The following Advent wreath prayers for the second week of Advent are intended to help busy households make Advent a prayerful time during the rush of Christmas preparations. The language is fairly simple, to be used by groups of adults or adults with children, and options are noted to allow for participation by other members of the household.
Leader: Today begins just the second week of Advent, our season of waiting and preparing for Christmas. In order to help each of us prepare our own hearts for the birth of Christ, we take these few moments again this week to pray together.
» Light two candles on the Advent wreath.
» Read aloud: Isaiah 11:1-10; Romans 15:4-9; Matthew 3:1-12.
(Leader may read all, or others in the household may each proclaim a reading.)
» Leader: Do you ever feel like Christmas will never get here? The readings that the church has selected for this second Sunday of Advent just add to that sense of anticipation, teasing us about the wonders to come. The prophet Isaiah tells of the savior who is coming, how wonderful he will be, how things will change, how what we’ve come to believe and expect will all be different.
St. Paul tells the people of Rome to take hope in the fact that we don’t have to try to figure things out for ourselves, that Jesus — through his life and through his parables — left instructions for us — instructions, for example, about how to treat a neighbor and who our neighbor is.
In the Gospel reading, Matthew shares the story of John the Baptist, this strange character who has come to prepare the way — and prepare us today — to be ready for the coming of the Lord. Repent, the Baptist warns, and be ready to prove you have repented.
(Leader may read all, or others in the household may each read a segment.)
» Dear God, give us hope. Don’t let us settle for good enough but strive always and with everyone to be just and kind, and to work for peace.
» Holy Spirit, guide the choices we make this week so that we remember the instructions Jesus left for us. Help us in our efforts to be wheat, not chaff.
» Father in heaven, we offer thanks to you for this season of Advent, this reminder to prepare our hearts for the coming of your son into our world.
» Come Lord Jesus. Open our eyes so that we see you in every person whose life touches our own.