Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Advent Prayers

Advent Wreath Candle Lighting Prayers

Advent is the season leading up to Christmas. It begins four Sundays before
December 25 and is our time of preparation for our yearly celebration of the birth of
Jesus into our world. Lighting the candles on an Advent wreath in the weeks leading
up to Christmas is a great way to help us remember that we are preparing to celebrate
the birth of Christ. In church, every week another candle is lighted as we journey
towards Christmas.

It is customary to have an Advent wreath in our homes and to light a candle for each week of Advent. Prayers typically accompany the lighting and this can be done at every evening meal or on the first evening meal of the week.
For the candle lighting, if you don't often gather as a family because dinner time is hectic with activities, create a new tradition and make it a before-bedtime ritual to light a candle and say a few prayers reflecting on the day that has ended. Or if morning works better, start the day with
Advent prayers holding in our hearts our hopes for the day ahead and lighting the Advent candle over breakfast. If you are by yourself, you can create your own ritual, knowing that you are joining with Christians around the world in this sacred season.

Traditionally, the youngest child lights the candle the first week, the oldest child the
second week, one parent the third week and the other parent the fourth week. However, these
roles can be chosen to make sure everyone is included and there is family peace.

Lighting the first Advent candle


When the blessing of the Advent Wreath is celebrated in the home, it is appropriate
that it be blessed by a parent or another member of the family.

Leader: Lord our God,
we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ:
he is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples,
he is the wisdom that teaches and guides us,
he is the Savior of every nation.
Lord God, let your blessing come upon us
as we light the candles of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light
be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation.
May he come quickly and not delay.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

First Sunday of Advent - A Week of Hope - Nov 27 – Dec 3

Reader 1: According to tradition, each candle has a special meaning. The first one,
usually purple, is called the candle of hope. People in the Old Testament knew that
God had promised to send a Savior. And we’re filled with hope because we know
that Jesus came to Earth on the first Christmas so he could tell people about God
and die for our sins. As we get ready to light the first candle on your Advent wreath,
let us listen to a reading from Romans.

Reader 2: 13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and
peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through
the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13.

Sharing: Share some ways that you’re filled with hope because you know Jesus or
how Jesus makes a difference in your lives.
After sharing, the first purple or a blue candle is lit and all say,
All: One candle, burning bright,
Chasing away the darkness from light.
One candle, glowing light,
The blessing of God, giving new sight.

Reader 2: Let us pray. Dear God, we pray for the hope that is in Christ to come into
our lives in a new way. May we become hope that is alive in our world.


Lighting the First and Second Candle 

Second Sunday of Advent – A Week of Preparation - Dec 4 – 10

Reader 1: The second candle on an Advent wreath, usually purple, represents
preparation. Listen to a reading from Mark.

Reader 2: 3
He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s
coming! Clear the road for him!’ 4 This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in
the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had
repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. Mark 1:3-4

Reader 1: John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, spread the word that Jesus was on his way.
Part of our preparations for Christmas can include letting other people know what
Christmas is all about-the birth of our Savior.
Sharing: Just as we get our homes and churches ready for Christmas, we also get our
hearts ready for baby Jesus. Brainstorm a list of things you do to get ready for house
guests. Talk about what you would do differently if Jesus were coming to stay at your

After sharing, light the first and second purple candles or two blue candles.

All: Two candles, burning bright,
chasing away the darkness from light.
Two candles, glowing light,
The blessing of God, giving new sight.

Reader 2: Let us pray. Dear God, we pray that our hearts will be ready for your
coming through your Son, Jesus the Christ. 

December 8th:  Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Lectionary 689 

Pope Francis Prayer on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Our Immaculate Mother,
today the people of Rome gather around you.
The flowers, laid at your feet
from so many urban realities,
express their love and devotion for you
who watch over us all.
And you also see and welcome
those invisible flowers that are so many invocations,
so many silent supplications, sometimes stifled,
hidden, but not from you, who are Mother.

After two years in which I came
alone to pay homage to you at the dawning of the day,
today I return to you together with the people
of this Church and this City.
And I bring you the thanks and supplications
of all your children, near and far.

From Heaven where God has welcomed you,
you see earthly things far better than we do;
but as Mother you listen to our invocations
to present them to your Son,
to His Heart full of mercy.

First of all I bring you the filial love
of countless men and women, not only Christians,
who nourish for you the greatest gratitude
for your beauty, full of grace and humility:
for in the midst of so many dark clouds
you are a sign of hope and consolation.

I bring you the smiles of the children,
who learn your name before one of your images,
in the arms of their mothers and grandmothers,
and who begin to know
that they also have a Mother in Heaven.
And when it happens in life that those smiles
give way to tears,
how important it is to have known you,
to have had the gift of your motherhood!

I bring you the gratitude of the elderly and the old:
a thanks expressed with their lives,
woven of memories, of joys and sorrows,
of achievements that they are well aware
have been achieved with your help,
holding their hands in yours.

I bring you the worries of families,
of fathers and mothers who often struggleto make ends meet at home,
and, day by day, face
small and large challenges to get by.
In particular, I entrust to you the young couples
who, looking to you and to Saint Joseph,
go forward courageously in life
trusting in God's Providence.

I bring you the dreams and anxieties of young people,
open to the future but held back by a culture
rich in things and poor in values,
saturated with information and deficient in education,
persuasive in deluding and ruthless in disappointing.
I especially commend to you the children,
who have been most affected by the pandemic,
that little by little they might resume
spreading and flapping their wings
and rediscover the enjoyment of flying high.

Immaculate Virgin, I would have liked
to have brought to you today
the thanksgiving of the Ukrainian people
for the peace we have long been asking the Lord for.
Instead, I still have to present to you the supplication
of the children, of the elderly,
of the fathers and mothers, of the young people
of that tormented land.
But in reality we all know
that you are with them and with all who are suffering,
just as you were beside the cross of your Son.

Thank you, our Mother!
Looking to you who are without sin,
may we continue to believe and hope
that love might conquer hatred,
that truth might conquer lies,
that pardon might conquer offenses,
that peace might conquer war. So be it!

Solemnity of the Inmaculate Conception

Third Sunday of Advent – A Week of Joy, Dec 11 – 17

Reader 1: The third candle on an Advent wreath, usually pink, symbolizes joy.
Christmas excitement is building as the holiday quickly approaches. Listen to a
reading from Luke.

Reader 2: 10 But the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you
good news that will bring great joy to all people. Luke 2:10.

Reader 1: The angels made a big announcement on the first Christmas, calling Jesus’
birth ‘good news’ that would bring ‘great joy.’ Everything we do to get ready for
Christmas can fill us with joy about Jesus. When we’re joyful, we, like the angels, can
help spread that good news.
Light the first three candles (the two purple and the pink candles or three blue candles) on your
Advent wreath.
Sharing: Let each person share one thing they’re especially joyful about this
Christmas that is coming. Then say.
All: Three candles, burning bright,
Chasing away the darkness from light.
Three candles, glowing bright,
The blessing of God, giving new sight.
Reader 2: Let us pray. Dear God, we pray for the joy that is found in Jesus, that those
who seek it may truly find it. May we celebrate in the joy found in You. Amen

Fourth Sunday of Advent –A Week of Love, Dec 18- Dec 24

Reader 1: The fourth candle on an Advent wreath, usually purple, is often called the
candle of love. Christmas happened because of God’s great love for all people.
Sharing: As your family gets ready to open Christmas gifts, talk about why we give
nice things to people we love. Ask: What are some of the most memorable gifts
you’ve received? How can you tell when much love and thought go into a gift?

Reader 2: A reading from John. 16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his
one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have
eternal life. John 3:16.

Reader 1: At Christmas, God gave us the best gift ever. He sent his Son, Jesus, to live,
die, and rise again so we could live with him forever in heaven. Although this gift
required great sacrifice, God knew we needed Jesus.
Light all four candles on your Advent wreath.

All: Four candles, burning bright,
Chasing away the darkness with light.
Four candles, glowing bright,
The blessing of God, giving new sight.
Reader 2: Let us pray. Dear God, we pray that our faith may be renewed once again,
and may we relive the wonder of your love in our lives. In the name of Jesus the
Christ, we pray. Amen.

On Christmas Eve through the 12 days of Christmas, all four candles are lit plus a white
candle in the middle. If your wreath does not have the middle candle, place a pillar candle in
the middle of the wreath. Light all four candles plus the Christ candle in the center if you have

Waiting the arrival of Baby Jesus

Reader 1: Tonight the Advent season ends. We wait no longer. That great event
for which we waited has happened. God's promise of a Redeemer is fulfilled.
Christ Jesus is born. We light the Christ candle with praise to our God who
brings joy to the world.
Light all four candles plus the Christ candle in the middle.
All: Four candles, burning bright,
Chasing away the darkness with light.
Four candles, glowing bright,
The blessing of God, giving new sight.

December 30 - Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.  

A 'Prayer to the Holy Family':

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, in you we contemplate

the splendor of true love; to you we turn with trust.

Holy Family of Nazareth grant that our families too may be places of communion and prayer, authentic schools of the Gospel and small domestic churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth, may families never again experience violence, rejection and division; may all who have been hurt or scandalized find ready comfort and healing.

Holy Family of Nazareth, make us once more mindful of the sacredness and inviolability of the family, and its beauty in God’s plan.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Graciously hear our prayer.


(Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, 325)

Reader 2: Let us pray. Lord, you come as a tiny, fragile baby; yet we know that you
are God and you are with us. May the flame of this candle remind us that you are
the light of the world and that if we follow you, we will never walk in darkness,
but will have the true light of life. Amen

He's here. Hallelujah!

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