Advent Candles

By Dave Stevens


A set of five plays combining puppets and a live actor (in this case, the pastor), marking the four Sundays of Advent, plus Christmas Eve. A new candle is lit for each Sunday.

First Sunday of Advent - The Hope Candle


(Pastor Dave – substitute your own person)
Josh & Sally – puppets


(Setting: Puppet stage just off to the left side of the church and slightly behind the communion table, which will be set for communion later in the service. A small side table to the left has the Advent wreath and candles. In subsequent weeks, the wreath and candles will be on the communion table.)

(Scene: Pastor Dave is fussing at the communion table, straightening things and then moves towards the Advent wreath.)

Josh: Pastor Dave, Pastor Dave, What are you doing?

Pastor Dave: O! Hi there. You startled me.

Josh: Sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you, but I was curious– umm,– about what you were doing with those candles. I love candles!

Pastor Dave: No problem, I get used to odd noises as I walk through this church when nobody’s around.

Josh: But what are you doing with those candles? Did I mention that I love candles?

Pastor Dave: Yes, you did! Why do you like them so much?

Josh: O, they’re lovely, and their light is soft and warm and has a pretty glow that makes me feel good all over.

Sally: Are you going to light all of them? There are lots of them there on the table.

Pastor Dave: Yes, there are 5 candles here, but, No, I’m only going to light one of them today.

Josh: Just 1, why? Can’t we light all of them… they’re so pretty and I love candles.

Pastor Dave: Yes, you’ve mentioned that. I love candles too, but today, we’ll just light one candle… the Prophets’ Candle.

Sally: The What candle? A profit candle, we sell it and make a profit? Cool!

Sally: (turns to the congregation) Who’ll start the bidding at 10 dollars, do I hear 10…

Pastor Dave: No, not that kind of profit, a biblical prophet, a person who looks and sees into the future, one who God tells what is going to happen.

Josh: O, right, that kind of prophet. Umm, Pastor Dave, why do they call the candle the Prophets’ Candle?

Pastor Dave: Well, traditionally, for many centuries, the first Sunday of Advent, that’s today, has been a time to reflect on the faith of the prophets who knew, and waited and watched for the coming of Jesus, the Messiah. Prophets wait patiently and expectantly and hope for a better future, hope that people will get right with God.

Sally: Ummm, Pastor Dave? What’s an Advent?

Pastor Dave: Advent is the beginning of the church year, it is the time of preparation, the Getting Ready time, to receive God’s gift of salvation. It lasts for 4 Sundays leading up to Christmas and there is one candle for each Sunday. Next week, we’ll light another until they’re all lit.

Josh: Cool! and you’re going to light a candle now?

Pastor Dave: Yes, we’re going to light a candle now. Would you two like to help?

Josh & Sally: Would we? Yes! For sure! WooHoo!

Pastor Dave: OK, would you please read this so everyone can hear.

Josh: This candle we name “hope.” We are reminded that our hope is in God, and we hope for a reward from God for being one of his children. That is what keeps us going and living for him.

Sally: In Matthew’s gospel we read about John The Baptizer who said: “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

Josh: Let us continue to live and work in hope that we can live a life of hope and do all the things that please God.

Pastor Dave: Let’s light our candle shall we, then we’ll pray to ask God to bless our advent season this year, and give us hope. (light candle)

Pastor Dave: (Prayer) O Lord, we thank you that we have hope. It is hope that tomorrow will be better than today, that life will improve, that you and your kingdom will come in glory and that we will see you and be forever in your presence. Lord give us hope to carry on in the face of difficulties and trouble. Lord give us hope that good and right will win over evil and darkness. Amen.

Pastor Dave: Thanks for your help. We’ll see you next week if you’d like to help me light the next candle. Bye!

Josh & Sally: Yes, We do want to help, I love candles. Did I mention that? Bye.

Pastor Dave: Yes, thanks for your help, we’re going to sing an Advent carol now, one about hope and waiting for Jesus. (Announce carol) Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Second Sunday of Advent Dec. 10, 2006 The Faith Candle


(Pastor Dave – substitute your own person)
Josh & Sally – puppets


(Setting: Puppet stage just off to the left side of the church. The Advent wreath and candles are on the communion table.)

(Scene: Pastor Dave enters from the back of the sanctuary, up the aisle to the puppet stage.)

Pastor Dave: Josh! Sally! YooHoo! Kids? Are you ready to light the Advent candle?

Josh: Candle! Lighting candles? I love candles… Sure I’ll help light the candle.

Sally: Yawning, Awwwww, I’m too sleepy. Can we light it later? …after my nap?

Pastor Dave: Sally, what’s the matter, you sound really sleepy. Are you not getting enough rest? Are you OK?

Sally: Yes, I think I’m ok, I don’t know… well maybe… I guess…

Pastor Dave: Well, I’m really sorry to hear that, do you believe you’re ok?

Sally: What do you mean, “Do I believe I’m ok?”

Pastor Dave: Well, if you believe you’re ok, that’s good, but if you believe your sick, or believe your not ok, then you should see a doctor, or find some help.

Sally: Yes, I believe I’m ok… um, Pastor Dave?

Pastor Dave: Yes?

Sally: You said that if I believe something, if I’m sick, or not well, then I should do something about it. So believing should effect what I do… my actions?

Pastor Dave: Absolutely! If we really believe something, it should change how we act, how we speak, how we live and what we do. Can I give you an example? A story?

Josh: O, I love stories…

Sally: Shhhhhh! you’re interrupting Pastor Dave’s story

Pastor Dave: Many years ago, a farm community was really dry, they’d had no rain for months and the crops were dry and not going to survive much longer, the wells were dry and the animals couldn’t find water. It was terrible. The people gathered at the little church to pray for rain but they left all the windows open on their dusty trucks and cars and they even laughed at one family who came into the church wearing raincoats and boots and carrying umbrellas. Which people believed, who had faith, that it was going to rain?

Sally: The people with the rain coats and boots.

Pastor Dave: You’re right. They believed that God would answer their prayers. They believed that it would rain. And they believed that if it rained, they would get wet going home, so they came prepared. They had faith and they acted on it, it changed what they wore.

Pastor Dave: Let’s hear some more about faith, about believing God, as you two read our scripture and name our candle.

Josh: Luke 1:26-35 1:26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High… “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and … the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

Sally: This candle we name “faith.” We are reminded that the blessing of God come to us because we have faith and that we believe. While we look forward to Christmas and celebrate the coming of the Christ child let us believe that he came into the world to save sinners and to seek for those who are lost. Let us believe in him and our faith will make us whole.

Pastor Dave: Thank you, so I’ll light our joy candle and pray (Prayer) O Lord, we thank you that we can believe, and have faith in Jesus, and in his purpose, which was to come into our lives and change us. Teach us to be faithful and teach us how to share our faith in the world, so that in everything we do, we make this world a better place. Amen

Third Sunday of Advent - The Joy Candle


(Pastor Dave – substitute your own person)
Josh & Sally – puppets


(Setting: Puppet stage just off to the left side of the church. The Advent wreath and candles are on the communion table.)

(Scene: It is 11 am and Pastor Dave has not yet entered the sanctuary to begin the service, but is due in very shortly)

Josh: O where is Pastor Dave, (calling) Pastor Dave, Pastor Dave, where are you?

Sally: Shhh! What are you doing? The service is almost ready to start and you’re disturbing it.

Josh: I don’t care, I am sooo excited, we’re gonna light the next candle today. I think it’s number 3.

Sally: But he hasn’t come in yet, they haven’t started church yet. Should be pretty soon though. Those people always stand up when he enters the room… just watch them.

(Pastor Dave enters with morning deacon. Deacon goes up to the pulpit, Pastor Dave heads towards the Communion table passing the puppet stage.)

Josh: O Pastor Dave, there you are, I’ve been waiting for you… are-you-going-to-light-the-next-candle-now? -are-you? huh? are-you? Can I help… pleeeze?

Pastor Dave: Hello! and yes, you can help!

Sally: Pastor Dave, don’t encourage him, he just upset the worship service… aren’t you mad at him?

Pastor Dave: He didn’t upset the service, and no, I’m not mad at him. Actually, I love it when people show some enthusiasm and excitement. It is so neat to watch people getting excited about coming to church and worshipping God.

Sally: But aren’t we supposed to be all quiet and sad and whispery when we come to church.

Pastor Dave: No! We’re supposed to enter God’s presence with singing, and shouts of joy, and even with laughter. Our joy is music to God’s ears… its part of our worship. One Psalm says we are to “Make a joyful noise to the Lord” and another says we are to “Shout with joy to the Lord”

Josh: (to the congregation) So can I get a big ‘WooHoo!’ for the Lord?

Josh: So I can help now right?

Pastor Dave: Yes, you can help now. Want to read our scripture and name our candle? You can help too Sally, you read the scripture and Josh can name the candle.

Sally: Luke 1:39-44 1:39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.

Josh: This candle we name “joy” so that we are reminded that the blessing of God is a blessing of joy. Let us be joyful as we prepare for Christmas and our celebration of the coming of Jesus, the Christ. We know we have joy because God, in Jesus, has come into our world.

Pastor Dave: Thank you, so I will light our joy candle and pray (Prayer) O Lord, we thank you that we can be joyful because Jesus has come into our lives. Teach us how to spread your joy in the world, so that in everything we do, we make this world a happier and more joyful place. Amen

Fourth Sunday of Advent - The Peace Candle


(Pastor Dave – substitute your own person)
Josh & Sally – puppets


(Setting: Puppet stage just off to the left side of the church. The Advent wreath and candles are on the communion table.)

(Scene: The service begins as usual with Pastor Dave going to the pulpit with the deacon. The two puppets appear and they are arguing and obviously angry with each other.)

Josh: O yeah! well I’m gonna name this week’s candle too. cause I’m special and important! So there!

Sally: But it’s my turn to name the candle, you’ve already done 2 and there aren’t very many more to name. Its my turn.

Pastor Dave: Hey there! What’s up with you two? I thought you were friends? You don’t sound like friends this morning.

Sally: O Pastor Dave, its him… he wants to name this week’s candle and its my turn and I want to do it, it makes me feel so special and happy and important, and …

Josh: And Pastor Dave, you know how I love candles, and their pretty lights and I’ve done a good job so I should get to do it again, and I like being important and special too.

Pastor Dave: Hold on a minute, forget the candle and think about what is most important here… your friendship, you guys really love each other. I never see one of you except the other one is close by. What’s got into you? Isn’t your relationship more important than naming a silly candle?

Sally: Ummmm, errrr, I guess so…

Josh: Yeah, I guess you’re right,

Sally: Um, Pastor Dave, what is this week’s candle all about?

Pastor Dave: It’s all about peace… all kinds of peace… peace the contentment we feel in our hearts at Christmas time, and when we remember that we love God and trust in him… peace when we love our neighbours, family and friends… peace when we care for God’s creatures and creation… and…

Josh: …and peace when we’re not arguing and fighting?

Pastor Dave: Yes, and peace when you’re not arguing and fighting, or even thinking unkind things about each other. Peace is something you feel deep down inside of you, as well as how you act towards others.

Pastor Dave: So, I want you two friends to live in peace with each other, so I won’t ask either of you to name the candle today, that way, you won’t fight or gloat and neither of you can say you won, or lost… you can remain friends and have peace in your heart and in your lives.

Sally: Pastor Dave, who are you gonna ask to name the candle then?

Pastor Dave: I thought I’d ask Kirsten. She is very good at these kinds of things, and asking her would keep the peace with you two. Is that ok? Would you guys like to ask her? She’s sitting right over there.

Josh & Sally: Ummm, errr, Kirsten, would you please come and name this morning’s candle? Please?

Kirsten: (Lighting candle) This candle we name “peace”. It is a candle that represents our faith, our hope and our joy put into practice in the world. If we live in faith, believing that God is who he claims to be, and if we hope all things according to God’s plan for us, and if the joy of the Lord bubbles out of us, the world will live in peace and the peace of God will be everywhere.

Kirsten: Luke 2:13-14 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.”

Pastor Dave: Thank you Kirsten, and thank you two as well, I hope you learned about peace and good will for each other today. Let’s pray. (Prayer) O Lord, we thank you that we can live lives of peace. Help us to be peacemakers and in doing this, we might receive the promise that peacemakers will be blessed. Show us how to have perfect peace with our enemies, our neighbours, our families and ourselves. Amen

Christmas Eve - The Christ Candle


(Pastor Dave – substitute your own person)
Josh & Sally – puppets


(Suggestion… Puppeteers Laurie and Joni read and light candles.)

Reader: This candle we name the “Christ Candle.” It represents the coming of the baby Jesus, the infant Christ, God among us. It’s light is to tell the world that we celebrate the coming of our God in our human form to teach us, encourage us and to make himself like us in every way. Allow us to see the importance of this special miracle and allow us to know that God is with us still.


Luke 2:11-14: Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.”

Acts 1:9-11: After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Reader: This particular service of worship is dedicated to the Christ, the Messiah and to celebrate his first coming and to look forward to his ‘coming again’.

Joni: Read Canadian Bible Society’s Christmas Prayer


© Dave Stevens, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. He may be contacted at: