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Dinner Prayers for the Second Part of Advent | Praying Advent

Dinner Prayers
the First Part of Advent - through December 16

The First Part of Advent has a special feel to it. Unlike the rest of the Liturgical year, the readings don't focus as much on the Gospels as they do the first readings. Those readings, many from Isaiah, talk of people who walk in darkness and of the light that shines; of hope in the gloom and of a God who loves us and wants to walk with us. (More on the Two Parts of Advent.)

For those in the Northern Hemisphere, the wintry light matches the readings. The days are short and the kitchen windows reveal the darkness outside by dinner time. How perfect that a symbol of the season is the Advent wreath, with its four candles for the four weeks. We watch as the increasing number of glowing candles on the wreath reflect the growing light among us.

These are prayers for those dinner times, when the words don't always come, when we are too busy to create something ourselves and even the beloved traditional words don't seem to fit the occasion.

Special Note: This is also the time to be creative, not guilty. If we don't often gather as a family because dinner time is hectic with activities, create a new tradition and make it a before-bedtime ritual to light a candle and say a few prayers reflecting on the day that has ended. Or if morning works better, start the day with Advent prayers holding in our hearts our hopes for the day ahead and lighting the Advent candle over breakfast.

If I am alone in my home, I can create my own ritual, knowing that I am joining with Christians around the world in this sacred season.

There is not a single right way to do any of these prayers and rituals — the point is to have some brief period in the day to focus our intentions on Advent, to feel the hopes and promises of our God for us and for this day. These prayers are a starting point. Feel free to re-write or adapt them so they work best in your situation.


Click here to find prayers for:

Families

A couple

Single person

Widowed person

 

For Families:

Oh, Lord, be with us now as we gather around this wreath.  As we light these candles, may this time together open our eyes to see your love in our lives and in the love we share for each other. Help us to be grateful for all of the ways you shine a light in the darkness of our hearts. Let us feel that love from you and be grateful for it. Open our hearts to those who have so much less than we do; those whose lives are so full of pain that they cannot see the light of your love. Show us how to carry that light to other people. Amen.

Pick one question to talk about with each other at this time.

  • How did I bring light into someone's life today?

  • What person or people do I think needs a special light in their lives? How could I bring that to them?

  • Name a light someone brought into my life today.

For a couple:

O, Lord, you know the stirrings in our souls this Advent season. You are the source of the longing you have placed in each of our hearts. Help us to respond to that grace and open our hearts to each other with the light of your love. Share your patient love with us so that we may bring that gift to each other and cherish each other in a special way this night. Please keep our hearts open to those in our lives and in this world who need, as we do, to be healed by your loving light. Send us to carry that light into the world and open our eyes to those in our midst who need your healing touch this night. Amen.

Pick one question to talk about with each other at this time.

  • How did I respond to the grace of God's love today? Where did I shine a light?

  • What person or people do I think needs a special light in their lives? How could I bring that to them?

  • Name a light someone brought into my life today.

 

For a single person:

Oh God of my heart, thank you for this day. As I light this candle I am grateful for all of the people in my life who bring show me your love. Help me to bless my family and friends with patience and kindness this season. May I be a light in the darkness for them. Help me to open my eyes to all of those around me whose needs are so much greater than my own. Give me the courage and strength to respond to their needs as I can. Amen.

Pick one question to reflect on:

  • How did I respond to the grace of God's love today? Where did I shine a light?

  • What person or people do I think needs a special light in their lives? How could I bring that to them?

  • Name a light someone brought into my life today.

 

For a widowed person:

Oh comforting savior, you know my pain and loneliness better than anyone. You know of the isolation in my heart and how little I feel like caring about Advent and Christmas this year. Help to give me your generous heart so that I can share my love with others this year. Give me the healing that I need and the courage to continue to live out your plan for me. Most of all, Lord, let me not become self-absorbed with my own loss. Help me to look beyond my own pain to see the others in this life who are struggling more than I am. Give me your love that I might carry that light to others in this world, and to be comforted as I comfort others. Amen.

Pick one question to reflect on:

  • Where in my own pain, did I feel God's love today?

  • Where is God inviting me to reach out to others? Who in my life needs a special light in their lives? How could I bring that to them?

  • Name a light someone brought into my life today.

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