Advent by Candlelight
Advent by Candlelight is an event to help women focus on Christ during the busy holiday season.
It can be designed as an outreach to the community or an opportunity to encourage believers.
Through narration, readings, prayer, and music, Christ will shine as the Savior.
Flexibility makes this an excellent ministry tool!
How do you start?
Talk to your pastor! Gather a few ladies to help with music, narration, decorating or hosting tables and set a date.
Download the Complete Planning Guide for Advent by Candlelight by Paula Sulzle
Trust that God will always bless the proclamation of His Word
Enjoy creating a beautiful ambiance, but know that the power is in the message of the Gospel.
Advent Prayer Service –
This service is a celebration of Advent in lessons and songs. The narrative explains the traditional candles of the Advent wreath (Prophecy, Bethlehem, Angel, Shepherd, Christ) and includes readings, music and prayers. Written by Marilyn Miller.
Let Your Lights Appear –
This service includes the traditional candles of the Advent Wreath and then includes new, alternative ways to think about the candles with a focus on letting the light of our faith shine at home, work, in our community and at church. Submitted by St. John’s, Wauwatosa.
Prepare My Heart, Lord Jesus –
Follow the traditional candles of the Advent Wreath (Prophecy, Bethlehem, Angel, Shepherd and Christ candle) and closes with a Gathering Rite on Holy Baptism. Written by Su Hanson.
Have a Mary Christmas –
This popular service presents the perspectives of several women name Mary. Mary, the mother of Jesus as well as the Mary (of Mary and Martha), and Mary Magdalene. Written by Naomi Schmidt
Letters from Biblical Women –
Eve, Sarah, Hannah, Ruth and Mary give their insights on the Savior. Written by Jackie Pudlo.
Take Me to the Manger –
This popular service teaches us lessons from Christ’s manger: A Glory to Gaze Upon, A Gift to Count Upon, A Comfort to Lean Upon, and A Hope to Draw Upon. It includes narratives, music selections, and poetry. Written by Tracy Hankwitz.
The Light to Brighten Your Christmas –
This service includes a reminder of God’s creation of light, the darkness of sin and the promised light of the Savior, readings about the Gospel illuminating a sin-darkened world, and a reminder that our light of faith shines in our life. It includes a confession of sins, narratives and responsive readings, suggested music and prayers. It also includes the lighting of a memory candle for those loved ones who have gone before us to dwell in heaven. Written by Johanna Manke.
Good News of Great Joy for All People –
Focus on the Good News that has come with the birth of the Savior, the Great Joy we receive with the Gospel message, and a reminder that these are for All People. It includes a bit of encouragement for evangelism and optional, brief skits, along with music, readings and prayers. Written by Naomi Schmidt
Keeping Christ in Christmas –
This is a dramatic setting of Christmas symbols and their meaning. It includes narratives on the Advent Wreath, Carols, Christmas Trees, the Nativity, Lights & Candles, Star, Angels, Christmas plants, Candy Canes, Bells, Cards, Food, Gifts & Wise Men, and colors. Submitted by St. John’s, Wauwatosa.
The Time Has Come –
This recounts the “times” that have come: A Time for creation, a promise, confession, prophecy, a Savior, Good News, and Jesus’ Return. It includes music selections, “In His Time” and “Soon and Very Soon” along with traditional Christmas music. Submitted by St. Andrews, Middleton.
Wait for the Lord –
This service begins in the Garden of Eden and highlights the prophecies throughout the Old Testament and after the familiar Gospel accounts of Jesus’ birth, and ends with an encouragement to keep watch for His return. Written by Linda Gumm.
We Have Come To Worship Him –
With a unique twist, this service includes the familiar Epiphany story of the Wise Men with a focus on three specific thoughts we can relate to: 1) they were led by the light of a star sent from God to direct their journey,2) their journey ended in worship of their Savior Jesus and 3) they were led home by the Holy Spirit under the watchful care of their Heavenly Father. Written by Naomi Schmidt
A Personal Journey to the Nativity
A shepherd girl recounts the story of Christ’s birth from a personal perspective.
Anticipating His Presence –
This service is based on His “presence” (the gift of Jesus) rather than presents. The 10 gifts that are unwrapped in this scripted drama include: Jesus, Love, His Light & Word, Holy Spirit & Faith, Perfection, Forgiveness, Righteousness & Truth, Peace, Prayer, and Eternal Life.
Is There a Star in Your Eyes?
Follow the theme of stars with Bethlehem’s Star, the Star is Born, Star Search, Spread the Starlight, The Star in our Hearts, Watch the Star and The Star Still Shines. It includes an opening skit, readings and music. Submitted by St. Andrews, Middleton.
What Does It Look Like? Do What Works For You!
More Help to Make Your Event Special
Here’s a note about tables and seating –
Some groups do all the decorating while others have hostesses who each decorate one table and provide refreshments for those guests. We suggest an RSVP when there is general seating; but if hostesses provides tables they may invite specific guests. However, be sure to leave space at individual tables for unassigned guests! (If a table for 8 only has 6 guests, you can assume two additional guests can join you!). Just make sure everyone feels welcome!
Modify these hostess guidelines to fit your event!
Please have your tables set and decorated ½ hour prior to the event starting time. 15 minutes before the event begins fill cream and sugar bowls, coffee carafe, glasses with ice and water (We suggest you also have a filled pitcher at your table). Please have your candles lit 5 minutes before the event begins.
Guests will check in with _________ at ____________, leave their coats, get their name tags (optional) and make their way to the punch table. As they enter the room, they will have the opportunity to mingle and view all the beautiful tables.
Your dessert should be placed on your table, and served from there when dessert is announced (note: if you have room, you might want to set up a few tables for the hostesses to use in cutting and serving their dessert to free up room at their table).
(If you desire to send follow-up letters to non-member guests): We want to send a follow-up letter to our non-member guests. There will be 3 x 5 cards in your candle bag. Please ask non-members to write their name, address, phone number and church home (if any) on the card. Collect these and hand them to the Event Coordinator after your guests leave.
You are responsible for cleaning your table after the event. We ask that you take your dishes home to be washed as the kitchen becomes quite crowded! The Event Coordinator will see that the coffee pots and the kitchen area are cleaned.
As always, we ask that you be very careful in lighting and extinguishing your candles. Also, caution your guests if they try to reach across the table and come near a flame. We want everyone to have a SAFE and GLORIOUS evening!
Sample Newsletter Articles
August Newsletter It’s never too early to mark your calendar for an important event! (Name of church) will hold an Advent by Candlelight for ladies of the congregation, their family members, friends and neighbors, on (day of week), (month and date) at (starting time) in/at (place of event). There is no charge for this event. This is a wonderful evening of the Word, music, and fellowship to help you prepare your hearts for the Advent season before the holidays get into full swing!
September Newsletter (name of church) Advent by Candlelight will be held on (day of week, month, date,) This year’s theme is ___________________. Please plan on joining us for an evening of fellowship, beautiful music and delicious dessert as the women of (name of church) and their friends prepare their hearts for Advent. Mark your calendar now for (starting time). There is no charge for this event. Reservations will be available in October.
Hostess Opportunities: Do you enjoy decorating? Volunteer to be a table hostess and we will reserve a table for you! Many partner with one or two others to host a table. Hostesses provide table settings, holiday decorations, candles and a dessert for a table of 8 to 10 ladies. It is lots of fun, and requires only a few hours of your time for planning, baking and decorating. If you want to host a table this year or need more information before committing, please contact (person) by (date) at (contact info).
October Newsletter Ladies, you won’t want to miss this year’s Advent by Candlelight on (day of week, month, date, time and place). Please plan to join us for an evening of visiting, and enjoying beautiful music and delicious dessert. All women of (name of church) are invited, and are encouraged to invite their friends to prepare their hearts for Advent. There is no charge for this event. Seating is limited, so watch for the reservation information around the ____week in _________.
November Newsletter Advent by Candlelight. Invite your family members, friends and neighbors for a Christ-centered preparation for women this holiday season. (Day of week, month, date, time and place) There is no charge for this event. Space is limited; we recommend that you make your reservations early! Sign up on the narthex bulletin board or contact (person) at (contact information).
Save the Date! This year’s Advent by Candlelight will be held on (date of week, month, date, time, place) You won’t want to miss this opportunity to prepare your heart for the Advent Season. Keep watching the bulletin and newletter for more information.
Do you enjoy decorating? Be a table hostess and we will reserve a table for you! Hostesses provide table settings for 8 or 10 people, holiday table decorations, candles and a dessert. You can co-hostess a table too. It is lots of fun and requires only a few hours. Call ______________ by __________. (This can also be modified to request donations of desserts.
Reservations are now available for (name of church) Advent by Candlelight. Invite your family members, friends and neighbors for a women’s night of Christ-centered preparation for the holiday season on (day of week, month, date, time, place). There is no charge for this event. Space is limited; we recommend that you make your reservations early! Sign up on the narthex bulletin board or contact ____________.
Corissa Nelson, a professional WELS artist has some beautiful advent artwork at a very reasonable price. Check it out at corissanelsonart.com. When pulling images from the internet, please be mindful of copyright issues.
Ian Welch also provides artwork at his website Paramentics.com. He is a graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. Free symbols 1, 2, 3 and 10 are designed for Advent but feel free to look through his other offerings! Here’s a sample of his free work (these will work very well for newsletter and bulletin printing in b & w)…
Here is a sample of a VERY simple invitation in Microsoft Word that can be printed on standard letter size card stock.
WELS Women’s Ministry provides resources for individuals and congregations nationwide. Consider supporting these ministries with your prayers and gifts.