Advent Wreath Liturgies for "A Different Kind of Christmas"

November 19th, 2012

This Advent season, our worship and education teams have chosen to take on the A Different Kind of Christmas study, based on the book Christmas is Not Your Birthday by Rev. Mike Slaughter. We're all very excited because it will be an opportunity to bring the whole church family together under one message for the season in worship, small groups, youth, and children's Sunday school.

The message of the book is radical—at least it will be to today's culture. It's all tuned to make us an outwardly-focused body, focused on charity, focused on the ministry of Christ.

Ministry Matters has a great breakdown of the Sundays of Advent/Christmas using the study, giving main ideas for each week to work through our worship services in preaching and offering. In conjunction, I wrote out our Advent wreath liturgies to correspond with the purpose for each worship service of Advent, as well as for Christmas Eve, which I purposefully crafted as more of a 'traditional' call to worship. The following readings involve 1-2 readers and the responses of the congregation.


Advent Wreath Liturgies

December 2 – The Candle of Blessings

R1 - We are a people accustomed to waiting. Waiting in line. Waiting in traffic. Waiting for that call.

R2 – But are we waiting for the right things this December? Are we waiting for the Lord?

R1 - Advent is a season of waiting, but this year let it also be a season of giving.

R2 – Long ago, God saw his children had a great need for a savior, but even now there’s need for Christ to come down into our lives.

R1 - But as we wait for Christ to be revealed to us again, let us not wait to do the good Christ has called us to do.

R2 - This day we light the Candle of Blessings, for as the Lord has blessed us with so many gifts, we are called to be blessings to others. Let us pray:

Lord God, reveal yourself to us again. Help us this Advent season to focus on your son Jesus, who came not to be served, but to serve. Help us not to serve ourselves this December, but to serve you as we serve others. Amen.

December 9 – Candle of Miracles

R1 - More than 2,000 years ago the Glory of God was revealed to us through the birth of Christ Jesus. A glorious miracle, sent down from heaven.

R2 - But many people refused to believe in this miracle, even though they had been waiting for it for so long.

R1 - That night, the Lord came to live with a humble and poor family – a family with room in their hearts and faithfulness to the Lord. A family who was ready to receive a miracle.

R2 - This morning, we light the Candle of Miracles. This light reminds us that not only do miracles happen around us every day, but that every day we are called show God’s miraculous love to others. Let us pray:

Lord God, we need your help today. Help us to make room for the miraculous in our lives that the light of Christ might shine through us again. Amen.

December 16 – Candle of Hope

R1 - As a family here today, we come together in a celebration of hope. But what do we hope for?

R2 - As we head towards Christmas we often hope that we can find the perfect gift to give, the perfect outfit to wear, the perfect tree to decorate. But the first Christmas was far from perfect.

R1 - The Hope of the Nations came to us on a night of messy circumstances. The Light of the World was born in a stable, laid to bed in a feeding trough and was attended to by field hands. They were messy circumstances, and yet it was just right for Jesus Christ, a perfect child, surrounded by all of the love two parents could give.

R2 - This morning we light the Candle of Hope, as we pray for Christ to come into our hearts again:

Lord God, help us not to be so focused on finding perfection in this season that we miss out on the hope that only you can bring to us. Amen.

December 23 – Candle of Love

R1 - God’s chosen people often turned away from the Law and were less than faithful, yet, they were still God’s chosen people.

R2 - Long before Christ was born, God made a promise to King David that his throne would be established forever through God’s faithful love.

R1 - On the night Christ came to earth, that promise was fulfilled – out of the house of David the savior arose, a savior given to redeem the whole world.

R2 - God’s love for us truly does endure forever, and in remembrance of God’s mighty acts through Jesus Christ we light the Candle of Love. Let us pray:

Lord God, help us always to remember that we are redeemed through our belief in your Son. No matter how far we stray, you’re always right there waiting for us, loving us. We rejoice in your steadfast love for all the people of the world, fulfilled in the birth of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

December 24 – The Christ Candle

A mother and a father finally find rest in a barn . . .

The birthday boy is coming!

Angels sing and shepherds run . . .

The birthday boy is coming!

The stars shone bright and the Wise Men began their journey . . .

The birthday boy is coming!

This evening, we joyfully light the Christ Candle, remembering the night when God’s love came down at the birth of the King. God loves us!

The birthday boy is here!


These liturgies originally appeared on the author's blog, The Liturgy Nerd, and may be used in worship.

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