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ARC Home > Faiths and Ecology > Christianity > Advent service :

Advent and Ecology Liturgy

From All That Dwell Below The Skies

From all that dwell below the skies,
Let the Creator’s praise arise;
Let the Redeemer’s Name be sung,
Through every land, by every tongue.

Eternal are Thy mercies, Lord;
Eternal truth attends Thy Word.
Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore,
Till suns rise and set no more.

Your lofty themes, ye mortals, bring,
In songs of praise divinely sing;
The great salvation loud proclaim,
And shout for joy the Savior’s Name.

In every land begin the song;
To every land the strains belong;
In cheerful sounds all voices raise,
And fill the world with loudest praise.

This Advent Creation Liturgy was first designed by ARC for a service at ST. GEORGE'S CHAPEL, WINDSOR. Please take those parts of the liturgy that work for your own congregation. This is not in copyright, although do feel free to email us at to let us know that you have used it.

Section one: The Beginning

Solo Voice: Hark! a herald voice is calling: 'Christ is nigh,' it seems to say; 'cast away the dreams of darkness, 0 ye children of the day!' That when he next comes with glory, and the world is wrapped in fear, with his mercy he may shield us, and with words of love draw near.

Hymn: "From all that dwell below the skies"

Reader: “Listen to me Jacob, Israel whom I have called: I am the first and I am the last. My hand laid the foundations of the earth and my right hand spread the heavens. When I call to them they all come forth together.” (Isaiah 48: 12-13)

Advent is the Coming of God in Christ to his world. And the coming of the world to God in Christ. For too long we have sought to keep Christ to ourselves. Yet the Lord is creator of all creation, not the property of humanity. He comes to bring light and life into the winter of all creation. His liberation frees not just us but all life. Listen now. Be still and hear. For creation takes up its Maker's call. All creation draws near to God, seeks refuge from the tightening grip of winter, the winter our destruction has wrought; seeks light and warmth to revive that which we have darkened and chilled by our abuse of God's creation. Listen to the Voices of Creation, the Advent of nature.

Section two: The Processions

[Each procession consists of three parts: introductory music; a voice followed by the music; the presentation of the candle. The following notes only cover the words related to the voices and the presentation. If you are developing this for your own use, we suggest using of banners and different groups within the church to escort each candle.]

One: The Procession of the Air:

Voice of Air: Lord, I the Air come. Breath of life, wind that moves over the face of the deep bearing rain… I come. Now the breath of life blows death. As I pass over the land the broken soil follows me: a billowing shroud of dust. When the rain falls, forests and lakes die. I come, my Lord. But what have your people made of me but a shadow, a dark, acidic shadow of my God-given glory. Breathe on your people, breath of God.

Voice of Candle bearer: Hear the cry of our brother Air and bring light and life to the winter of our despair.

All: Breathe on your people, breath of God.

Two: The Procession of the Waters:

Voices of the Waters: We the Waters come, 0 Lord. Flowing to meet you as we have flowed through time, sustaining the life of all creation. We come, 0 Lord, from our rivers and lakes, our seas and oceans. We come, 0 Lord, with our dead borne upon our waves. Our living struggle against creeping filth and our mighty creatures flee before the fury of your people. Can we ever recapture the purity of your will in the brightness of our waters? Stir up your people, 0 Lord, to let the waters flow with life everlasting.

Voice of Candle bearer: Hear the cry of our Sister Water and let light and life dispel the winter of our despair.

All: Stir up your people, 0 Lord.

Three: The Procession of the Land

Voice of the Land: Mountain and valley, hill and plain, we the Land turn to you our Lord, ground of your ground. Upon us you set your world, from us called forth life in many forms. In our richness you set the forests. On our fields you sowed the seed of life. Gone are the forests, worn is the earth. Silent in their graves lie the riches of your creation.Gouged out are the mountains, gone are the curves of the valley. We who would bear your creation seek recreation. Plant in your people a love and respect for your land.

Voice of the Candle bearer: Hear the cry of our Mother Earth and let light and life dispel the winter of our despair.

All: Plant in your people a love and respect for your land.

Four: The Procession of the Creatures:

Voices of the Creatures: From water, air and land we the creatures came forth at thy command. From dust you raised us and in us planted your life.Through the ways of Time you brought us to Be. Now we come called forth again. Yet many can no longer come. Gone, gone forever. And we, we who come. Can we know our children's children will know this world? So much has gone. What remains is so frail. Free your people from their ignorance and selfishness.

Voice of the Candlebearer: Hear the cry of those who dwell in air and sea and land and let your life and light dispel the winter of our despair.

All: Free your people from their ignorance and selfishness.

Voices of Humanity: We, your people, come. We who crucify this world, stripping bare its soil, crowning it with a wreath of broken trees. Its air breathes painfully, its waters weep for the folly that poisons them, its creatures bleed. We have eaten and drunk of life's body. Heirs of all, we have sold our world. Thirty pieces of silver is our price. Loudly declaring our love, we have denied our Lord. We are Judas, we are Peter. We are the cross of all creation.

All: Lord, in your advent, help us resurrect the glory of your creation for our children and our children's children.

Reader: Let us pray.

All: Loving Father, we have heard the Voices of Creation and brought before you our hopes and fears. In the candles of Advent we offer our world to the Creator. In your Love we find forgiveness; in your Word we find acceptance; through your Coming we have hope; through your actions we are challenged; and in your light we find life. Come Lord Jesus, come and enlighten our hearts. Amen.

Section three: The Light of the World

Reader: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life." The heart of the Christian Gospel is that the child born in Bethlehem, the man who died on Calvary, is the eternal creator spirit who brought life to be. The Creator has become created and brings creation to its fulfillment. The Advent of Jesus Christ is not just an event of human significance, but of cosmic significance. His salvation and liberation to life eternal is not just for human, but for all life - life which St John the Divine tells us Christ both created and will recreate.

"In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God and the Word was God He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through him. All that came to be had life in him and that life was the light of all people, a light that shines in the darkness, a light that darkness cannot overcome.

The Word was the true light that enlightens all people: he was coming into the world. He was in the world that had its being through him and the world did not know him. He came to his own domain and his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him he gave the power to become children of God, to all who believe in the name of him who was born not out of human stock or urge of the flesh or will of man but of God himself.

The Word was made flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. Prologue to St John's Gospel.
“Then the One sitting on the throne spoke: Behold, I am making the whole of creation new. Write this: that what I am saying is sure and will come true. And he said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.” This reading was from Revelation 21: 5-6.
Now hear the words of St Paul: “He is the image of the unseen God and the firstborn of all creation, for in him were created all things in heaven and on earth: everything visible and invisible. Thrones, Dominations, Sovereignties, Powers - all things were created through him and in him. Before anything was created, he existed, and he holds all things in unity.” (Colossians 1:15-17)

Hymn: "Creator of the starry height"

The Address

Reader: The opening of St John's Gospel portrays Christ as the Word of God made flesh and as the true light which comes into the world that all may see and have life in God. Through the One who brought all to be, comes the power of life renewed and of darkness overcome.

Choir: Sings the Prologue to St John's Gospel. (Music by Ilona Sekacz)

Section four: The Renewal of Creation

Reader: The Lord has come.

All: The Light of the World.

Reader: The Creator is created.

All: The Light of the World.

Reader: The Alpha and the Omega.

All: The Light of the World.

Reader: The Child of Peace and the Lord of Life.

All: Christ Jesus, bring your light to us.

Reader: From winter to spring, from darkness into light.

All: Christ Jesus, bring your light to us.

Reader: From destruction to resurrection.

All: Christ Jesus, bring your light to us.

Reader: Almighty God, you led your people in the darkness of the desert by a pillar offire. So Lord, lead us in the night of our darkness and through the deserts of our own making. Creator Spirit, you sent down tongues of fire on your disciples as they hid in their uncertainty. So Lord, enlighten us with your fire that we may serve all creation. Loving Father, you sent your Son to be a light to those who walk in darkness. May we who have brought your creation, the winds, waters, lands, creatures and our own kind to the edge of darkness, see the new path we must tread, through the power of your loving light.

All: Amen.

[The light is now taken from the altar candle and brought to the candle, symbolising the Air. Only one candle will be lit today, but over the four weeks of Advent the light will be brought to each candle until on the final Sunday of Advent all four are alight.]

Reader: The Light of Christ bring light to our brother Air. The Light of Christ bring light to us. The Light of Christ bring life to our world.

All: Come Lord Jesus, come and bring life to our world.

Air: Lord, I the Air come, breath of life, wind that moves over the face of the deep. Bearing rain I come. Now may my breath bring life again. As I pass over the land may I be as the life-giving Spirit of God. When the rain falls the forests and lakes live once more. I the Air come, my Lord. From acidic death and polluted pall. Free me to serve your world. Breathe through me, breath of God.

Reader: The candle is lit again. Long may its light shine as we struggle to bring life again to all creation. People of God, will you defend this tender light, this spirit which moves in and through our brother Air?

All: We will so do, through the power of the Creator Spirit.

Reader: People of God, will you go out to enlighten those around you, that the darkness of our destruction is close at hand, but here is the advent of our hope?

All: We will so do in the power of the Creator Spirit.

Reader: Go then into all God's world and share the hope that is in ChristJesus, that all creation may know that its redeemer has come and that his light shines forth to all life.

All: In the advent of our Lord is our hope and the hope of all life. Through this we go forth to love and serve all creation. Amen.

Section five: Finale

Processional hymn: "Of the Father's love begotten"

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