Advent Words

Advent candle liturgies, nativity dramas, carols by candlelight reflections and more for the Advent season

Christmas Conception — Jim Burklo, USA

A cool clear dawn in early spring: She stepped outside to fill her jug With water from the village well. “What is happening to my feet?” She whispered as she walked along. They’d never felt so full of life… They seemed to float above the ground. And up her legs and through her thighs A […]

Read full text

Advent Confession — Cara Heafey, UK

When Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem They found there was no room. We confess that in the midst of all our anxieties We have not made room in our hearts for others. We confess that, paralysed by fear, prejudice or apathy We have not made room in our homes for the stranger. We confess […]

Read full text

Santa Claus? — Karen Campbell, UK

I never believed in Santa Claus – That jolly man in red, Squeezing down the chimney pot When all should be in bed. I never thought he brought me presents Neatly wrapped beneath the tree – I knew my Mum looked through her catalogue And ordered gifts for me. And not just me, you understand […]

Read full text

By Faith, a Christmas reflection — Bronwyn Angela White, New Zealand

By faith, Mary let go of fear, and engendered a mothering God. This faith may lead us through labyrinths of doubt, laughing hysterically, shouting in protest, lurching in denial, finally making it to our foundation, our place in the world, our home. By faith, Joseph took comfort from a dream, embracing complex, reconstituted, extended family […]

Read full text

Season of thin spaces — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

This is indeed a holy season. This is a season of light shining in the shadows. And the shadows will not overcome it. This is a season where we allow God to light hope, peace, joy and love on the wicks of our lives. This is a season of thin spaces where the distance between […]

Read full text

Psalm for Christmas 2020 — Zach Ford, UK

Making use of John 1:5 I am cast adrift, O God, I am cut off from your face. A thick darkness surrounds me, I am enmeshed in a mist of confusion. And it seems all creation must mourn, Must mourn and lament, must weep, For we are alone and apart, The light has gone out […]

Read full text

How Love Came to Earth — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

A responsive Call to Worship written specifically for intergenerational worship (works well during Advent) God, you came into the world weak: A baby born in a stable, Sleeping in a feeding trough With animal sounds and smells all around. This is how love came to earth. God, you have made us vulnerable. Our bodies can […]

Read full text

Busy-ness Advent Prayer — Tod Gobledale, UK

Isaiah 40:1-11 Mark 1:1-8 God, in the busy-ness of this season, help us remember the wilderness where your people meet you over and over again. We remember how even Jesus, busy teaching, healing and seeking justice, even Jesus took time out for re-freshment, re-newal and re-creation, retreating to draw closer to you. As we remember […]

Read full text

Down to the river, Advent Drama — Tod & Ana Gobledale, UK

Mark 1:1-8 Let us look back in time about 2000 years and join a mother working in her kitchen, preparing for the Chanukah holidays.  She worries about her nineteen year old daughter who disappeared leaving chores undone.  Let’s listen in. Mum:         That girl! She knows there is work to be done: floors to sweep, water […]

Read full text

Watch! — Mary Luti, USA

Keep watch! Thoughts for Advent – could be morphed into a Children’s Message We used to wear watches. Now we wear devices. Still strapped to the wrist. Still sometimes called watches. Still showing us the time.  But mostly we check them for everything but the time – our heart rate, driving directions to Fred’s, how […]

Read full text

Blue Christmas / Longest Night

The Christmas season is not always a happy time. The Advent and Christmas seasons can remind us of loved ones or relationships we have lost. The sights and smells of the weeks approaching Christmas, rather than bring joy and delight, can bring sadness and grief. A Blue Christmas service provides an opportunity to address the […]

Read full text

From darkness to light: the Advent procession –Salisbury Cathedral, UK

This annual service, ‘From Darkness to Light’, held in Salisbury Cathedral starts in complete darkness.  A single candle is lit, and the light spreads throughout the cathedral until hundreds of lights burn brightly illuminating the vastness. These words from the programme set the scene: “The darkness is at one and the same time a comforting […]

Read full text

Advent vestry prayer — UK

Bless us this advent Sunday. Thank you for the joy we find spending time with one another as the excitement of Jesus’s birth becomes infectious. Bless us and those taking part in the service and give them courage, peace and strength to overcome any nerves. Let us celebrate this special Sunday together as the family […]

Read full text

Las Posadas, Seeking room in the inn — Mexico

Las Posadas, a Mexican Advent tradition stretches from 16 December through Christmas, during which actors depict Mary and Joseph looking for lodging.  They travel throughout the town or city, followed by a procession of  children and other members of the community carrying candles.  A song is traditionally sung at each ‘inn’ along the way. Las Posadas — Jim Burklo, […]

Read full text

Call to Worship, Advent 4 — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

A responsive reading Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel and restore us O God: Let your face shine, that we may be saved. From the throngs of city centers to the far-flung wilderness: Let your face shine, that we may be saved. To every nation, race and people: Let your face shine, that we may […]

Read full text

Blue Christmas Prayer — Fiona Hulbert, UK

Our God, we gather together in the bleak midwinter. Those who have much to thank you for, who rejoice in your goodness, and those who look out on a landscape of broken dreams and hardly dare to hope for Good News. Those whose hearts and homes are full of Christmas joy, and those whose Christmas […]

Read full text

Blue Christmas

The Christmas season is not always a happy time. — Mary Oliver (from Thirst, Beacon Press, Boston, 2006) The Advent and Christmas seasons can remind us of loved ones or relationships we have lost. The sights and smells of the weeks approaching Christmas, rather than bring joy and delight, can bring sadness and grief. A “Blue […]

Read full text

On waiting — T.S. Eliot

“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready […]

Read full text

Blue Christmas service, complete — Ana Gobledale, UK

Compiled from various resources. Click here for a Blue Christmas service pdf download. This complete one-hour service is ready to print and use. It is a reflective service created for a December afternoon or evening. 16 readers (or double-up if fewer readers are available) Preparation and set-up: The worship space is important.  See suggestions on […]

Read full text

Angel Intercessions — Ana Gobledale, UK

‘Do not be afraid’ — words of the angels Prayers of Intercession This was originally written for a worship service marking the opening of a week-long Angel Festival. It might be used during Advent, particularly at a Blue Christmas or Longest Night service. The word ‘angel’ is not always popular, or sometimes over-popular!  How can […]

Read full text

Advent Devotional — Joanna Hipp, Presbyterians for Earth Care, USA

This beautiful and thoughtful Advent devotional has been shared through the generosity of Presbyterians for Earth Care. Download a PDF copy in full colour: 2018-Advent-Devotional-Presbyterians for Earth Care, USA Presbyterians for Earth Care have created thoughtful and challenging, as well as beautiful, Advent and Lenten devotionals for several years.  Click here to explore their archive […]

Read full text

Advent Prayer — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

Holy God, during this busy season of Advent, We pray for our World. We seek your light in the midst of darkness, Your peace in the midst of violence, Your love in the midst of discord, Your courage in the face of fear, And your wisdom to guide us.   Help us to be messengers […]

Read full text

Hope, Luke 3:5-6 — Kay Lowe-Wendling, USA

Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. — Luke 3: 5-6 Every valley shall be filled: may our low places, our wrong doings of the past, […]

Read full text

Home, Luke 2:4 — Amelia Dress, USA

Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David.  — Luke 2:4 We all long to find a real home: the place where our pasts and our futures intersect. As we metaphorically journey through […]

Read full text

Advent prayers from Cairn Christian Church, Colorado USA

Prayers written by members of Cairn Christian Church, Lafayette, Colorado USA for daily Advent devotions This time of year invites us to remember the light and the twinkle and the darkness and the humble fragility and beauty of human birth. This time of year reminds us of the miracle that happens when truth and light […]

Read full text

Advent Prayer: God’s Timing — Ted Loder

God of all seasons and senses, grant us the sense of your timing to submit gracefully and rejoice quietly in the turn of the seasons. In this season of short days and long nights, of grey and white and cold, teach us the lessons of endings; children growing, friends leaving, loved ones dying, grieving over, […]

Read full text

Virgin Monologue — Jim Burklo, USA

 “‘God did it’ isn’t an explanation,” said Joseph. He got no account for the baby’s chromosomes, No description of the mechanism that Transmuted the divine shadow into royal blood. “‘The devil made me do it’ would have sounded better to me,” said Joseph, Though it never did him any good When he said it to […]

Read full text

Advent Candle 1, Hope — Rex Hunt, Australia

Advent 1 voice 1:  Spontaneous sun voice 2: Generous giver of light, voice 3: Heat and energy… Light first Advent candle voice 4:  We give thanks that throughout this season of hope we are warmed by the signs of hope we see in our world and in our own lives. . OR Advent 1: ‘Earth’ […]

Read full text

Advent, time to pray and prune — Angie Brock, USA

Peace be within your walls and quietness within your towers. Psalm 122:7 I think of Advent as a “pray and prune” time –a whole liturgical season in which to weed and prune in order to reset our hearts and souls as we prepare for and make the pilgrimage to the manger. Advent is here. As […]

Read full text

Advent/Christmas Prayer of Approach — Cara Heafey, UK

This morning we have come to tell again The story of angels and shepherds Of disbelieving fathers and unlikely mothers This morning we have come to hear again The good, good news Of love born among us Of God here with us This morning we prepare to receive the gift Of a child born in […]

Read full text