Christmas, I would say in years past, is the quiet season. Advent Is the busyness of preparation for the celebration of Christ’s birth. Yes, Advent Bible studies or new daily devotions have been important, and lighting the Advent wreath at home and in church always has been a delight.
This year I plan a different Advent. Though we are putting in much energy and thought for worship in this and the Christmas season, Advent this year shall be a quieter time. Below I offer some thoughts for rituals and reflections you may wish to use in Advent this year in setting intentional quiet time in a season often marked by hurry and tasks.
- 1). Lighting the Advent wreath. It is not hard to create an Advent wreath at home. It can be as simple as four candles grouped together, perhaps placed around an evergreen wreath or one make of a paper plate. Set a time to light it each day. Before breakfast sets a tone for the day or before dinner draws the day to a close in peace. In worship we are using these litanies: https://www.saltproject.org/progressive-christian-blog/advent-candle-lighting-litanies
- 2). Use an Advent calendar. Admittedly my favorite ones are filled with chocolate, but you may wish to use this one from the Episcopal Church’s The Way of Love. Today’s note reminds us to give the gift of presence to another. https://episcopalchurch.org/files/documents/approved_-_advent_2020_calendar_2.pdf
- 3). Read and reflect. Find a book of devotions, seek out a novel, or a thoughtful magazine article and open your eyes and heart to a new perspective. In this month’s Christianity Today I was struck by an article from their editor, Daniel Harrell.
if losing our lives and our comfortable lifestyles [this year] opens us up to the true humanity we share with the least and and the last and the lost around the world and thereby reconnects us to each other, I say Merry Christmas.
4). Write Christmas cards to those who celebrate or cards of good cheer to others. These do not have to be written in haste or sent in a timeframe. Consider sitting down in peace and quietly writing one, two or a few more cards a day. Call someone.
5). Put on some Advent or Christmas carols and sing them out loud!! (At home)
With every blessing for a holy Advent,