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Advent 3 - ”your bountiful grace and mercy”

Collect for the Third Sunday of Advent: Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Dear friends, 

The third Sunday of Advent is known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means “Rejoice” and we mark this day of rejoicing with rose colored vestments, flowers, and at Trinity with the freshly cut American holly with its bright red berries from the Wheeler family.

Traditionally, Gaudete Sunday was a day of respite from Advent fasting. Many of us in current times do not fast in penitence during this season, but perhaps it can be a reminder to “fast from the press of Christmas craziness” and sit in the beauty and joy of our time together in worship and prayer, “to quiet our souls to listen.”  

For the Third Sunday of Advent – Joy

Blessed are we who wait with bated breath,

who wait for something new to be born

–for new hope or new joy or new life.

Blessed are we whose patience grows thinner by the day.

We who are tired of the world as it is

–in all of its heartache and loss

and hopelessness.

We who want more.

More hope. More joy. More life. 

Blessed are we who sit here,

waiting at the still point between desire

and expectation.

We who are making room for more of you, 

oh God, this Christmas.

Surprise us with joy in the midst of the mundane,

abundance in the midst of so much scarcity, 

presence in the midst of Christmas chaos.

We have quieted our souls to listen, 

to wait for you, oh God, 

for your Word-Made-Flesh is life to us. 


Your sister in Christ, 


Photo credit: N. Hagner, Garden Rose

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