Counter Liturgy: Common Prayers of Formation and Resistance (Vol 1: Advent and Christmas)

Counter Liturgy: Common Prayers of Formation and Resistance (Vol 1: Advent and Christmas)



Counter Liturgy is a series of seasonal liturgies in the tradition of common prayer. Volume I (Advent and Christmas) calls Christians young and old, liberal and conservative, high church and low church, into a deeper understanding of the season that celebrates the Incarnation of God. Beginning with a prayer of repentance for the consumerism of Black Friday and featuring weekly prayers for Advent and Christmastide, Counter Liturgy creates space for families and communities to delve into a season of growth through responsive prayers, reading of Scripture, and thinking reflectively with great theologians and heroes of the faith.

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“It is not every year that we are offered Advent devotions that give us anything profoundly new, but this one delivers. Counter Liturgy gathers us not to merely huddle contentedly around the sentimental warmth of a hearth-fire, but stands us helpless, hopeful in Word and Silence before the One whose Fire burns in our hearts. We are reminded in these prayers that the Incarnate One still breaks in to the world with good news, turns the tables of Black Friday, and holds out hope for peace and joy even in times like these. With a smile I think that these Advent liturgies and prayers will make a wonderful early Christmas present for everyone on my list I wish to disturb and then encourage with the Good News revealed in the Incarnation.”
- Eric Howell, Pastor, DaySpring Baptist Church

Counter Liturgy is anything but your typical Advent devotional that would tend to focus on a manufactured, Western-focused nativity. This book delves into both the darkness and light we endure when we seek to approach the holiness of Christ’s first Advent. I plan to use it, although it’s not written to make me feel all warm and fuzzy in my pajamas with cider. Sam Davidson is a burgeoning scholar who is willing to wrestle with the very real tension between worship and justice in a world desperately in need of incarnation.”
- Eric Costanzo, Senior Pastor, South Tulsa Baptist Church

In this first volume of the Counter Liturgy series, Sam Davidson has produced something accessible and significant. The primary content of this collection is an impressive weaving of Scripture, liturgical/historical exposition, prayers, carols, silent reflection, and thoughts from prominent Christian figures, into liturgies that do exactly what they should do: offer language with which one might both proclaim the story of God, and find oneself drawn into, challenged, and transformed by this Story. These liturgies serve as hammer blows to the petrified accumulation of scarcity-driven self-interest, consumption, and materialism left by the cultural liturgies in which we live. In a culture as well-versed as 21st century America in twisting the Christian story to serve its own purposes, there is no shortage of accumulation to knock away during the “holiday season,” and these liturgies offer a way into the Story that is decidedly difficult to twist. This collection would be valuable for informal groups seeking to gather in worship, and should be consulted—if not directly implemented—by anyone tasked with crafting liturgies for churches during Advent or Christmastide.
-Jameson McGregor, Worship & Arts Pastor, University Baptist Church


Series Introduction
How to Use This Book
Introduction to the Season
Black Friday: A Prayer of Repentance
Advent Week 1: Hope
Saint Nicholas Feast Day (December 6)
Advent Week 2: Love
Advent Week 3: Joy
Advent Week 4: Peace
Reflection on Christmas
In the Beginning: A Christmas Eve Scripture Litany
Christmas Day: God Becomes a Child
New Years: A Prayer of Rest
Epiphany: Light Has Come

About the Author

Sam Davidson has a B.A. in Religion from Baylor University and (almost) a Masters of Divinity from George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, TX, where he lives with his wife Alexis. He hates blogs, including his own, which is called “Pontifications. And Stuff.” He is also a waiter, a graduate assistant, and a Seminary Fellow at the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.