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Christian Resources for Worship in Schools

Advent Wreath

Advent often gets squeezed out or overtaken by early Christmas celebrations but it’s an important time with strong themes of light and dark, of preparation and anticipation, of waiting and wondering. It should not be forgotten and offers great material for assemblies!

The Advent wreath is a tradition that began in the home, and many churches now have a wreath which forms part of their preparations for Christmas. It consists, traditionally, of a circle of evergreen with four candles. Many wreaths consist of purple candles, though white or even red candles may also be used.

If the candles are lit on each Sunday of Advent then it is appropriate to light the candles of the Advent Wreath during the Gathering rites of the Eucharist, after the greeting, or even before the Eucharist begins. The size of the wreath determines where it should be placed but it should not obscure the altar or lectern. In school it could be placed in the main area where corporate worship usually takes place where it may remain or perhaps it could be moved to the main foyer. Alternatively, each form or class could have a small wreath of their own. Obvious care needs to be taken with the lighting of the candles, as well as the combination of flame and greenery.

The wreath may remain lit during the Christmas season. Many wreaths have a fifth candle for the Christmas season though perhaps the fifth candle tends to obscure the shape of the circle.

The Lighting of the Advent Wreath
In the name of the Father + and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Grace and peace be with you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who was and is and is to come.
And also with you.

Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’ (John 8:12)

First Week of Advent
Lord Jesus Christ
before you came into the world
holy men and women spoke with joy and wonder about you
and waited with great anticipation for you to come to them.
Now, as we prepare to celebrate your birth in Bethlehem at Christmas
we light a candle and pray that we may have the same joy and wonder
and be ready and waiting to receive you.

Second Week of Advent
Lord Jesus Christ
before you came into the world
prophets preached the message of your coming
and stirred up your people to welcome you.
Now, as we prepare to celebrate your birth in Bethlehem at Christmas
we light a candle and pray that our lives may be stirred up to accept you.

Third Week of Advent
Lord Jesus Christ
when you came into the world
John the Baptist prepared the way by preaching with courage
and calling people to make a clear path for you.
Now, as we prepare to celebrate your birth in Bethlehem at Christmas
we light a candle and pray that there may be a clear path into our lives.

Fourth Week of Advent
Lord Jesus Christ,
when you came into the world
you took flesh in the womb of Mary.
Whose openness to you
Now as we prepare to celebrate your birth in Bethlehem at Christmas
we light a candle and pray that you may find us eager to welcome you
and embrace you in our hearts.

Also Check Out

Advent
Annunciation
Christmas
Christingle
Blessed Virgin Mary
John the Baptist
Jesse Tree

Useful Links

Luke 1:26-38 (Oremus Bible Reader)
BBC News Website’s Also in the News

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