Are you a worship leader preparing to share the Advent season with your community of faith? The United Church offers year-round liturgical resources, including for Advent, on our website’s worship section and in Gathering, a grassroots magazine that offers resources for worship planners.
On Advent Unwrapped you will find creative resources to further animate the season. New selections and some highlights from previous years are below; sign up for e-mail updates and check back in as Advent approaches for more.
Thank you to the Rev. Andrew O’Neil for contributing these liturgies for Advent and Christmas Year C.
- In the Rich Dark of Winter: Advent Communion Service (pdf)
Using expansive scriptural imagery, the theme is anticipating God’s fulfilled promise of the renewal of all things.
- Come, Jesus, Come: An Advent Vigil Based on the O Antiphons (pdf)
A vigil that follows the ancient tradition of praying the O Antiphons, suitable for an evening service in Advent near the winter solstice.
- The Most Wondrous of Nights (pdf)
A Christmas Eve communion service built around the carol “In the Bleak Midwinter” (VU 55)
Thank you to Pat Mayberry for sharing these three pieces, which can be used at no cost. Please credit them appropriately (Words and Music: Pat Mayberry; Arrangement: David Kai) and if you are registered, report any usage to One License / Licensing.
- You of Many Names: SATB, Anthem (Pat Mayberry / David Kai) (pdf)
This anthem honours the many ways in which different traditions name God or Truth, Peace or the sound of the universe
- We Are Waiting: SATB, Advent Candle Lighting (Pat Mayberry / David Kai) (pdf)
A short piece intended for the four candle-lighting Sundays of Advent
- Joseph’s Song: With Harmony on Chorus (Pat Mayberry / David Kai) (pdf)
Now with a two-part harmony on the chorus, this song celebrates Joseph, whose role in the story is sometimes overlooked
A companion piece to Joseph’s song is Mary, Mary: Children’s Song SA (pdf) (Music: Pat Mayberry; Arrangement: Lorena Duncan).
Please credit Bruce Harding for the following:
- Advent Intercultural Hymn Festival (rtf)
Selected hymns and songs with commentary
- asato ma ad gamaya/From the Unreal, Lead to the Real (pdf)
A Sanskrit prayer
- Jesus, O What a Wonderful Child! (pdf)
A traditional African American spiritual
- The Good News of Joy to the World (pdf)
A five-session Advent Bible study on the Gospel of Luke, by the Rev. Dr. Peggy Mulambya-Kabonde of The United Church of Zambia
With All Ages
- The Good News Story (pdf)
Four Sunday school session outlines for Advent.
- Sharing the News (rtf)
A light-hearted Christmas pageant by the Rev. Andy O’Neill.
- Messy Church Tip Sheet (docx)
Tips for planning Christ-centred, all-ages activities
- In Story and Song: Intergenerational Christmas Service (docx)
Includes Christmastime stories from different parts of the world, and pairs each with a carol or anthem.
Story and Activity Cards
- Angel (pdf)
- Isaiah (pdf)
- John the Baptist (pdf)
- The Shepherd (pdf)
- The Animals (pdf)
- The Innkeeper (pdf)
- The Holy Family (pdf)
- The Magus (pdf)
Note: If you work with young people or have an all-ages focus, you might find further inspiration in the At Home section.