2nd Sunday of Advent – Year A
Lighting the second candle on the Advent Wreath

As presented here, it was written to follow the entrance procession, hymn, and opening greeting at Mass.  It should, of course, be adapted to fit the needs and circumstances wherever it is used.

Celebrant:              Today our Advent journey is enriched by Isaiah’s vision of the Peaceable Kingdom and John the Baptist’s harsh demand that Israel’s leaders make a serious conversion, metanoia, deep transformation of mind and heart to take their part in the coming of the Messianic vision so powerfully described by Isaiah.

As we prepare now to light our Advent Wreath, we recall our special sense of solidarity with our sisters and brothers in the Dominican Family working in and around Nagpur, India, to give birth to a small incarnation of the Peaceable Kingdom and to nurture its life.

1st Reader:    In Nagpur district, we Dominican Sisters, Laity, and Friars have established the Yuvajyothi Children’s Home.  We are trying to rescue neglected children and young women from exploitative, abusive situations.  Many live on the streets and survive by begging or rummaging in waste.

We reach out to them and provide a protective environment where a child can find a safe, dignified and child-friendly atmosphere. We offer formation of children’s groups, counseling, life skill education, educational support and sponsorship, and advocacy programs.  We keep pressing government leaders to protect and care for these young people who are so vulnerable and victimized by the violence of their poverty and social marginalization.

2nd Reader:   We also sponsor a Safe Childhood program to train members of the Dominican Family to identify and work to prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation.  We set up formal and informal dialogue and networking with relevant government agencies to learn what services and legal protections are available and how to use them.  We provide personal safety lessons for child-based institutions, and we teach people how to report cases for appropriate care and services with the involvement of family members.  We provide outreach, counseling and parenting support, too, for at-risk families.

1st Reader:    [Solemnly]  We want all the children and youth we work with to be as safe and secure as the children we contemplate in Isaiah’s poetic vision of the Peaceable Kingdom, “where there shall be no harm or ruin.”

Celebrant:   Inspired by the Dominican Family in India, we recall the vulnerable men, women and children among us,

Victims of sexual abuse and exploitation,

Others enslaved and trafficked in the cities and towns around us and across the country,

refugees and migrants seeking security, peace and opportunity at our borders,

victims of racial hatred, discrimination and marginalization because of their faith, their sexual orientation or identity, their way of life,

those suffering from the storms, fires and floods of the changing climate,

people deeply wounded by the violence of rejection and poverty,

fearful of not being worthy, of facing ultimate judgment and condemnation.

In preparation to hear and respond to John the Baptist’s call for profound conversion, we pray:

          Lord, Have Mercy              Christ, Have Mercy            Lord, Have Mercy

May almighty God have mercy on our sisters and brothers in India and on us, forgive us all our sins, and bring us together to the fullness of life in peace.  Amen

In solidarity with our sisters and brothers in India, with faith and hope in God’s promises, we prayerfully relight this candle of promise, this candle of hope that, in the light of Christ, we will be alert to Christ’s coming in our lives and ready to respond.

[1stAdvent Wreath candle is lit]

And in solidarity, we light a second candle of promise this week, a candle of prayerful hope that God will lead the people of India, of the United States, and of all the world back to peace with each other and with all creation, peace with justice, protection, healing and joy for all.

[2ndAdvent Wreath candle is lit]

[An Advent refrain is sung.] 

Celebrant:   And we continue our prayer:           Our loving God, We pray that You will unite us in spirit, prayer and hope with our sisters and brothers in India and around the planet.  Together we are in need of solidarity, healing of our communities, justice for all, and peace.

We recall Your promises through the prophets to raise up for us a leader upon whom Your Spirit would rest, Who would judge justly for the poor and afflicted, Who would free Your suffering people and govern with justice and peace.

Give us the strength to grow in love, that the dawn of Christ’s coming may find us rejoicing in his presence and welcoming the light of his truth in peace.

We ask this in the name of Jesus our brother who came to guide us into Your peace, and in the power of Your Holy Spirit where we live and move and have our being, now and forever.   Amen.