Prepare Him Room: Advent Candlelighting Liturgies

These liturgies highlight the preparatory nature of Advent. They are paired with verses from Joy to the World. The pieces of the liturgy may be split as desired among readers.

Week One–Hope 

1. In December, our days are very full. It can seem like there is no room for anything but preparing for Christmas. Yet we are called to make room in our hearts, and to prepare not just for Christmas but for Christ. We light the Advent candles to remind us what it is we are really preparing for: the coming kingdom of God, a place of hope, peace, joy, and love.   

2. The first candle is the candle of hope. (light candle #1) 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 we will never despair again. 

3.  Hear the promises of scripture from the prophet Isaiah:

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.”[1]  

4. Jesus Christ, we want to prepare room for you in our hearts. Calm us, focus us, and fill us with your hope, so that we might be fully ready for you. Amen.  

5. Let us sing today’s verse of Joy to the World:

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her king;
let every heart prepare him room,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

Week Two—Peace  

1. In December, our days are very full. It can seem like there is no room for anything but preparing for Christmas. Yet we are called to make room in our hearts, and to prepare not just for Christmas but for Christ. We light the Advent candles to remind us what it is we are really preparing for: the coming kingdom of God, a place of hope, peace, joy, and love.   

2. The first candle is the light of hope. (light candle #1) The second candle is the light of peace. (light candle #2)

We prepare our hearts for God’s peaceful kingdom. We trust in the day when God will heal the wounds that cause us to lash out, quell the anger that pits nations against nations, and calm the unrest that troubles our own hearts. Blessed is the Lord our God, and blessed are God’s peacemakers.  

3.  Hear the promises of scripture from the prophet Isaiah:

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, 
the spirit of wisdom and understanding, 
the spirit of counsel and might, 
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

The wolf shall live with the lamb, 
the leopard shall lie down with the kid, 
the calf and the lion and the fatling together, 
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze, 
their young shall lie down together; 
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, 
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.

They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; 
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD.[2]

4. Jesus Christ, we want to prepare room for you in our hearts. Calm us, focus us, and fill us with your peace, so that we might be fully ready for you. Amen.  

5. Let us sing today’s verse of Joy to the World:

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let all their songs employ,
while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

Week Three—Joy  

1. In December, our days are very full. It can seem like there is no room for anything but preparing for Christmas. Yet we are called to make room in our hearts, and to prepare not just for Christmas but for Christ. We light the Advent candles to remind us what it is we are really preparing for: the coming kingdom of God, a place of hope, peace, joy, and love.   

2. The first candle is the light of hope. (light candle #1) The second candle is the light of peace. (light candle #2) The third candle is the candle of joy. (light the pink candle #3)

Our joy is more than mere happiness. Our joy is rooted deep in God’s goodness, in the promises we have of something more than just this life. Our joy is a deep well we can draw comfort from. To be joyful is to be a child of God. 

3.  Hear the promises of scripture from the prophet Isaiah:

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, 
the desert shall rejoice and blossom; 
like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, 
and rejoice with joy and singing. 
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, 
the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. 
They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who are of a fearful heart, 
“Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God.”[3]

4. Let us pray: Jesus Christ, we want to prepare room for you in our hearts. Calm us, focus us, and fill us with your joy, so that we might be fully ready for you. Amen.  

5. Let us sing today’s verse of Joy to the World:

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
nor thorns infest the ground;
he comes to make his blessings flow
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found,
far as, far as the curse is found.

Week Four—Love  

1. In December, our days are very full. It can seem like there is no room for anything but preparing for Christmas. Yet we are called to make room in our hearts, and to prepare not just for Christmas but for Christ. We light the Advent candles to remind us what it is we are really preparing for: the coming kingdom of God, a place of hope, peace, joy, and love.   

2. The first candle is the light of hope. (light candle #1) The second candle is the light of peace. (light candle #2) The third candle is the light of joy. (light the pink candle #3) The fourth candle is the light of love. (light candle #4)

This candle 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.

3.  Hear the promises of scripture from the psalmist:

Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, 
the one whom you made strong for yourself.
Then we will never turn back from you; 
give us life, and we will call on your name.
Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.[4]

4. Let us pray: Jesus Christ, we want to prepare room for you in our hearts. Calm us, focus us, and fill us with your love, so that we might be fully ready for you. Amen.  

5. Let us sing today’s verse of Joy to the World:

He rules the world with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of his righteousness
and wonders of his love,
and wonders of his love,
and wonders, wonders of his love.

Christmas Eve—Christ 

1. We have spent the month in preparation, but the good news of this night is that Christ is here! Whether we feel ready or not, the newborn Christ is born again into our hearts and lives. We light our Advent candles once more to proclaim the hope, peace, joy, and love of his kingdom. 

2. The first candle is the light of hope. (light candle #1) The second candle is the light of peace. (light candle #2) The third candle is the light of joy. (light the pink candle #3) The fourth candle is the light of love. (light candle #4) Tonight, at last, we light the Christ candle. (light white center candle)

Tonight we remember who it is that brings us hope, who gives us peace, who fills us with joy, who blesses us with love. It is Jesus Christ, who is the Light of our World, our King and our Shepherd.

3.  Hear the promises of scripture from the prophet Isaiah:

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. 
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.[5]

4. Jesus Christ, let this night renew our determination to prepare room for you in our hearts. Calm us, focus us, and fill us with your light, so that we might be fully ready for you. Amen.  

5. Let us sing tonight’s verse of Joy to the World:

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her king;
let every heart prepare him room,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.


[1] Isaiah 2:2-3

[2] Isaiah 11:1-2, 6-9

[3] Isaiah 35:1-4a.

[4] Psalm 80:7, 17-19

[5] Isaiah 9:2, 6-7

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