The Season of Advent 2016 (Year A)

Notable Feast Days this Week:

November 28 - Stephen the Younger
November 30 - St. Andrew, Apostle
December 1 - The Prophet Nahum
December 2 - The Prophet Habakkuk (Eastern Calendars)
December 3 - The Prophet Zephaniah (Eastern Calendars)
December 3 - Francis Xavier, 1552 (Lutheran and Roman)

Liturgical Color - Purple/Blue

Revised Common Lectionary

Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
Romans 15:4-13
Matthew 3:1-12

--- The Second Sunday in Advent --- December 4, 2016 (Year A)

The Hope of the World
"The prophet Isaiah foretells the coming of Christ (Isaiah 11:1-10), who will defend the afflicted and crush the oppressor (Psalm 72:1-7). In light of the Savior's arrival, John the Baptist calls us to repentance (Matthew 3:1-12). We praise God for his marvelous deeds (Psalms 72:18-19). Because of Christ, the root of Jesse, we have hope for the future through the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:4-13)."

- Thomas Oden in Ancient Christian Devotional

Advent Continues...
We are waiting. During the Advent seaon we will be cultivating our awareness of God’s actions past, present, and future. We hear the prophets speak. They speak of Christ's coming so many years ago, and they speak to us who wait for the secondcoming. In Advent we heighten our anticipation for the ultimate fulfillment of all Old Testament promises, when the wolf will lie down with the lamb, death will be swallowed up, and every tear will be wiped away.

The Four Candles
-The four candles bring light into the darkness. They represent the period of waiting during the four Sundays of Advent, which themselves symbolize the four centuries of waiting between the prophet Malachi and the birth of Christ.
-The progression in the lighting of the candles symbolizes the various contours of our waiting experience. As the candles are lit over the Advent season, darkness, hopelessness, and the shadows of sin fall away as light comes into the world. Each new candle reminds us that something is happening, and that more is yet to come.
-The first candle is traditionally the candle of Expectation or Hope (or in some traditions, Prophecy). Anticipation of the coming of a Messiah weaves through Old Testament history. As God’s people were mistreated by power hungry kings, led astray by self-centered prophets, and lulled into apathy by lazy religious leaders, there arose a longing for God to raise up a new king who could show them how to be God’s people.

-Three candles are purple and one is pink.

-The pink candle is lit on Third Sunday of Advent - also known as the Sunday of joy.

-On Christmas Eve the white candle is lit. The white symbolizes purity and joy. It is known as the Christ candle. This represents the light of Christ born into the world on Christmas day.

Advent Prayer Guide and Book "Mothers of Christ"
Advent study resources from Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This study is perfect for families and those interested in learning more about the geneology of Jesus traced through great women from the Bible. Thanks to Paul Neeley for posting a link to this resource on his Global Christian Worship blog.

Download "Mothers of Christ" Advent Prayer Guide and Book

Liturgical Calendar 2016-2017 (Year A):
Download a free single sheet liturgical calendar for 2016-2017. This resource was created by San Fransisco artist Barbara Lyon. Many thanks for her permission to use this wonderful resource.

Download with dates and descriptions
Download with dates
Psalm of the Week
Scripture Readings

Endow the king with your justice, 
O God,
    the royal son with your righteousness.
 May he judge your people in righteousness,
    your afflicted ones with justice...
 May he defend the afflicted among the people
    and save the children of the needy;
    may he crush the oppressor.
 May he endure as long as the sun,
    as long as the moon, through all generations...

Isaiah 11:1-10
A ruler that will bring justice and peace
Romans 15:4-13
Living in harmony
Matthew 3:1-12
Prepare the way of the Lord

Daily Readings
Revised Common Lectionary

Daily Readings
Book of Common Prayer

The Entire Bible in One Year
Daily Advent Readings
Monday --  Isaiah 24:1-16 (Judgment is coming, glorify God)
Tuesday -- Isaiah 40:1-11 (A voice crying in the wilderness)
Wednesday -- Matthew 12:33-37 (A good tree bears good fruit)
Thursday --  Genesis 15:1-18 (God's covenant with Abraham)
Friday --  Acts 13:16-33a (Paul preaches about John the Baptist)
Saturday -- Psalm 21 (God comes with judgment and strength)
Practicing Prayer
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. 
-from The Book of Common Prayer
Contemplative Prayer (View and Download)
Daily Prayer (View and Download)
Audio Prayer Meditation - Pray As You Go
Psalm 72 Spotify Playlist
More Spotify Psalms Playlists...
Singing Psalms and Hymns
"Ten Modern Arrangements for Advent" - An article by Philip Majorins in Reformed Worship Magazine (Sept. 2016)

Advent Hymn (The Lord Has Come to Dwell) | Sarah Majorins | Leadsheet 

Sleepers Awake (Ephesians 5) | by Brett Crull | Leadsheet

Savior of the Nations, Come | Leadsheet 

Wait for the Lord | Taize Melody | Leadsheet 

Come Light Our Hearts | By Sandra McCraken | Leadsheet 

Jesus, Hope of the Nations | by Brian Doerksen | Chord Chart 

Let Your Kingdom Come (Psalm 72) | by Matt Searles | Leadsheet

Psalm 72 Metrical Options (Tunes: Richmond and Ellacombe) 

Resources for Pointed Chant 

Resources for Plainchant

Read about "Singing the Psalms: A Guide for Modern Worship"
Commentary on Matthew 3:1-12
"See how great is the wisdom of the Baptist in his preaching? Note how he states his case without compromise, unafraid of alarming his hearers and filling them with anxiety. Yet his very next words are mild, speaking of that which is apt to make them recover. He does not dwell on the axe alone... but also speaks of the remission of sins, the removal of punishment, righteousness, sanctification, redemption, adoption and community, a partaking of the inheritance and an abundant supply of the Holy Spirit. For to all these remedies John implicitly pointed when he said, “He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” At once, by this very figure of speech, John witnessed to the abundance of grace." -Chrysostom
More Historic Commentary (View and Download)...
Music for Listening (Advent)

Indianapolis trio Sister|Sinjin is releasing an Advent themed EP on Dec, 2. Head over to their Bandcamp page to check out two singles from "Incarnation." Beautiful vocal harmonies wrapped in minimalist folk sensibility. 

"Songs for Advent" on Playmoss:
A contemporary Advent playlist curated by Wes Crawford that contains plenty of upbeat tunes. Playmoss is an online service that allows folks to create playlists using links from Youtube and Bandcamp. 
Thematic Art 
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