A Gift to the Church: An Advent Litany

Ten women bishops on a “Pilgrimage for Understanding & Peace” in the Holy Land in November 2011 visited places where Jesus lived and walked: Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Nazareth. Because they were in the Holy Land just prior to Advent, they offer the following litany as a gift to the Church for use in local congregations during this Advent season.

The Gospel of Luke describes Mary as overshadowed by the power of God. For God, nothing is impossible! Mary responds to God, "I am your servant; let it be to me according to your word."

An Advent Litany

Leader: It is Advent, and we wait and hope for peace and love.
Response: We are on our way to Bethlehem, where Jesus will be born.

Leader: Mary, overshadowed by God, says, "I am your servant; let it be to me according to your word."
Response: We are on our way to Bethlehem, where Jesus will be born.

Leader: Mary and Joseph travel and arrive weary and unwelcomed.
Response: We are on our way to Bethlehem, where Jesus will be born.

Leader: Bethlehem this Advent is weary and anxious in the shadow of the high dividing wall.
Response: We are on our way to Bethlehem, where Jesus will be born.

Leader: We in the world have lost our way. We need a Savior and Shepherd and Healer.
Response: Overshadow this world, O God, with your power and love.

Leader: Come, Lord Jesus, and bring peace in Israel and Palestine, and in every broken place.
Response: We pray for your birthplace as we make our way to Bethlehem.

Leader: Shatter darkness with your light as you come to gather, heal and save us.
Response: Come, Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace.


--Litany written by United Methodist Bishop Hope Morgan Ward