O God beyond all names and forms—on this fourth and final Sunday of Advent our hearts quicken at the thought of the coming celebration of your birth as a human being, Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Your story is told anew as the darkness turns to light. Help us to magnify the wonder of new beginnings in our daily doings, as we reflect on the shining example of your Blessed Mother who would carry you, not only with her body, but with her prayerful soul, that you might fulfill your purpose. Following her example, help us all to bring radiant and renewed compassion to our fellow creatures here on earth as we celebrate the luminous story of perpetual renewal in this dark time. Let all souls magnify the good you teach, now and forevermore.
In gratitude to our beloved priests, Berto and Hugh, our Bishop and Presiding Bishop, Gregory and Michael, we ask your greatest blessings. Their selfless work inspires us all. And we pray for spiritual leaders everywhere—may they all move forward with love and compassion in everything they do. Let all souls magnify the good you teach, now and forevermore.
We pray for the well-being of government leaders that they best serve the people in their charge throughout the world. That harm and warfare be avoided. That peace and loving kindness be shared throughout every land. That waste and gluttony and greed of all kinds be ended. We pray especially for our President, Vice President, Governor and all the elected officials of every state and county. May they do their best to untangle conflicting agendas and resolve issues so that the highest good of human communities and the natural world will be served. Let all souls magnify the good you teach, now and forevermore.
We pray for all those suffering from recent tornados and other natural disasters. May they find ready assistance as they confront and adapt to their sudden and catastrophic losses. We pray that the resources needed to end this pandemic may be readily available throughout the world and that all heed the many lessons brought forth during this troubled time. Let all souls magnify the good you teach, now and forevermore.
We pray for all those in our extended community—for those struggling with illness, loneliness, addictions and homelessness. For children and their families. For teachers and medical practitioners. For scientists struggling to discern the truth behind physical processes. For all who rush to the aid of those less fortunate. And we are grateful for those whose help is best given through ongoing prayer and encouragement. We pray for special concerns known privately to us (pause…) and for all those on our parish prayer list: (Please read slowly) … and those for whom no one prays. Let all souls magnify the good you teach, now and forevermore.
And for the recently bereaved and the souls of the departed we offer our heartfelt prayers that all be find true consolation and peace within your promised kingdom.
Let us pray for those celebrating Birthdays this week: O God, our times are in your hand: Look with favor we pray, on your servants Bill Bard (12/20) and Jennifer Cecere (12/23) as they begin another year. Grant that they may grow in wisdom and grace, and strengthen their trust in your goodness all the days of their lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Let us pray for those celebrating Anniversaries this week: Grant, O God, in your compassion, that Bill Bard & James Donder (12/20), having taken each other in marriage, and affirming again the covenant which they have made, may grow in forgiveness, loyalty, and love; and come at last to the eternal joys which you have promised through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen