From the Four Winds Prayers - First Sunday of Advent

November 27, 2011

Isaiah 64: 1-9; Psalm 80: 1-7, 17-19; I Corinthians 1: 3-9; Mark 13:24-37.

Please see Advent Seeds for 2011 in Worship Ways for some suggestions about approach and set up for these services.

Processional Drama

Procession of children and adults playing cymbals, gongs, bells, etc. as they chant: “Keep awake! Be alert!

The Reign of God is at hand!” (Children process to front and around sanctuary to the back, to be joined with parent/congregation during the opening hymn. As they leave, one child places a tambourine or maracas on the Advent Wreath table)

Call to Worship after Mark 13: 24-37

Leader            We come into God’s presence in hopeful anticipation,

                     We await the coming of the Son of God.

Men                   The sun may be dimmed, the moon may lose its light,

                          The stars may fall from the sky…

Leader             Still, the Divine Spirit is with us.

Women            God sends angels from the four winds,

                      From the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

All                   We hear Jesus’ words, “Keep awake! Be alert!”

Hymn                       Keep Awake, Be Always Ready                              TNCH 112


God of the four winds, blow your Spirit through this space.

From north and south, east and west,

we gather to worship your holy name;

We belong to you; we are clay in your hands.

Open our ears to the sound of your voice

echoing through the spheres.

Open our eyes to the brilliance of your presence

shining in each new day.

Open our hearts to the new reign of Jesus Christ

come now to earth. Amen.


Lighting of the Advent Candle

As a musician plays the tune of La Paz Sea Contigo (Sing! Prayer and Praise 197),

a family processes to the Advent Candles.

One or more voices read the following words as one candle is lit:

One:    In first century Christianity, Paul wrote these words to the church in Corinth:

Two:    God has been given you in Christ Jesus,

for in every way you have been enriched in Christ,

in speech and knowledge of every kind

– just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you –

you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Three:   Advent is the season when we await the revelation

of our Lord Jesus Christ made new again in the baby of Bethlehem.

God sends the peace of Christ to earth.

One:     On the first Sunday of Advent, we light this candle named paz, peace.

May this light ever remind us God is peace.

In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Hymn (seated)             La Paz Sea Contigo (verse 1)               Sing! Prayer and Praise  197

Call to Confession  after Isaiah 64: 1-9

Leader              God is peace:

the ever-present, ever-loving, ever-compassionate power

that governs the world.

Like generations before us,

we fail in our efforts to live in the peace and harmony God desires.

                        As in Isaiah’s time we become unclean

and our righteous deeds become as filthy cloths.

We alone cannot wipe clean the slate of our transgressions.

We fade like leaves and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

People             Yet, You O God, are Father and Mother;

like the potter you fashioned us from clay in your holy image.

In these silent moments hear the sighing of our spirits

as we lay open our hearts to you.

Mold us anew, O God, recreate a right image within us.

Silent Prayer

Affirmation of Forgiveness

Leader:             At God’s command the heavens open,

the mountains quake and love descends as an ever-flowing stream.

A light shines in the night and the night cannot endure.

Trust that the Power that created you in love

now forgives and renews you in the same divine spirit.

Go forth to proclaim the awesome deeds of our loving God! Amen. 

Call to Offering

In good times and bad times, God is faithful to us.

We bring forth our offerings – our tithes, our treasures, our least coins –

to demonstrate our faithfulness to God.

Today we bring these offerings in the name of the Ruler of Peace,

God’s only Son, Jesus Christ. Come, give your peace to God.


God, whose faithfulness exceeds the limits of the earth,

accept these gifts of our hearts and hands.

May they be multiplied and magnified

as the living presence of Christ’s peace in the world. Amen.

Benediction        A child or person from the opening procession may lead this

Leader          Go from this place alert and awake in the spirit of God’s peace.

Men                We scatter now as people of the four winds:

                        to the north and south, east and west.

Leader          Go from this place alert and awake in the spirit of God’s peace.

Women          We go as faithful servants to spread God’s love

                        to the ends of the earth.

All:                  Amen!

Suggested Hymn              Light of the World                 Sing! Prayer and Praise 147


From the Four Winds, Service Prayers for the First Sunday of Advent, was written by the Rev. Penny L. Lowes, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and a free lance writer. She has served two UCC congregations, most recently for seven years as the Senior Pastor at the Congregational Church or Birmingham, UCC in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Copyright 2011 Local Church Ministries, Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved. 





Rev. Susan A. Blain
Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115