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This service for Advent, with a focus on the prophets, is an adaptation of the Christmas Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.



196 Come, Thou Long–Expected Jesus

197 Ye Who Claim the Faith of Jesus

202 People, Look East


Beloved in Christ, as we await the great festival of Christmas,
let us prepare ourselves so that we may be shown its true meaning.
Let us hear, in lessons from Holy Scripture,
how the prophets of Israel foretold
that God would visit and redeem the waiting people.
Let us rejoice, in our carols and hymns,
that the good purpose of God is being mightily fulfilled.
Let us celebrate the promise that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
will bring all peoples and all things
into the glory of God's eternal kingdom.
The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk,
the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear,
the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

But first, let us pray for the world that God so loves,
for those who have not heard the good news of God,
or who do not believe it;
for those who walk in darkness and the shadow of death;
and for the Church in this place and everywhere,
that it may be freed from all evil and fear,
and may in pure joy lift up the light of the love of God.
These prayers and praises let us humbly offer to God,
in the words that Christ himself taught us.


CAROL * O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (UMH 211, stanzas 1–4)

Each lesson should, if possible, be read by a different reader. Each reader should announce the lesson by the descriptive sentence printed. At the end of the lesson the reader may pause and say, The Word of the Lord, and all may respond, Thanks be to God, or the reader may say, Thanks be to God.

FIRST LESSON Isaiah 40:1 –8

To God's people in exile in a faraway land,
the prophet Isaiah announces good news:
God is coming back, and bringing the exiles home!

CAROL Suggested from UMH:

211 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (stanzas 1–3)

210 Toda la Tierra (All Earth Is Waiting)

207 Prepare the Way of the Lord

SECOND LESSON Jeremiah 23:5 –6

The prophet Jeremiah offers hope for a righteous branch,
a just king who is yet to come.

CAROLSuggested from UMH:

204 Emmanuel, Emmanuel

211 O Come, O Come, Emmnauel (stanzas 4–6)

203 Hail to the Lord's Anointed

THIRD LESSON Zechariah 9:9 –10

To a nation grown weary of war and weapons,
God promises a king who will establish a reign of peace.

CAROL Suggested from UMH:

209 Blessed Be the God of Israel
196 Come, Thou Long–Expected Jesus

FOURTH LESSON Haggai 2:6 –9

The prophet Haggai promises to God's people
a temple even more glorious than the temple of old.


Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates (UMH 213)

FIFTH LESSON Isaiah 35:1 –6

The prophet Isaiah announces the renewal
both of the land and of God's people
on the coming day of redemption.

CAROL Suggested from UMH:

209 Blessed Be the God of Israel
211 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
216 Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming

SIXTH LESSON Luke 1:26 –35, 38

The angel Gabriel announces to the virgin Mary
that she will give birth to a ruler whose reign shall never end.

CAROL Suggested from UMH:

198 My Soul Gives Glory to My God

215 To a Maid Engaged to Joseph

200 Tell Out, My Soul

197Ye Who Claim the Faith of Jesus


Jesus proclaims the coming of the kingdom of God.

CAROL * Suggested from UMH:

209 Blessed Be the God of Israel
252 When Jesus Came to Jordan

COLLECT * See Advent (UMH 201) or another Advent prayer.


Go forth into the world in peace; be of good courage;
hold fast that which is good; render to no one evil for evil;
strengthen the fainthearted; support the weak;
help the afflicted; honor everyone;
love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.
And the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be upon you, and remain with you always. Amen.


Copyright: “An Advent Service of Lessons and Carols” Copyright © 1992 UMPH.

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