Lighting the Advent Wreath—Christmas Eve

An Advent wreath, with four lit candles, and a fifth white candle in the center

For each of the last four Sundays, we’ve lit candles on the Advent wreath. Each light was a step into winter, towards the turning of the year; we're leaning in expectation into all that is being born in us at this Holy time of the year, when the Unknown lies before us, rich with possibility.

Tonight we light the Advent candles for the last time this year.

We light the candle of hope, for that which is best in us to rise, and enliven our souls and our relationships.

The second candle we light for peace: for the courage to soften what is rigid in our hearts, to find the soft spot and stay with it.

We light the third candle in the name of joy: joy in the shape of gratitude for all that is our life, and joy in expectation of the world that we are building and creating with one another.

The last candle is lit in the name of love as the creating force in our lives.

And finally, we light the central candle: the light that shines in bleak places with the full power of our faith. “We know,” says Rev. Bill Sinkford, “how real the brokenness of the world is, but we will not give brokenness the last word.”

May this light bear our hopes, as well as our faith in love, in goodness, in compassion, in justice. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness shall not overpower it.

You're invited to use this in conjunction with words for candle lighting on: