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Advent is a season of four weeks including four Sundays. Advent derives from the Latin adventus, which means "coming." The season proclaims the comings of the Christ—whose birth we prepare to celebrate once again, who comes continually in Word and Spirit, and whose return in final victory we anticipate. Each year Advent calls the community of faith to prepare for these comings; historically, the season was marked by fasts for preparation. Each Sunday of Advent has its distinctive theme: Christ's coming in final victory (First Sunday), John the Baptist (Second and Third Sundays), and the events immediately preceding the birth of Jesus Christ (Fourth Sunday). In addition to the acts and services of worship on the following pages, see The Great Thanksgiving for Advent and the scripture readings for Advent in the lectionary.

Use purple or blue for paraments, stoles, and banners. Visuals of the season may include an Advent wreath (an evergreen wreath with four purple candles and a central white Christ candle added on Christmas Eve/Day), evergreen wreaths and branches, a Chrismon tree (an evergreen tree covered with white monograms of Christ), and a Jesse tree (a tree with signs of the ancestors of Christ). Other symbols include trumpets for Isaiah, messianic rose, star of Jacob, and fleur–de–lis.

Hymns and Canticles from UMH

195–216 Christ's Gracious Life: Promised Coming

730 O Day of God, Draw Nigh

722 I Want to Be Ready

729 O Day of Peace That Dimly Shines

626 Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

184 Of the Father's Love Begotten

718 Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending

724 On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand

719 My Lord, What a Morning

706 Soon and Very Soon

717 The Battle Hymn of the Republic (stanzas 1, 3, 5)

720 Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying

Musical Responses from UMH

211 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (stanza 1, refrain)
207 Prepare the Way of the Lord

See also:
Arise, Shine (Hymn 216)
Entrance Song for Advent (Hymn 206)
Prepare the Way (Hymn 211)


Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the King of glory may come in. (PSALM 24:7)

A voice cries out:
"In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God." (ISAIAH 40:3)

Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion!
For lo, I will come and dwell in your midst, says the Lord.

Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day,
and shall be my people; and I will dwell in your midst.

(ZECHARIAH 2:10–11b )

You know what time it is,
how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep.

For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers;
the night is far gone, the day is near.

Let us then lay aside the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light. (ROMANS 13:11–12)

See also:

Psalm 131:3

Hope in the Lord.

Isaiah 35:3 –4

Be strong; do not fear.

Isaiah 40:1 –2

Comfort my people.

Isaiah 40:9

Here is your God.

Ezekiel 30:1 –3

The day of the Lord is near.

Joel 2:1

The day of the Lord is coming.

Zephaniah 2:1 –3

Seek the Lord.

Matthew 25:31 –34

When the Son of man comes

Mark 1:15

The time is fulfilled.

Luke 3:4 –6

One crying out in the wilderness

Luke 12:35 –38

Watchful slaves

2 Corinthians 6:2

Now is the acceptable time.

Philippians 4:4 –5

Rejoice in the Lord.

See! The ruler of earth shall come,
the Lord who will take from us the heavy burden of our exile.

Praise be to God!
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
who has visited and redeemed the people.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord. (THE BOOK OF WORSHIP 1965, ALT.)

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Copyright: Copyright or Renewal © 1992 UMPH.