Advent Wreath Pre-Prayers for Christmas

Posted by on Dec 3, 2021 in Godprints, Worship & Prayer | 0 comments

The Advent Wreath has long been part of our “Christmas Tradition.”  An Advent wreath consists of a “Christ Candle” surrounded by four other candles along the perimeter of the wreath.  On each of the four Sundays leading into Christmas Day, we light one the candles corresponding to the past and current weeks. The Christ Candle is lit during our Christmas Eve service.

Each of the four candles reminds us of one of the benefits of Christ’s coming:  Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.

At the end of the article for each of the four Sundays, our “Daily Devotionals for Advent” booklet  gives a prayer and scripture reading for that week’s candle. Use that prayer to “Pre-Prayer” for worship or to reflect back on the past Sunday.

 

This Week’s Prayer (automatically updated on Tuesdays)…

Beyond Week 4:  Christ

 

Psalm 23

On Christmas Eve, we will light the Christ Candle.  He has come and the preparation for His first coming is over. 

But He remains in the world.  Through the Holy Spirit, our Good Shepherd is at our side to guide us through life’s “dark vallies” and to lead us to the “still waters” of His eternal presence.

Soon, the Christmas tree will be put away and we’ll enter a new season.  Just as Christ’s Spirit remains to rule in our hearts today, one day He will return to rule over the earth as King.  May our daily journey constantly prepare us for our eternal destination and guide us to Christ’s final victory.  

Saturday 12/24/21, and beyond…

Note:   The “traditional order” on which theme should be celebrated on which Sunday is kind of up for interpretation.  At PUMC this year, we’re reversing “Peace” and “Love” from the way that they’re ordered in the Advent Devotional.  The above shows the prayer for “this week’s” service. Each prayer will be updated during the week and will appear in the order in which we are celebrating them. The date of the Sunday Worship where we’ll celebrate the theme is shown (along with the Devotional Booklet date, if different).

 

 

 


All Four Weeks…

Click on the below “drop down” boxes to to peak ahead or to review any of the advent candle prayers (they are located as ordered in the Devotional Booklet but numbered in the order in which we will celebrate them)…

Week 1- Hope

Isaiah 60:2-3

Lord God, we light this candle to thank you for your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the Light of the World. We who have sat in darkness have seen a great light, the light of Jesus Christ, our salvation and our hope. We give you thanks and praise in Jesus’ name, because He lives and reigns with you in your glory and in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Week 4- Love

Mark 1:4 and John 14:6

Lord God, we light this candle to thank you for your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the Way. We, who like sheep, have gone astray and have found the way to you through Jesus Christ, who loves us with an unconditional love. We give you thanks and praise in Jesus’ name, because He lives and reigns with you in your glory, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Week 3- Joy

Isaiah 35:10

Lord God, we light this candle to thank you for your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who brings us great joy. We who have walked in the shadow of the valley of death have found life in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We give you thanks and praise in Jesus’ name, because He lives and reigns with you in your glory, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Week 2- Peace

Isaiah 9:6-7

Lord God, we light this candle to thank you for your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the Prince of Peace. We who live in discord and strife have found peace in the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ. We give you thanks and praise in Jesus’ name, because He lives and reigns with you in your glory, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

~~~

Why Advent Wreaths???

So, how did this tradition of Advent Wreaths get started and what does it mean? Pastor Jim wrote the below article which was included in our church newsletter (Steeple Notes)…

The Advent wreath was originally used in German and Scandinavian homes as a devotional practice used to mark the four weeks of Advent. Although many symbols have been attributed to the wreath over the years, the wreath is believed to have been originally intended as a way to mark the Advent season and the four weeks of preparation until Christmas.

Families would light a candle for each past week and the current week at their dinner or when the family gathered for evening prayer. The configuration of candles, whether in a line or a circle, did not matter. Neither did the color of the candles (all colors of candles are used in homes in Europe). Today, the candles which make up our Advent Wreaths are three purple, one pink, and then a white candle which is the Christ candle. But originally, what mattered was the marking of time and the increase of light by the candles each week in the face of increasing darkness as the winter solstice approached.

As Advent wreaths began to be used by congregations on Sunday worship services in Europe and America beginning in the late 19th century, adaptations were needed for the larger worship spaces. Candles needed to be larger and more specialized than the “daily candles” handmade or purchased for home use. They also needed to be more uniform in color to fit with other seasonal decor in the various sanctuaries. Purple is traditionally accepted as the color of Advent. In more recent years, blue has become the basic color of the candles and the paraments which grace the pulpits and sanctuaries of churches during the season of Advent.

As Advent wreaths changed from private home use to public worship, it became important for the candles to have meaning rather than simply mark time and add light. Ceremonies were developed around the lighting of the candles each week.

In time, there was an effort to provide a particular meaning to each candle. The themes of Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace became popular, based on scriptures from the one year lectionaries used at that time. However, the theme of Advent when understood from a historical perspective is much broader and deeper than any of the “themes” can capture.

So what about the meaning of the Advent wreath today? We can still draw meaning from its original home use: to mark time while increasing light. Advent, the first season of the Christian year, is really all about time. We await the day described in Revelation 21:23 when, “The city doesn’t need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s glory is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

At Christmas we celebrate that in Christ, “The true light that shines on all people was coming into the world.(John 1:9).

Friends, God’s light continues to shine in the world because Jesus was born into human history. Keep walking in the Light!

 

For even more on Advent Wreaths, check out this “Chuck Knows Church” video…

 

 

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Pre-Prayer for this Week’s Worship:  

 

  Bulletin             Live Stream

Daily Devotions for Advent

 

 

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