Advent Confession and Assurance

Advent is a time of waiting, but it can also be a very meaningful time of confession. These four litanies for confession and assurance are designed for consecutive use during the four Sundays in Advent.

First Sunday in Advent

Song: “O Come, O Come, Immanuel” (st. 1-2, sung by choir) LUYH, CH 245, PH 9, PsH 328, SFL 123, SWM 81, TH 194, WR 154

We are captive, exiled, O God, because we have, each in our own way, chosen our own path, away from you. We are hungry for wisdom and knowledge, because we have, too often, substituted our judgment for yours. We are lost, in need of guidance.

Silent Prayer, concluded with:
Come, Lord Jesus; forgive us and restore us.
Come, Lord Jesus; guide us and deliver us.
Come, Lord Jesus; teach us and renew us.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Assurance of Pardon (adapted from Titus 3:4-7, The Message)

God, our kind and loving Savior God, has stepped in and saved us.

God gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously.

God’s gift has restored our relationship with God and given us back our lives.

And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life!

Song: “O Come, O Come, Immanuel” (refrain only)

Second Sunday in Advent

Song: “O Come, O Come, Immanuel” (st. 3-4, sung by choir)

We need you to speak to us, O God, because we have, each in our own way, forgotten your Law, forgotten your love for us. We are in need of your deliverance, because we have, too often, given ourselves to powers and practices that would destroy us. We are lost, in need of rescue.

Silent Prayer, concluded with:
Come, Lord Jesus; forgive us and restore us.
Come, Lord Jesus; guide us and deliver us.
Come, Lord Jesus; teach us and renew us.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Assurance of Pardon (adapted from Titus 3:4-7, The Message)

God, our kind and loving Savior God, has stepped in and saved us.

God gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously.

God’s gift has restored our relationship with God and given us back our lives.

And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life!

Song: “O Come, O Come, Immanuel” (refrain only)

Third Sunday in Advent

Song: “O Come, O Come, Immanuel” (st. 5-6, sung by choir)

We have locked ourselves out, O God. Each of us, in our own way, has locked ourselves out of relationships, has locked ourselves out of opportunities, has locked ourselves out of our true home, because we are too arrogant, or too stubborn, or simply too human. We have filled our lives and our world with darkness and death, because we have, all too often, put our own judgment and desires over yours. We are lost, in need of light and hope and joy.

Silent Prayer, concluded with:
Come, Lord Jesus; forgive us and restore us.
Come, Lord Jesus; guide us and deliver us.
Come, Lord Jesus; teach us and renew us.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Assurance of Pardon (adapted from Titus 3:4-7, The Message)

God, our kind and loving Savior God, has stepped in and saved us.

God gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously.

God’s gift has restored our relationship with God and given us back our lives.

And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life!

Song: “O Come, O Come, Immanuel” (refrain only)

Fourth Sunday in Advent

Song: “O Come, O Come, Immanuel” (st. 7, 1, sung by choir)

We are coming unraveled, O God, pulled apart from every angle, because we have each chosen our own way, forgetting the common good, the universal good, your true good. We are in need of a way back from the messes we make for ourselves, because we have, too often, rejected your way to true peace, true wholeness. We are lost, and we need Christ to come quickly.

Silent Prayer, concluded with:
Come, Lord Jesus; forgive us and restore us.
Come, Lord Jesus; guide us and deliver us.
Come, Lord Jesus; teach us and renew us.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Assurance of Pardon (adapted from Titus 3:4-7, The Message)

God, our kind and loving Savior God, has stepped in and saved us.

God gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously.

God’s gift has restored our relationship with God and given us back our lives.

And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life!

Song: “O Come, O Come, Immanuel” (refrain only)

James Hart Brumm (JHartBrumm@aol.com) is pastor and teacher of Blooming Grove Reformed Church (RCA) in DeFreestville, New York. He is editor of Liturgy Among the Thorns: Essays on Worship in the Reformed Church in America (Eerdmans, 2008). A new collection of his hymns, Rhythms of Praises, has recently been published by Wayne Leupold Editions.