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Advent at Home

November 28, 2012

With the retail world in full Christmas-shopping swing, workplaces and schools scheduling concerts, parties, and charity drives, travel plans, dinner plans, extra baking, extra church services, extra everything – December can make us feel like we don’t have enough time, money, cheerfulness, energy, good will, or anything else. Which is ironic because we are supposed to be preparing to receive the gift that reveals we have already been blessed with everything we need.

Advent gives us an alternative path through this month. It’s not a path that requires us to skip past the fun parts of the shopping or the decorating or the partying but it is a path that gives us permission to set them aside in favour of a little quiet, a little prayer, and a little perspective.

It’s a path that reminds us we are preparing for something much bigger than a party, something that requires nothing more than exactly everything we already are, people filled with love, hope, and a desire for justice, peace, and joy. We are preparing for the Kingdom of God, brought near to us in the person of a baby named Jesus.

Making Advent Candles


Celebrating Advent at home is a quiet way to strengthen our faith and that of our families. Take the time to light a candle and focus on the deep, lasting promises of God, rather than the shallow ones of consumer culture.

And, to help you do just that, here is one possible set of prayers. You may want to use the conversation starter only on Sundays or you may want to repeat it, in some form, each night.




For those of you who worship at Christ Church Cathedral, these are the prayers we will be using to light our wreath on the four Sundays in Advent (Dec 2, 9, 16, and 23).

For those of you who worship elsewhere, feel free to use them in your communities as well (but please attribute the source!).


Prayer for the First Week of Advent (Expectation)

Holy God,

You promise that love is stronger than hate,
happiness is stronger than sadness,
life is stronger than death.

Bring justice to your world.
The day is coming
We are waiting.

Bring joy to your world.
The day is coming
We are waiting.

Bring peace to your world.
The day is coming
We are waiting.

At the lighting of the candle
Come, Lord Jesus, Come.
Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

Click here to download a PDF of the complete Advent prayers, including introductions, conversation starter, and a Christmas Day prayer.


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