The Reason for Advent?
What does Advent mean?
History of Advent
Other Colors
Lighting of Candles
The Advent Wreath
The Advent Calendar
Lessons and Carols
The Reason for Advent
The advent season starts on the 4th Sunday before Christmas. It is also the beginning of the Church Year.


Colors and Other Colors
Historically the color purple, the color of pentenience, fasting is used. Royal Blue was also used since the dye for Purple was very expensive. Purple and Royal Blue are colors of Royalty. Pink can be substituted for Rose. Pink to lessen the feeling of penitenance and turn more to the celebration of the Season. White: symbolizing the Birth of Jesus.
3 purple
1 pink
1 white center Candle
week 1- light one candle (purple)
week 2- light wk 1 candle and another purple candle.
week 3 light the same 1st 2 candles and another purple candle
week 4- light the 1st 3 candles and the pink candle.
CHRISTMAS EVE, light all candles including the white candle.
Was traditionally set in homes during Advent Season.
It was made from evergreens. These branches as the name says are "ever greens" ever alive. Symbolic of Jesus who died for us, but is alive never to die again. The branches also symbolize our soul's immortality. The red holly berries on these wreaths remind us Jesus came into this world to die for our sins. Through the sheding of His blood He saved us all.
THE SHAPE CIRCLE: reminds us God himself no beginning no end.
THE COLOR GREEN: speaks of the hope that we have in Christ hope of renewal, of eternal life
THE CANDLES' represent the period of waiting for the Messiah, 4 centuries from Malachi-to the birth of Jesus.

The word "ADVENT" means "coming" or "arrival" The focus is based on the  celebration of Jesus' birth and that He is present in the world today. Orginally lit in homes, wasn't used in the church until the 20th century.
History of Advent
Originally Advent was a time of Pentenance and Fasting, and so this season shares the colors of Lent.
Now the color shifts from Purple to Pink in the 3rd week symbolizing the celebration of the season, an emphasis on Hope and Anticipation
As Christians we long for deliverance, just as the Isrealites experienced leaving slavery in Egypt and moving to the promised land.
The origin of the Advent Calendar can be traced back to the 19th. Century. The first styles came from the protestant area. So religious families made a chalk line for every day in December until Christmas Eve.
The first known Advent Calendar which was made by handwork is from the year 1851.

Other early styles were the Adventclock or the Adventcandle - a candle for each of the 24 days until Christmas, like todays Advent wreath. So in religious families little pictures were hang up on the wall - one for each day in December. An other tradition was to paint chalk strokes on the door, one per day until Christmas Eve.

In 1902 a Christian Bookshop in Hamburg published a Christmas Clock which was very similar to that published 1922 by the St. Johannis printing company. (Dominik Wunderlin, lic.phil. Swizzerland). The Austrian (NÖ) Landesmuseum is giving the year 1903 as the year of the first printed Advent Calendar. In 1904 an Advent Calendar was inserted in the newspaper "Neues Tagblatt Stuttgart" as a gift for their readers.

In contrast to the above Esther Gajek says that the first printed speciem was made in 1908 by a Swabian parishioner, Gerhard Lang (born 1881 in Maulbronn, Germany -died in 1974).

When he was a child his mother made him an Advent Calendar with 24 "Wibbele" (little candies) which were sticked on a cardboard.
Click on each of the links below to print out the full-sized artwork.  Tape the two top and the two back pages together, cutout the doors on three sides and then tape or glue the top and the back together.  Merry Christmas!
OUR Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was first held on Christmas Eve 1918.

A revision of the Order of Service was made in 1919, involving rearrangement of the lessons, and from that date the service has always begun with the hymn ‘Once in royal David’s city’. In almost every year some carols have been changed and some new ones introduced by successive Organists: Arthur Henry Mann; Boris Ord, 1929–57; Harold Darke (his substitute during the war), 1940–45; Sir David Willcocks, 1957–73; Philip Ledger, 1974–82 and, from 1982, Stephen Cleobury. The backbone of the service, the lessons and the prayers, has remained virtually unchanged.

The original service was, in fact, adapted from an Order drawn up by E.W. Benson, later Archbishop of Canterbury, for use in the wooden shed, which then served as his cathedral in Truro, at 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1880. A.C. Benson recalled: ‘My father arranged from ancient sources a little service for Christmas Eve – nine carols and nine tiny lessons, which were read by various officers of the Church, beginning with a chorister, and ending, through the different grades, with the Bishop.’ The suggestion had come from G.H.S. Walpole, later Bishop of Edinburgh.

Almost immediately other churches adapted the service for their own use. A wider frame began to grow when the service was first broadcast in 1928 and, with the exception of 1930, it has been broadcast annually, even during the Second World War, when the ancient glass (and also all heat) had been removed from the Chapel and the name of King’s could not be broadcast for security reasons. Sometime in the early 1930s the BBC began broadcasting the service on overseas programmes. It is estimated that there are millions of listeners worldwide, including those to Radio Four in the United Kingdom. In recent years it has become the practice to broadcast a digital recording on Christmas Day on Radio Three, and since 1963 a shorter service has been filmed periodically for television. Recordings of carols by Decca and EMI have also served to spread its fame.

In these and other ways the service has become public property. From time to time the College receives copies of services held, for example, in the West Indies or the Far East and these show how widely the tradition has spread. The broadcasts, too, have become part of Christmas for many far from Cambridge. One correspondent writes that he heard the service in a tent on the foothills of Everest; another, in the desert. Many listen at home, busy about their own preparations for Christmas. Visitors from all over the world are heard to identify the Chapel as ‘the place where the Carols are sung’.
Entrance Hymn

LBW 51 From Heaven Above

(Narrators enter)


Leader: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.

Congregation: The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.

Leader: Those who dwelt in the land of deep darkness,
on them light has shined.

Congregation: We have beheld Christ's glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father.

Leader: For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given.

Congregation: In him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

Opening prayer

Almighty God,
you have filled us with the new light of the Word
who became flesh and lived among us.
Let the light of our faith shine in all we do;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

The King Will Come from Bethlehem

Lesson Micah 5: 2, 5a
"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."

And he will be their peace.


WOV 643 Once in Royal David's City

(Mary and the Angel Gabriel enter)

The Annunciation to Mary

Lesson Luke 1: 26 - 35, 38
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,
to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary.

The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.

But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.

You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"

The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.


LBW 40 What Child Is This

(The Angel Gabriel exits)

(Joseph enters with the Baby Jesus and gives him to Mary)
The Birth of Jesus
Lesson Luke 2: 1 - 7
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
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.


LBW 71 Angels We Have Heard on High

(The angels and shepherds enter)

The Shepherds Go to See the Savior

Lesson Luke 2: 8 - 16

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.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

LBW 70 Go Tell It on the Mountain

(The angels and shepherds exit)

(Simeon enters)

Jesus Receives His Name

Lesson Luke 2:21 - 36
On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord"), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: "a pair of doves or two young pigeons."
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel."

(Simeon exits)
(The children and wise men enter)

LBW 559 Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

The Magi Follow the Star

Lesson Matthew 2: 1 - 11

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.
"In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'"
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.


LBW 52 Your Little Ones, Dear Lord

(The children and the wise men exit)

(The angel enters)

The Slaughter of the Holy Innocents

Lesson Matthew 2: 13 - 18
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."
So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."
When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.

(Mary and Joseph and the Baby Jesus exit)


WOV 639 Oh, Sleep Now, Holy Baby

The Mystery of the Incarnation

Lesson John 1:1 - 14
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


LBW 39 Joy to the World
The 1st candle is often called the "prophet candle" and is meant to signify the hope of Jesus' arrival. the candle of Expectation or Hope

The 2nd is generally called the "Bethlehem candle" reminding Christians that God appeared to them in a humble manner; Bethlehem was located in the territory of one of the least powerful tribes of Isreal.

The 3rd candle is the "shepherd's candle" representing the joy that more than half of Advent is over.

The 4th candle is the "angel's candle" symbolizing their peace and the message of good news that they offer.
Prayers when lighting the Advent Candle
What is it?
Bible reference - The Story
How to make one
Table of Name/Reason/Scripture Reading
Scripture Readings
to more REASONS for the Season