Holy Wonder: Advent Candles Project

images & original written content: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022.

Jesus didn’t say a word about Advent Candles but he did have a lot to say about being open to Holy Wonder. The practice of playing with color is a lovely spiritual practice. This year, we’re making very unique Advent Candles – four — one for each Sunday before Christmas. Please scroll down for posts about Holy Wonder weekly themes.

This is a great project for folks of all ages, especially on Thanksgiving weekend. We light the First Advent Candle on Sunday, November 27, 2022. These precious candles also make wonderful Christmas gifts. Enjoy!

Supplies Needed

4 Glass Container Candles: matching tall votive wax candles OR smaller glass containers with battery or wax candles. (photo: baby food jars). Remove all labels; clean the glass.

Art supplies:

  • various colors of tissue paper, used works very well. If you’re traditional use mostly purples, blues, dark pinks.
  • white school glue
  • pourable water
  • small bowl for glue/water mixture
  • brush/es – a flat end with flexible bristles works best * rags*
  • OPTIONAL: “practice” glass jars


  • Select a flat workspace protective surface due to potential glue-water drips.
  • Tear tissue into pieces of all sizes and shapes – tiny to bigger. Note: ragged edges look the best (IMHO).
  • Squirt glue into bowl – not a lot. Using brush, gently stir in water until glue is still thick, but easy to paint with.


If you like, practice on jars first to get a feel for the technique.

  • Paint some glue-water on the glass and then place a bit of torn tissue paper into the sticky surface.
  • Use the brush to smooth out the paper and attach it. Enjoy listening to what color, what shape, wants to go where. Try overlapping papers. Have fun!
  • Rotate the candle to create decoration on all sides, as you wish. The decoration may be the same or different. Follow your intuition.
  • If you REALLY don’t like what you’ve done, wet the candle exterior and scrape off decorations and begin again.
  • If you’re taking a break, leave your brush in water (short break) or completely rise out brush (long break).
  • Place Candles in a safe place to try. If your decoration comes to the bottom, be sure to place on top of a non-stick surface to dry.
  • Enjoy your beautiful candles!

Clean Up

  • Seal the glue container.
  • Transfer leftover glue-water to sealable container for reuse.
  • Clean the brush, bowl, and water container.
  • Store loose paper bits and bigger pieces of paper.


Follow “Living Liturgies” page on FB for weekly posts as we build our household and sanctuary Advent Wreaths – a new candle each week! Also, on “Living Liturgies” FB page or my website www.inthebiglove look for weekly worship/devotional content about Holy Wonder. God bless you and yours as we prepare to encounter Holy Wonder and the grace of the rebirth of Christ in us, our communities, and throughout the cosmos.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: November 16, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”

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