Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The blessing of the Advent Wreath

Have you blessed your Advent wreath? It's not too late. Here is a suggested prayer.

1. Make the Sign of the Cross
2. Pray the Responsory

The father of the family (or other leader) recites the verse, and the family (or group) responds. If you are alone, recite both the verse and the response

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made Heaven and earth.

Optional: Read Isaiah 9:1-2, 5-6

The father (or other leader) reads this passage from the Prophet Isaiah, familiar to many from Handel's Hallelujah Chorus, which reminds us that Christ is our light, and that His Birth brought us out of the darkness of sin and saved us.

Isaiah 9:1-2, 5-6

The people that walked in darkness, have seen a great light: to them that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death, light is risen.

Thou hast multiplied the nation, and hast not increased the joy. They shall rejoice before thee, as they that rejoice in the harvest, as conquerors rejoice after taking a prey, when they divide the spoils.

For a CHILD IS BORN to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.

His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace: he shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom; to establish it and strengthen it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and for ever: the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Source: Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition of the Bible (in the public domain)

Pray the Prayer of Blessing

The father (or other leader) prays the following prayer over the Advent wreath, and the family (or group) replies "Amen."

O God, by whose word all things are sanctified, pour forth thy blessing upon this wreath, and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ and may receive from Thee abundant graces. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sprinkle the Advent Wreath With Holy Water
The father (or other leader) sprinkles the Advent wreath with holy water.

Optional: Pray the Advent Wreath Prayer for the First Week and Light the First Candle

While the blessing ceremony can take place at any time, if you are ready to light the first candle, the father (or other leader) leads the family (or group) in the Advent Wreath Prayer for the First Week of Advent and lights the first candle.

We begin this first week of Advent by asking Christ to come, to set us free from our sins and from the punishment that we deserve. He is our salvation.

Advent Wreath Prayer for the First Week of Advent

Bestir, O Lord, Thy might, we pray thee and come; that, defended by Thee, we may deserve rescue from approaching dangers brought on by our sins, and being set free by Thee, obtain our salvation. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

End With the Sign of the Cross

1 comment:

Marie said...

thankyou for this Donna:) Beautiful prayers and Scripture.

Peace & JOY to you during this Holy Season:).