“Enfold us with the radiance of this light, so you would shine into our hearts the brightness of your Holy Spirit…”
Praying at Home with the Advent Wreath
Many Christian households place an Advent wreath in the home during the season of Advent. Lighting the candles is an important tradition. Going a step further, praying around the Advent wreath, can deepen spirituality and bind the household together in new ways. Below are four options for Advent wreath prayers for the home.
1. Advent Prayers for a Household by PJ Hobbs
This free Advent prayer guide is part of Building Faith’s Home Practices series. In two pages, PJ Hobbs offers encouragement, ideas, prayers, discussion questions, scripture quotes, and short Advent liturgies to use at home. This brilliant resource is an opportunity for households to set aside time, be together, pray together, and strengthen one another during Advent. Check out the excerpts below, then click the image to download.
Excerpt from Opening
Leader: We light these candles in hope and expectation.
All: Jesus is the light of the World.
Leader: We wait joyfully for the coming of Jesus.
All: Into the world, into the Church, into our home Come, Lord Jesus, quickly come!
Bible Verses for Each Week
• Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.
• May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13
• Be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. -James 5:8
• Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. -Isaiah 7:14
Excerpt from “Be Together” section
What happened today that reminded you how much God loves the world?
Was there a time today when you felt particularly close to Jesus?
What might we do this Advent and Christmas as an act of loving service?
2. Other Advent Wreath Prayers
While not specifically written for Advent, the following four prayers would be perfect for lighting the Advent wreath at home. These come from “An Order of Worship for the Evening” in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer.
Almighty God, we give you thanks for surrounding us, as
daylight fades, with the brightness of the vesper light; and we
implore you of your great mercy that, as you enfold us with
the radiance of this light, so you would shine into our hearts
the brightness of your Holy Spirit; through Jesus Christ our
Grant us, Lord, the lamp of charity which never fails, that it
may burn in us and shed its light on those around us, and
that by its brightness we may have a vision of that holy City,
where dwells the true and never-failing Light, Jesus Christ
our Lord. Amen.
O Lord God Almighty, as you have taught us to call the
evening, the morning, and the noonday one day; and have
made the sun to know its going down: Dispel the darkness of
our hearts, that by your brightness we may know you to be
the true God and eternal light, living and reigning for ever
and ever. Amen.
Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy
great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this
night; for the love of thy only Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.
3. Scripture Verses for the Advent Wreath
Consider saying a Bible verse before you light the Advent wreath. Here are two options:
If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, and the light
around me turn to night,” darkness is not dark to you, O
Lord; the night is as bright as the day; darkness and light to
you are both alike. Psalm 139:10-11
Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city built on a
hill cannot be hid. No one lights a lamp to put it under a
bucket, but on a lamp-stand where it gives light for everyone
in the house. And you, like the lamp, must shed light among
your fellow men, so that they may see the deed you do, and
give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
4. O Gracious Light (Phos Hilaron)
This ancient text (3rd or 4th century) is often sung by choirs. Your household could use it as a spoken prayer.
O gracious light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.
PJ Hobbs (author of Advent Prayers for a Household) is the Director of Mission for the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa in Canada. The other prayers in this post were compiled by Matthew Kozlowski and Charlotte Hand Greeson, Building Faith editors.
Did you enjoy this article? Consider subscribing to Building Faith and get every new post by email. It’s free and always will be. Subscribe to Building Faith.