Advent–a season of anticipation and preparation

The first Sunday of Advent is the beginning of the Church year.  The season is a short one–lasting four weeks–and is marked by the use of the Advent wreath which will soon be hanging over the chancel in the church.  Each week we will light a candle–one more than the week before.  Three are purple and one is pink–more on that later.  It can also be marked, at home on a daily basis, by using an Advent Calendar.  Thanks to Amy Cook (of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts), you will find below wonderful resources for Advent including online and downloadable calendars, and materials for family worship at home–just click on the blue text.  One of my favorite video reminders about the reason for the season, is this from the Advent Conspiracy:

Click on the link above–don’t miss it!  It is a way to help us slow down, reflect, and focus on our priorities during the upcoming season.

The following is from Amy Cook’s newsletter.

  • Thomas Mousin, newly installed rector at St. John’s, Charlestown, has once again created a downloadable Advent Calendar for churches to use which starts on the first Sunday of Advent.  Thanks again Thomas for this lovely gift of the season.  And be to take a look at his cards that are linked here.
  • Episcopal Relief and Development has an Advent Calendar poster around the work that they do.  Consider using this and their other Advent materials to raise money for ER&D.  Their Advent program includes online videos and a story of hope everyday from somewhere in the world.  It can be used as an educational program, or simply read the stories each day as your own Advent devotional.
  • Trinity Episcopal Church, Wall Street posts an online Advent calendar every year.  Check out their stories every day as a new page is day is revealed.
  • Belief Net offers an online Advent Calendar that reveals information about the season and Advent and links you to articles every day.
  • I always enjoy the Paperless Christmas calendar from the UK.  This is a highly imaginative take on putting the Christmas story in a present day context.  Could spark some youth to create their own.  Must wait for Advent 1 to see the first video.
  • Consistant high quality and theologically sound materials can be found at Candle Press. Check out the beautiful Advent Calendars, Advent table cards, booklets, and wreaths.

Ideas for churches:

  • Carolyn Brown has some great suggestions and ideas for churches to help them celebrate Advent and Christmas.
  • Be sure to look first at TEN PAGES of IDEAS for Advent and Christmas  from Sharon Pearson at Church Publishing.
  • The Diocese of Jerusalem has some good educational materials for churches.  This set of Children’s Lessons for each Sunday in Advent help children to set the stories of the Bible into the real lands of the Middle East.  The are all taken from the Gospel of Luke and were posted in 2010, but could be used at any time.
  • Vanderbilt University has a fantastic site for the Revised Common Lectionary.  Check out the (Advent table for Year B) to find art and prayer links for each Sunday’s reading.

Great Ideas for families can be found at the Faith-At-Home site run by a mom and Godly Play teacher who does a great job of connecting faith in the family.

…And a final link from me, for your listening pleasure, Sufjan Stevens version of
O Come, O Come Emmanuel.

Blessings, Mother Anne+

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