A Simple Advent Wreath Ceremony for 2022

For house gatherings or church gathering … or anyone late, like me, in preparation anywhere … this photo is Second Christian Congregational United Church of Christ in Kittery, Maine from an earlier year, focusing on “telling the story.” In 2022 the liturgy lifts up the numbers of weeks and candles and how we come to this season, alone, with those dear to us, with church or faith connections and as all the world.

First Sunday in Advent

Leader:            On the first Advent Sunday, we light one candle.

                        Each one of us comes to Advent and Christmas alone,

                        weary or with worry, lonely, excited, confused,

                        eager for old traditions or new experiences.

Second Leader or People                   

                        We light the one candle of hope, (pause, light)

                        reminding ourselves

                        we embrace a season that is different

                        for each one of us.                 

Leader:            In John’s gospel Jesus tells Nicodemus

                        that we each must be born again.

People / SL     Emmanuel, God be with us, in the week to come.

                        Ignite hope, the most personal emotion there is,  

                        on the wick of each of our lives, so we find others. Amen 
              

Second Sunday in Advent

Leader:            On the Second Advent Sunday, we light two candles.

                        We come to this season with those precious to us,

                        gifts of peace God has unwrapped in our lives –

                        family or friend, near or distant, living or remembered.

People / SL:    We light a candle of our deepest hopes (pause, light)

                        and a candle for the peace we have learned

                        from one or more whom we trust. (pause,light)

Leader:            Isaiah the prophet looks to a time

                        when people who walk in uncertainty

                        will hold hands and walk forward

                        with God’s starlight to guide.

People / SL:    Emmanuel, God be with us, in the week to come.

                        Touch a flame of hope and peace on the wick of our lives

                        so that we may shine all around us. Amen

Third Sunday in Advent

Leader:            On the Third Advent Sunday, we light three candles,

                        celebrating the community of faith,

                        those we know and many we may never meet

                        who turn their hearts to the manger story.

People / SL:    We light a candle of our deep hope (pause, light)

                        and a candle for the peace we have learned

                        from our close relationships, (pause, light)

                        and a candle of sheer joy

                        that God-with-us includes faithful people

                        of all times and places.

Leader:            In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus reminded us

                        that many would come to table from east and west,

                        north and south, to share a menu of joy.

People / SL:    Emmanuel, God be with us, in the week to come.

                        Bless our hopes, strengthen our peace,

                        stir the embers of joy into a simple smile      

                        and the unexpected laughter of togetherness. amen

Fourth Sunday in Advent

Leader:            On the Fourth Advent Sunday, we light four candles,

                        so bright we see all the world around us –

                        and feel, not crowded but amazingly loved.

People/ SL:     We light a candle of deep hope (pause, light)

                        peace shared, (pause and light)

                        joy like fireworks of the heart (pause, light)

                        and now a candle of love connecting all people,

                        all creatures, earth, air, ocean wave,

                        with the Story of a Bethlehem warming shelter

                        and angel wings. (pause,light)

Leader:            In the gospel of Luke, Jesus called children,

                        welcomed the outcast and the guilty,

                        celebrated those on the edges,

                        and taught with parables of seed and stone.

People / SL:    Emmanuel, God be with us in the week to come

                        lighting hope, peace, joy, and love on the wick of our lives,

                        so that we may all be known as windows

                        for your unconditional welcome for all. Amen.

Christmas Eve – Lighting the Christ Candle (use as many or few readers/leaders)

We have gathered with candles in our homes
and often a wreath in a sanctuary to reflect on Advent.

We claim that Emmanuel, God with us
is the Light of the World,
and that there is no sadness, shame, or grief,
no fear of virus, no loneliness or violence,
no word of unkindness, act of war,
that can quench the Light of the World.

Let us light these candles again on this holy night.

I light the candle of hope,
my deepest hope and your deepest hope
Now there is no place hopelessness can hide. (light candle)

I light the candle of peace,
beginning with trust of another
and reaching out till there is no war
or threat of war. (light candle)

I light the candle of joy,
suddenly every faith community
stretches in a smile, breathes in beauty,
learns to sing and to laugh. (light candle)

I light the candle of love,
and hands are clasped around the world. (light candle)
My friends, we all light the Christ candle. Pray with me.

O Holy God, we light the Christ candle.
It shines on smiles and tears.
It shines on younger and older.
It shines and we hear angels.
It shines and we see a manger.
It shines and we remember the story.

This light cannot be extinguished,
because, Emmanuel,
you are the candle tonight,
and we promise to be world-lighters in your name
for tomorrow and tomorrow’s tomorrow.

Amen.

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13 Responses to A Simple Advent Wreath Ceremony for 2022

  1. Wilma wheeler says:

    Maren thank you, thank you for this posting.

  2. Joyce says:

    This is beautiful just in reading. How wonderful I imagine it in voice and light!

  3. Maren says:

    I try but if even disciples fall asleep! …

  4. Peter Lane says:

    Reblogged this on NZLPA – New Zealand Lay Preachers Association and commented:
    And, yet again, Advent has arrived.

  5. I love this. May I use some of it in the two services I am booked for before Christmas, Advent 1 & 2?

  6. I love this Advent candle lighting ceremony! Beautiful thoughts, Maren, as always.

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