Tonight, we’ll resume our yearly Advent tradition and light the first candle on our family Advent Wreath. Anna has asked to help lead the prayers this year, and I think she’s ready.
I will begin as always by saying my favorite Advent candle-lighting prayer, which is also the Collect for the First Sunday of Advent in the Episcopal Church (my former church) …
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Then we’ll light the first candle, and she’ll read the prayer for the First Sunday of Advent …
All-powerful God, increase our strength of will for doing good that Christ may find an eager welcome at his coming and call us to his side in the Kingdom of Heaven, where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God forever and ever. Amen.
Some of you may recognize this as the old translation of the Collect for the First Sunday of Advent, that was superseded by an updated translation in 2011. While the new version is more accurate, and at times more eloquent, this is the one from my copy of A Prayer Book of Catholic Devotions that we’ve used since Anna was a baby. It will also be easier for her to read.
Then we’ll read the Gospel for this Sunday, and say the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary to conclude our prayers.