Celebrating Advent

Chalice and Advent Wreath on UU chancel.

A chalice and advent wreath share the altar at Starr King UU Church in Hawyard, CA.

2020 Advent dates:

  • November 29 - First Sunday of Advent
  • December 6 - Second Sunday of Advent
  • December 13 - Third Sunday of Advent
  • December 20 - Fourth Sunday of Advent

Advent is a season of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the nativity of Jesus. The name derives from the Latin adventus, meaning "coming." Marked over the course of the four Sundays before Christmas, Advent is traditionally celebrated with an advent wreath: a ring of evergreen with three purple candles and one pink one (or four purple candles) that represent: Hope, Love, Joy (pink) and Peace.

(In Eastern Orthodox churches, which use the Julian calendar, Advent begins earlier and lasts 40 days rather than four weeks.)

Faith Without Borders

For everything there is a season—a time to die and a time to be born. With the arrival of winter’s low dark sky, communities around the world look to the miracle of light as a sign of rebirth and a source of hope. We celebrate the promise of new life and recommit ourselves to the protection of everyone’s right to his or her own radiant humanity.

Celebrating the winter holidays, thus, is an excellent opportunity for Unitarian Universalist congregations to express their commitment to our Sixth Principle: We covenant to affirm and promote the goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all. See Sixth Principle Resources for winter holidays.

Unitarian Universalist Perspectives

Search Words for Worship Services

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  • Now the Work of Christmas Begins (WorshipWeb)
    By Howard Thurman
    Tagged as: Community, Hope, Justice, Peace, Purpose, Redemption, Service, Work
  • You Are the Holiday Miracle (WorshipWeb)
    By Gwen Matthews
    Tagged as: Christianity, Earth-Centered, Hope, Judaism, Love, Mystery, Paganism, Reverence, Tradition, Winter

Chalice Lighting


  • More Than a Bike (WorshipWeb)
    By Megan Foley
    Tagged as: Abundance, Belief, Children, Direct Experience, Discernment, Generosity, Humanism, Listening, Meaning, Secular, Worship, WorshipWeb


  • December 1 (WorshipWeb)
    By Ralph Yeager Roberts
    Tagged as: Christianity, Unitarianism, Winter
  • December 10 (WorshipWeb)
    By Ralph Yeager Roberts
    Tagged as: America, Arts & Music, History, Secular, Unitarianism, Winter
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    By Ralph Yeager Roberts
    Tagged as: America, Arts & Music, History, Redemption
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    By Ralph Yeager Roberts
    Tagged as: America, Arts & Music, Healing, Health, International, Prophetic Words & Deeds, Secular, Universalism, Winter
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    By Ralph Yeager Roberts
    Tagged as: America, Arts & Music, History, Secular