Mary Advent “Wreath”

For the Advent season, we did a worship series focusing on Mary. Using the Song of Mary (Luke 1:46-55), we looked at the different roles Mary had in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ: Mother, Witness, Revolutionary, and Disciple. Each Sunday, the choir sang a different version of Ave Maria.

The youth had an opportunity to plan one of the worship services and help prepare the images for the Mary Advent “Wreath.”

A digital daily Advent devotional also accompanied this series. Each day featured a different art work of Mary along with poems, scripture, and reflection questions.

Mother Mary

unknown

I recreated the above image using wallpaper and wrapping paper scraps. I glued the pieces on a 5′ tall piece of cardboard.

This image was paired with the Advent candle of Hope. The special music was Amy Grant’s “Breath of Heaven”.

Witness mary

I had the youth make the watercolor background. To make the panels more cohesive, I painted over all the panels with diluted blue watercolor paint. I used red acrylic paint to create some texture. I then traced the Mary image using a projector and black Sharpies.

This image was paired with the candle of Joy. We wanted to juxtapose the concept of joy in the midst of sadness. The special song was Hugh Martin’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” using the original lyrics that translates the complexities of joy.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
Next year all our troubles will be out of sight


Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the yule tide gay
Next year all our troubles will be miles away


Once again as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who were near to us
Will be dear to us once more


Someday soon, we all will be together
If the fates allow
Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now

Revolutionary mary

by Ben Wildflower

I had the youth copy this image of Mary using a projector and black Sharpies. This image is created by Ben Wildflower who felt that there are too many images of Mary as meek and mild.

This image of Mary was paired with the Advent candle of Love. The special song was Traci Chapman’s “Talkin’ About a Revolution.” We wove the words of the Song of Miriam, Hannah, Deborah, and Mary in between the song. We also led the congregation in singing “Joy to the World” as a protest song – a song that claims how Christ is already changing the world and we are to participate in that change.

Music playing underneath

When your people cried out to be freed from the bonds of slavery, you liberated them.

Don’t you know they’re talking about a revolution? It sounds like a whisper

As they crossed the Red Sea, “you blew with your wind; the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the towering waters . . .”

Don’t you know they’re talking about a revolution? It sounds like a whisper

And Miriam sang a victory song with tambourine in hand . . .

Don’t you know you better run, run, run, run, run, run
Run, run, run, run, run, run
Oh, I said you better run, run, run, run, run, run
Run, run, run, run, run, run
‘Cause finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin’ ’bout a revolution
‘Cause finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin’ ’bout a revolution, oh no
Talkin’ ’bout a revolution, oh no

When your servant cried out to save her from the life of barrenness, she gave birth to Samuel, God Who Hears . . .

Don’t you know they’re talking about a revolution? It sounds like a whisper

As promised, she dedicated that child to you, “God who raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from heaps of human waste . . .”

Don’t you know they’re talking about a revolution? It sounds like a whisper

And Hannah sang a canticle with a dedicated heart . . .

Don’t you know you better run, run, run, run, run, run
Run, run, run, run, run, run
Oh, I said you better run, run, run, run, run, run
Run, run, run, run, run, run
‘Cause finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin’ ’bout a revolution
‘Cause finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin’ ’bout a revolution, oh no
Talkin’ ’bout a revolution, oh no

When your people needed a leader, a protector, and a prophet, you called a fiery woman named Deborah . . .

Don’t you know they’re talking about a revolution? It sounds like a whisper

As oppressors and conquerers increased, “then the people of the Lord went down to the city gates. Wake up, wake up Deborah! Wake up, wake up, break out in song!”

Don’t you know they’re talking about a revolution? It sounds like a whisper

And Deborah sang a song that brough peace for forty years . . .

Don’t you know you better run, run, run, run, run, run
Run, run, run, run, run, run
Oh, I said you better run, run, run, run, run, run
Run, run, run, run, run, run
‘Cause finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin’ ’bout a revolution
‘Cause finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin’ ’bout a revolution, oh no
Talkin’ ’bout a revolution, oh no

When Mary received the news that she was carrying “God-with-Us,” you surrounded her with women of faith . . .

Don’t you know they’re talking about a revolution? It sounds like a whisper

As her womb grew, she summoned the songs of her sisters – Miriam, Hannah, and Deborah . . .

Don’t you know they’re talking about a revolution? It sounds like a whisper

And Mary sang a new song – a song that sung about true joy to the world . . .

Joy to the world for caretakers, environmentalists, and gardeners
who find ways to alleviate the ache of a groaning earth

Joy to the world for the outcast, marginalized, forgotten, unloved, and homeless
for God enters the world at the level place

Joy to the world for people of all color have risen up to stand and hear the victims of violence
such as Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many unnamed AAPI siblings.

Joy to the world for organizations that provide refuge to those traumatized and find safety
in the refugee camps of Lebanon, Jordan, Greece, and the many Afghan families in the Bay Area.

Joy to the world for scientists, doctors, and nurses who enable hearts to sing around the world
awaiting vaccinations and trying to stay safe in the pandemic.

Joy to the world for all standing strong for land rights
of the Ohlone people of Chochenyo and the Karkin in East Bay, the Ramaytush in San Francisco, the Yokuts in South Bay and Central Valley, and the Muwekma tribe throughout the region.

Joy to the world for peacemakers who rally the cry of peace
for the war-weary around the world.

Joy to the world for farmers, food banks, grocers, and food pantries who nourish hope in the bellies of those fearful of failed harvests.

Joy to the world for activists and citizens whose song stirs reverent fear
in the hearts of those who assume power.

and Joy to the world to the One whose joyful promises of justice
overturn power that fill all our hearts
to overflowing action.

Don’t you know you better run, run, run, run, run, run
Run, run, run, run, run, run
Oh, I said you better run, run, run, run, run, run
Run, run, run, run, run, run
‘Cause finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin’ ’bout a revolution
‘Cause finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin’ ’bout a revolution, oh no
Talkin’ ’bout a revolution, oh no

disciple mary

stock photo

I used this stock photo for a basic outline of Mary. I had the youth copy the words of the Magnificat in the image.

This image of Mary was paired with the Advent candle of Peace. The special song was “Mary Did You Know?” by Mark Lowry. Focusing on Mary as Disciple, the answer is that Mary did know and saw it firsthand. You could also sing this version of the song that reworks the lyrics.

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