One of the most common traditions during Advent is to light Advent candles. Here is a blessing for an Advent wreath that can be used at home.
The Advent wreath is made of four candles and a circle of branches. Before the first candle is lighted, the household gathers for this blessing.
All make the sign of the cross. The leader begins:
Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.
The leader may use these or similar words to introduce the blessing:
In the short days and long nights of Advent, we realize how we are always waiting for deliverance, always needing salvation by our God. Around this wreath, we shall remember God’s promise.
Then the Scripture is read:
Listen to the words of the prophet Isaiah:
The people who have walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom
a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy
and great rejoicing.
Alternate readings: Isaiah 63:16-17 or Isaiah 64:2-7)
The reader concludes:
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
After a time of silence, all join in prayers of intercession and in the Lord’s Prayer.
Then the leader invites:
Let us now pray for God’s blessing upon us and upon this wreath.
After a short silence, the leader prays:
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.
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
May he come quickly and not delay.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
The first candle is lighted.
The leader says:
Let us bless the Lord.
All respond, making the sign of the cross:
Thanks be to God.
The blessing concludes with a verse from “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”:
O come, desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of humankind;
Bid ev’ry sad divisions cease
And by thyself our Prince of peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
Each day in Advent, perhaps at the evening meal, the candles are lighted: one candle the first week, two the second, and so forth.
Taken from Household Blessing and Prayers.
He lives with his lovely wife and eleven kids in northern Colorado.
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