Advent Candlelighting Liturgies (Year A)

These simple liturgies utilize Revised Common Lectionary scriptures from Year A. The parts may be split up in any way that is convenient for the groups lighting the candles.

 

Week One: Hope

A. In the winter, we long for sunlight. We light candles to testify, that the earth will turn and the light will come again.

In our lives, we long for Christ. We light candles to testify, that the day will come when Christ will come again.

We begin with hope. (light the candle)

 

B. Why do we call this candle the candle of hope?

 

C. We call this candle the candle of hope because its light reminds us of the hope we have in God’s promises even in the darkness. For our hope is in the Lord, who made heaven and earth, and who has promised to be faithful to us every moment of our lives. We also have hope that in Christ God will make all things new, and bring joy, peace, and love to all. Let us hear what scripture has to say.

 

D. In the days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house
will be the highest of the mountains.
It will be lifted above the hills;
peoples will stream to it.

 Many nations will go and say,
“Come, let’s go up to the Lord’s mountain,
to the house of Jacob’s God
so that he may teach us his ways
and we may walk in God’s paths.” (Isaiah 2:2-3a, CEB)

 

E. May those who feel hopeless take strength from the light of this candle. May those who are full of hope shine with its light.

 

F. Now let us lift our voices to God together:

Song | Come and Fill Our Hearts (Glory to God Presbyterian Hymnal 466)
(first time, sung by leader; second and third time, sung by all)
Come and fill our hearts with your hope; you alone, O Lord, are holy.
Come and fill our hearts with your hope. Alleluia!

May it be so. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.

 

Week Two: Peace

A. In the winter, we long for sunlight. We light candles to testify, that the earth will turn and the light will come again.

In our lives, we long for Christ. We light candles to testify, that the day will come when Christ will come again.

We begin with hope. (light the front candle) We continue with peace. (light a side candle)

 

B. Why do we call this candle the candle of peace?

 

C. We call this candle the candle of peace because it reminds us of the peace Christ promises us, peace that passes all understanding. We remember the wholeness of God’s shalom, which touches every part of our lives with healing. We believe in God’s power to bring peace between people and within people. Let us hear what scripture has to say.

 

D. “Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son.
May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.
May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.
In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.” (Psalm 72:1-7, NRSV)

 

E. May those who feel anxious take strength from the light of this candle. May those who are at peace shine with its light.

 

F. Now let us lift our voices to God together:

Song | Come and Fill Our Hearts (Glory to God Presbyterian Hymnal 466)
(first time, sung by leader; second and third time, sung by all)
Come and fill our hearts with your peace; you alone, O Lord, are holy.
Come and fill our hearts with your peace. Alleluia!

May it be so. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.

 

Week Three: Joy

A. In the winter, we long for sunlight. We light candles to testify, that the earth will turn and the light will come again.

In our lives, we long for Christ. We light candles to testify, that the day will come when Christ will come again.

We begin with hope. (light the front candle) We continue with peace. (light a side candle) And now we add joy. (light the pink candle)

 

B. Why do we call this candle the candle of joy?

 

C. We call this candle the candle of joy because it reminds us of the joy of our life in Christ, joy that can be found even in the darkest place. We remember the joy you took in creation, when you made each thing and proclaimed it good, and we remember the joy you brought to Mary and Joseph, who delighted to watch you grow. We give thanks for your gifts of laughter and gladness, and new life in unexpected settings. Let us hear the promises of scripture.

 

D. “The desert and the dry land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom like the crocus.
They will burst into bloom,
and rejoice with joy and singing.
They will receive the glory of Lebanon,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the Lord’s glory,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the weak hands,
and support the unsteady knees.
Say to those who are panicking:
“Be strong! Don’t fear!
Here is your God.” (Isaiah 35:1-4a, CEB)

 

E. May those who feel sorrow take strength from the light of this candle. May those who are full of joy shine with its light.

 

F. Now let us lift our voices to God together:

Song | Come and Fill Our Hearts (Glory to God Presbyterian Hymnal 466)
(first time, sung by leader; second and third time, sung by all)
Come and fill our hearts with your joy; you alone, O Lord, are holy.
Come and fill our hearts with your joy. Alleluia!

May it be so. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.

 

Week Four: Love

A. In the winter, we long for sunlight. We light candles to testify, that the earth will turn and the light will come again.

In our lives, we long for Christ. We light candles to testify, that the day will come when Christ will come again.

We begin with hope. (light the front candle) We continue with peace. (light a side candle) We add joy. (light the pink candle) And now love. (light the fourth candle)

 

B. Why do we call this candle the candle of love?

 

C. We call this candle the candle of love because it reminds us of God’s great love for us. We remember that God so loved the world that he sent Jesus, God’s only begotten son, into the world, not to condemn us, but to save us. We take joy in the love God has surrounded us with—the love of family and friends and neighbors—the love that flows through all our days. We give thanks that God is Love. Let us hear God’s promises in scripture.

 

D. This is like the days of Noah to me:
Just as I swore that the waters of Noah
would never again go over the earth,
so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you
and will not rebuke you.
For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,
says the Lord, who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 4:9-10, CEB)

 

E. May those who feel unwanted take strength from the light of this candle. May those who are full of love shine with its light.

 

F. Now let us lift our voices to God together:

Song | Come and Fill Our Hearts (Glory to God Presbyterian Hymnal 466)
(first time, sung by leader; second and third time, sung by all)
Come and fill our hearts with your love; you alone, O Lord, are holy.
Come and fill our hearts with your love. Alleluia!

May it be so. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.

 

Christmas Eve: Christ

A. In the winter, we long for sunlight. We light candles to testify, that the earth will turn and the light will come again.

In our lives, we long for Christ. We light candles to testify, that the day will come when Christ will come again.

Tonight, the promise is fulfilled. Christ is born!

(Light the four outside candles.) Tonight, we remember the gifts of Christ—hope, peace, joy, and love. And now, at last, we light the Christ candle.

 

B. Why do we call this candle the Christ candle?

 

C. We call this candle the Christ candle because it reminds us that Christ is the light of the world, that no darkness can overcome. We give thanks for the baby in the manger at Bethlehem; we give thanks for the twelve-year-old learning in the temple; we give thanks for the rabbi teaching from the hillside and healing in the cities; we give thanks for the man carrying the cross; we give thanks for the savior waiting in the garden beside an empty tomb. And we give thanks too, for the Christ with us, the Christ we know; peace we have felt in our hearts, love we have shared with others, a call to follow, courage for the road ahead. Tonight we light Christ’s candle in defiance of the darkness, and believe he is among us now, as God-with-us, Emmanuel.

Let us hear the promises of scripture from the prophet Isaiah:

 

D. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined.

For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. (Isaiah 9:2, 6-7, NRSV)

 

E. May those who walk in darkness see the light of these candles, and take heart: Christ is with you!

 

F. Now let us lift our voices to God together:

Song | Come and Fill Our Hearts (Glory to God Presbyterian Hymnal 466)
(first time, sung by leader; second and third time, sung by all)
Come and fill our hearts with your light; you alone, O Lord, are holy.
Come and fill our hearts with your light. Alleluia!

May it be so. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.

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