Advent Candle Lighting Liturgy

During Advent, many churches mark the season by lighting candles on an Advent wreath at the beginning of worship each week. These litanies were written for Central Presbyterian Church in Advent 2014. Many thanks to the congregants who were my co-writers and conversation partners in forming these litanies.

As we enter the season of Advent, may these prayers remind you of hope, peace, joy, and love of our God.

 

Advent 1:

We live in the presence of God,

God who creates, sustains, renews.

God’s presence is often hidden from us,

Or maybe we are too busy to notice.

Be revealed to us, O God.

Surprise us with your presence, O Spirit.

Move us to see you, to hear you, O Christ.

May this candle remind us to keep awake:

To watch for God’s presence revealed in our midst.

As we light our first advent candle,

We remind one another to live in holy hope: eager anticipation of encounters with God.

God who is hidden, be revealed.

Come, O come Emmanuel!

 

Advent 2:

We live in the beginning of the good news,

The good news of forgiveness through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We live in the middle of the wilderness,

and we await the presence of the Lord.

May this candle enlighten us in our darkness, that we may know God’s peace in our midst.  

May this candle illumine our path, that we may see the way of the Lord.

God who is hidden, be revealed.

Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

 

Advent 3:

We live in a world that hates to wait, and we celebrate a season of waiting.

We live in a world that loves bad news, and we preach good news to one another.

In the midst of despair, we lit a candle of hope.

In the midst of violence, we lit a candle of peace.

In the midst of sadness, we light a candle of joy.

May this candle remind us that God’s joy is coming, on earth as it is in heaven.

May we live with joy that is deeper than happiness: joy that is rooted in the love of our God.

God who is hidden, be revealed.

Come, O Come, Emmanuel!

 

Advent 4:

“The Lord is with you!” the angel said, and Mary responded, “Here am I.”

“You shall bear a son,” the angel said, and Mary responded, “Let it be.”

May the grace of faith bestowed on Mary come to us as well.

“He will be great,” the angel said, “and the Son of the Most High.”

“He will reign,” the angel said, “with a kingdom that has no end.”

As we light the candle of Love, we hope for the reign of God in our midst.

May we rejoice like Mary in a hope for justice still to come.

God who is hidden, be revealed.

Come, O Come, Emmanuel!

 

Christmas Eve 

I bring you good news of great joy!

To you is born this day a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord.

God who was hidden has been revealed.

Emmanuel has come!

You will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.

God who was hidden has been revealed.

Emmanuel has come!

As we light the Christ candle, we watch for God breaking into our world this day.

God has come and God is coming.

God who is hidden, be revealed.

Come, all ye faithful, and worship God!

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