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Advent

2 December, 2003 10:08 AM

I have been thinking a lot about Advent this week. The churches I grew up in did not really taken much notice of the 'Holy Seasons' apart from the normal Christmas and Easter services that 99.9% of Australian churches do. I'm not sure why they largely abandoned the idea of Advent. I think its unfortunate because what I am now learning is really helpful.

So as an 'advent novice' I'd love to hear people's experiences of it. Do you participate in Advent reflections/gatherings/devotions etc in any way? If so how? What resources do you find helpful? What does it mean to you?

In my looking around I've found the following online resources:

- 2003 Advent Reflections - one for each day (it also has some useful explanations of the season and some of the rituals people use during it)
- Steve's reflection on - 'if Jesus was coming to dinner Christmas Christmas eve, what would we be doing?' - a blog entry.
- The History of the Advent Calendar
- Four Themes for Advent (looks good!)
- Reclaim Advent: A creative Exercise
-
Grace Cathedral's Online
Stainglass window Advent Calendar

- I'm an Advent Christian - Article/Personal Reflection
- Preparing for the Holy
- Seeing the Unexpected in Advent
- Advent Fridge Art - Bringing Liturgical Life into the Home - There are some 'interesting' ideas here for helping children connect with the season.
- Advent Calendar
- Close Encounters of the Liturgical Kind
- Praying Advent
- Where did the
Season Advent Come from?
-
An Indian Advent Meditation
- An Advent Address - Based on Mark 13: 24-37 (Blog Entry)

Books
- Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas
- Advent and Christmas With Thomas Merton
- Advent Sourcebook

Comments

Page:

I grew up in the same church environment. Outside of Christmas and Easter I never knew there were other significant times for the church to celebrate. This past week we lit the first candle on the Advent wreath. There was an insert in the bulletin and explanation was given as to the symbolism. Its amazing how in this church that has used a wreath for years many didn't know the symbolism contained in it. I have found a lot of good information at http://www.cresourcei.org/cyadvent.html

Hope you can find it useful.

Darrell » 2 December, 2003 2:10 PM

Thanks for that Darrell - I appreciate your thoughts - will check out that site.

Darren Rowse » 2 December, 2003 2:18 PM

i have my thoughts on how i led worship at our church last Sunday using our 1st ever Advent terminology at my blog.

david t » 2 December, 2003 2:59 PM

hi darren,

i grew up in liturgical churches and now i'm in an anglican church. i appreciate the church year more and more. when it is explained and the meaning brought in the cycle of worship it can be pretty powerful. i love the sense of anticipation in advent. we're preparing for something big, something special... God becoming man. intense! rob bell had the most amazing sermon during advent last year called "my glorious mamser". awesome stuff!

lucas » 3 December, 2003 3:47 AM

Darren, I didn't grow up in a liturgical church, (and while I'm not in one now, that is a matter of geography rather than choice) but my mother did and we celebrate Advent with a passion. Many people have Advent wreaths, we have an Advent LOG, with a candle for each night, a symbol to take out of pockets of a calendar my mom made long ago, and readings to go along with each symbol. My mom usually takes charge of organizing some kind of candle lighting and reading each sunday of Advent at our church. We also have been very influenced by Madeleine L'Engle's book "24 Days Before Christmas" in which the characters try to do something meaningful as a family each of the days of December before Christmas. This means we don't decorate all at once, but do so throughout the month, as well as other activities. I also have taken up the role of "Advent-Evangelist" amongst my friends, and currently am sending out Advent Meditations each day via email (and for which all the sites you listed have given me more resources! Thanks!)

Ellen » 3 December, 2003 9:32 AM

Darren
Love the advent stuff. Nancy and I have been doing thiws with our kids at home -- lighting advent wreaths etc for at least 20 years now. Now that we have an empty nest the motivation to keep it up is a little lacking. So your online resources have been a huge help already. I especially like the Advent reflections 2003 link. I blogged it.
GHT

Glenn Teal » 3 December, 2003 1:12 PM

hello

Hello » 6 December, 2003 5:31 AM

I recommend BadgerMum's picture and instructions on making an advent wreath.

Alexandra » 6 December, 2003 8:59 AM

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