Advent, Advent Wreath, Narrative Lectionary

Advent Wreath Liturgies for Narrative Lectionary Year 2

Updated to include Christmas Eve and an Advent Carol of response.

It’s time for Advent wreath liturgies again. This year I’ve done my utmost to tie the Narrative Lectionary texts to the Advent theme words (hope, peace, joy and love) by choosing short sections of Psalms to come before a responsive reading, followed by lighting the candle for the week. You’ll see the sermon title/weekly theme I’ll be using at the beginning of each week’s liturgy. The phrase repeats in the liturgy itself. I’ve included a suggested hymn to follow each week; they are all from the New Century Hymnal, in use at the UCC church I serve. I’ve also written a thematic carol to use, with weekly verses, which you can find here: Now It’s Time to Light the Candle (REGENT SQUARE or PICARDY). All texts are NRSV.

Permission is granted to use these liturgies and/or the carol; I ask that you leave a comment telling me your church name and location, because I love knowing where they are going.

Advent 1 – The Book of Hope – 2 Kings 22:1-10, [14-20]; 23:1-3

Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and shield.
Our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you. (Psalm 33:20-22)

One: Something’s coming.
Many: We’re waiting. We’re eager.
One: It’s more than presents.
Many: It’s more than lights.
One: We open the Book of Hope and read the promise.
Many: God will be with us.
One: Our hearts are glad; we trust God’s holy name.
Many: God’s never-ending love surrounds us.
One: Today we light the candle of Hope.
(Light the first candle.)
All: Our hope is in the Lord.

Suggested Hymn of response – O How Shall I Receive You

Advent 2 – The Promise of Peace – Isaiah 40:1-11

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people,
to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other. (Psalm 85:8-10)

One: Can you hear it?
Many: What is it?
One: God’s Word is coming.
Many: We’re listening. We’re eager to hear.
One: A voice cries out and declares the Promise of Peace.
Many: We stand in awe.
One: Things are going to even out in the world.
Many: All people will embrace each other.
One: Today we light the candle of Peace.
(Light the second candle.)
All: Our peace comes from God.

Suggested Hymn of response – It Came Upon the Midnight Clear

Advent 3 – The House of Joy – Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-4; 10-13

O send out your light and your truth;
let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
and to your dwelling.

Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God my exceeding joy;
and I will praise you with the harp,
O God, my God. (Psalm 43:3-4)

One: It’s getting closer.
Many: We feel it!
One: The days are shorter, but the lights burn brighter.
Many: We’re listening. We’re eager to hear good news.
One: We’ve gathered together in the House of Joy.
Many: We’re here to praise God with our voices.
One: We’re here to praise God with beautiful music.
Many: We’re here to praise God with all we have.
One: Today we light the candle of Joy.
(Light the third candle.)
All: We worship God with exceeding joy!

Suggested Hymn of response – On Christmas Night All Christians Sing

Advent 4 – The Language of Love – Luke 1:5-13, 57-80

I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever;
with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;
your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.
You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to my servant David:
‘I will establish your descendants forever,
and build your throne for all generations.’” (Psalm 89:1-4)

One: New life is coming.
Many: We can count it in days now.
One: God is breaking through.
Many: God’s Word will change the world.
One: We will all be changed by the Language of Love.
Many: The covenant has come down Advent-Wreath-Joythrough the generations.
One: The love of God is never-ending.
Many: We give thanks for God’s faithfulness.
One: Today we light the candle of Love.
(Light the fourth candle.)
All: We give thanks for God’s steadfast Love.

Suggested Hymn of response – Love Came Down at Christmas


Christmas Eve – The Word Incarnate – John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

One: Every year we light our candles.
Many: We watch the flames flicker with wonder.
One: God’s light is here.
Many: This light is life for all people.
One: The darkness will never overcome it.
(Light the Christ candle.)
All: The Word is with us. Thanks be to God.

129 thoughts on “Advent Wreath Liturgies for Narrative Lectionary Year 2”

    1. Beautiful. Weighty, poetic, lush. These words will carry us through the Advent and Christmas seasons.
      Rev. Dawn Rolke, Regina, SK United Church of Canada

  1. Thank you so much! I will be using your liturgy in both my congregations, Benton Falls Congregational Church and Winslow Congregational Church, on the shores of the Sebasticook and Kennebec Rivers in central Maine.
    Rev. Kim Shrader

  2. Love these!! We’ll be using them in a slightly different order at First Pres Apopka, Florida.

  3. Thank you! We will use these at Zion United Church of Christ in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, OH.

  4. using at Portland United, St John, New Brunswick Canada…with much thanks for your gift to the Church

  5. Thank you. We will use these at Prospect United Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Cleveland, TN.

  6. Hi Martha, thank God you are so inspired, may you be blessed. We will be using the liturgy at Atonement Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Beloit, WIsconsin.

  7. These are wonderful! I would like to use them at Chapel Hill UCC in Louisville, KY. Thank you so much for offering your wonderful gift of liturgy writing to enrich the worship others!

  8. Thank you for sharing the gift of your words for worship liturgy this Advent. I will be adapting some of this for my congregation Van Wyck Presbyterian Church (Van WYck, SC). Blessings to you this Advent Season!

  9. These are so filled with God’s Advent messages. Thank you for posting to share. I serve Faith, Moe and Immanuel Lutheran Churches in Clayton, WI. A great small church service option.

  10. I am Burnetta Armour, and I will be using these at Millersburg First and Clark Community Presbyterian Churches in Millersburg, OH.

  11. Blessings upon blessings! Thank you. This will be shared with the good folk of King City United Church, King City, Ontario, Canada

  12. Thank you so much! We’re using them at Peace Lutheran, Herreid, SD and Pollock Lutheran, Pollock SD

  13. Thank you for your generosity in sharing this liturgy. I will adapt them for use with the congregationI serve at EEastminster Presbyterian Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

  14. Thank you for sharing this! We will be adapting them for use at Zion Lutheran Church, Portland, CT

  15. Thanks so much! We’re using is this Advent in the United Methodist Church in Iola, Kansas.

  16. Thank you so much… Using your readings at Zion-Irving Lutheran church Paynesville, Mn and Harrison Community Presbyterian in Spicer, MN

  17. We’ll be using them at Third Westminster Presbyterian in Elizabeth, NJ. Thanks for your work!

  18. These are beautiful! Using them at our Women’s Fellowship, Inch & Kilmore parishes, Co. Down, NI. Thank you.

  19. Thank you for these. I will using them in our pastoral charge, Elk Island Pastoral Charge which consists of United Church Congregations in Alberta Canada.

  20. Members, both young and old will participate in the lighting of the Advent wreath and we will use your readings. At the time of the lighting a bell ringer will also participate with ringing of a bell. Thank you for your creation of this material. Myrtle Creek United Methodist Church.

  21. Thanks for this! I’m going to be incorporating these readings into our Calls to Worship during Advent in the Tatamagouche Pastoral Charge (United Church of Canada) in Tatamagouche, NS.

  22. We’ll be using a version of these candlelighting liturgies at Western Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC. – and giving thanks for your work!

  23. Very nice! Thanks for your good work and for sharing it with us. I plan on using the reading at the South Waterloo Church of the Brethren, Waterloo, IA

  24. Thank you so much–very beautiful and easy to read for all of our members, including the kids. We’ll be using at First United Methodist, Morris, IL.

  25. This is very well done! Thanks for sharing your gifts!–Cane Creek Baptist Church, Hillsborough, NC.

  26. This is wonderful! St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church, Columbia Heights, MN
    Rev. John Hierlinger

  27. Thank you and blessings! Sharing these at First Congregational Church-UCC in Dayton, Washington!

  28. Thank you from The Bellarine Gateway Anglican Parish of Leopold, Newcomb and Whittington outside of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. I shall have to rework some of the Winter references to reflect the approaching Summer soltice, but thank you for the lovely liturgies.

  29. Swift Current Pastoral Charge, United Church of Canada, Arnold’s Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

  30. Beautiful! Thank you!
    Celebration Fellowship, an ABC house church in Noblesville, IN

  31. Thank you for a beautiful liturgy and song rooted in scripture. We are using them at the First Presbyterian Church of Waterloo, Waterloo, NY. We chose to sing the song to the tune of SICILIAN MARINERS.

  32. Thanks for this, it is beautiful. I am using it in Great Falls, Montana in a United Methodist church

  33. These readings are beautiful. I’ll be using them in Maurertown, Virginia, at a Disciples of Christ church. Thanks so much for sharing them.

  34. This is a great way to introduce my church, Dublin Church of God, Dublin Virginia, to Advent.

  35. Thank you so much. Using the Christmas Eve response at First United Methodist Church in Stanley, NC.

  36. We’ve used these at St. Columba’s Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) in Budapest, Hungary.

  37. Martha, we plan to use these Advent liturgies at First Olympia UMC in Olympia WA this year. Thanks!

  38. Copetown United Church, Copetown, Ontario, Canada. Thank you so much. Resources like this are very helpful

  39. Martha. Thank you for creativity and your generosity in sharing this. I stumbled on it this morning with great delight, as I’m prepping for Advent. I’ll be using this and the hymn at St. Paul’s United Church Scarborough. Blessings.

  40. Found and preparing to hand out and use in Bearbrook, Navan and Blackburn Anglican Churches, Ottawa East, Anglican Diocese of Ottawa, Anglican Church of Canada. Beautifully simple, meaningful, and communal. Thank you.

  41. I’m looking forward to using these resources at Wathena and Troy UMC, KS. I love the inclusive response of the people throughout the readings.

  42. Thank you so much for sharing your gifts!
    Pastor Joanna Miller
    Zion Lutheran Church, Philipsburg & St. James Lutheran Church, Baden
    Eastern Synod of the ELCIC

  43. I sent you an email about permission , but obviously didn’t read all of the article except the liturgy. So thank you. We will use it at our church this year. Diane Tauscher – Emanuel Lutheran Church in Blackfoot, Idaho

  44. Thanks so much for making your creativity available to the rest of us. We’ll be using your liturgy and your hymn at First Presbyterian in Granbury, Texas.

  45. Thank you for sharing! I will use this in All Saints Anglican Church, Aklavik NT (Canada) for Year B, 2017..

  46. Just stumbled on this Advent Candle Liturgy….and yes, it is 2018 … but we are in the Year of C in the Lectionary! I am hopeful that we will use this liturgy in the church I am serving an appointment at – it is in the United Church of Canada in Oshawa Ontario.

  47. Much gratitude for this gift of a Candle Lighting ceremony. We will be using it in Rochester, New York – First Baptist Church of Rochester.

  48. Thanks. Just like my colleague in Rochester, we’ll be using these this year at First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain (Boston).

  49. Lovely! I plan to use these this year at First Presbyterian Church in Amboy, Minnesota

  50. Thank you! We are planning to use these at the Puyallup UMC in Puyallup WA.

  51. Thank you! Your beautiful words are helping to guide the wreath lighting litany at Wooden Cross in Woodinville, WA, for our liturgy this year.

  52. I may use all or part– giving you credit– in East Orleans, MA at the Federated Church of Orleans on Cape Cod where I am the Interim Senior Pastor. Thank you for sharing.

  53. Planning to use these at First Presbyterian Church in Harrisburg, Illinois this year. Thank you!

  54. Planning to use your litanies this year in Hopewell, Va. They put life back into the tradition!!

  55. Thank you for sharing the creative Spirit in you! We will use your liturgies here in Belchertown, MA at Hope UMC!

  56. Thank you Rev. Spong– we’ll be using your words at John Knox Presbyterian in Houston, TX this year!

  57. Thank you, we will be using this at S Paul’s Anglican Church, Samford in Queensland Australia
    Priest in Charge

  58. Planning to use your liturgies in Charleston, SC at St. Andrews Parish UMC. Thanks for sharing your work!

  59. Love your work and the use of scripture. Thanks. WIll be using this at Grace Methodist Church in Mississauga Ontario Canada

  60. Thank you for your wonderful work. We are using this at Community Congregational Church in Rensselaer, NY.

  61. Thank you for these beautiful liturgies. We will be using the Advent Candle Lighting liturgy for Advent 4 at Knox United Church, Langham, Saskatchewan, Canada.

  62. We are using this in Edmonton, Alberta Canada in 2020. Edmonton Moravian Church. Thank you for the beautiful words!

  63. We are grateful to be able to use portions of this work in the Methodist Church on the Dutch island of Curaçao in the Caribbean.

  64. I rediscovered this marvelous liturgy, which I had saved in my archives! This Advent, while we are sheltering at home and worshipping via livestreaming, the children, youth and adults of Zion United Church of Christ in Elberfeld, IN will be recorded as they present these dialogues with energy and joy!

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