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Light

Gathering words

In deep darkness
In dark stillness
In blackness
In dampness
In coldness
In the drawing nearness
of winter's hastening night
We seek you light eternal
Oh light eternal shine on us
Oh light eternal burn in us
We process up the hill stopping twice
In painfulness
In fearfulness
In angst and anxiousness
In tears and tearfulness
In doubt
and whispering demons
of the winter night
We seek you light eternal
Oh light eternal shine on us
Oh light eternal burn in us
In trepidation
In expectation
In uncertainty
In wonder
Cautiously
Carefully
Prayerfully
We climb through the winter's night
Seeking the light eternal
Oh light eternal shine on us
Oh light eternal burn in us
We arrive at the church door
In hope
and hopefulness
In seeking ... in reaching
In longing ... in needing
We journey through this winter's night
and seek you light eternal
Oh light eternal shine on us
Oh light eternal burn in us

Congregational Response

We draw near to the gentle one who comes quietly and without Majesty
Let us rejoice!
We draw near to the one who hears our prayer and answers our supplication
Let us rejoice!
We draw near to the peaceful one who guards our hearts and guards our minds
Let us rejoice!
We draw near to the true one, to the just one, to the excellent one
Let us rejoice!

Congregtional Response       

In expectancy we draw near to the one promised long ago who meets us in our deepest place and answers the cries of longing that well up from our secret hearts

Oh light eternal shine on us!

We come with our desire for better days. For illness to be cured. For broken relationships to be mended. For injustice to be overcome. For the fears and anxieties of our hearts to be transformed

Oh light eternal burn in us!

We come with our desire to recapture our lost innocence. To be filled once more with wonder. To recover the spontaneity of childhood. To enjoy the beauty of life without reservation

Oh light eternal shine on us!

We come with our desire to be emptied of desire. To no longer be enslaved by greed. To no longer measure ourselves by the quantity of our possessions. To be satisfied simply with whom we are.

Oh light eternal burn in us!

Prayer

Light eternal, child who is coming into the world we come to you in the tension of waiting, of longing, of hoping
Longing for birth
Hoping for life
Yet not knowing, not yet being sure
 
Light eternal, child who was born into this dangerous world we come to you in anticipation, in nearly, but not quite yet
With the eager faces
With shining eyes
Believing that you will come, that you are here
 
Light eternal, Jesus who meets us in our hopes and in our fears. Loving and gentle, true and strong
May we meet you
May we greet you
And know the joy of your presence, of your Light Eternal

Waiting

Opening Sentences

For the new
For the unexpected
For hope in the dead of winter
We are waiting
For life
For light
For new birth when all-around is dying
We are hoping
For vision
For sight
For the new thing to revive our world
We are seeking
Holy Spirit of God
Give us new eyes to see
New life to live
New hope for birthing
For we are longing for the new thing to happen now

Blessing

(two voices)
In the dead of winter
In the time of waiting
May you experience the new life
In the time of dying
In the time of longing
May you know the blessing of new hope
In the time of darkness
In the time of seeking
May you be blessed with a vision of Mary's God
And find in that new life, new birth