Summary: This is a re-working of an Advent Candle Ceremony which I had used a few years ago.
Advent Candle Ceremony #3
FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT
Each year we prepare for the coming of Christmas. We spend time decorating our homes. We spend time putting lights on our houses. We spend time setting up our Christmas trees. We spend time searching for and buying presents for the ones we love. We as Americans spend a lot of time preparing for the coming of Christmas. Today here in our worship service we are going to spend some time preparing our hearts for the Coming King. Over the next few weeks we will spend some time lighting our Advent Wreath. From now until Christmas we will light one candle each week until we have all our candles lit. We have four Sundays from now until Christmas. Then on Christmas we will light the final candle that represents the light of the world – Jesus Christ himself. Let us light the first candle:
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.
The Prophet Isaiah wrote:
“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.”
Today we remember the Prophets as they faithfully proclaimed the coming of a Savior. May we be faithful to proclaim that a Savior has come and His name is Jesus Christ.
(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 let us be receptive to hear. As we view this candle may we remember that your Word is faithful and that your promises still burn brightly in our lives. Amen.
SECOND SUNDAY IN ADVENT
2. The first candle of the advent wreath was lit so that we would remember the Prophets.
(Have the candle from the previous week already lit.)
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.”
Today we light the second candle of the advent wreath, that we may remember the message of the Angels.
(Light the second 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 sent special messengers – the angels – to proclaim the coming of Jesus Christ. As we view this candle may we remember that You always send messengers into the world – because you love the world and you want to see people saved. As your Word always proves to be faithful may Your promises 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.
(Have the first two candles which were lit in previous weeks already lit.)
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 our 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.”