Advent Wreath Readings: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love

The Advent Wreath in Christ Church Cathedral, Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2010

The Advent Wreath in Christ Church Cathedral, Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2010

First Sunday in Advent: Hope
READER ONE:
Every year we light candles as we prepare for the coming of Christ.
More and more candles, more and more light,
as we watch and wait for Jesus, the Light of the World.

ALL:
God of Promise, come into our darkness.
Renew your hope in us,
for you alone bring life out of death.

READER TWO:
Receive God’s promise of hope from Psalm 33:
The eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.

ALL:
We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.

Light the candle of hope

ALL SINGING:
O Little Town of Bethlehem or Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Second Sunday in Advent: Peace
READER ONE:
Every year we light candles as we prepare for the coming of Christ.
More and more candles, more and more light,
as we watch and wait for Jesus, the Light of the World.

ALL:
God of Promise, come into our darkness.
Renew your hope and peace in us,
for you alone bring life out of death.

READER TWO:
Receive God’s promise of peace from Psalm 4:
Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself;
The LORD will hear when we call to him.

ALL:
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.
We will lie down and sleep in peace,
For you alone, O LORD, make us dwell in safety.

Light the candles of hope and peace

ALL SINGING:
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear

Third Sunday in Advent: Joy
READER ONE:
Every year we light candles as we prepare for the coming of Christ.
More and more candles, more and more light,
as we watch and wait for Jesus, the Light of the World.

ALL:
God of Promise, come into our darkness.
Renew your hope and peace and joy in us,
for you alone bring life out of death.

READER TWO:
Receive God’s promise of joy from Psalm 28:
Praise be to the LORD
For he has heard my cry for mercy
The LORD is my strength and my shield

ALL:
My heart trusts in him, and I am helped
My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song

Light the candles of hope, peace and joy

ALL SINGING:
Hark the Herald Angels Sing or Angels We Have Heard on High

Fourth Sunday in Advent: Love
READER ONE:
Every year we light candles as we prepare for the coming of Christ.
More and more candles, more and more light,
as we watch and wait for Jesus, the Light of the World.

ALL:
God of Promise, come into our darkness.
Renew your hope, your peace, your joy, your love in us,
for you alone bring life out of death.

READER TWO:
Receive God’s promise of love from Psalm 36:
Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
Your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
Your judgments are like the great deep
You save humans and animals alike, O Lord.

ALL:
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.

Light the candles of hope, peace, joy and love

ALL SINGING:
Silent Night

*************
Notes:
This worship resource emphasizes the classic Advent candle symbols of hope, peace, joy and love. Psalms are used for the scripture references so it may be used in any liturgical year. The passages from Psalms come from the NIV or NRSV of the Bible.

This worship resource calls for “more and more candles” to be lit each Sunday in order to emphasize “more and more light”. (The present and second coming of Christ growing more near as time passes. The celebration of Christ’s first coming at Christmas growing nearer as well). Thus, no candles are lit prior to the service. Some prefer to have the previous weeks’ candles lit prior to the service so only one candle is lit each week, thus adding light to those already lit. Feel free to use whichever method you prefer.

Also, feel free to substitute different hymn and song choices following the selection from Psalms. I especially recommend the Advent Wreath Candlelighting Songs by United Methodist pastor Gary L. Lake Dillensnyder found on the General Board of Discipleship Website. Beautiful, modern texts to the familiar hymn tune Trentham (Breathe on Me Breath of God).

Click here for a resource for lighting the Advent Wreath on Christmas Eve.
Click here for a post discussing the Christian understanding of Advent.
Click here for a brief history of the Advent Wreath.

Advent Wreath Readings: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the music, scripture translation, art and the use of this resource in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

6 thoughts on “Advent Wreath Readings: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love

  1. Thank you. Thank you very much… I was not sure I remembered the names of our candles in our Advent Wreath, but you have reminded me, and I have been blessed – again.

    Have a blessed Christmas as we celebrate the birth of God’s Son.

    I bid you Peace.

  2. Pastor,can I ask the permission of this beautiful Advent photo ? We choir will sing CelticAdvent Carol
    this coming Saturday. I hope to make a invitation card with this photo? Thank you.

  3. Pastor Lisa, Could you write one more liturgy for the Christ candle on Christmas Eve? Your writing is beautiful and I’m looking forward to using it in worship.

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