Advent and Christmas Resources

This is a collection of Advent Resources I have written over the past few years. These are yours to use for free.

For the season of Advent, I like to create a theme that we build together in all aspects of church life–in worship, in service, in community and in teaching and preaching, with the message leading to the fourth Sunday in Advent, the Sunday before Christmas, and echoed again on Epiphany Sunday, with the message as the wise men left and went back out into the world, so we, too, carry the message back out into the world. For Christmas Eve and the first Sunday of Christmas, I keep to a basic Christmas message since you have family members from out of town and many people who do not attend church any other time of year and from what I have found, generally speaking, people enjoy hearing the traditional Christmas stories of Jesus’ birth and the singing of their favorite carols. But for Advent, I like to build up a theme for the year, as it marks the beginning of the new Church year as well.

Advent truly is my favorite time of year. I love preparing for Christ’s birth for we are truly preparing for Christ to enter our lives in a new way. I love the lights, the preparation, the sounds and smells of Advent, even more so than Christmas day. Advent time is a blessing to me, and it always seems so short. Especially in the ministry, I feel like it just slips by because we spend so much time preparing for the busy worship season that we don’t often get to enjoy it ourselves.

Here is a resource on Advent Themes I wrote for a recent clergy workshop:

Possible Themes for Advent

Here are some Advent Candle-lighting liturgies that I have written in the past in PDF format::

Advent Candle Lighting Year A (PDF)

*NEW! Advent Candle Lighting Year A 2013 (PDF)

Advent Candle Lighting Year B (PDF)

Advent Candle Lighting Year C (PDF)

Some other suggestions for Advent are to change some of the usual aspects of the worship service. For instance, I like to sing “Gloria in excelsis Deo” from “Angels We Have Heard On High” instead of the Gloria Patri. I like to use a verse of a carol after the Candle Lightings as a transition into another part of the worship service. I also have done a theme for the Children’s message, including inviting “characters” from the story to come and tell the children about who they are and why Christmas is important, such as the angel Gabriel, Mary, Elizabeth, and Joseph.

Advent and Christmas can be a difficult time for people, especially for those who have lost a loved one recently or over the holidays in the past. Some churches do a Blue Christmas or Longest Night service. Here is a service that I wrote that can be used as a template:

Blue Christmas

For Christmas Eve I prefer not to preach a sermon; I like to let the story be the message. This service is designed to be one hour in length. No need to use my name for permission, as this service developed from borrowing other’s resources here and there and adapting and adding my own. Some of it is based on the Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols services that I grew up with.

The Call to Worship is designed to be read by four different readers, sitting in different places in the congregation, rising just before they are to speak. I also places in this service for special choral music, but if your congregation doesn’t have a choir or a soloist, they can simply be instrumental interludes or replaced with additional carols. Lastly, I have included a Children’s Message: in my previous congregation, there was only one service for Christmas Eve and I liked having a special way to include them (and the parents and grandparents loved it as well!)

This service culminates the preparation of Advent, so I include the lighting of each candle in the service. If you did not use an Advent wreath, you can simply light a candle during each candle lighting.

Lessons and Carols Service (Word)
Lessons and Carols Service (PDF)

This service could also be used for Christmas Day. Some ideas for worship on Christmas Day include inviting children to come in their pajamas, doing an impromptu Nativity where children are invited to come up and pose in the roles of the manger scene animals, and invite an adult or two (or teens) to come up and be Mary and Joseph.

Christmas Pageants

In the past, I have only made these available via email. This year, I am posting them here. I wrote these pageants over the past ten years. Each pageant is about 15-20 minutes long, and can be used with a small or large group. They are simple pageants that require only a few rehearsals. Each pageant uses the same set/backdrop so a set design can be reused for at least three years.  I have included an introduction about the three pageants in Word, but the three pageants themselves are PDF’s. Feel free to use, but include my name and copyright information in any printed program.

Introduction (Word)

Live in Bethlehem

Massachusetts James and the Quest for the Christmas Treasure

Room for One More

If you are looking for a short drama for Christmas Eve (could be adapted for Christmas Day as well) without as much preparation and memorization, I am offering for the first time the dramatic dialogue What Can I Give? Written in 2002, this dramatic dialogue includes the children in a special time that could be used in place of a Homily or a Children’s Message.

What Can I Give

Finally, for 2012 I have written a new resource, A Spontaneous Nativity that can also be used for Christmas Eve or for a Children’s Sermon.  This drama does not require any rehearsal, and can be completely narrated by one person if desired.

A Spontaneous Nativity

NEW! For 2013–New Spontaneous Nativity including both Luke and Matthew!

A Spontaneous Nativity 2013 Luke and Matthew

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36 Responses to Advent and Christmas Resources

  1. Kathy Jones says:

    We are a small church and we are looking for something different to do for advent. We rarely have over 8-9 children in a service, with a small but faithful choir and a new young pastor who is seeking ideas. We would appreciate any of the pageant ideas you could share. Thanks!

    • Sara Staton says:

      For the past two years I have put together an Improvisational Christmas Nativity. We don’t have enough children to do a full production (or the time to invest in rehearsals), but this has been really fun. Each character only has one line that repeats through the play, and the narrator tells the rest of the story. Children and adults arrive and can dress and join on the spot. Let me know if you’d like to see the script I use. :)

    • Margaret Pengilly says:

      I would also love to see your work. It sounds like just what we are looking for in our Church. Thank you

  2. Thanks for the Advent Candle lighting liturgies. I will adapt them for our use.
    Could you send copies of your SCS pageants. Thanks for your work.
    Blessings

  3. Rev. Mindi Rev. Mindi says:

    Please go to the “Contact Page” to send me an email so I can send you the pageants! Thanks!

  4. [...] ResourcesAdvent and Christmas ResourcesPregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day: October [...]

  5. Rev'd Julia Gill says:

    I work in a very small parish and would like to use your pageants. thanks.

  6. Jim Bryan says:

    Dear Rev Mindi

    Please email me “The Three Gifts”
    and the “what can I give?”

    Thank you very much
    Jim Bryan

  7. eddie mckenna says:

    would really like to use the pageants!

    Eddie ( Scotland)

  8. Zena McAdams says:

    I am interested in your Christmas Eve resources–the three pageants. I like our Christmas Eve service to be family friendly–no sermon. I am the pastor of Northwest Christian Church in OKC. If I could take a look at what you have done, I would be appreciative!! I also enjoy looking at your site! Thanks!

    • Lydia Lebron says:

      Love your resources…I still do not what I am doing for Christmas Eve…I am a pastor of a small church not many children…about three Would like to consider what you offer

  9. Margaret Tait says:

    Dear Rev. Mindi
    Please e-mail me “The Three Gifts” and “What Can I give”.
    Your efforts and generosity are appreciated by those of us who
    have more than one church and little time to write or prepare new material.
    thank you. Margaret

  10. Tony Howell says:

    Please email “the Three Gifts” Thanks

  11. [...] ResourcesAdvent and Christmas ResourcesPregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day: October [...]

  12. Ruben Ortiz says:

    I will most highly appreciate if you could email me your Christmas resources. I would like to do something special for our veterans on Christmas Day, and it seems you have a great resource. Thanks so much.
    Sincerely,

    Ruben Ortiz
    Chaplain

  13. Yinka says:

    Big thank you to Rev Mindi for allowing free use of the Christmas dialogue ‘what can I give’. We incorporated it into our family carol service last Sunday and it was loved by all. Thank you ever so much. God bless you.
    Yinka (Hertfordshire England)

  14. Connie Fillmore says:

    I work in a new church start and have very few children. I would love anything you could send me! Thanks. God bless!

  15. Connie Fillmore says:

    I work in a new church start. We have very few children. This sounds like something I could really use. Please send me anything you can. Thanks! God bless!

    • Rev. Mindi Rev. Mindi says:

      Connie, as you can see on this page, everything I have is available for a download–simply click on the links and it will take you to a PDF of the resource that you can save or print.

      Blessings, Mindi

  16. […] Rev. Mindi has a great collection of Advent and Christmas Resources indexed in this post. […]

  17. monaha12 says:

    I have a small youth group snd we need to throw togethrr a quick skit. Your “Room for one more” is perfect, and I love that it includes songs! Thank you for sharing.

  18. Christine Woolner says:

    Sarah, we would to have a copy of the Improvisational Christmas Nativity and permission to use it please. it sounds exactly like the perfect activity for us.

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