12/13 Third Sunday of Advent: semper Gaudete, sine intermissione orate, in omnibus gratias agite

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil. 1 Thess. 5

Gaudete is the Latin word for REJOICE! And this 3rd Sunday of Advent we anticipate the Holy Spirit restoring all things and making the Way clear in the Righteousness of Jesus the Anointed One.  In unity with the Diocese of New York we celebrate this Sunday as a Day to Offer God Thanks for the Abolition of Slavery and to Ask God’s Help in Assuring Always that Black Lives Matter.

Lord, our God, we praise You for Your Son, Jesus Christ, for He is Emmanuel, the Hope of all people. He is the Wisdom that teaches and guides us. He is the Savior of us all. O Lord, let your blessing come upon us as we rejoice in the hope of his return, giving thanks for the 13th Amendment and the end of chattel slavery in our nation. May He come quickly and not delay. We ask this in His holy name. Amen.

A Prayer of Thanksgiving from The Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas

Almighty God of Moses and Hagar, Creator and Redeemer of us All: We come to you in thanksgiving for your liberating promise of justice where all your children will one day be free; We offer thanks for the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment which brought an end of chattel slavery in this land; We offer thanks for the work of those abolitionists who fought tirelessly to end the sin of chattel slavery remembering especially the too often overlooked Black abolitionists such as Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Henry Highland Garnet, Sarah Parker Redmond, William Still, and Frederick Douglass;  Grant us, Loving God, forgiveness for our complicity with white supremacy and anti-blackness that gave rise to chattel slavery and continues its legacy in other forms;  Grant us, Liberating God, the moral wisdom, moral leadership, and moral courage to continue the work of freedom, until our world and society becomes a place free from the sins of white supremacy, anti-blackness or anything that would betray the justice that you promise all of your children. Help us, O God of the disinherited, to be church and thus to lead the way to a world free from the pleas for black lives to matter, because they will matter. Help us to never be content until that time when heaven has come to earth and all of your children are free to live into the fullness of their created potential. Amen. 

13th Amendment Commemoration Prayer from the Diocesan Reparations Comm.We thank you God, for bringing this nation through a devastating civil war, in which the enslavement of people of African heritage played a central role, and served as the catalyst to change hearts and minds in this country to prohibit chattel slavery and the dehumanization of a large faction of your people. We are particularly grateful to commemorate the passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which was passed by Congress on the last day of January, 1865 and finally ratified in that same year in early December as the law in this country. We thank you for the tireless work of people from many nations towards justice, freedom, equity and opportunity for enslaved African-Americans from the inception of this evil institution to the present. We thank you for giving us courage to honestly face past injustices, grace to repent, and strength to keep on working through and committing to authentic demonstrations of permanent, transformative actions towards a time when all Black lives assuredly matter in this country and throughout your creation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.