In this section you can find a selection of Advent prayers drawn from sacred scripture and various authors down through the centuries. The hymns are traditional Advent hymns and there is reference to when they are used, although one is free to use them not just on one particular day.
Read through the prayers slowly and let the words permeate through you and in you. With the hymns read them slowly and ponder on their meaning. The hymns can also be found on You Tube and other music streaming sites.
An Advent Prayer
Every year, my God,
your Church celebrates the holy season of Advent,
every year we pray those beautiful prayers
of longing and waiting,
and sing those lovely songs of hope and promise.
Every year we roll up
our needs and yearnings and faithful expectations
into one word: “Come!”
And yet, what a strange prayer this is!
After all, you have already come
and pitched your tent among us.
You have already shared our life with its little joys,
its long days of tedious routine, its bitter end.
Could we invite you to anything more than this
with our “Come”?
Could you approach any nearer
than you did when you became the ‘Son of Man’,
when you adopted our ordinary little ways
that it’s almost impossible to distinguish you
from other human beings?
In spite of all this we pray: “Come”.
And this word comes from the bottom of our hearts
as it did, long ago,
from the hearts of our forefathers,
the kings and prophets,
who saw your day still far off in the distance
and fervently blessed its coming.
Indeed, your coming is promised
in the very first pages of Holy Scripture,
and yet, on the last page, there still stand the prayer:
“Come, Lord Jesus”.
Karl Rahner, ‘Encounters with Silence’ (Burns & Oates, 1975)
Short Advent Prayers
Be patient until the Lord’s coming…
do not lose heart because the Lord’s coming will be soon. (James 5:7)
“Our Lord’s first coming is in the flesh and in weakness; another coming is hidden as souls see within themselves, receive rest and consolation, and are saved. His last coming will be in glory and majesty, and all flesh shall see the salvation of our God” (St Bernard)
Come thou Redeemer of the earth, and manifest thy virgin-birth: let every age adoring fall, such birth befits the God of all. Begotten of no human will, but of the Spirit thou art still the Word of God in flesh arrayed, the promised fruit to man displayed. The virgin womb that burden gained with virgin honour all sustained; the banners there of virtue glow, God in His Temple dwells below. (St Ambrose)
“Oh! Yes, Lord Jesus, come and reign! Let my body be your temple, my heart be your throne, my will be your devoted servant; let me be yours forever, living only of you and for you.” (St Peter Julian Eymard)
Master of both the light and the darkness,
send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.
We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.
To you we say, “Come, Lord Jesus!”
(Henri J.M. Nouwen)
Hark! a herald voice is calling (Morning Prayer and 1st Sunday of Advent)
- Hark! a herald voice is calling;
‘Christ is nigh!’ it seems to say;
‘Cast away the dreams of darkness,
waken, children of the day!’
- Startled at the solemn warning,
let the earth-bound soul arise;
Christ her Sun, all sloth dispelling,
shines upon the morning skies.
- Lo! the lamb so long expected,
comes with pardon down from heaven;
let us meet him with repentance,
pray that we may be forgiven.
- So when next he comes with glory,
wrapping all the earth in fear,
may he then as our Defender
on the clouds of heav’n appear.
- Honour, glory, praise and blessing,
to the Father and the Son,
with the everlasting Spirit,
while unending ages run.
Creator of the stars at night (Evening Prayer,2nd and 3rd Sunday of Advent)
- Creator of the stars of night
the people’s everlasting light,
Redeemer, Saviour of us all
O hear your servants when they call.
- As once through Mary’s flesh you came
to save us from our sin and shame,
so now, Redeemer, by your grace,
come heal again our fallen race.
- And when on that last judgement day
we rise to glory from decay,
then come again, O saviour blest,
and bring us to eternal rest.
- To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, three in one,
Praise, honour, might and glory be
from age to age eternally.
On Jordan’s Bank (suitable for 2nd Sunday of Advent)
- On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry
announces that the Lord is nigh,
come then and hearken, for he brings
glad tidings from the King of kings.
- Then cleansed be every Christian breast,
and furnished for so great a guest!
Yea, let us each our hearts prepare
for Christ to come and enter there.
- For thou art our salvation, Lord,
our refuge and our great reward;
without thy grace our souls must fade,
and wither like a flower decayed.
- Stretch forth thy hand, to heal our sore,
and make us rise, to fall no more;
once more upon thy people shine,
and fill the world with love divine.
- All praise, eternal Son, to thee
whose advent sets thy people free,
whom, with the Father, we adore,
and Holy Ghost, for evermore.
O Jesus Christ Remember
- O Jesus Christ, remember,
when thou shalt come again,
upon the clouds of heaven,
with all thy shining train;
when every eye shall see thee
in deity revealed,
who now upon this altar
in silence art concealed.
- Remember then, O Saviour,
I supplicate of thee,
that here I bowed before thee
upon my bended knee;
that here I owned my presence,
and did not thee deny,
and glorified thy greatness,
though hid from human eye.
- Accept, divine Redeemer,
the homage of my praise;
be thou the light and honour
and glory of my days.
Be thou my consolation
when death is drawing nigh;
be thou my only treasure
through all eternity.
Rejoice the Lord is King! (suitable for 3rd Sunday of Advent)
- Rejoice, the Lord is King!
Your Lord and King adore.
Mortals, give thanks and sing,
and triumph evermore;
Lift up your heart,
lift up your voice;
rejoice, again I say, rejoice!
- Jesus the Saviour reigns,
the God of truth and love;
when He had purged our stains
he took His seat above;
- His kingdom cannot fail,
he rules o’er earth and heaven.
The keys of death and hell
are to our Jesus given;
- He sits at God’s right hand,
till all His foes submit,
and bow to His command,
and fall beneath His feet:
- He all His foes shall quell,
shall all our sins destroy,
and every bosom swell
with pure, seraphic joy:
- Rejoice in glorious hope!
Our Lord the Judge shall come,
and take His servants
up to their eternal home.
O come, O Come Emmanuel (from 17th December)
- O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear:
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.
- O come, thou Rod of Jesse, free
thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
from depths of hell thy people save,
and give them vict’ry o’er the grave:
- O come, thou dayspring, come and cheer
our spirits by thine advent here;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
and death’s dark shadows put to flight:
- O come, thou key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home;
make safe the way that leads on high,
and close the path to misery:
- O come, O come, thou lord of might,
who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times didst give the Law
in cloud and majesty and awe: