“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a mighty savior1.69 Gk a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness
before him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon1.78 Other ancient authorities read has broken upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Leader: We begin our worship by joining communities all around the world in lighting the Advent Candles.
People: As we gather today, we are filled with hopeful expectation that God is showing up in our lives.
Leader: To hope, we must add peace. For we live in an age when people so seldom find peace with themselves and when all the Earth stands under the threat of unrest.
People: We light a fire called peace. (Light the Candle of Peace)