Advent is here. Many of us prepare advent wreaths for our homes during this time. An advent wreath can be as simple as 4 candles. For the first week of Advent, from now until next Saturday, one candle is lit, and then another candle is lit for each of the remaining weeks. In my family, we light the appropriate number of candles on the wreath during our evening meals together. Below is a short service to pray when you light the wreath (adapted from the BCP pp. 109-111)
Leader Light and peace, in Jesus Christ our Lord
Everyone Thanks be to God.
A reading from Scripture
If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, and the light around me turn to night,” darkness is not dark to you, O Lord; the night is as bright as the day; darkness and light to you are both alike.
Leader Let us pray
Lighten our darkness, we beseech you, O Lord; and by your great mercy defund from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, Our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Add the appropriate prayer for the week of Advent
First week of Advent
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the
dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Second week of Advent
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Third week of Advent
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
Fourth week of Advent
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Light the candle(s).
O gracious light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.
The service may end with the “Our Father” and/or a grace for the meal.