Words for the wreath – looking ahead to Advent

I thought I’d break off today from the series I’m working on to look ahead. I know that in the parish, once the extra services of remembrance were past, I started to turn my attention to organising the Advent liturgy. There are many fine prayers around for the lighting of the Advent wreath, but there are fewer good songs or hymns.

A friend and colleague, Mark Earey has written one of the good ones, called “Advent candles tell their story” which is in the newest edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern. Today, though, I offer one that I wrote and used in the parish, together with the texts I used to accompany it. It is set to the carol tune Personent Hodie. Like other hymns and prayers I publish here, the hymn is published under a Creative Commons 4.0 4.0 CC BY-NC-SA licence, so you are free to copy and use it if you so wish.

Copyright Nick MacNeill via Geograph used under a CC BY-SA 2.0 licence

Every week at the beginning

We have this Advent ring to remind us of the coming of Jesus,
the light of the world.
Lord, let your light scatter the darkness
and fill the world with your glory.

First week of Advent

We light this candle to remind us of God’s people
who, in every age, watch for his coming.

Take this light, let it shine:
Abram blest, Israel’s line,
called by love, all divine,
hope for all the nations
gift of God’s salvation.

Shine, O candles, shine,
burn with love divine,
to the night, comes the light
of the Father’s glory.

Second week of Advent

We light this candle to remind us of God’s great promises,
which God made through the prophets of Israel.

Take this flame, let it burn:
prophets called: “From sin turn,
come to God, evil spurn:
God will love and pardon,
bear away your burden.”

Shine, O candles, shine,
burn with love divine,
to the night, comes the light
of the Father’s glory.

Third week of Advent

We light this candle to remind us of John the Baptist
who proclaimed that God’s chosen one was arriving.

Take this wick, let it glow
for the one come to show
way of God, Christ to know:
baptize in the river,
new life to deliver.

Shine, O candles, shine,
burn with love divine,
to the night, comes the light
of the Father’s glory.

Fourth week of Advent

We light this candle to remind us of Mary,
who had the faith to bear Jesus for the world.

Take this spark, let it blaze,
angel’s call, she amazed,
now says yes, God be praised:
in the womb of woman,
God the word is human.

Shine, O candles, shine,
burn with love divine,
to the night, comes the light
of the Father’s glory.

Christmas Day

We light this candle to celebrate the birth of Jesus,
who shines with the light of God’s love.

Take this fire, let it flame,
God is born in our frame,
sinless child tastes our shame,
sin’s might he is breaking
new the world is making.

Shine, O candles, shine,
burn with love divine,
to the night, comes the light
of the Father’s glory.

2 thoughts on “Words for the wreath – looking ahead to Advent

  1. Pingback: Planning for your Advent wreath – and that pink candle – Liturgica

  2. Pingback: Advent wreath blessing | Liturgy

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