Liturgy as a Door
About a year ago a friend mentioned she was using The Book of Common Prayer as a way to quiet herself and approach the Throne of God in prayer or study. I was really interested in what she said, but The Book of Common Prayer is grouped in my mind with things that allude me like exact baking measurements, geometry and car mechanics. I became increasingly aware, however, that starting a Bible study in the morning seemed to feel sort of abrupt and sometimes I felt like I could read Scripture and never really encounter God.
I love writing curriculum and I love experimenting, so I decided to make a sort of Book of Common Prayer cheat sheet for each week of a women’s Bible study I was leading. For me, it was revolutionizing. I am not adept at actually using The Book of Common Prayer and when I try, I flip around and get lost and lose my place and it feels chaotic. But, when I use a cheat sheet, the beautiful prayers and flow of liturgy act as a door that helps me enter into a quiet posture before God.
So, here is my Advent Liturgy cheat sheet. You can use it as a family or personally. You can add hymns or other Scripture or prayers. I have become a believer in this liturgy for kids. It has a beginning and an end and it helps us all to enter into worship together. I have one child who can read and loves participating. My other child does not yet read and the daily repetition allows him to join in since he knows what to expect.
All words and prayers are directly from The Book of Common Prayer and the structure is based off of “Daily Devotions for Individuals and Families” on page 137. We will probably add a hymn to the end. Come, O Redeemer, Come is an easy one for small children to learn (especially the chorus).
Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Isaiah 40:3
From Luke 1
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
He has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty Savior,
Born of the house of his servant David.
Through His holy prophets He promised of old,
That He would save us from our enemies,
From the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
And to remember His holy covenant.
This was the oath He swore to our father Abraham,
To set us free from the hands of our enemies
Free to worship Him without fear,
Holy and righteous in His sight
All the days of our life.
Daily Work (Advent reading, Scripture, Bible story, etc.)
Silence or prayers offered for ourselves or others.
May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
Merciful God, who sent Your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation; Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.