Litany for Lighting of the Advent Candles

This is a litany I wrote many years ago for the congregation of a tiny Presbyterian Church in N W Arkansas. In the Christian faith, the four Sundays leading up to Christmas are considered the season of Advent and many churches and many families light the Advent candles on each of those Sundays. My hope is that readers of all faiths and beliefs will see the light of their own candles as well.

Florida Sunrise
The Litany for Lighting of the Advent Candles

We wait for You in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
We have heard of Your coming.
The prophet said,
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him–
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD– Isaiah 11:1-2

We wait.
Light one candle.

We wait for You in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
We wait in a small town, making preparations for You.
The prophet said
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Micah 5:2

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.” Luke 1:76-79

We wait.
Light two candles.

We wait for you in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
We are sheep without a Shepherd,
we are shepherds waiting for the news.
The prophet said,

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:11

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2:8-10

We wait.
Light three candles.

We wait for you in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
We hear the angels voices.
We are overwhelmed.
We are awe-struck.

I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.” Isaiah 6:1-3

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:13-14

We wait.
Light four candles.

We wait for you in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
You are here with us.
Your birth proclaimed by angel and prophet, shepherd and magi.
You are here and our waiting is over.

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Light your candles.
The waiting is over.
The Light of the World is here!

21 thoughts on “Litany for Lighting of the Advent Candles

  1. i love the advent time…it’s so special…the re-thinking of what he did for us and going with him on that journey…. loved your piece with the scripture woven in… i bet the church loved it

  2. I Always enjoyed the Advent candle ceremonies at our church, and your litany is beautiful, giving, & informative. I would have cheered & clapped loudly if I had heard while in the sanctuary; thanks, bless you & yours.

  3. Oh, this is beautiful. I am so glad you shared it, as for me this is what the meaning of the season is all about. The Light of the World is indeed here!

  4. smiles…this is beautiful…and i imagine those that were there were blessed in the hearing…i love the candlelight ceremonies…seeing the light passed one to another pushing back the dark….may he come soon enough…smiles…merry christmas….

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