Beloved in Christ, be it this Advent our care and delight to prepare ourselves to hear again the message of the angels; in heart and mind to go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing which is come to pass, and the Babe lying in a manger.
Let us read and mark in Holy Scripture the tale of the loving purposes of God from the first days of our disobedience unto the glorious Redemption brought us by this Holy Child.
But first let us pray for the needs of his whole world; for peace and goodwill over all the earth; for unity and brotherhood within the Church he came to build.
And because this of all things would rejoice his heart, let us at this time remember in his name the poor and the helpless, the cold, the hungry and the oppressed; the sick in body and in mind and them that mourn; the lonely and the unloved; the aged and the little children; all who know not the Lord Jesus, or who love him not, or who by sin have grieved his heart of love.
Lastly let us remember before God all those who rejoice with us, but upon another shore and in a greater light, that multitude which no man can number, whose hope was in the Word made flesh, and with whom, in this Lord Jesus, we for evermore are one.
[The Bidding Prayer from A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College Chapel in Cambridge. The service of Lessons and Carols originated there in 1918 and this is the traditional opening prayer.]
[callout]This post is part of the Advent 2014 Festival of Lessons and Carols series, intended to ground us in the story of Jesus in the midst of the season’s busyness. I invite you to spend a couple minutes each day in December here to fill your soul with these lessons and carols and prepare your heart for Jesus to enter in this season of Advent. Click here for the full index of Lessons and Carols in this series.[/callout]
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