A Litany for Lighting of 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 hope and love.
Light a candle.

(If you would like to use this litany, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear how you use it and where, especially if it is for your church congregation. Thanks, Kathleen)

Angel of the Rusty Halo

The Litany for Lighting of the Advent Candles

First Sunday of Advent

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.

Second Sunday of Advent

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.

Third Sunday of Advent

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.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

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.

Christmas Day

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

16 thoughts on “A Litany for Lighting of Advent Candles

  1. I really like your litany! I would like to use it this year if that’s ok. We’re at Salem Lutheran Church of Oxford in North Branch, Minnesota. We’re a small country Lutheran church

  2. Hi Wendy,
    Thank you so much. Im happy that you have asked and yes, I would love for your congregation to use this litany.
    If you would include my name as author, I would appreciate it.
    I hope you and your church have a blessed Christmas season.
    Kathleen Gresham Everett

  3. Hi Kathleen,
    The church I service is St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Delaware, Ohio. I have been looking for a litany to go with our church’s sermon series theme on “A Prophet’s View” and your litany is perfect. We really appreciate you sharing this resource for others to use. It is beautiful. Thank you!

  4. Thank you Kathleen.
    We are a group of about 10 people from our church in Cumbria. We are very grateful to be able to use your beautiful litany.

  5. Thank you for this beautiful litany. I would like to use it in our worship services this Advent 2021. I am the minister at Princess Street United Church in Kingston Ontario and we are worshipping with an Anglican congregation for the next few months.

    • Hi Miriam, Yes, I would be pleased if your Bible group would use this Advent litany. Thank you for asking.
      And I would appreciate knowing a little more about your group. Where are you located and who makes up the group? No details or names of course – just generally where you are etc.
      It makes me very happy when this Litany is used each Advent.

  6. Hi! Our Nurture Ministry Team thought this would be a perfect litany to use this year. Would you be willing to give us permission to use for our Advent and Christmas Eve services. This is for the Alden Presbyterian Church in a rural area of Western New York.
    Worship Chairperson

    • Hi Edie, Thank you for contacting me. I would be very happy for your church to use this Advent Litany. It was written for a small Presbyterian Church in NW Arkansas many years ago and it will be wonderful to know it is being read again during the Advent season.
      I would appreciate seeing the bulletin (are those still used? *smiles) with the Litany if possible. My email address is kathleengeverett@gmail.com.
      Kathleen Everett

      • Thank you Kathleen. I don’t think we are going to be printing the litany in our bulletin, but I am planning on having a write-up in our Cornerstone (bi-monthly newsletter). I will send you one or the other, depending upon our decision.


  7. Hello! I found these candle lighting litanies to be beautiful. Would you give us permission to use it for our Advent Services this year? My church is New Westminster Christian Reformed Church in Burnaby, BC Canada.
    Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s