Blessings for a Gentle Holiday (full text)

Blessings for a Gentle Holiday

May you have a gentle Holiday

Full of kindness, and understanding

and moments of warmth and coziness.

May you have a holiday with enough space and time

to be alone or together

to weep or sigh

to remember…

***

May your holiday give you the kind of rest you need

with reading or physical activity or doing nothing

or to do the crafting or peopling or not peopling

or sleeping or creating or not knowing

or caring…

whatever it is that you need to do,

or not!

***

May you have a gentle holiday

with the permission you need to not have to be “Merry”

but to be your full authentic self,

and to be kind to yourself, your boundaries, and those you love.

This is both my blessing and my prayer for you this season.

Amen.

What is Sacred, Christmas Prayer

No photo description available.

God I approach this Christmas season

with some trepidation,

and a lot of fear and trembling.

Because I don’t know if I really

understood before,

what was really sacred,

before now.

All the pomp and circumstance of Christmas

lies by the wayside now, like crumpled wrapping paper.

After all, we are not here to impress anybody.

What is left, is the Christ Candle,

burning the conviction into our hearts,

that life is sacred,

precisely because it is all so

unique and beautiful and brief.

The fact that a young girl, a shepherd and a magi

could each magnify God

in their own,

and yet important way

makes me want to cry

silent tears

at the magnitude of the meaning of Christmas

So here we are…

Fill us up,

with what Christmas

means for each of this year

Reminding us

that God sent a baby

in a manger

for each and every one of us

and God values us–

enough to send

babies and angels

and teachers and doctors and nurses

and vaccines and masks

and phone calls and cards

and candles and stars

and every other symbol that we need to remind us

that we are beloved.

And that we are here to fill the world with love

any way we can,

because that is the Christmas miracle

turning emptiness into something else.

Let us Go, and be comforted by the Love of God.

May God Bless you

and Keep you

in Belovedness–

wrapped in the miracle

that God is here.

Amen.

Always, forever,

God is even now. Here.

Alleluia.

Amen.

Feel free to use/share/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

More Advent/Christmas Resource

Advent Day 13

For the yoke of their burden, & the bar across their shoulder, the rod of their oppressor you have broken as the day of Midian—Isaiah 9:4

Advent Day 12

God’s mercy is for those who fear God from generation to generation, for God scatters the proud in their thoughts and heart—Luke 1:51

Blue Christmas/Comfort Candle Virtual Service

This is a Meditative Worship for those who need Comfort over the Christmas Season. It may take place at anytime, even in place of Christmas Eve if service if that is (perhaps) too painful for you this year. You can do this without any supplies or with candle(s) to light. (If you have an Advent Wreath you may wish to light it up to the week you are at and add a Comfort candle)

***

A Prayer For an Empty Advent:

God,

I’m reminded again 

that it’s ok that Advent 

is empty

Wasn’t Mary’s Magnificat

about filling up the empty

with Good things!

Weren’t the Angels Sent

to gift the silent world

with Holy Songs?

Wasn’t the whole and entire point?

To fill the world a little more with the love of God. 

To put Jesus physically, right here on Earth!

God, remind us that it’s not only ok, but traditional to feel empty at Advent.

And if we are trudging, the long trudge, especially this year, 

please send the Holy Spirit to trudge with us we pray.

And to remind us, it’s ok if Advent feels empty this year.

Amen

Picture Thanks to Rev. Erin A. Jacobson

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, A Song about Trudging through Life, especially verse 2

God, for those of us who haven’t felt like putting up a tree,

or hanging garlands–those of us who have only half heartedly decorated

Or not decorated at all–

It’s ok. We can blue, and sad.

You don’t need any festooning.

You don’t need any bells or whistles.

You are God.

Present in the very midst of Sorrow–

Isn’t that why we light the candles? Because sometime we need the reminders

that you are present, especially when we cannot see Hope, Peace, Joy or Love in the World?

That’s why today we are lighting an extra candle in our hearts. The candle of Comfort. For you–Wonderful Counselor, promise that with Christ too.

Amen

Picture Thanks to Rev Erin A. Jacobson
Reading of Isaiah 40:1, Isaiah 55:1,11

Isaiah 40: 1, 55: 1, 11

Comfort, O comfort my people,
   says your God.

Ho, everyone who thirsts,
   come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
   come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
   without money and without price. 

so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
   it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
   and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Comfort Ye My People

Comfort Ye My People from “The Messiah”

Magnificat Remixed

Magnificat Remix: (Based on Luke 1:46-55)

Holy is our God, How Holy is our God that we are able to Magnify Xem in our tiny acts?

God’s Mercy is plentiful, bringing comfort to generation upon generation.

Scattering those who think they have power, and empowering those feel emptied out!

God always, always remembers God’s promises.

God sends the rich away hungry, and fills the hungry with good things.

God brings those who sits on thrones down, and lifts up those who are low in spirit.

This is the God we worship and love, the God, wonderful Counselor, the Abundant God, the Guardian of Peace.

This is our comfort, Fill us up God, especially when we feel desolate, we pray.

Amen.

Lighting of the Comfort Candle Candle (if you chose you may light a candle at home)

Candle Lit GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Closing Prayer: Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ be with me. Amen*

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Low Bass Cover

Benediction: May you make it through this Christmas knowing there are no requirements. Instead, may God Console and Comfort You and may Christ’s Peace be with you. Amen.

Picture Thanks to Rev. A. Erin Jacobson

***

My Thanks to Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl and Rev. Marie O’Connell for the inspiration for this Virtual Worship and Rev. Erin A Jacobson for contributing the images

*Prayer adapted from http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/St._Patrick’s_Breastplate

More Advent Resources Here

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(Special Thanks for the donated Images from Rev Erin Jacobson)


Comfort Advent Candle Prayer

God, for those of us who haven’t felt like putting up a tree,

or hanging garlands–those of us who have only half heartedly decorated

Or not decorated at all–

It’s ok. We can blue, and sad.

You don’t need any festooning.

You don’t need any bells or whistles.

You are God.

Present in the very midst of Sorrow–

Isn’t that why we light the candles? Because sometime we need the reminders

that you are present, especially when we cannot see Hope, Peace, Joy or Love in the World?

That’s why today we are lighting an extra candle in our hearts. The candle of Comfort. For you–Wonderful Counselor, promise that with Christ too.

Comfort us this year, we pray.

Amen.

Please feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

More Advent Resources for NL Year 4

If you find these resources useful please consider contributing to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing!

Advent Day 11

Then God said to me “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the words of the Lord”—Ezekiel 37: 4

Shannon A Thompson

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