Leader: Christians around the world begin this day to await the advent of Christ. We join with a joyous and hopeful throng in lighting the Advent candles, symbols of our faith and signs of God’s love.
People: We gather as a people of HOPE.
Leader: Christian people around the world stand today in breathless anticipation of a miracle that has been repeated for hundreds of years, yet that sounds us anew each year.
People Our HOPE springs anew, from an ancient vision.
Leader: As we light the first Advent candle let it stand for HOPE, based not on wishful things, but on deep conviction. We believe, we have seen, we have received the Promise and the Great Gift, and therefore, in the midst of darkness and imperfection, war and disease, despair and isolation, we HOPE.
People: We gather expectantly, joyfully, and with deep commitment, for we have heard that a special Child is to come, that God is to be among us, and that soon we will see a new creation on earth. We are people of light. We are people of HOPE.
(Lighting of the candle of HOPE)
Prayer: Almighty God, Creator of all human life, we wait with HOPE in these emotionally charged, uncertain days. We pray this advent season for a renewal of the recognition of all people as our sisters and brothers, with no barriers due to color, creed or position in life. Lead us to give light to the world as we prepare our hearts for this great Good News: the birth of your Son, Jesus the Christ awaits us. Amen.