A priest and performer considers religion, the arts, and the often thin space between sacred and secular, church and culture, pulpit and pew.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Litany for Advent IV

It's customary in the church, beginning on this date each year, to use the so-called "O" Antiphons when praying the canticle Magnificat, or Song of Mary. Each day leading up to Christmas has its own such antiphon, each of which delineates an attribute of the expected Messiah; the best known version is in the hymn "O come, O come, Emmanuel". For this coming Sunday in my parish, I've written Prayers of the People based on these antiphons. The translations are found in many sources. Specific intentions may  be added as desired.

Prayers of the People for Advent IV, based on the “O” Antiphons

O Wisdom, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: hear our prayers for the earth and all of creation. Lead us to be better stewards of the world you have made and given to us, that those who come after us may enjoy its bounty and goodness.
Come, and teach us the way of prudence.
Come and save us.

O Adonai, Lord and Ruler of the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: hear our prayers for the church; for __________; for Christians in trouble or danger, and for peace and understanding among the religions of the world.
Come, and redeem us with outstretched arms.
Come and save us.

O Root of Jesse, that stands for an ensign of the people, before whom the kings keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: hear our prayers for our nation, our state, our region; for those who govern, especially ______________; for those whose needs are overlooked, and for those who work for justice and reconciliation.
Come deliver us, and tarry not.
Come and save us.

O Key of David, and scepter of the house of Israel: open wide the door of healing, and close the doors of suffering. Hear our prayers for _________________________.
Come, and lead forth into wholeness those who are captive to illness, injury, and pain.
Come and save us.

O dawn of the east, brightness of light eternal, and sun of justice: hear our prayers for the departed, especially _____________, and for those who mourn. You who are the hope of everlasting life and our light amid the darkness of death,
Come, and give us light. 
Come and save us.

O King of the gentiles and their desired One: hear our prayers of thanksgiving for ________________________. Give us thankful hearts; ground our gratitude in humility and service to others.
Come, and deliver us, whom you formed out of the dust of the earth.
Come and save us.

O Emmanuel, God with us, the expected of the nations and their Savior: hear our prayers for all the people and nations of the world, especially __________________. Lead us into paths of justice and peace, and bring to an end our warring ways and violent inclinations.
Come to save us, O Lord our God.
Come and save us.

A concluding collect (prayer) may be added.

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