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YEAR B - ADVENT CANDLE LIGHTING
A SERMONS & SERMON - LECTIONARY RESOURCES SUB-PAGE

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The following contains a litany for each Sunday of Advent, Christmas Eve, and the First Sunday after Christmas. For each year of the Lectionary cycle our Advent Candle Lighting service is slightly different. This year one of the differences is in the music. The candle-lighting song, the "Advent Song" included in the following is by Mary Lu Walker © 1998. It is quite popular and permission to use it will be granted if you contact Mary Lu Walker at 607-936-4801 or by e-mail at marluwalk@stny.rr.com or by snail mail at 16 Brown Road, Corning, New York, 14830.

Folk sometimes ask about the Advent Candle Wreath itself and what it means. The wreath is of course a circle - reminding us of the perfection and eternity of God. Many wreaths are decorated with evergreen branchs. The evergreen, like the circle, is a symbol of eternity - but also of life. Holly is sometimes used instead of - or with - the evergreen. The sharp points of the leaves of the Holly remind us of Christ's crown of thorns. The red berries remind us of his blood. There is a story that holly berries were white until Christ's blood fell on them - causing them to be red ever since. Christ is, of course, the light of the world - hence the candles.


                THE CANDLES OF ADVENT - YEAR B
                 THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT: HOPE
Every Sunday of Advent the candle lighting is preceded by a brief Call to Worship and the introit "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" and is followed by the singing of the "Advent Song" (also known as the "Light One Candle" song) by the congregation. When the call to worship is over come forward as the congregation sings the introit. Then do the following litany in the way you have decided. After the song and the prayer are done the candle lighting group may return to their seats. The "voices" can be assigned as you, the readers, see fit.
VOICE     - Today is the first Sunday of Advent, the Sunday in
          which we recall the hope we have in Christ.

VOICE     - The prophets of Israel all spoke of the coming of
          Christ, of how a saviour would be born, a king in the
          line of David.  They spoke of how he would rule the
          world wisely and bless all nations.

VOICE     - On Christmas day the Christ of our hope was born.  On
          Good Friday the Christ of our hope died.  On Easter day
          the Christ of our hope rose from the dead.  He then
          ascended into heaven.  On the last day, the Christ of
          our hope will come again to establish his kingdom over
          all things on earth.

VOICE     - As the follower of Christ, we await his return.  We
          light this candle to remember that as he came to us as
          humbly in the manger at Bethlehem and gave light to the
          world, so he is coming again in power to deliver his
          people.
   
VOICE     - We light this candle to remind us to be alert and to
          watch for his return.

Light the First Candle

ALL SING  - Verse One and Chorus of the "ADVENT SONG" 

VOICE     - LET US PRAY - Loving God, we thank you for the hope
          you give us.  Help us prepare our hearts for the Lord's
          coming.  Bless our worship.  Help us live holy and
          righteous lives.  We ask it in the name of the one born
          in Bethlehem.  Amen.
	

THE CANDLES OF ADVENT - YEAR B THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT: PEACE
Every Sunday of Advent the candle lighting is preceded by a brief Call to Worship and the introit "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" and is followed by the singing of "Light One Candle" by the congregation. When the call to worship is over, come forward as the congregation sings the introit. Then do the following litany in the way you have decided. After the song and the prayer are done the candle lighting group may return to their seats. The "voices" can be assigned as you, the readers, see fit.
VOICE     - Last Sunday we lit the first candle in our Advent
          Wreath, the candle of hope.  We light it again as we
          remember that Christ will come again to fulfil all of
          God's promises to us. 

(a person lights the candle of hope)

VOICE     - The second candle of Advent is the Candle of Peace. 
          It is sometimes called the Bethlehem Candle to remind
          us of the place in which preparations were made to
          receive and cradle the Christ child.

VOICE     - Peace is a gift that we must be prepared for.  God
          gives us the gift of peace when we turn to him in
          faith. 

VOICE     - The prophet Isaiah calls Christ "the Prince of
          Peace."  Through John the Baptist and all the other
          prophets, God asks us to prepare our hearts so that he
          may come in.

VOICE     - Our hope is in God, and in his son Jesus Christ.  Our
          peace is found in him.  We light this candle today to
          remind us that he brings peace to all who trust in him. 

Light the Second Candle

ALL SING  - Verse Two and Chorus of the "ADVENT SONG"
   
VOICE     - LET US PRAY - Loving God, thank you for the peace you
          give us through Jesus.  Help us prepare our hearts to
          receive Him.  Bless our worship.  Guide us in all that
          we say and do.  We ask it in the name of the one born
          in Bethlehem.  Amen.
	   

THE CANDLES OF ADVENT - YEAR B THE THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT: WHITE GIFT SUNDAY - JOY
Every Sunday of Advent the candle lighting is preceded by a brief Call to Worship and the introit "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" and is followed by the singing of "Light One Candle" by the congregation. When the call to worship is over, come forward as the congregation sings the introit. Then do the following litany in the way you have decided. After the song and the prayer are done the candle lighting group may return to their seats. The "voices" can be assigned as you, the readers, see fit.
VOICE     - Last Sunday the candle of peace was lit.  We light it
          and the candle of hope again as we remember that Christ
          will come again and bring to the world everlasting
          peace.  

(a person lights the candles of hope, and peace.)

VOICE     - The third candle of Advent is the Candle of Joy.  It
          reminds of the joy that Mary felt when the angel
          Gabriel told her that a special child would be born to
          her - a child who would save and deliver his people.

VOICE     - God wants us all to have joy.  The angel who
          announced to the shepherds that Jesus had been born
          told them: "Do not be afraid.  I am bringing you good
          news of a great joy for all people - for to you is born
          this day, in the City of David, a Saviour, who is the
          Messiah, the Lord."

VOICE     - We light this candle to remember that Christ brings
          the promise of a new life - a life in which the blind
          receive sight, the lame walk, and the prisoners are set
          free.   We light it to remember that He is the bringer
          of true and everlasting joy.

Light the Third Candle

ALL SING  - Verse Three and Chorus of the  "ADVENT SONG"
     
VOICE     - LET US PRAY - Loving God, we thank you for the joy
          you bring us.  Help us prepare our hearts for this
          gift.  Bless our worship.  Help us to hear and to do
          your word.  We ask it in the name of the one born in
          Bethlehem.  Amen. 


THE CANDLES OF ADVENT - YEAR B THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT: LOVE
Every Sunday of Advent the candle lighting is preceded by a brief Call to Worship and the introit "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" and is followed by the singing of "Light One Candle" by the congregation. When the call to worship is over, come forward as the congregation sings the introit. Then do the following litany in the way you have decided. After the song and the prayer are done the candle lighting group may return to their seats. The "voices" can be assigned as you, the readers, see fit.
VOICE     - Last Sunday we lit the candle of joy.  We light it
          and the candles of hope and peace again as we remember
          that Christ will come again and bring us everlasting
          peace and joy.

(a person lights the candles of hope, peace, and joy)

VOICE     - The fourth candle of Advent is the Candle of Love. 
          It's light is meant to remind us of the love that God
          has for us.

VOICE     - Jesus shows us God's perfect love.  He is God's love
          in human form.  The bible says that "God so loved the
          world that he gave his only Son, so that whoever
          believes in him should not perish, but have eternal
          life."  

VOICE     - Love is patient, love is kind and envies no one. 
          Love is never boastful or conceited, rude or selfish. 
          Love is not quick to take offense, it keeps no records
          of wrongs, it does not gloat over other people's
          troubles, but rejoices in the right, the good, and the
          true.  There is nothing that love cannot face, there is
          no limit to its faith, to its hope, to its endurance. 
          Love never ends.

VOICE     - We light this candle today to remind us of how God's
          perfect love is found in Jesus

Light the Fourth Candle

ALL SING  - Verse Four and Chorus of the  "ADVENT SONG"

VOICE     - LET US PRAY  Loving God, we thank you for your gift
          of love - shown to us perfectly in Jesus Christ our
          Lord.  Help us prepare our hearts to receive Him. 
          Bless our worship. Help us to hear and do your word.  
          We ask it in the name of the one born in Bethlehem.  Amen


CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLE LIGHTING - YEAR B PORTION FROM THE Christmas Eve Bulletin: LIGHTING THE WAY Musical Prelude CAROL: O Come All Ye Faithful - Red 415 Words of Welcome & Lighting The Advent Candles: L: The Lord be with you. P: And also with you. L: We gather to celebrate the birth of the one who is the light of the world. P: We are here to worship God - and his Son Jesus - born this night in Bethlehem of Judea. L: We light the candle of hope to remind us of the promises made by all the prophets that God would raise up a saviour for his people Israel. P: Christ is our hope and our salvation. He calls us to share our hope in him with each other. ALL SING - Chorus of the "ADVENT SONG" L: We light the candle of peace to remind us that it is only with God and by following in his path that true peace can be found. P: Christ brings the peace of God to us. He calls us to share the peace he gives with each other. ALL SING - Chorus of the "ADVENT SONG" L: We light the candle of joy to remind us that God gives joy to every heart that abides in him. P: As Mary rejoiced in the birth of Jesus - so his birth in us brings us joy. God calls us to share the joy he gives with each other. ALL SING - Chorus of the "ADVENT SONG" L: We light the candle of love to remind us that Jesus is God's gift of love to us - and that in him, the light of love triumphs over darkness. P: Love never fails - it transforms all those who give it and receive it. God calls us to share his love with each other. ALL SING - Chorus of the "ADVENT SONG" Lighting The Christ Candle L: We light the Christ candle to remind us that the light of the world was born this night. P: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness - on them a light has shined. L: You, O Lord, have multiplied the nation. You have increased its joy. P: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder. L: His name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. P: He is also called Emmanuel, for in him God is with us. CAROL: Joy To The World - Red 401 Unison Prayer of Approach P: Almighty God - you have made this night holy by the gift of your son, born of the Holy Spirit and of Mary. Upon him rested all your grace, through him has come all your mercy. Let his light shine within our hearts tonight even more brightly than it shines from the candles in this place. Help us to hear your word and to celebrate your everlasting love through him. Amen
THE ADVENT CANDLES - YEAR B FIRST SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS "There are two ways of spreading light; to be a candle, or the mirror that reflects it." Lord God, as we light this candle to remind us of your hope, peace, joy, and love help us to witness to the Light of the World, your son Jesus who came as a babe at Bethlehem and will come again in glory. Grant that we may be candles and mirrors of your light to a dark and waiting world. Come, Lord Jesus! Lighting the Candle: (Isaiah 9:2, 6) L: We light this candle Lord to remind us of the hope, peace, joy, and love you gave us in the birth of our Saviour. As we look forward to celebrating his Coming among us as a Babe at Bethlehem and watch for his Coming again may your loving, guiding presence be with us. Make us to rejoice in the hope of our salvation. O come, O come, Emmanuel! Christmas Litany: L: In joyful expectation we pray to you our Saviour and Redeemer. Blessed are you, O Lord our God! We bring you our praise and thanksgiving. P: You have opened the eyes of our hearts so that we may see. We are no longer bound by our blindness to live with no hope. You have invited us to be caught up in your vision of a new order of things. With Mary, we can say, "My soul magnifies the Lord...." L: Because Jesus took on our flesh, life itself is filled with new meaning and dignity. "The word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory...full of grace and truth." P: "From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace." Thank you, Lord. L: We are in your debt Lord. You are faithful when we are not. "Your faithfulness endures to all generations." Your promises are sure and your love is steadfast. P: We ask you Lord to teach us to love others as you have loved us. Lord hear our prayer. L: Thank you Lord for the blessings of home and family and friends. In and through them we learn the joy of loving and being loved. P: We praise you God Most High for these rich blessings. L: Lord we celebrate your coming to us in Jesus your Son. Prepare us for that joyful day when he will come again. In the meantime, accept our imperfect offerings - our broken selves - as we struggle to be faithful, as we yearn for your coming when all will be made new. ALL: Glory and Honour and Praise and Thanksgiving be unto you O Lord Most High. Come to us soon, Emmanuel. Amen. copyright - Rev. Richard J. Fairchild - Spirit Networks, 1993 - 2006 use only with proper acknowledgement

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