Advent, Narrative Lectionary

Advent Wreath Liturgies (Narrative Lectionary Year 1)

By Kittelendan (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Advent 1 – Hope (Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:2-4; 3:17-19)

One: People of God, prophets like Habbakuk pointed to a future hope, a Savior.
Many: No one knew when he would come.
One: They only hoped they would recognize the Messiah, the Son of God.
Many: We wait with hope for the One who has come and is coming.
One: Today we light a candle to symbolize our hope. We hope in the One who will come.
(Light the candle of Hope.)
One: People of God, a New Hope is coming.
All: We will rejoice in the Lord.

Advent 2 – Peace (Esther 4:1-17)

One: People of God, Esther was a heroic woman who took a great risk to bring peace for her people. .
Many: We want peace to overcome struggle, violence, and cruelty.
One: It can be dangerous to call for peace.
Many: This might be the job God needs us to do.
One: Today we light a candle to symbolize God’s peace. We hope in the One who will come. We pray for God’s peace to prevail.
(Light the candles of Hope and Peace.)
One: People of God, take courage.
All: We take courage from the light of God’s peace.

Alternate Advent 2 – Peace (Ezekiel 34:1-6, 11-16)

One: People of God, Ezekiel the prophet called for people to take better care of each other.
Many: We want peace to overcome struggle, neglect and cruelty.
One: We want the weak, the lonely, and the injured to have the care they need.
Many: God will seek out the lost and bring the flock together again.
One: Today we light a candle to symbolize God’s peace. We hope in the One who will come. We pray for
God’s peace to prevail.
(Light the candles of Hope and Peace.)
One: People of God, we are the flock of the Great Shepherd.
All: We give thanks for the light of God’s peace.

Advent 3 – Joy (Isaiah 42:1-9)

One: People of God, Isaiah promised a servant God who would come to save us.
Many: The Savior will be a light to the nations.
One: People everywhere are eager for the justice he will teach and the joy he will bring.
Many: We will see prison doors opened and people set free.
One: Today we light a candle to symbolize the joy we anticipate. We hope in the One who will come. We pray for God’s peace to prevail. Our joy will come with God’s servant.
(Light the candles of Hope, Peace and Joy.)
One: People of God, great change lies ahead.
Many: We wait to see it with joy!

Advent 4 – Love (Matthew 1:18-25)

One: People of God, today we hear the story of an angel appearing in a dream.
Many: Joseph was a righteous man who heard God’s messenger.
One: Because of his deep faith, he trusted in God’s steadfast love.
Many: When we know God’s love, we can extend it to others.
One: Today we light a candle to symbolize the steadfast love of God. We hope in the One who will come. We pray for God’s peace to prevail. Our joy will come with God’s servant. God’s love never ends.
(Light the candles of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.)
One: People of God, remember you are God’s beloved children.
Many: We celebrate God’s steadfast love!

Christmas Eve – Christ Candle (Luke 2:1-14, [15-20])

One: People of God, when the angels appeared, the shepherds were terrified.
Many: We will not fear, for this is the night of Good News!
One: We celebrate the good news of a baby, born in a stable.
Many: Tonight we light a candle to mark his birth.
One: We hope in the one who has come, Jesus Christ.
(Light the Candle of Hope.)
We pray for God’s peace to prevail.
(Light the Candle of Peace)
Our joy comes with God’s servant.
(Light the candle of Joy)
God’s love never ends.
(Light the candle of Love)
Born as one of us, Jesus became God’s living Word of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.
(Light the Christ Candle)
Do not be afraid! The Good News is here!
All: Glory to God in the Highest!


These liturgies were created, and are copyrighted, by the Rev. Martha K. Spong, 2014. You are welcome to use these liturgies, based on the Narrative Lectionary Year 1, in weekly worship at your local church. You are also free to adapt them to your circumstances (using multiple readers, for instance). Please leave a comment to let me know where they will be used. This does not constitute permission to publish the readings as a set or to claim credit for them online or in print. Thank you, as always, to the wonderful people at Working Preacher, for inventing and refining the Narrative Lectionary.

Looking for RCL Year B? Click here.

70 thoughts on “Advent Wreath Liturgies (Narrative Lectionary Year 1)”

  1. thank you Martha. we will use them at North Community Church UCC in Marshfield Ma

  2. Thanks Martha, just copied them into a document for us to use at St. PAul’s United in Grande Prairie Alberta (now I have to choose between the options for A2….)

  3. thank you – we will adopt for use at Anadarko and Verden, OK – United Methodist churches. blessings on your worship and your ministries.

  4. Hello! I may use these at Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in Greensburg, KY. Can you tell me about the option of Ezekiel for Advent 2? Is that suggested at working preacher and I just haven’t found it yet or was it your own idea? I was really struggling with the Esther as an advent text! Thank you!

    1. The original version of the NL used Ezekiel for Advent 2. After some feedback about the relatively sparse inclusion of women in the entire lectionary, the good folks at Working Preacher made this change, among others. I actually like Esther for the challenge to talk about what we may be called to do in our particular times and places.

  5. We will be using these at St John’s Lutheran, Raymond MN. Thanks for sharing your creativity!

  6. Thanks Martha – this is exactly what I need as I (finally) get round to planning Advent today!
    Because we have a Nativity Play on the 4th Sunday I’m going to play around a little.. with order and content… but looking forward to using your beautiful liturgies again!

  7. Thank you for this resource.
    First Lutheran Church in Newton IA will be using this liturgy.

  8. We will be using these at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Virginia Beach, VA. Thank you for these litanies!

  9. We will be using these at St Francis Anglican in Winnipeg.
    thank you for your efforts in crafting these.

  10. Thank you so much — Swarthmore Presbyterian Church, Swarthmore, PA. Church family service.

  11. Thank you so much Martha! These are a gift We will be using them at Christ the King Lutheran, Vestal, NY with some alterations (we deviate from the lectionary a bit) and of course, attribution.

  12. Thank you so much. We will be using at Marion UMC and Bird’s Chapel UMC in Marion Louisiana.

  13. I’m going to switch to the Narrative Lectionary for Advent @ Community UCC, Medford, Wisconsin. Thank you for creating beautiful Advent Liturgies!!

  14. Thanks Martha, These really got me unstuck on our Advent Wreath Liturgy for this season. We’ll be using a hybrid of your liturgy for worship at Vandalia UMC in Vandalia, Ohio

  15. Thank you for sharing these, Martha. We will be using them at Great Kills Moravian Church, Staten Island, NY

  16. Thank you! We will be using the Advent liturgies at The Intersection in Dorchester, MA.

  17. Thank you. This liturgy will bless our congregation this Advent season.
    Christ the King in Western MA.

  18. We are using them at Zion United Church of Christ of Tremont, Cleveland, OH. Thank you!

  19. We are adapting these at Windsor Presbyterian in Des Moines, IA (and crediting you in the bulletin of course). Thank you so much for offering your creativity to help us articulate our waiting and involve folks in worship.

  20. I’m using the narrative advent candle litanies here in Lexington, NE at First Presbyterian church:-), and I’m using Go! Tell It! at the early Christmas Eve service!

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  22. Thank you, I think we are going to use this at Hatboro Baptist Church, in Hatboro, PA. My Sister-in-Law, Patti Stratton introduced me to some of your writings and I am so glad to have found this for Year A

  23. Thank you for these simple yet pointed liturgies. We will be using them at First Christian Church in Sterling Colorado this year.

  24. I am hoping to use these this year in Bay City, MI. I love the different ones you have done. I will of course credit you on all that we use. Thank you for your words that have helped so many of us.
    Kellie French

  25. Will be using these at Sugar Grove UMC this Advent and give you the credit! Thank you so much for this resource! What a gift!

  26. Thank you for this!! We will be using at Cross Lutheran in Burlington, WI this year.

  27. Thank you, Martha, for sharing your work with us. We will be using this at Hawaii Kai United Church of Christ in Honolulu, Hawaii this 2018 Advent season.

  28. Thank you for such a wonderful resource. Central Presbyterian Church (USA), Russellville, AR will be using this liturgy during our normal morning worship.

  29. Thank you, Martha! We will be using this (and crediting you and thanking you!) at Emmanuel Lutheran in Southfield, Mi, where we are using the NL for the first time. I believe we will also be using your hymn adaptation, as well, so double,
    Triple, quadruple thanks!

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