Advent Candle Lighting Litany

Advent 1 – Waiting
Why are you here?
We’re waiting.
Waiting for what?
Waiting for Christmas!
Waiting for Christmas?!?
We’re waiting for the time to celebrate.
We’re waiting for the time to remember.
We’re waiting for the Christ Child to live again.

In your hearts?
In our lives!
We light this candle to give us light on our journey.
We light this candle to help us see the way to Bethlehem.
We light this candle to warm our hearts and our hands while we wait.
And, was we wait… no – with our waiting –

we’ll worship God!

Advent 2 – Watching
Look around you. What do you see?
Candlesticks and hymnbooks. Stained glass and wood.
Excuse me!
What about us?
Don’t you see us?

Oh! Yes!
What about God?
Don’t you see God?

Yes… God! Look around you. Look deep.
Look into the eyes of the children.
Look into the hearts of the elders.
Look into the lives of the people in-between.
Don’t you see God?
In our waiting, we watch for God’s presence.
We need to remember that God shows up
in unexpected ways and in unimaginable places.
Waiting and watching.
Waiting and watching and worshiping God!

Advent 3 – Wishing
I wish it would be Christmas, right now.
I wish it would be Christmas, RIGHT NOW!
What are you doing?
Wishing? For what?
That Christmas would come – right now!
Right! I’m tired of waiting and watching.
I want to hear the Story and celebrate!
I want to be with my family and drink eggnog.
I want to open presents! So I’m wishing.
He doesn’t understand.
Understand what?
You don’t understand that –
just like a baby takes months before it’s ready to be born –

it takes time for God’s ways to be felt.
It takes time to see Christ’s presence in our hearts.
All the wishing in the world…

won’t make it come any faster.
So wishing doesn’t help?
Wishing helps if it changes you.
If it helps you get ready for Christ’s coming.
And… while you wish – and wait – and watch –
Worship God with us.

Advent 4 – Welcoming
If Christ came here, would he be welcome?
Of course!
What if Christ came as a colicky baby… or an angry child?
What if he came as a cynical teenager,
or a disillusioned young adult?

What if he came as a Prophet,
telling us we had lost sight of God?
Would we welcome him then?
Would we welcome him then?
God invites everyone to the manger. Angels.
Wise ones.
And “Them”
Everyone is welcome in God’s household.
Everyone needs to be made welcome here.

We light a candle to remind us to make welcome…
all of God’s people.
And, with our welcoming, we worship our God.

Christmas Eve / Christmas Day
It’s done. It’s done!
What’s done?
The waiting, the watching, the wishing, the welcoming.
It’s all done! Christ is born… alleluia!
But, [name of speaker one]… it’s not all done.
It’s not?
Why not?!?
Because if Christmas means anything,
it has to be lived each day of our lives.

The waiting?
And the watching.
The wishing?
And the welcoming.
Christmas is today,
and tomorrow,
and forever.
So, let us worship God,
who invites us to be a Christmas people –
each and every day!


First printed in “gathering: resources for worship planners” Advent/Christmas/Epiphany 2005-06

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