Advent Readings

Advent is the Latin word for arrival or coming and is the period of four weeks before Christmas that we set aside to celebrate Jesus’ coming into our world. We remember that Jesus is coming again and eagerly await his return – when he will come as a Mighty King to make all things new; to redeem this broken world from its hurt, trouble, and tragedy. We call out with anticipation – come Lord Jesus, come!

This year we offer Advent fold-outs for you to reflect on scripture and remember God’s redemption in the lead up to Christmas, when we celebrate the amazing and ultimate gift of Jesus’ birth. You may choose to use them as a personal devotion, or to encourage your small group or congregation. Each week starts on the designated Sunday of Advent. 

We no longer have any physical copies of the Advent Readings, but please feel free to download your copy here.     

For thousands of years God’s people around the world have sung hymns, psalms, waiata and choruses to remember God’s grand story and to answer with the only fitting human response: worship. Artists have painted, carved, stitched, and written beautiful compositions and creations to reflect and participate in this particular season of the church year. In previous years, members of the Laidlaw College community have shared additional creative resources online and via social media. This year, we encourage you to be creative with your friends and family, church or community members. For some inspiration, visit our previous years’ offerings below.

Join us in reflection and worship through this Advent and Christmas season.

We recommend that you read the Scripture passage and short reflection in our “Advent Readings” on the Sunday of each week – beginning on the first day of Advent: Sunday, 27 November. You can reflect on it all week. Below are some additional resources for consideration, wondering, and worship during this season. Enjoy! 

Liturgical Calendar – Year B

*Note: For those who follow the Lectionary Calendar and Church Year, Advent 2023 marks the beginning of cycle or “Year B”. The weekly Scripture passages in our readings are from each Sunday of Advent – with the exception of Epiphany. If you would like additional Bible readings, you can follow along with the daily recommended readings for this season. 

From: Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia You can download the 2023 (for Advent and Christmas) and 2024 (up to Epiphany) versions of the lectionary.

Another resource is the Vanderbilt Divinity Library.

There are two different playlists for the season—for your listening, sharing, and enjoyment as you wish! We recommend the ADVENT playlist for the lead up to Christmas, and then the CHRISTMAS & EPIPHANY playlist from Christmas onwards. Click on the title or icon to listen to the playlist.

ADVENT: Hope & Expectancy 

This playlist includes songs of hope, anticipation, expectancy, and longing. We have tried to include songs which refer to the story and events announcing and leading up to Christ’s birth. 

The first part of the playlist includes contemporary renditions of Advent carols and hymns. The second part of the playlist includes sacred and choral music for the Advent season.

CHRISTMAS & EPIPHANY: The King has come!

You can find songs about Christ’s joyous arrival in our Christmas & Epiphany playlist, along with songs about the incarnation and what it means that God became human and lived among his people. 

The first part of the playlist includes contemporary renditions of Christmas carols and hymns. The second part of the playlist includes sacred and choral music for the Christmas season.