Advent: Week 3 — Dec. 16
The following Advent wreath prayer is 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 a variety of members of the household.
Leader: Today begins the third week of the season of Advent, so we are halfway to Christmas! As we prepare our hearts for the birth of Christ and for the second coming of the Lord, we light three candles, including a special one of a different color.
- Light the first two candles on the Advent Wreath again, and the third one — one that is a lighter color, usually pink or white.
- (optional) Read aloud Zephaniah 3:14-18a; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:10-18
Leader: We light the lighter-colored candle this week as a sign of the joy! We can hardly wait to rejoice and sing at Christmas. As St. Paul tells the Philippians, “The Lord is near!” Paul reminds us to be kind and not to worry, to ask God in prayer for what we need. This third week of Advent John the Baptist offers advice for how to prepare the way for Christ’s coming, but he doesn’t pull any punches. He’s crystal clear about how we ought to live — or else!
(Leader may read all, or others in the household may each read a segment.)
- Father in heaven, help us hear again the voice of John the Baptist crying out in the desert. Help us make straight the pathways of our own lives so that those paths lead to eternal life with you.
- God above, it is so easy to say “do good and avoid evil,” yet so hard to put those words into practice. Be with us in each and every moment of each and every day so that we remain blameless and worthy of your coming.
- Help us, Lord, not to dampen the joy of others. Remind us this week to rejoice always and to pray without ceasing.
- Holy Spirit, guide us so that our lives may be testimony of the wonders and the love of God so that others might believe through us.