the season of advent

November 29 is the First Sunday of Advent.  Join us this Advent Season as we share the light from the candles within our own homes using a devotional inspired by the words in Howard Thurman’s poem “I Will Light Candles This Christmas.” Consider creating your own special Advent Candle Wreath.

And as we walk with this daily devotional, we invite you to join us in creating a giving box, 

Giving HOPE for Advent, with twenty-four days of giving this Advent season, benefiting

HOPE for Longmont. Please read below for details.

I Will Light Candles this Christmas
—by Howard Thurman

I will light Candles this Christmas,
Candles of joy despite all the sadness,
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch,
Candles of courage for fears ever present,
Candles of peace for tempest-tossed days,
Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens,
Candles of love to inspire all my living,
Candles that will burn all year long.


When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among others,
To make music in the heart.

2020 advent and christmas devotional

Join us as we walk with Presbyterians Today’s Advent and Christmas devotional, “Let Us Light Candles: Matthew 25 and the work of Advent.” This extended online devotional — takes us not just through Advent but through Christmastide and ending with Epiphany, Jan. 6.  Each week’s Advent and Christmas theme will be a stanza from Thurman’s poem, followed by a reading from Scripture, a short meditation and closing prayer. At the start of each week will be a reflection question in which we are  invited to light a candle and ponder more deeply that week’s theme.  We also invite you throughout the seasons of Advent and Christmas to submit pictures of the candles you are lighting — actual wax candles or photos of the “flames,” the little actions done by your hands — that are lighting your community with love.  Share your pictures on our Facebook page or send them to Jennifer so that they can be shared.  

Click on the following links to access this online devotional:

About this devotional / Introduction

Week 1: November 29 - December 5

Week 2: December 6 - 12

Week 3: December 13 - 19

Week 4: December 20 - 23

Christmas Eve

The Twelve Days of Christmas

giving hope for advent

As part of your daily Advent practice, we ask that you join us in 24 days of giving this Advent Season, benefiting HOPE for Longmont.  HOPE is our local mission partner who serves our homeless community with dignity and encouragement as they move toward self-sufficiency.  Using this list of suggested items, add that day's item to your box each day during Advent (from December 1 - 24).  You only need one of each item. However, if you want to add more, that is totally fine! Or if you cannot do every item, that is fine too! HOPE will organize and distribute the donations as they are needed. THANKS for your caring!

On Christmas Eve bring your box to the church parking lot and share some socially distanced cheer with us! We’ll be there from 11:00am-1:00pm.  Or reach out to Jennifer to schedule a member of the mission committee to pick up your box from your front porch after Christmas Day.

join us each week for a short video reflection

Giving HOPE For Advent Thank You and the Devotional Continues . . .

Fourth Week of Advent, Jennifer Haratsaris

Third Week of Advent, Pastor David Barker

We, also, offer another choral celebration of Howard Thurman's poem, 

this time reflecting on the second stanza of his work.

Have a copy of the poem with you (see above) as you listen to
The Work of Christmas by Dan Forrest (click here).

Second Week of Advent, Lee Smoot

To hear the St. Olaf Choir turning poetry into music with Howard Thurman's Poem
"I Will Light the Candles This Christmas," please click here.

First Week of Advent, Jennifer Haratsaris

create your own advent candle wreath

This year, as we worship together from home, we are inviting you to create your own Advent Candle Wreath. You can light the candles during worship each week. You can also light them as you read the Daily Advent Devotional. The candle wreaths can be as simple or elaborate as you have the time, energy, and resources to put them together.  We don’t want this to be stressful. We want it to be an activity that will allow you and yours to observe the season of Advent.



At CENTRALongmont, our Advent candles are blue (for the four weeks of Advent) and white (for the Christ Candle). Each of the blue candles should be designated for a specific week.  If you light them with the daily readings you will light the same blue candle for each day of the first week.  The second week you will still light the first week candle as well as the new candle for the second week. This pattern continues for the third and fourth week.  The Christ candle is lit on Christmas Eve, along with all four of the blue candles.

  • Either blue or purple candles are traditionally used for the four weekly candles
  • If you don’t have these colors at home and can’t shop, don’t let that stop you.  Use what you have!
  • You can use taper candles, votive candles, pillar candles, or whatever you like or have.


Candle Holders

You will need something for your candles to sit on to collect the wax.  You will want something sturdy so that the candles are secure and you have a minimum fire hazard.  You can use almost anything, including the following: glass jars, cake plates/pedestals, serving trays, candle holders, flower pots or trays, empty tin cans.


Decorate your creation!

Traditionally the candles are arranged in a round shape with the blue candles on the outside and the white candle in the middle. You can use greenery to give it the sense of a wreath shape.  The greenery can be real or artificial. You could trim the ends off a couple of branches from your Christmas tree if you already have it or go outside and find some evergreen branches. You could also just be simple and not use any greenery.


Here are some other additions/decorations you could use: ribbons, twine, burlap, Christmas ornaments, pinecones, moss