Looking for examples of Advent liturgical readings, songs and order-of-service? Here’s a liturgy I wrote for the Sojourn Women’s Christmas Gift Exchange, an annual Advent season event in our community. Feel free to use, adapt or get ideas from this liturgy for your own planning. This year, one of our four campuses used this liturgy, and two of the others adapted it for their purposes.
The italicized words are the script for your liturgist/worship leader. We posted the words in straight-type on our PowerPoint slides, along with the underlined words (we encourage all the worshipers to read the underlined portions aloud with the liturgist). And click the “Advent” tag at the end of this post to see many more articles about Advent resources, songs, candles and more.
Call to Worship:
I invite you to join all of creation in this Advent season, as we look forward with lament-filled longing for Christ’s return even as we joyfully celebrate His humble incarnation–His perfect life lived, His undeserved death in our place, for our sins. Christ came and Christ conquered sin, Satan and death. And Christ will come again to carry home His Church. Please read the underlined portions of this Scripture passage with me:
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in darkness a light has dawned…
For unto us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord will accomplish this.”
(Isaiah 9:2; 6-7)
And God did accomplish this!
“God sent His Son in a human body just like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin’s control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins.” (Romans 8:3)
Let’s sing out together in adoration and worship to our Faithful Father God who has given Himself to us in Christ!
SONG: O Come All Ye Faithful
SONG: Joy to the World. (We used the version that includes a new melody written by my friend Jamie Barnes):
We can sing with joy even as we groan with all of creation in the midst of suffering and trials because of God’s promise to one day fully and finally release us from pain and suffering. Hear this promise in Romans 8:
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, we also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as His children, including the new bodies He has promised us. Now that we are saved, we eagerly look forward to this freedom.
For if you already have something, you don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently.” And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. -Romans 8:22-29
This next song gives us the opportunity to affirm to ourselves and each other our belief in God’s sure Word that never fails. Let’s make this our prayer together.
SONG: Amen, Amen (Sojourn recorded this song on the Advent Songs album. My friends Neil and Kate Robins wrote it).
As we close our time together in worship, our hearts and hands are full of gracious gifts God has blessed us with through fellowship with one another through His Good Spirit. Let’s join together and sing this song which reminds us that everything we have is a gift from God for His glory.
CLOSING SONG: All I Have Is Yours (written by my husband Bobby and our friend Rebecca Elliott, from Sojourn’s Before The Throne album. They wrote “All I Have Is Yours” as a modern hymn for the offering, but as Bobby has said here, it has many uses — here, as a song for our Christmas gift exchange):
Thank you for reading our post. You can download our 4-song worship album “The Whole Big Story” for free in the top-right sidebar of this website. We’ve also heard from many churches who have enjoyed leading these songs in worship services. If you’d like to do so, download free chord sheets from the “Gilles Music” tab at the top of this page. And you can subscribe to this blog for free by clicking the RSS icon or signing up via email in the right-hand sidebar.
– Bobby & Kristen
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