Lighting the Candles of the Advent Wreath

Lighting the Candles of the Advent Wreath

Lyn Cox

First Sunday of Advent
Minister: Unitarian Universalism is a faith with roots in Christianity. Some UUs today identify as Christians, others don’t; yet during the season of Advent we all have something we can find illuminating, comforting, challenging, or fulfilling by reinterpreting old traditions. This year during Advent, we'll light the candles in a wreath, one for each Sunday leading up to Christmas, plus one more in the center on Christmas Eve. In the churches of our neighbors all over the world, Advent candles might be purple and pink, or red and green, or blue and white, or other colors. They might represent symbols such as light or virtues such as purity, patience, or faith.

We’ll light these Advent candles, one more each week, to remember hope, peace, joy, and love. As we light them throughout this season of waiting, let us remember to be fully present in the moment with each other, with ourselves, and with the source of blessing as we understand it to be. I would like to invite (child/youth volunteer) to join me on the chancel to help light the first candle in the Advent wreath.

Reader: We join with others from throughout time and beyond time in the practice of repairing the world.

Congregation: Change is possible.

Reader: We give thanks for the role models of the past and for the leaders of the future.

Congregation: We light the candle for hope.

Second Sunday of Advent
Minister: This year, we're lighting an Advent wreath for the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. As Unitarian Universalists, it's valuable for us to reconsider and reinterpret the traditions of our ancestors.

Our UU faith grows from Christian roots. Some UU’s identify as Christians, others don’t. We also have among us Jewish UUs, UU Buddhists, UU Humanists, UU Pagans, and Unitarian Universalists who don’t see a need for any hyphens or modifiers. Together, we grow and change as we share our insights and struggles in response to our spiritual practices. Last week, we lit the first candle for hope. Today, we’ll re-light the candle of hope, and we’ll add a candle for peace. I would like to invite (child/youth volunteer/s) to join me on the chancel to help light the candles of the Advent Wreath.

Reader: We prepare for a new era of justice and reconciliation, free from violence and coercion.

Congregation: Peace is possible.

Reader: We give thanks for those who witness for a world made whole, with all her people one.

Congregation: We light the candles for peace and hope.

Third Sunday of Advent
Minister: In the winter holiday season, we engage with and re-interpret the traditions of our ancestors. For some of us, that means Hanukkah, and/or Kwanzaa, and/or the Winter Solstice. Most of us have some contact with Christmas, either from our families or from the larger culture. This holiday season, we're lighting an Advent Wreath on the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. In previous weeks, we lit candles for hope and peace. Today we light a candle for joy — which is a different color. I would like to invite (child/youth volunteer/s) to join me on the chancel to help light the candles of the Advent Wreath.

Reader: Even in difficult moments, there are reasons for gratitude.

Congregation: Joy is present.

Reader: We find joy in the people we love, in the beauty we find and create, in traditions old and new.

Congregation: We light the candles for peace, hope, and joy.

Fourth Sunday in Advent
Minister: In each of the four weeks approaching Christmas, we've lit a candle in the Advent Wreath. As Unitarian Universalists, we reclaim and re-interpret old traditions that are part of our heritage, as well as exploring new ideas. So far, we've lit candles for peace, hope, and joy. Today we add a candle for love. I would like to invite (child/youth volunteer/s) to join me on the chancel to help light the candles.

Reader: Whether we are finding renewal among people who are special to us or doing the work of justice or repairing our relationships, our sacred sense of connection runs through it all.

Congregation: Love is holy.

Reader: May our commitment to love bring us closer together across our divisions, and may love move us to healing ourselves and the world.

Congregation: We light the candles for peace, hope, joy, and love.

Christmas Eve Advent Wreath Candle Lighting
Leader: We have circled through the season, seeking a change in our hearts and in our world, as these tapers of wick and wax are transformed into light and heat.

Congregation: May we be changed by the spirit of this night

Leader: Let these lessons continue to change us throughout the year.

Congregation: We light the candles for peace, hope, joy, love, and Christmas Eve.