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Advent Wreath Words for Four Sundays
Advent Wreath Words for Four Sundays
Ritual

First Sunday—Hope

We are entering a time of year where the earth grows colder, the animals begin to hibernate, and the days become continually shorter. This morning marks the beginning of the Season of Advent. In the Christian tradition, Advent is the beginning of the church year, recognizing the transforming power of God in the world and looking forward toward the birth of Jesus and the celebration of spiritual light. And Christianity is not alone in celebrating light at this time of year: Hanukkah, Solstice, and Kwanzaa all involve candles, fire, and lights as part of their celebrations.

Each week until Christmas, we light a new candle on the Advent wreath, a circle of evergreens, along with each of the preceding candles. The flame of each new candle reminds us that something is happening now, but something more is still to come. The light of Advent grows brighter and brighter guiding us toward personal peace, shared joy, and more love.

This morning we light the first candle. We light this candle as a symbol of hope and expectation. May we dare to open the shadowy places in our lives and memories to the healing light of community. With the creative power of hope, we express our longing for peace and prepare our hearts to be transformed.

Second Sunday—Peace

This morning marks the second Sunday in the season of Advent. In the Christian tradition, Advent is the beginning of the church year, recognizing the transforming power of God in the world, and looking forward toward the birth of Jesus and celebration of spiritual light. And Christianity is not alone in celebrating light at this time of year: Hanukkah, Solstice, and Kwanzaa all involve candles, fire, and lights as part of their celebrations.

Each week until Christmas, we light a new candle on the Advent wreath. The circle of greenery reminds us of the eternal cycle of all life, without beginning or end. And the candles remind us that we are each called to emit our glow amid the pain and suffering facing our world. The light of Advent grows brighter and brighter guiding us toward personal peace, shared joy, and more love.

This morning we light the second candle. We light this candle as a symbol of our longing for peace. We bring our hope into the world when we practice peacemaking. Our caring community aspires to be a source of freedom from violence and exclusion. May we become the ones “we have been waiting for” (as June Jordan writes). Together, may we strive to create a lasting peace.

Third Sunday—Joy

This morning marks the third Sunday in the Season of Advent. In the Christian tradition, Advent is the beginning of the church year, recognizing the transforming power of God in the world and looking forward toward the birth of Jesus and celebration of spiritual light.

Each week until Christmas, we light a new candle on the Advent wreath. When so much asks for our attention, the lighting of one candle after another reminds us that this season must pass in its own time; birth cannot be rushed. We have the choice to be awakened and fully inhabit the present moment. The light of Advent grows brighter and brighter as we celebrate our coming together as a community.

This morning we light the third candle. We light this candle as a symbol of joy—not just any simple cheer, but the experience of joy that cannot be contained. Advent asks us to proclaim our gladness as a gift to the world even when sorrow and uncertainty abound. May we share our hearts through our words, our music, and the way we live our lives. Let the fullness of our joy lead to more freedom.

Fourth Sunday—Love

This morning makes the fourth Sunday in the Season of Advent in the Christian tradition.

Each week until Christmas, we have been lighting a new candle on the Advent wreath, symbols of hope, peace, joy, and love. As the season reaches its completion, we prepare for new life to dawn. Our hearts soften and our arms open to embrace its brightness.

This morning we light the fourth candle. We light this candle as a reminder that there is no greater power in the world than love. Through this community, we can become a blessing to one another: our love is magnified, and lives are changed. We can hardly wait any longer for the wonder of love to be revealed. May we risk enough to become vulnerable and welcome holy tenderness.

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