Summary: These are readings for the lighting of the Advent Candles.
Advent Candle Ceremony #1
Each year we prepare for the coming of Christmas. We go about decorating our homes, setting up Christmas trees and buying presents. We look forward to spending time with family and friends. We also prepare in the Church as well. We have the hanging of the greens - where we decorate our church, we come and have a living nativity - where we dress up as Biblical characters and enact the first Christmas, we have a Christmas program - where we sing praises to God for the birth of Jesus Christ and we come together on Christmas eve - where we celebrate the birth of Christ with communion and also realize that Jesus is “the light of the word.” This year as we prepare for Christmas we will also have the lighting an Advent wreath. We will light a candle each week for the next four Sundays to prepare our hearts for Christmas.
The Meaning of the Advent Wreath Ceremony
The wreath, as a circle, expresses God’s eternity. The evergreen symbolizes God’s unchangeableness. The lights remind us that we are to be the light of the world, just as Jesus was the light. The Purple candle symbolizes the royalty of Jesus Christ who is the King of kings, and Lord of lords.
First Sunday in Advent
1. The first candle we will light will help us to remember the prophets, those brave men of old who foretold of the coming of a King. Thousands of years before the birth of Christ, God sent prophets as massagers to let the world know that a new King was coming.
Isaiah wrote long ago: “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
And so we remember the Prophets of old as they faithfully proclaimed the coming of Jesus Christ. We will light the first candle at this time.
Prayer: Father, today we begin our time of preparation for the birthday of your Son. May the light of this candle remind us that You have given hope to a people who have walked in darkness. You have spoken to us through your prophets. As we view this candle may we remember that your word is faithful and that your promises still burn brightly in our lives.
Second Sunday in Advent
2. The first candle of the advent wreath was lit so that we would remember the Prophets. The second candle we will light today is to help us to remember the Angels.
Angels were Gods special messengers, who proclaimed the coming of the Christ Child. It was an angel that came to Mary to tell her that she would conceive and have a son, even though she was still a virgin. It was an angel who came to Joseph, the betrothed husband of Mary, to tell him, “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” And it was an angel who announced to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be for all people; for today in the city of David there has been born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
And so we come today to light the second candle of the advent wreath, that we may remember the message of the Angels. We will have the lighting of the advent candle at this time.
Prayer: Father, today we continue our time of preparation for the birthday of your Son. May the lighting of this candle remind us that You have sent your special messengers, the angels to proclaim the coming of your son. As we view this candle may we remember that your word is faithful and that your promises still burn brightly in our lives.
Third Sunday in Advent
3. The first candle of the advent wreath was lit so that we would remember the Prophets. The second candle was lit to help us to remember the Angels. The third candle we will light today will help us remember the Shepherds.
The Shepherds remind us that Jesus has come for the common, everyday man. Our need for a Savior is not based on our status in life, but is based on sinfulness. Even Jesus said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.” Matthew 9:12 The Bible goes on to tell us in 1 Corinthians Chapter 1 “Consider your calling, brethren, that there are not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God.”