From Waiting to Fulfillment

An Advent Service of Lessons and Carols

This Advent service was held early in December 2005.The theme of waiting held special resonance for usthat year. On September 24, 2005, Lake Charlesand all of southwest Louisiana was badly batteredby Hurricane Rita. By November many of us inthe area, including the congregation at First PresbyterianChurch, knew we would have a long wait for our houses tobe repaired, for our blue tarp roofs to be replaced. We knewthen that things would never “go back to normal.” For this service, we wanted to tie in the expectation and waiting forthe “new normal” to our Christian Advent hope.

Prelude: Overture to Cantata 142 (Bach/Thompson)



Choir: “In the Silence, Wondrous Love”

Call to Worship: Psalm 130:5-6; Isaiah 64:1a, 4


Hymn: “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” CH 245, PH 9, PsH 328, SWM 81,SFL 123, TH 194, WR 154

Scripture of Longing: Psalm 89:1-2, 46-51

Scripture Readings: Anticipation

Isaiah 9:2-7; 11:1-10; 35:1-10

Hymn: “The Desert Shall Rejoice” PH 18


Scripture Readings: Expectation

Romans 13:11-14; Mark 13:24-37; Matthew 25:1-12

Anthem: “Keep Your Lamps”

Hymn: “Sleepers, Wake!” PH 17

Bayou Bell Choir: Passacaglia


Advent Litany

O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,

pervading and permeating all creation, you order all things

with strength and gentleness: come now

and teach us the way to salvation.

Come, Lord Jesus.

O Adonai, Ruler of the house of Israel, you appeared

in the burning bush to Moses and gave him the law

on Sinai: Come with outstretched arm to save us.

Come, Lord Jesus.

O Root of Jesse, rising as a sign for all the peoples,

before you earthly rulers will keep silent, and nations

give you honor: Come quickly to deliver us.

Come, Lord Jesus.

O Key of David, Scepter over the house of Israel,

you open and no one can close, you close and

no one can open: Come to set free the prisoners

who live in darkness and the shadow of death.

Come, Lord Jesus.

O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light,

Sun of justice: Come, shine on those who live

in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Come, Lord Jesus.

O Ruler of the nations, Monarch for whom the people long,

you are the Cornerstone uniting all humanity:

Come, save us all, whom you formed out of clay.

Come, Lord Jesus.

O Immanuel, our Sovereign and Lawgiver,

desire of the nations and Savior of all:

Come and save us, O Lord our God.

Come, Lord Jesus. God of grace, ever faithful to your

promises, the earth rejoices in hope of our Savior’s

coming and looks forward with longing to his return

at the end of time. Prepare our hearts to receive him

when he comes, for he is Lord forever and ever. Amen.

—from “Daily Prayer,” The Worship of God: Supplemental Liturgical Resource 5.Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 1987, adapted and reprinted from Lutheran Book of Worship© 1978. Used by permission of Augsburg Fortress; concluding prayer by Harold M. Daniels.

Hymn: “Watchman, Tell Us of the Night” PH 20

Scripture Readings: Fulfillment

Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 2:1-5

Bayou Bell Choir: “Carol of the Bells” (arr. Hart Morris)

Anthem: “Night of Silence”

Closing Prayer


Hymn: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” CH 277, PH 31, PsH 345, TH 203,WR 185


Frederick N. Seay ( is thepastor of First Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in LakeCharles, Louisiana.

Reformed Worship 85 © September 2007, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.