A Litany for Lighting of Advent Candles

This is a litany I wrote many years ago for the congregation of a tiny Presbyterian Church in N W Arkansas.
In the Christian faith, the four Sundays leading up to Christmas are considered the season of Advent and many churches and many families light the Advent candles on each of those Sundays.
My hope is that readers of all faiths and beliefs will see the light of hope and love.
Light a candle.

(If you would like to use this litany, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear how you use it and where, especially if it is for your church congregation. Thanks, Kathleen)

Angel of the Rusty Halo

The Litany for Lighting of the Advent Candles

First Sunday of Advent

We wait for You in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
We have heard of Your coming.

The prophet said,
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him–
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD– Isaiah 11:1-2

We wait.
Light one candle.

Second Sunday of Advent

We wait for You in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
We wait in a small town,
making preparations for You.

The prophet said
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Micah 5:2

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.” Luke 1:76-79

We wait.
Light two candles.

Third Sunday of Advent

We wait for you in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
We are sheep without a Shepherd,
we are shepherds waiting for the news.

The prophet said,

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:11

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2:8-10

We wait.
Light three candles.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

We wait for you in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
We hear the angels voices.
We are overwhelmed.
We are awe-struck.

I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.” Isaiah 6:1-3

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:13-14

We wait.
Light four candles.

Christmas Day

We wait for you in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
You are here with us.
Your birth proclaimed by angel and prophet, shepherd and magi.
You are here and our waiting is over.

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Light your candles.
The waiting is over.
The Light of the World is here

Persephone basks

bradford-inn.jpg
Its warm,
an uncommon day in November,
the sun seeps honey and languorous
across the deep autumn landscape.

Trees fold inward, their somber winter
slumbers await.
Birds chitter and sing as if a spring day
while small furred creatures busy themselves
with the important matters of survival
and hunger.

Ice begins tonight.

Persephone basks
for one more day.

Give a Gift of Poetry

Featured

Give a Gift of Poetry from Everdale Publishing

Angel Book

2015 Books

I am proud to offer my three chapbooks of poetry to you through Lulu.com just in time for gift giving season. All three would be perfect for the holidays.

A Field Guide to Angels “In a time when we all could really use a everyman’s angel, Kathleen Gresham Everett delivers. Small gestures suddenly contain great meaning and everyday household tasks become acts of benediction. Infused with grace, reflection, and even humor, Everett’s A Field Guide To Angels lights a candle when we need it most.” Sarah Whiteley, author of Wandering Wonderful.

Festival of Lessons and Carols and Penelope to Her Husband, Poems of Myth and Fantasy, are available from Everdale Publishing through lulu.com.

The first is a compilation of my December poems for the seasons of Advent, Christmas and the winter solstice, Festival of Lessons and Carols.
The second book is Penelope to Her Husband, Poems of Myth and Fantasy, a retelling of myths, faerie tales, fables, with old and new characters that I hope will charm you. A perfect gift for friends and family. Or for when you have those quiet moments to reflect on this wonderful time of year.

The Field Guide to Angels, Penelope to Her Husband and Festival of Lessons and Carols are available at lulu.com http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/kge

I hope you will enjoy my books and I hope you know how much I appreciate your continued support of my work.

May angels surround you always,

Kathleen Gresham Everett

“The Course of Our Seasons is filled with angelic messages that await only our awareness. Even the mundane is rendered sacred in the fullness of love’s journey. Brilliant, sensitive, accessible…”  – Dr. Jim Young, author of Aware in a World Asleep

sometimes autumn

Wild geese

Springs cacophonous din of birdsong and early morning sun
has broken in two
leaving a drought poor fall
in shades of millet
and wheat, left to dry tattered in forgotten fields.
Leaves restless for wind,
skitter along the dusty path
running in packs of legless creatures
only to pause and hide
in shadowy dens against stone and steps.

Autumn brings its own season of light-
lusterless
sometimes with bright blue sky
sometimes with harsh ice
sometimes with fog filled rain
sometimes with wild song
and
strands of skeined geese
in determined flight.

Fall back

November Sunset

I work backwards
Trying to refine the confection of this day to the next.
Measuring each mote in dribs and drafts
Texturing silences with pauses and sighs
Or wringing each towel sopped with stale dregs
Dry, hanging across the scattered lines
Of words plagiarized from some old thesaurus
and soliloquy.

Now the day pours forth like honey,
Liquid amber clasping the emotions to its sticky breast.
What bee will boast of this light sweetness?
Not I, waspish and thorny,
A rose pierced to the heart with its own sword.
I relinquish the darkness that one hour holds
And cling to the ever present sunset
As dawn.

ghost (and its not what you think)

009

I still like the word ghost even
though its no longer considered correct theological
terminology.

You old Ghost, you – hanging about
reordering my dreams and rearranging
my intuition.
Its you haunting the place when I most need
a little spectral company

Keep on, Ghost.
You hypostases, coeternal, consubstantial, you.
Keep on, I pray.
Haunt on.