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Advent Wreath Prayers and Scripture Readings

A Free Devotion For Families, Schools, and Churches


An Advent wreath with candlesThe Advent Wreath is a tradition related to Advent, the Church season immediately preceding Christmas. The Advent Wreath is a popular tradition among many Christians, Catholic and Protestant. It is often used in homes, churches, and schools.

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The Advent wreath, first used as a Christian devotion in the Middle Ages, gets its design from the customs of pre-Christian Germanic and Scandinavian cultures, who used candles and greenery as symbols of light and life during winter. The Advent Wreath is a circular evergreen wreath with four or five candles, three purple, one rose, and (if you use the five-candle model), one white one for Christmas Day placed in the center. Some Christians use blue candles instead of purple.

The candles symbolize the light of Christ coming into the world. The evergreen symbolizes renewal, and the circular shape symbolizes the completeness of God. The candle colors are derived from the traditional liturgical colors of Advent (purple and rose) and Christmas (white). Each candle is first lit on the appropriate Sunday of Advent, and then the candles may be lit each day as a part of the individual or family's daily prayers.

Certain candles have been given various names and designations:
Candle 1. Hope and/or Patriarchs (purple)
Candle 2. Peace and/or Prophets (purple)
Candle 3. Joy and/or John the Baptist (rose)
Candle 4. Love or The Virgin Mary (purple)
Candle 5. Christ The Light of the World (white)


Before using an Advent wreath, many people choose to bless it. We now have a special page with an Advent Wreath Blessing, where you can find one!


Advent Week One

Directions
Light the first purple candle

Prayer:
Stir up thy power, O Lord, and come,
that by thy protection we may be rescued
from the dangers that beset us through our sins;
and be a Redeemer to deliver us;
Who livest and reignest with God the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Alternate/Complementary Prayer:
O Emmanuel,
King and Lawgiver
Desire of the nations,
Savior of all people,
Come and set us free, Lord, our God.

Scriptures:
Isaiah 11:1-10
Luke: 1:26-38
Isaiah 7:10-14
Matthew 1:18-24


Advent Week Two

Lighted Advent candlesDirections
Light the 1st purple candle (repeat first week's prayer)
Light the 2nd purple candle

Prayer:
Stir up our hearts, O Lord,
to prepare the paths of thine Only-begotten Son:
that we may worthily serve thee
with hearts purified by His coming:
Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Alternate/Complementary Prayer:
O King of all nations, Jesus Christ,
only joy of every human heart,
O Keystone of the mighty arch of man,
Come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust

Scriptures:
Micah 5:2
Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11
Isaiah 2:1-5
Matthew 3:1-6


Advent Week Three

Directions
Light the 1st purple candle (repeat 1st week's prayer)
Light the 2nd purple candle (repeat 2nd week's prayer)
Light the rose candle

Prayer:
We beseech thee to listen to our prayers, O Lord,
and by the grace of thy coming enlighten our darkened minds:
Thou who livest and reignest with God the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

Alternate/Complementary Prayer:
O Key of David
O Royal Power of Israel
Controlling at your will, the gates of heaven
Come, break down the prison walls of death
For those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death;
and lead your captive people into freedom.

Scriptures:
Isaiah 9:6-7
John 1:19-34
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Philippians 2:1-11


Advent Week Four

Directions
Light the 1st purple candle (repeat 1st week's prayer)
Light the 2nd purple candle (repeat 2nd week's prayer)
Light the rose candle (repeat 3rd week's prayer)
Light the 4th purple candle

Prayer:
Pour forth thy power, O Lord, and come:
Assist us by that mighty power,
so that by thy grace and merciful kindness
we may swiftly receive the salvation that our sins impede:
Who livest and reignest with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Alternate/Complementary Prayer:
O Wisdom, Holy Word of God
You govern all things with your strong, yet tender care
Come and show your people the way to salvation.

Scriptures:
Malachi 3:1-5
Romans 8:18-25
Isaiah 52:7-10
Revelation 21:1-4


Christmas Day and Christmastide

Directions for 5-Candle Wreaths
Light 4 preceding candles (repeat each week's prayer while lighting them)
Light the center white candle

Directions for 4-Candle Wreaths
Replace all Advent Candles with White Candles and Light

Prayer:
God of love, Father of all,
the darkness that covered the earth
has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh.
Make us a people of this light.
Make us faithful to your Word
that we may bring your life to the waiting world.
Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(From The Roman Missal)

Alternate/Complementary Prayer:
Let the just rejoice,
for their justifier is born.
Let the sick and infirm rejoice,
For their saviour is born.
Let the captives rejoice,
For their Redeemer is born.
Let slaves rejoice,
for their Master is born.
Let free men rejoice,
For their Liberator is born.
Let All Christians rejoice,
For Jesus Christ is born.
St. Augustine of Hippo

Scriptures:
Isaiah 9:1-6
Luke 2:1-20
John 1:1-18
Titus 2:11-14


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For more information:
Advent Information
Advent Prayers
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