Over the next days there will be posted prayers for use at home during Advent.

Today, the prayers are for use with the Advent wreath.

The weekend of 5th/6th December there will be a posting of prayers to use in blessing a Christmas Tree or a Christmas Crib.

The Advent Wreath

Traditionally the Advent wreath includes four or five candles. If four, one is for each of the four Sundays of the season, and if there is a fifth it is for Christmas Day. A new candle is lit on each Sunday of Advent. Remember Sunday begins with sunset on Saturday evening (for each week we mark our special day, the Lord’s Day, keeping it according to the Jewish way of counting time, sunset to sunset, not from midnight to midnight which is the secular way, related to the ancient Roman method). So you might begin your Advent Sunday on Saturday at home with a simple prayer around the lighting of that week’s candle.

Blessing of the wreath
Lord God,
your Church joyfully awaits the coming of its Saviour,
who enlightens our hearts
and dispels the darkness of ignorance and sin.
Pour forth your blessings upon us
as we light our Advent candles;
may their light reflect the splendour of Christ,
who is Lord for ever and ever. Amen.

a) Prayer for the lighting of the first candle
Know that the Lord is coming
and with him all his saints;
that day will dawn with a wonderful light.

b) Prayer for the lighting of the second candle
Our God will come with great power,
a light to the eyes of his servants.

c) Prayer for the lighting of the third candle
Behold, the Lord is coming,
the desired of all the nations.
His house will be bright with glory.

d) Prayer for the lighting of the fourth candle
Let us live in justice and in love,
awaiting the blessed hope,
the coming of our Lord.

After you have lit the candle(s) read and pray these words from Psalm 25

Lord, make me know your ways.
Lord teach me your paths,
Make me walk in your truth and teach me
for you are God my saviour.
The Lord is good and upright.
He shows the path to those who stray.
He guides the humble in the right path;
he teaches his way to the poor.

End your prayer with a time of quiet prayer for the coming week, and then by making the Sign of the Cross.

You might follow the prayer by a family meal – leaving the candles burning as you eat and blow them out at the end of the meal.