Western Road URC's Advent Candle Readings
Diegu: On the first Sunday of Advent, we light a candle, a sign of hope in a world full of shadows.
Andrew: When the candle is burning brightly, we will know that it is time to begin the Christmas festival of lights. We want to be ready to welcome the Light of the World into our lives. At this time help us to think of a more positive future.
Diegu: We Light the candle for Hope
Andrew: From Jeremiah 29 v11 we read” … the Lord plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Let this light shine so that we may remember to bring the light of Jesus’ presence to all people. Let Advent Begin: Help us to become beacons of hope, patience, good deeds, justice, love, and peace.
Ann: Prayer of Hope:
We believe in you, Lord
We know that you can help us to love and respect each other more.
You are our light,
The light that overcomes darkness, so we become children of light,
May the light of your love shine through us.
Come, Lord Jesus. Amen
Catherine is thought to have been a noble girl who lived in the 4th century. She was persecuted for her Christianity, and despised marriage with the Emperor because she was a ‘bride of Christ’. According to the legend, Catherine was no push-over intellectually, either: she disputed successfully with 50 philosophers who were called in to convince her of the errors of Christianity.
Catherine protested against the persecution of Christians by Maxentius, and then she herself was tortured: broken on a wheel (later called Catherine wheel), but the machine then broke down itself, injuring bystanders. Catherine was then beheaded.
This legend strongly appealed to the Middle Age imagination. Catherine became the patron of young girls, students, philosophers, nurses and craftsmen such as wheelwrights, spinners and millers.
In England 62 churches were dedicated to her, and 170 medieval bells still bear her name. ‘Lives’, poems, miracle plays, stained-glass windows, panels and paintings have all been done in Catherine’s honour.
Article originally posted in The Heath, November 2020