Monday, December 7, 2009

Second Candle in Advent Ring

As we move through Advent each week, another candle is lit on the Advent wreath. I love this element of the season.

Although I've been a regular attendee in church for much of my life, I can remember the exact time and place when I understood the significance of each candle on the advent wreath. Not sure why it had passed me by, for the first 3 decades of my life, but it had. Lighting the light on that occasion was, I recall, accompanied by a full explanation and a prayer. It's sometimes easy to forget that we do many things that we understand in our churches, yet to an outsider may seem strange. If leading a service I will ask if anyone can remember what each candle on the wreath represents.

The first candle represents the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, those great ancients of the Torah - the first five books in the Bible. The second represents the Prophets of the Old Testament, who prepared the way of the Lord. A prayer to accompany maybe:
God our Father,
You spoke to the prophets of old
of a Saviour who would bring peace.
You helped them to spread the joyful message
of his coming Kingdom.
Help us, as we prepare to the celebrate his birth,
to share with those around us
the good news of your power and love.
We ask this through Jesus Christ,
the light who is coming into the world.
In the weeks of Advent each of these characters join us in our preparations for the fulfilment of the Promise of the Kingdom.

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