By Bob Zyskowski
Special to the Review
The following Advent wreath prayer is intended to help busy households make Advent (which began Sunday, Nov. 30) a prayerful time during the rush of Christmas preparations. The language is fairly simple, intended to be used for personal prayer and reflection or by groups of adults or adults with children. Options are noted to allow for participation by a variety of members of a household.
Leader: Today begins the second week of the season of Advent. In order to help each of us prepare our own hearts for the birth of Christ, we take these few moments each week to pray together.
n Light the first two candles on the Advent wreath. (Choose a different person for this task each week.)
n Read aloud Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11; 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8.
(A different person might read each passage.)
Leader: If you close your eyes and imagine you are living in the time of John the Baptist, it is easy to hear a deep, booming voice shouting, “Prepare the way of the Lord!” In the Bible passages for this second week of Advent, we hear John the Baptist repeating those words of Isaiah the prophet. They both remind us that we’d better work seriously to make straight our own paths and to clean up the wastelands in our own lives.
And St. Paul tells us how to do that: by being holy.
Closing prayer: (Leader may read all, or others in the household may each read a segment.)
n Father in heaven, during this second week of Advent, help us see clearly the times when we have sinned. Accept our sorrow for having pulled away from you, and give us firm resolve to stay close to you.
n God above, help us conduct ourselves in holiness. We long to be the people you expect us to be. Help us as we strive to make our souls spotless and our hearts and minds at peace.
n Help us, Lord, to remember that we were baptized for a reason. Help us realize our baptismal call to live as children of God.
n And dear God, don’t let us miss chances this week to be welcoming to other people and to work in harmony with everyone. Help us as we try to change our ways so that we are good examples of people who love and follow the Lord.