Monday, 8 December 2008

Night prayer in Advent

tree at sunsetAs darkness enfolds us we remind ourselves of the glorious colours of the day's ending. In so doing we anticipate the golden light of a new dawn.

Lighten our darkness,
Lord, we pray,
and in your great mercy
defend us from all perils and dangers of this night,
for the love of your only Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ
.

Although it is set for use all year round, this ancient night prayer speaks into the liturgical drama of Advent. The full faith-splendour of sunset colour is what we recollected at the end of the liturgical year as we celebrated Christ the King. Now, in Advent, night has fallen once more and we wait and watch for the first glimmers of the dawn at Christmas.  The gospel set for this Sunday reminds us of this need to remember, to speak of and to trust in the light of God's love in Jesus. Especially in the dark times.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. (John 1:6-9)

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