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Chalice Lighting: “Chalice Lightings for Advent

Advent, adventus, means waiting. And the holiday season is nothing if not waiting—to get done the chores; to find the right gift; to find time for quiet moments; to accept that our loved ones will not be as we wish them to be. We will light the chalice this holiday season, this time of waiting, to remind ourselves to enjoy the moment—the now—of our lives. Yes, much is coming, and always we wait; but those things to come will also be now, when they come.

First Sunday

Yes, believe it or not, it is four Sundays before Christmas. This first chalice lighting reminds us to be patient. Please repeat with me:

In this holiday season,
May we find the patience
To forgive ourselves;
To forgive those who do not do as we wish;
Me was find patience.
May we find the wisdom
To let be.

Second Sunday

Our first Sunday of Advent reminded us to be patient. This second Sunday of Advent, we light the flame in hope that darkness will be dispelled. Please repeat with me:

In this holiday season,
May the darkness of winter
Be dispelled in this festival of lights,
And may the darkness of ignorance
Be dispelled in the strength
Of compassion, reason,
And sharing.

Third Sunday

So far, we have lit a chalice of patience and one to dispel the darkness. This week we pledge to work for that most rare of things—peace on earth. Please repeat with me:

In this holiday season
May we find peace inside ourselves;
May we be peace for those around us,
And may we renew our commitment
To bring peace with justice
To our community and the world.
May we be peace.

Fourth Sunday

In the weeks of the advent season, the weeks of waiting, we have remembered patience; we have looked to light to dispel darkness; we have pledged to be, do, and seek peace. This week, we remember the foundation of all these things: Love. Please repeat with me:

In this holiday season,
throughout the year to come,
and always in our lives,
may we know we are loved;
may we share the love we have;
and may we be the love we wish to see.

Christmas Eve

Through this advent season, this season of waiting, we have asked for patience, light, peace, and love.

Now that the waiting is over—now that that which was to be has come—we light the flame of hope. Please repeat with me:

We welcome the coming
Of the days we have waited for;
We have realized hope,
Yet know that hope
Can never be realized.
We commit ourselves to patience;
To working to dispel darkness;
To working for peace;
We commit ourselves
To love and to hope.

We light this flame
As an end,
As a beginning,
As the symbol of
The eternal now.

Copyright: The author has given Unitarian Universalist Association member congregations permission to reprint this piece for use in public worship. Any reprints must acknowledge the name of the author.

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Last updated on Tuesday, February 19, 2013.

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