Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Stir up Sunday - Imagine Peace for Advent - liturgical resources for Advent

This Sunday is "stir up Sunday" in Church of England and in some other parts of the Anglican communion. the name comes from the collect or prayer for the day:
Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people;
that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

It is also the Sunday of Christ the King in the post Vatican II liturgical year in the Roman Catholic Church. For German Protestants it is Totensonntag or Ewigkeitssonntag - Eternity Sunday when those who have died are remembered. For the Western church this Sunday marks the end of the church year, the last Sunday before Advent.

My creative colleagues in the worship office of the WCC have brought out some wonderful online resources for Advent this year, called "Imagine Peace".
You can listen to the music specially written at a workshop in Cuba for the project, you can also download pdfs of the scores of the songs which have words in various langauges.
The liturgical material is also really good, with worship outlines for the four Sundays of Advent, and meditations on the theme of peace. We particularly enjoyed translating the one by Elsa Tamez, which conentrates on the sense of smell but there are excellent short pieces by Gerald West and Margartha Hendricks-Ririmasse amongst others.

You can download the full booklet and the liturgies will also be available in French and German before too long.
So will you be imagining peace this Advent or will you be too busy with end of year and pre-Christmas stress? Take some time out for the coming of the Prince of Peace.

All the material is also produced under a creative commons licence - in itself an imaginative and peaceful sign.

First Sunday in Advent
Second Sunday in Advent
Third Sunday in Advent
Fourth Sunday in Advent

Here's more information on Imagine Peace from the WCC website:

"Imagine: Peace" contains suggestions for services on the four Sundays in Advent. It is the first part of a collection of worship material from different regions of the world for the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation 2011.
The bible meditations are invitations to reflect on biblical aspects of peace and overcoming violence. The texts and songs of peace may also be used in contexts other than the Advent season or church services.
Let them feed your imagination and get your own ideas flowing. We particularly hope that you will adapt this material to your own context. Be creative and let the Spirit lead you.