Advent Wreath Lighting II

Lighting of the Advent Candles – Lighting the 1st Advent Candle

1st Reader:

Summer is the growing season,
Fall is when we harvest.
Winter is the time of waiting,
cold and dark,
full of mystery and possibilities.

Congregation: All the earth is waiting.

2nd Reader:

The earth and all that call it home
are waiting for us to love it back into health,
into fruitfulness, into its original splendor.
We are the stewards, God’s gardeners and healers;
Without us, the earth as we know it will die.

Congregation: All the earth is waiting.

1st Reader:

What are we to do?
How do we repair the brokenness of the earth?
What will reignite hope back into human hearts?
How will the darkness be pierced by love?

Congregation: All the earth is waiting.

2nd Reader:

“A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.”
Isaiah 11:1-2

The first Advent candle is lit to remind us that hope is coming, is here, and will never leave us. Hope will sustain us through the winter of life.

Hymn Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus RH196

The Lighting of the Advent Candles – Lighting the 2nd Advent Candle

1st Reader:

We prepare the garden:
thinking, planning, dreaming
of colors, shapes, heights,
depths, and light.
Our minds and hearts grow
excited as we imagine the
possibilities!

Congregation: Prepare the way of the Lord!

2nd Reader:

But first there is work to be done.
Loosening the rich soil,
weeding out what does not belong,
feeding the earth nutrients,
planting the seeds,
watering the growing plants,
watching in anticipation and love.

Congregation: Prepare the way of the Lord!

1st Reader:

What will grow in our gardens?
Will lovely flowers be snuffed out
by weeds because of apathy,
laziness, or forgetfulness?
Or will our efforts produce
a riot of blooms, miraculous and
lovely, just as we had planned?

Congregation: Prepare the way of the Lord!

2nd Reader:

“What do you make of this? A farmer planted seed. As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road, and birds ate it. Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn’t put down roots, so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly. Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled by the weeds. Some fell on good earth, and produced a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.
“Are you listening to this? Really listening?” Matthew 13:3-8

1st Reader:

The first Advent candle is lit to remind us that hope is coming, is here, and will never leave us.
The second Advent candle is lit to remind us to spend time preparing the gardens of our hearts for the coming of our Savior. We can imagine and dream of a new beginning, a new life, and a new way of being.


Hymn Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming RH216

The Lighting of the Advent Candles – Lighting the 3rd Advent Candle

1st Reader:

I hold in my hands bulbs –
crocus, daffodils, tulips –
flowers yet to be born,
harbingers of things to come.
Their journey is about to begin…

Congregation: Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.

2nd Reader:

I dig a hole deep and cold,
the bulbs’ home for several months.
Dark earth covers them,
sealing darkness.
While the world above whirls
with wind and snow, rain and ice,
they incubate
and I wait,
and wait.

Congregation: Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.

1st Reader:

In the soil unseen magic is happening.
Tendrils of roots push down
and green shoots thrust up,
and up, into the daylight.
And, at last, one bright morning,
I see them, their colors of
purple, yellow, red, and pink
blazing amongst the snow.

Congregation: Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning!

2nd Reader:

That moment of recognition is like no other.
My heart bursts with exuberant, expectant joy!
The winter of waiting is almost over;
earth is about to explode with new life!
Can you feel it, the tingling of promise?
The pregnant darkness is giving birth!

Congregation: Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning!!

1st Reader:

“For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6

2nd Reader:

The first Advent candle is lit to remind us that hope is coming, is here, will never leave us.
The second Advent candle is lit to remind us to spend time preparing the gardens of our hearts for the coming of our Savior.
The third Advent candle is lit to remind us that in our darkness, there is an expectation of joy. Inside of us is growing new life in Jesus. This child will redeem us and led us closer to God. Hallelujah!! Amen!

Hymn Hymn of Promise RH707 v.1&2

The Lighting of the Advent Candles – Lighting the 4th Advent Candle

1st Reader:

Where in the world
can peace be found?
Amid the clang and clutter
of everyday life,
where is there
harmony?
When divisions abound
and hatred rules,
where is there
kindness?

Congregation: I’ve got peace like a river
in my soul.

2nd Reader:

In the quiet of the garden,
digging and pulling,
planting and tending,
there is calm.
In the sanctuary of the church,
singing and praying,
listening and greeting,
there is serenity.

Congregation: I’ve got peace like a river
in my soul.

1st Reader:

In the holy place of a manger,
the cooing of the dove,
the breath of the cow,
the sighing of the sheep,
and the suckling of the lamb
fashion a lullaby for the baby,
while the mother rocks
him to sleep.

Congregation: I’ve got peace like a river
in my soul.

2nd Reader:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Matthew 5:3-9

1st Reader:

The first Advent candle is lit to remind us that hope is coming, is here, will never leave us.
The second Advent candle is lit to remind us to spend time preparing the gardens of our hearts for the coming of our Savior.
The third Advent candle is lit to remind us that in our darkness, there is an expectation of joy.
The fourth Advent candle is lit to remind us that we have peace through Jesus Christ, who lives within us, giving us calm assurance that we are loved.

Hymn Away in the Manger RH217

The Lighting of the Advent Candles – Lighting the Christ Candle

1st Reader:

Tonight the heavens clap,
the stars shout,
the moon smiles.
Tonight the animals
make joyous sounds,
the trees wave,
and all earth resounds
with alleluias!!

Congregation: For tonight a Savior is born!

2nd Reader:

Emmanuel is born this night,
God with us,
the divine and human
meld into one.
The Creator walks among us,
talking, eating, teaching, loving.
The gardens of heaven and earth
join in splendid harmony,
a second chance.

Congregation: For tonight a Savior is born!

1st Reader:

The star lights the path
through the darkness
to the manger,
beaconing us – Come!!
Come and behold Him,
this baby born to save.
Come and gaze with adoration,
this child who is both
God and man.
Love is flooding the earth!
Open your hearts and
receive Him!

Congregation: For tonight a Savior is born!

2nd Reader:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17

Tonight all four of the Advent candles are lit – the candles of hope, love, joy, and peace. They remind us that these are the gifts, given to us by God, through Jesus.
Tonight the Christ candle is lit. The waiting is over. The Light of the world has come to live with us…and in us…and in our neighbor. Look around you – the Kingdom of God is near!

Hymn Joy to the World RH246 v.1&2

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