Home Worship Planning Seasons & Holidays Advent Candle Lighting Liturgy 2019

Advent Candle Lighting Liturgy 2019

By Derek Weber

Advent2019 wreath graphic v2
Photo credit: Byrum Wilsford

December 1, 2019 – First Sunday of Advent, Year A

ARE WE THERE YET? – PEACE

Reader One: Our Advent journey begins with rules of the road. We are on the way to where God would have us be, and we’re not there yet. But how shall we go? We shall go together, as one body, living and trusting in one another. We shall go as this community of faith, working side by side, and leaning into the grace of God every step of the way. We shall go in peace.

Reader Two: Isaiah says that in days to come, the nations shall stream to the mountain of the Lord, and there we will beat swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks; there, we will learn war no more. God will teach us peace.

Reader One: We light this first candle to burn as sign of peace among all people.

(Light one candle on the wreath.)

Reader Two: Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, that God may teach us the ways of peace.

Congregation: Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

December 8, 2019 – Second Sunday of Advent, Year A

ARE WE THERE YET? – HOPE

Reader One: Every journey faces the unknown. And anxiety can sometimes overwhelm us. There is too much to do; our lists are long; our calendars are filled up; we worry that something will go wrong, or we won’t end up in the right place or take the right route. Getting lost is a real possibility on a journey. And yet. We claim hope for the journey, because we follow the one who will travel with us and sustain us on the way.

Reader Two: Isaiah says that there is one who is to come who will be the fulfillment of all our hope. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on this one, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. We place our hope in this one.

Reader One: We light the candles of peace and of hope to give us strength for the journey.

(Light two candles on the wreath.)

Reader Two: Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, that God may teach us the ways of peace and hope.

Congregation: Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

December 15, 2019 – Third Sunday of Advent, Year A

ARE WE THERE YET? – JOY

Reader One: Sometimes on our journey, our feet get heavy, our shoulders feel burdened, and our hearts seem slow. Sometimes in the preparation, the busyness overwhelms us, and we get lost in the doing and the planning and the running. And what we lose is a sense of why. Why do we do all of this? Why is this journey necessary? And the answer is simple: for the joy of it. We forget the joy when we get caught up in the to-do lists. We forget the joy when we worry more about how things look than connecting with others.

Reader Two: Matthew tells us that when John asked if Jesus was the one to come, Jesus responded by saying look around you. Our call in this Advent journey is to look around us to see the one who comes already at work among us and to celebrate that presence with joy.

Reader One: We light the candles of peace and hope and joy to light our way as we journey.

(Light three candles on the wreath.)

Reader Two: Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, that God may teach us the ways of peace and hope and joy.

Congregation: Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

December 22, 2019 – Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A

ARE WE THERE YET? – TRUST

Reader One: One thing we have learned on our Advent journey is that it is better not to go alone. We live in a do-it-yourself culture that celebrates the individual. But faith is not something that we can do on our own. We need companions on the journey; we need others to support us and strengthen us and encourage us. We put our journey in the hands of many people around us; and although it is a risk, we are better for it. We learn to trust that someone has our back, as we make this journey of faith.

Reader Two: Matthew reminds us that when God chose to come to earth the first time, God chose to trust in people to help make it happen. God trusted in Mary, and God trusted in Joseph. In turn, we trust in God to be faithful to the promise and to sustain us through many others as we continue our journey of faith.

Reader One: We light the candles of peace, hope, joy, and trust, as our circle is complete.

(Light four candles on the wreath.)

Reader Two: Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, that God may teach us the ways of peace, hope, joy, and trust.

Congregation: Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

December 24, 2019 - Christmas Eve, Year A

Are We There Yet? - Love

Reader One: We light this candle. It seems a simple thing, lighting a candle, a quiet thing that I do alone, to provide something bright in the midst of all my darkness. But it doesn’t make that much difference. It doesn’t change the power of the night to bring doubt and fear and separation. It doesn’t make the world a better place, lighting a candle. Does it?

Reader Two: We light these candles. Because we have seen a light and we believe increasing that light does make a difference in the world around us. We light these candles because we want to be people of the light, who know a God who loved the world so much, this God chose to be born in a manger in the midst of the darkness. We light these candles as a sign of the light of the world that is coming into our darkness, and we sing with joy.

Reader One: We light the candles of Peace, Hope, Joy and Trust as our circle is complete. And we light the light of Love as the sign of Christ’s presence among us, no matter how dark it may seem.

(Light all four candles on the wreath and light the Christ candle in the center)

Reader Two: The people who have walked in darkness have seen a great light. Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth let there be Love.

Congregation: Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

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