are yours, almighty God,

now and forever. Amen. [133

Author: katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant since 2010, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ. She is an writer and is published in Enfleshed, Sermonsuite, Presbyterian's today and Outlook. She writes prayers, liturgy, poems and public theology and is pursuing her doctorate in ministry in Creative Write and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible. "Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal. Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one.[66] Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times.

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