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