Advent

Advent 1, 2022

Advent

Advent in 2 minutes Check out this Youtube video

Advent in 1 minute– A 2015 video from St. Mary’s Cypress

Explore Advent, Part 1– Over the next 4 Sundays there will be a presentation each week focusing on that week’s scriptures, art and commentary and how they demonstrate the themes of advent. Let’s get started with Advent 1.

Advent is the time when we change to a different year in the Lectionary. This year we move from Year C to A and from a concentration on the Gospel of Luke to Matthew.  There are several articles which are a general introduction to Matthew 1. Shortest from christianity.about.com 2 Longer from the Catholic Bishops

Interested in the Church calendar ? Matthew’s interest about time in First Advent lends itself to understand how we measure time.

There are several articles/presentations about the infancy narratives 1. Brief summary between Matthew and Luke  2. Longer comparison

A collection around the following 6 categories:


 READ!

1  What Does This Season Mean?
Though Advent appears at the end of the secular calendar year, it is the beginning of the Christian year. The deep darkness of the natural world around us is an echo of the nurturing darkness of the dawning of Creation. It is in this holy space we begin re-telling our Sacred Stories. The word “Advent” comes from the Latin adventus, which means “coming” or “arrival.” Advent prepares us for, and leads us to, Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.

The four Sundays in Advent invite us on a journey. As the days grow shorter each week, we are invited to draw closer and closer to the light of Christ. We are invited to open our hearts a little wider each week to God With Us.

2 Three Teaching Points of Advent – Sarah Bentley Allred  https://bit.ly/2HMHfA2

3 The way we begin Advent is different.  Each year, the First Sunday of Advent starts the church’s liturgical calendar, and our countdown to Christmas, with a set of haunting, apocalyptic readings https://buildfaith.org/apocalyptic-advent-in-the-season-of-merry-and-bright/

4  Advent Waiting
Article explores three qualities of Advent waiting – expectant, requires us to make space, and is hopeful.

5  Waiting and Unknowing by Fr. Richard Rohr. Once Thanksgiving is over, we in the United States are rushed headlong into the Christmas season. Yet Advent was once (and still can be) a time of waiting, a time of hoping without knowing, a time of emptying so that we can be filled by the divine Presence. 

6  Advent as an introvert Season Advent is expectant and full of hope.  “There’s also a solemn quality to the waiting — not dour or dreary — something grounded and okay with a close stillness, a quality that honors the waiting itself as sacred.”
https://onbeing.org/blog/the-shoulder-season-of-advent/

7 Advent mediations from Living Compass. Read it here

The key word is “simplicity”. “We are talking about a practice of simplicity on a much deeper level. This is the kind of simplicity that people talk about when they describe being in the midst of a crisis, and then later report that the crisis has caused them to rethink their priorities, to focus on what is truly most essential in their lives.”

“So let us embrace whole-heartedly the season of Advent, along with these reflections, as the support we need to practice simplicity in a way that will help prepare us for the true meaning of Christmas.”

“The Living Compass Model for Well-Being offers us guidance in four dimensions of our being: heart, soul, strength, and mind. Our call is to live an undivided life, where heart, soul, strength, and mind are integrated into both our being and our doing.” Quotes begin on Page 44


 WATCH

1 Nativity: The Art and Spirit of the Creche. After the cross, the Nativity scene is Christianity’s most recognized symbol. Its history, art and spirituality have been embraced by cultures around the world for nearly two thousand years. This video unites theologians and collectors with an astonishing and beautiful array of nativity scenes collected from across the globe. https://www.youtube.com/embed/M29ShR-V9Pk

2 The Story of Silent Night – Classic Collection In the quiet of an Austrian winter, a young priest received heavenly inspiration to commemorate the most significant event in history by writing the world’s most beloved Christmas carol, “Silent Night.”  https://youtu.be/nKn9wLLzha8


  LEARN!

1 Luke’s canticles – Combines four stories from Luke with insights from artists, prayers, and hymns from around the world. Based on Songs in Waiting by Paul Chandler, now the Bishop of Wyoming https://www.churchsp.org/course/lukescanticles/

2 Matthew’s Infancy Stories.  The other author of the infancy stories, much different than Luke above https://www.churchsp.org/course/matthewsinfancystories/”

3 Christmas Carols – They surround us at Christmas. How much do you know about them?https://www.churchsp.org/course/12daysofcarols/

4 Handel’s Messiah, Prophesy and Birth of the Messiah.  The premiere Christmas work with the music and text https://www.churchsp.org/course/handels-messiah-part-1-prophecy-and-birth-of-the-messiah/

5. Dickens A Christmas Carol and the Bible. The premiere Christmas novel, here with the influence of the Bible and much of Dickens time
https://www.churchsp.org/course/dickens/


 LISTEN!

1 O Emmanuel A fresh exploration of the O Antiphons including traditional Advent and Christmas music. The album combines a jazz trio with children’s choir and adult voices in just the right mix of expectation and joy. https://music.apple.com/us/album/o-emmanuel/1151565367

2 Advent Lessons and Carols – Washington National Cathedral The classic way to begin Advent  – Scripture and music with a service for the season. Previous service https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwR1FJ3-dts&t=3s , Nov. 27, 2022 service, 4pm https://cathedral.org/event/advent-lessons-and-carols-4/

3. Still Forming Advent Meditations by Christianne Squires is a collection of audio meditations recorded by Christianne Squires for the Still Forming community, based on Jan Richardson’s book of blessings, Circle of Grace https://www.stillforming.com/still-forming-advent-meditations-2015

4 Spotify Play list  Advent with Sacred Ordinary Days on Spotify.  Listen and prepare for our Savior, with anticipation, longing and hope


 PRAY AND REFLECT!

1 Advent meditations. In this workshop, Rev. Hillary Raining, D.Min. guides you through a meditation with prayer, scripture, and reflection using visio Divina, or “divine seeing,” with candlelight.  http://lifelonglearningvts.teachable.com/p/advent-meditation-workshop/?src=email

2 Antiphons for Advent in English and Spanish for 2022 A devotional resource in English and Spanish created from antiphons that families and communities can use daily in Advent. The short liturgy includes a prayer for lighting candles of an Advent wreath.

An antiphon is the brief snippet of a psalm recited or chanted as a refrain at the beginning and/or end of a psalm or canticle. Antiphons were in use by the 5th century and are still in use during the services of daily prayer. The practice comes from the Jewish tradition of the congregation reciting, chanting, or singing together, the word referring to call-and-response type of singing. https://buildfaith.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Advent-Antiphons.ENG_.2022.pdf

3   Journey on the Way of love.  Designed for Christian Formation (“Sunday School”). There are 4 sessions for the 4 weeks of Advent  The Way of Love is based on a rule of life. The best known rule of life developed in Christian monastic communities is  that of St Benedict, dating from the 6th century. https://www.episcopalchurch.org/journeying-way-love/


 MAKE!

1 Advent Crafting Traditions

2 Christmas cooking – Christmas cookies. Are these the top 10 Christmas cookies? https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/top-10-christmas-cookies

3 Families celebrate  Advent and Christmas Families Celebrate Advent & Christmas is a colorful deck of cards that is full of rituals, prayers and reflections. Endlessly flexible for busy schedules, you can create a new after-meal ritual, use them as decorations, or carry them on the go. https://www.augsburgfortress.org/store/product/9781506483498/Families-Celebrate-Advent-and-Christmas-2022-23 Free promo pack at bottom!

4 Create your own advent calendar 20 advent calendars to make.
https://www.parents.com/holiday/christmas/crafts/best-advent-calendars/.

5 Advent wreaths on a Budget In congregations that have tight budgets, making Advent wreaths with families may be out of reach. While making wreaths is a wonderful parish life event, buying the foam inserts, ring trays, five candles and four stakes can add up to a hefty sum.  Here is an alternative solution https://buildfaith.org/99-cent-advent-wreath/

Here is another wreath article from Episcopal Relief that go up to $50 in cost.

Arts and Faith, Advent 1, Year A

In the masterful complexity of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel (1477–83), a cast of figures surrounds the selected scenes of Salvation history: sibyls, prophets, ancestors in the genealogy of Jesus, angels, caryatids, and personifications of classical architecture. Among these, we spot Isaiah the prophet, who turns with surprised consideration to two angels behind him. One of these angels guides his attention with intensity to the scene above them: preparations for Noah’s ark. In today’s Lectionary readings, Isaiah and Noah again find each other side by side.

In Michelangelo’s depiction, Isaiah looks on the brink of a new thought, an inspired insight that reveals God’s grace in the course of history. As a prophet, his call was to invite God’s people with him into these moments of inspiration. Accepting his invitation, we wonder: was he thinking of Noah’s ark, resting atop Mount Ararat, when he handed on the vision of God’s holy mountain? In Isaiah’s vision, all people stream toward this holy mountain, a holy place of peace and reconciliation, where swords become ploughshares and spears become pruning hooks. Is this also a place where we might find our solid ground, after the rain and flood, storm and tempest? In these Advent days, what brings us up God’s holy mountain?
Read more about the art…

Getting Ready for Advent

The name “Advent” actually comes from the Latin word adventus which means “coming.” It is a reminder of how the Jewish nation waited for the Messiah and how Christians are now waiting for the return of Christ. Advent which begins on Sunday Nov. 27 is like a breath of fresh air -a new church year, …

Getting Ready for Advent Read More »

Three Teaching Points for Advent

Three Teaching Points for Advent
by Sarah Bentley Allred

“Christmas is a big mystery. We do not understand how exactly God comes to be among us in human form. Taking time to prepare to celebrate Christmas allows us to enter more fully into the mystery. As we say in Godly Play, if we don’t take time to get ready for Christmas, we could “walk right by this mystery” without ever really experiencing it. And so, we spend the four weeks before Christmas anticipating and preparing for the coming of Christ.

“Advent has a double spiritual meaning. While we are anticipating the arrival of the birth of Jesus, we are also anticipating the arrival of the second coming, when Jesus will return for the Final Judgement.

1. Anticipation
“Advent is a season of preparation, expectant waiting. We are preparing to remember and to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is a time to practice waiting, a universal experience for people of all ages. During this time, we remember the prophets that foretold Jesus’ birth (see Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:6-7, Jeremiah 23:5-6) and the nine-month journey of Mary and Joseph before the birth of Jesus (see Luke 1-2, Matthew 1).

“People prepare to enter the mystery of Christmas in different ways. You might invite members of the congregation to explore how Christians intentionally anticipate Christmas through song, prayer, scripture, liturgy, service, Advent wreaths, or Advent calendars.

2. Incarnation
“During Advent, the core of what we are waiting for, anticipating, is the Incarnation, God becoming human. As Christians, we believe that God loves us, and all of creation, so much that God became embodied in the form of Jesus. The Incarnation is an incredible mystery—we do not know exactly how God became human. God’s action in taking on flesh sanctifies our flesh – it makes holy the skin we wear. Advent provides an opportunity to explore what the Incarnation means for our lives.

“What does God living in a body mean for our relationship to the human body, our body as well as the other bodies in this world? What does God’s choice to inhabit the body of a baby mean?

3. Immanuel (or Emmanuel)
“Each Advent every church I know sings, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” (Hymnal 1982, #56). Immanuel is one of the names for Jesus found in scripture (Isaiah 7:14), it means “God with us.” The season of Advent anticipates God’s time on earth in the person of Jesus. During this time God was with us in a special way. God’s presence with us in human form means that God knows what it is like to be human.”

Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29

Why are we pushing Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29 in support of our Village Harvest food distribution ?

1. There is a need.

In a sermon on September 22, 2019 Catherine wrote “I have had people who come to the distribution tell me that they wouldn’t have had enough food to get through the month without the food we provide.”

The Free Lance-Star reported in Aug., 2018, “about 31,000 residents of Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford consistently lack enough food to maintain a healthy, active life. They’re considered food insecure by the United States.” Department of Agriculture.

We are called to do like Jesus – and he fed people both physically and spiritually. Witness the stories of the Feeding of the 4,000 and 5,000.

2. There is a cost to recover.

We are averaging $170(average 10 months) or over $2,000 a year. Help us recover the cost and even add to our resources to do more.

3. The ministry has been successful.

8 years later we have served over 6,800 clients over 64,500 pounds of food. This year the average pounds of food per person is over 12 which at $6 a pound is worth $72. It is clearly one of our more visible and valuable outreach expressions from our church.

4. We have goals and a way for you to help.

Our goal in #Giving Tuesday is to raise 3 months support or $500.

• A $10 donation feeds 6 people, 12 pounds each. It provides 72 pounds of food and $430 in total value!

• A $20 donation feeds 12 people, 12 pounds each. It provides 144 pounds of food and $860 in total value!

Help us on Giving Tuesday, Nov 29

Two ways to donate:

1. On or before Nov 29 make out a check to St. Peter’s with “Giving Tuesday” in the memo line. Send to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, P. O. Box 399
Port Royal, Virginia 22535

2. St. Peter’s PayPal account

Thank you for your support!

Getting ready for Advent – A Time to Prepare for Preparation

We are ending the liturgical year on Sunday and approaching a new year on 1st Advent. Naturally we are looking ahead and seeing if we are ready. The anamoly is that Advent starts that year which is itself a time of preparation. So this Sunday we are preparing to prepare!

The key in all of this is to begin Advent with a different or changed mindset and a resolve for doing. Here are a few steps from BeliefNet and from our Advent study “Singing Mary’s Song” 

1. Have a  proper mindset – Be ready to stop in your busy tracks and embrace the season of Advent and, most importantly, its purpose. The Advent message is “deliverance from oppression and bondage, to those who have much and those who have nothing..” The message of Advent is that, whatever our circumstance in life, Jesus Christ was bornto be with us wherever we are. We have to be ready mentally to hear it. 

Read more…

Matthew’s Infancy Stories for Advent

Matthew’s Infancy Stories, Nov. 20, 27, Dec. 4, 11

Adoration of the Magi (1481) – Leonardo da Vinci

Last year at Advent we studied Luke’s account of the birth of Christ. This year the lectionary switches to Matthew’s Gospel so we will consider his version.

Matthew’s Christmas story is much shorter than Luke. It is different – no angels, shepherds, instead a star and visitors from the East. Jesus is born in a house, not a stable. Where Mary is the focus in Luke, it is Joseph who dominates Matthew’s account. Luke is more about joy. In particular Matthew brings up the theme of conflict with Herod trying to destroy Jesus and the Holy family’s trek to Egypt and back.

Both stories of Jesus’ birth are about fulfillment and both use light effectively in their works.

We will look at Matthew Chapter 1 and 2 over 4 weeks  two weeks for each chapter at 10:0am in the Parish House:

Nov 20, Nov. 27- Matthew, Chapter 1

Dec. 4, Dec. 11 – Matthew, Chapter 2

There are two major purposes:

->What did Matthew’s story mean to1st century Christians? Much of Matthew’s account is a fulfilment of Old Testament scripture. Matthew took liberally from these sources.

->What does it mean to us today? One writer has simply said “the purpose of Advent and Christmas is to bring the past into the present”  

Scroll to Top