Advent Wreath, Narrative Lectionary

Advent Wreath Liturgies, Narrative Lectionary Year 1

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.

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!

Looking for a carol of response? Now It’s Time to Light the Candle includes Advent themes of hope, peace, joy and love.

Liturgies (2014) and carol (2015) are copyrighted by the Rev. Martha K. Spong. 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 Working Preacher, for inventing and refining the Narrative Lectionary.

Advent, Advent Wreath, Liturgy

Advent Wreath Lighting – Revised Common Lectionary, Year A

Lighting the Candle of Hope        Advent 1A           November 27, 2016

candleReader One: Hear the words of the prophet Isaiah: “In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it…He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

Reader Two: Our hope is in God, who will bring all nations together.

Reader One: As we wait faithfully for God’s time, we light the candle of Hope.

Reader Two: Come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!

(Respond with verse 1 of “Now It’s Time to Light the Candle.”)


Lighting the Candle of Peace       Advent 2A           December 4, 2016

Reader One: Hear the words of the prophet Isaiah: “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 as the waters cover the sea.”

Reader Two: Our peace comes from God, who became one of us in Jesus.

Reader One: As we wait faithfully for God’s time, we light the candles of Hope and Peace.

Reader Two: Come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!

(Respond with verse 2 of “Now It’s Time to Light the Candle.”)


Lighting the Candle of Joy            Advent 3A           December 11, 2016

Reader One: Hear the words of 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.”

Reader Two: In God’s time of joy, all sorrow and sighing will leave us.

Reader One: As we wait faithfully for God’s time, we light the candles of Hope, Peace, and Joy.

Reader Two: Come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!

(Respond with verse 3 of “Now It’s Time to Light the Candle.”)


Lighting the Candle of Love         Advent 4A           December 18, 2010

Reader One: Hear the words of the prophet Isaiah: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.”

Reader Two: In God’s time of love, we will learn to choose what is good.

Reader One: As we wait faithfully for God’s time, we light the candles of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.

Reader Two: Come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!

(Respond with verse 4 of “Now It’s Time to Light the Candle.”)


Lighting the Christ Candle             Christmas Eve Year A      December 24, 2016

Reader One: Hear the words of 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.”

Reader Two: “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.”

Reader One: Tonight we stand on the brink of God’s time.  Faithfully, we light the candles of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.

Reader Two: Tonight we enter God’s time. Faithfully, we light the Christ Candle, to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus, the Light coming into the world.

All: Come, let us walk with the Light of the LORD!

(Respond with a carol, such as “Angels From the Realms of Glory.”)

Advent, Hymns

Advent Carol – Now It’s Time to Light the Candle

(PDF with music available here)

Now it’s time to light the candle,
Soon God’s promise will be here.
Young and old we wait together
For the Savior drawing near.

Refrain:
Light will overcome the darkness:
See the hope the Christ Child brings.

Now it’s time to light the candle,
Messengers prepare the way.
Wolf and lamb lie down together;
Righteousness marks God’s new day.

Refrain:
Light will overcome the darkness:
Live the peace the Christ Child brings.

Now it’s time to light the candle,
In God’s name we will rejoice.
Bells and organ play together,
We will shout in one loud voice!

Refrain:
Light will overcome the darkness:
Sing the joy the Christ Child brings.

Now it’s time to light the candle,
Shining love in Jesus’ name.
When all people join together
Earth will never be the same.

Refrain:
Light will overcome the darkness:
Be the love the Christ Child brings.

~Martha Spong, 2015

8.7.8.7.8.7. – try REGENT SQUARE for a bright tune (PDF at link), PICARDY for a more contemplative option

Permission is given to use in worship; please leave a comment saying where you are.