Kirk's Advent calendar shines a ‘Light in the Darkness’

The countdown starts as Advent begins on Sunday 28 November running until Friday 24 December. This year, contributors across the length and breadth of the Church of Scotland are joining together to shine a ‘Light in the Darkness' through this year's Advent calendar.

Church of Scotland Light in the Darkness 2021 Advent calendar
Light in the Darkness is the theme of the Church of Scotland’s 2021 Advent calendar, inspired by John 1:5 ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’.

Meaning 'coming' or 'arrival', Advent is a time of prayer and preparation for the coming of God's Son. It is also a time when we look outwards to the needs of others, spreading joy with friends, families, local communities and further afield.

As with last year, things will feel very different to previous years, as Covid-19 restrictions continue across Scotland. However, we hope that our Advent calendar will help spread a little hope and joy during these dark days.

Light in the Darkness

Light in the Darkness is the theme of the Church of Scotland's 2021 Advent calendar, inspired by John 1:5 ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it':

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

On Sunday 28 November we will get things underway with an introductory video on our website from the Moderator, Lord Wallace, followed by daily offerings through the next four weeks. The first window in the calendar will open on Wednesday 1 December. We invite you to sign up for a daily email or visit our online Advent Calendar for some daily inspiration.

Throughout the season we'll bring you stories that highlight how church members around the country and further afield are planning to celebrate the birth of Jesus and sharing their faith, joy and love.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Lord Wallace, invites everyone to join us in this year's Advent:

"Counting down the days to Christmas can be both exciting and energising as we anticipate the celebration of Jesus' birth. Emmanuel — God with us.

"Due to the pandemic, many people still experience anxiety or still feel the pains of loss or illness or uncertainty. But we have the assurance that the darkness can never extinguish the light.

"Can I therefore encourage people to sign up to this Advent calendar and reflect each day on the hope which the Light of the World brings into our world."

This year for our daily Advent offerings we have collected moving, thought-provoking and encouraging stories sourced from our Church of Scotland congregations. They will include:

  • Videos — Lord Wallace will introduce Advent, followed by a few extra surprises throughout the season.
  • Inspiring stories and reflections — of creative events and personal experiences from individuals and groups across the Kirk.
  • Prayers — a selection of prayers on this year's theme from people from across the Church.

Sign up for your daily reminder

You can sign up for a daily reminder email straight into your inbox with a link to that day's Advent window, starting from Wednesday 1 December. Sign up below:

Get involved

We'd be delighted for churches to share with us how they are looking forward to shining a ‘Light in the Darkness'. We will share as much as we can on the website and across our social media channels.

Have you got your own stories and photos to share? Please email our Media Relations address at

You can also tweet us @churchscotland, find us on Facebook or on Instagram.

We also have a range of Twitter and Facebook graphics you can display on your own church's channels, too. We'd love you to use them! Go to our Advent 2021 page to download these.