Wreath Prayer for the Second Week of Advent
Stir up Our Hearts, O Lord!
As we enter the second week of Advent, our thoughts should be turning more and more to the coming of Christ at Christmas.
As we move on to the second candle on our Advent wreaths, our sense of expectation increases, as does our recognition of the fact that we are not prepared, not only for the first coming of Christ that we will celebrate in a few weeks but for His Second Coming at the end of time.
As we light our Advent wreaths and engage in our Advent devotions (such as the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena and Advent Scripture readings), we refocus our minds and hearts on the Savior of the world.
Traditionally, the prayers used for the Advent wreath for each week of Advent are the collects, or the short prayers at the beginning of Mass, for the Sunday of Advent that begins that week. The text given here is of the collect for the Second Sunday of Advent from the Traditional Latin Mass; you could also use the Opening Prayer for the Second Sunday of Advent from the current Missal. (They are essentially the same prayer, with different English translations.)
Wreath Prayer for the Second Week
Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the ways of Thine only-begotten Son, that through His coming we may be worthy to serve Thee with purified minds. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
Explanation of the Prayer
In the Advent wreath prayer for the first week of Advent, we asked Christ to come to our aid; this week, we ask Him to move us to action, so that we can prepare ourselves for both His coming at Christmas and His Second Coming. He offers Himself freely, but we must freely accept His offer in order to attain salvation.
Phrases Used in the Prayer
• Stir up: to excite, to rouse to action
• To prepare the ways: a reference to Isaiah 40:3 (“The voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the wilderness the paths of our God”) and Mark 1:3 (“A voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths”); that is, to remove the obstacles to His coming in our hearts and minds.
• Purified minds: minds cleansed of worldly cares, focused on serving the Lord
• Holy Ghost: another name for the Holy Spirit, less commonly used today than in the past