Advent Unwrapped

Get ready for Christ(mas)! Advent—a holy, four-week countdown to Jesus’ birthday—begins on Sunday, December 1! Get ready to make room for Christ and the radical, countercultural messages that Christ brings.

Throughout the season, videos, prayers, family resources, and reflections on this page will introduce and explore the Christmas story. For more worship resources visit our Advent and Christmas worship pages. Follow our Advent Unwrapped Facebook page for regular updates on all kinds of resources.

Worship Ideas
PDF icon Advent Candlelighting Liturgies: Who Do You Say Jesus Is?
Advent Unwrapped liturgies, based on the names for Jesus, to accompany lighting the Advent candles.
File Hanging the Greens
An Advent Unwrapped service to prepare church buildings and sanctuaries to be symbols of preparing ourselves for the birth and rebirth of Jesus.
File In Story and Song: Intergenerational Christmas Service
A family-oriented worship service offered as part of the Advent Unwrapped resources.
PDF icon In the Rich Dark of Winter: An Advent Communion Service
Using expansive scriptural imagery, the theme of this Advent Unwrapped service is anticipating God’s fulfilled promise of the renewal of all things.
File Stories behind Carols: First Sunday after Christmas
An Advent Unwrapped service based on the origins of some classic Christmas carols.
PDF icon This Most Wondrous of Nights: A Christmas Eve Communion Service
An Advent Unwrapped communion service built around the carol "In the Bleak Midwinter" (VU 55).
PDF icon Activity Sheet: Names for Jesus
An Advent Unwrapped activity for people looking for new ways to pray.
PDF icon Body Prayers
An Advent Unwrapped “action prayer” for each week of the Advent/Christmas season.
PDF icon Family Prayers and Blessings
An Advent Unwrapped resource of traditional prayers and creative blessings.

An Advent prayer

An Advent prayer

An Advent prayer

PDF icon The Hours of Christmas Day
A devotional practice to keep individuals and families together in spirit, from The Prayer Bench.
PDF icon Watching and Waiting: A Daily Vigil Based on the O Antiphons
Follow the ancient tradition of praying the “O Antiphons,” familiar from the carol “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” using this Advent Unwrapped resource. You can set aside nightly family prayer time for the last week of Advent or adapt this ritual in another way.
PDF icon Advent Prayer Song (SAB) (Nancy Chegus)
Short SAB piece (a cappella, optional piano) suitable for worship during Advent. Please credit the composer.
PDF icon Alleluia (SATB) (Pat Mayberry / David Kai)
Short SATB piece (a cappella, optional piano) suitable for worship during Advent or other times during the worship year. Please credit Words/Music: Pat Mayberry; Arrangement: David Kai and report to One License / Licensing.
PDF icon Sing Now Gloria (Unison) (Terry Macham)
Unison song suitable for worship during Advent. Lead sheet with melody, lyrics, and chord symbols. Text in English and Latin. Please credit the composer.
PDF icon When You Go from This Place (SSA / SAT) (Pat Mayberry / David Kai)
Short SAA (or SAT) piece with piano accompaniment suitable as a benediction during Advent or other times during the worship year. Please credit Words/Music: Pat Mayberry; Arrangement: David Kai and report to One License / Licensing.
Related Material
PDF icon Advent Calendar 2019: Get Ready for Christmas!
Hang this Advent Unwrapped calendar on your fridge and use a magnet to count down the days! Light a candle every Sunday.
PDF icon Advent Intercultural Hymn Festival
These songs with accompanying commentary can be combined with seasonal prayers and scripture readings to create an Advent hymn festival. Please credit Bruce Harding for this resource and the music arrangements.
PDF icon Advent Unwrapped Poster 2019
How to get ready for Christ(mas)! This Oct. 2019 Infopac poster has ideas for every week of Advent.
PDF icon Buy Less Shopping Guide
An Advent Unwrapped shopping guide for all ages for a Buy Less Christmas.
PDF icon Christmas Gift Books
Books about faith and Christmas to give to children and grandchildren, selected by the Rev. Susan Lukey.
PDF icon Colouring Storybook
Actively explore the story of Christmas using this 16-page Advent Unwrapped colouring book.
PDF icon O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
A one-rehearsal Advent Unwrapped pageant with the message "God is with us! We are not alone."
File Sharing the News
A light-hearted Advent Unwrapped Christmas pageant by the Rev. Andy O'Neill.
PDF icon Story and Activity Cards
Meet the characters of the Christmas story, from Isaiah to the Holy Family, through these Advent Unwrapped cards. Includes activities for all ages.
PDF icon The Good News of Joy to the World
A five-session Advent Unwrapped Bible study on the Gospel of Luke by the Rev. Dr. Peggy Mulambya-Kabonde of The United Church of Zambia.
PDF icon The Good News Story
Four Advent Unwrapped Sunday school session outlines.
Worship Blog

December has a number of special days that call on people of goodwill to work together.

Last Updated: 
December 5, 2019

Alydia Smith shares an Advent mixtape to enjoy together, as we wait for Christ(mas).

Last Updated: 
November 22, 2019

Kathryn Gray muses on how we can be more mindful with gifts this Advent, and not give in to the pressure to shop/consume/shop some more...

In this season, many things distract us from nurturing faith within our families.

Create an Advent-Christmas season that embraces the gift of God’s presence in Jesus.

My family is not particularly religious. We co-exist quite well, but it can become a bit awkward around November and December when I want to spend more time celebrating and preparing for Christ and my family wants to spend more time celebrating and preparing for the holiday season (think...

Last Updated: 
November 18, 2019

The Rev. Dr. HyeRan Kim-Cragg reflects on how we can work to fight against antisemitism during Advent.

Reflecting on who we think Christ is as a way to help prepare for Christmas is an ancient tradition.

Last Updated: 
October 18, 2019

During Advent, we prepare our sanctuaries and buildings to be symbols of preparing ourselves for the birth, and rebirth, of Jesus.

We have all the tools we need to mend the world and bring about Christ’s Kingdom.

Last Updated: 
October 18, 2019

In this Christmas pageant, the sheep deliver the words we all need to hear.

Last Updated: 
October 18, 2019

Adding some different liturgical music during Advent can certainly make everyone take notice that it’s a new season.

Last Updated: 
November 1, 2019

The first Sunday after Christmas is a perfect opportunity to enjoy Christmas carols and stories.

Alydia Smith writes, "It’s exciting and scary to imagine what change, God’s will, might actually look like."

Rev. Susan Lukey and Rev. David Robertson reflect on how Jesus is known by many names—but all of them mean love.