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

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

Easy as Apple Pie

Apple stilllife

I’m hungry for an apple pie and this recipe from Southern Living Magazine (Sept 2011) makes a great one.

Its almost like apple dumplings but not!

And the iron skillet is essential to the pie.

Try it and let me know how it turns out!

Making an apple pie has never been so easy. Simply toss apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar, and spoon over a refrigerated pie crust in the cast-iron skillet. Top with the other crust and bake.

Ingredients
4 pounds apples (whatever you have apple-wise)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts

How to Make It
Step 1
Preheat oven to 350º. Peel apples, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Toss apples with cinnamon and 3/4 cup granulated sugar.

Step 2
Melt butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat; add brown sugar, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and place 1 piecrust in skillet over brown sugar mixture. Spoon apple mixture over piecrust, and top with remaining piecrust. Cut 4 or 5 slits in top for steam to escape.

Step 3
Bake at 350º for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly, shielding with aluminum foil during last 10 minutes to prevent excessive browning, if necessary. Cool on a wire rack 30 minutes before serving

A year ago

Its been a year since my brother, Frank Allen Gresham, died. Those words still take my breath. I think of him and miss him everyday.

Please indulge me and read this post I wrote last year. And keep his wife and his children in your thoughts and prayers.Not only are they dealing everyday with his absence but they live in Florida and are preparing for a major hurricane in the next few days.

Now, let me tell you about my little brother….

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I want to tell you about my little brother.

I remember the day he was born. Its one of my earliest memories – I was three years old.
You see I was an infant when my brother Johnny was born, so there is no memory before him. But Frank – I remember.
My Daddy came to pick us up at the neighbors. I still remember the deep sunset colors in the sky and the smell of carnations that were growing along the walk. And Daddy told me I had a baby brother. It was like he was giving me a gift, a complete surprise. I fell in love with him from the moment I saw him. And he is still the most beautiful baby I have ever seen.

He was a funny little fellow. Johnny and I learned pretty quickly that when we were all in trouble to kind of push Frank forward because he would make a silly face or do something goofy and Mom and Dad couldn’t help but laugh.

He was a rough and tumble kid. Mom would tell the story that she would have us all shiny and clean and ready to go to church. And somehow from the door of the house to the car, Frank’s shirt tail would be out, his socks fallen down, shoes were untied and he would have dirt on his face.

He struggled in school. This was before we knew what dyslexia was and it was especially hard because his brother was brilliant and his sister smart and we loved to read and learn. But he was cute and athletic and always good for a laugh or an adventure.

He could be a pain in the ass too like all little brothers. I remember one car trip from our home in Lubbock Texas to our grandparents in Crossett Arkansas – Frank had somehow learned all the words to Que Sera Sera by Doris Day (don’t ask me how or why) And he sang it all the way across Texas and Arkansas. We were all close to tossing him out the car window.

He was handsome and fun and played sports in school. He was very popular and one spring was asked to 6 proms. Dad said he was going to have to take out a loan for tux rentals and florists.

After high school, he tried to figure out his way. Ended up with different jobs and then started doing carpentry work.

After his first marriage ended, he went thru a dark time and we thought we had lost him.

Then, he gave his life to Jesus and his heart to Janet at about the same time. Mom always said that Jesus and Janet gave her son back to her and she was pretty sure it was mostly Janet.
This began his journey that changed his life.

All his life he wanted to become a good man – He wanted to be those things he loved best about his dad. A family man, a man that loved his wife, a man that adored his children. A man that had a sparkle in his eye and could command the room with his laugh.

These past 6 years, he became deeper and wiser and more loving.
He was a good man.

And I am so proud of him and love him and will miss him the rest of my life.

And there is one thing I know – love is everything – love is what we are called to do and love is the beginning with no end.

He was my baby brother. He was a good man.
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