The days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting colder. Advent is upon us! It can be a cold and gloomy time of year, but fortunately, a light shines in the darkness. Advent is all about the light of Christ shining in the darkness of our world. It is no coincidence that the season of Advent breaks forth during the onset of Winter. The light of Christ bears significance as nights grow darker and colder. Advent tells us to be hopeful and joyful even as the plants around us die and the trees lose their leaves.
Advent is my favorite season of the Church year, because of its themes of hope, peace, love, and joy; its use of evergreen branches suggesting everlasting life, a victory wreath, the crown of Christ, or the wheel of time itself. In fact, I always say that the Christmas America thinks it is celebrating through the month of December — counting days, hopeful anticipation, giving and serving, decorating to prepare, peace and love — is much more like Advent anyway. So how can we be intentional about celebrating Advent this year?
Make an Advent Wreath
Advent is easy to celebrate at home by adding an Advent wreath to your holiday decorating plans. I encourage you to participate in the tradition of making an Advent Wreath at home this year as an additional worship activity we can do together over the next four weeks.
You simply need four candles (blue is traditional, but they can be any color), and arrange/decorate however you want. For each Sunday in Advent, an additional candle is lit. When lighting the candles (at mealtimes, in the morning, during a devotional time), it is a good time for prayer, scripture reading, and other devotional practices. Use the Advent wreath as an intentional time of marking the days and weeks of Advent, and to carve out time for spiritual practices and devotion at home.
We can all light our advent wreaths at home together during Sunday worship and Advent vespers, and advent wreath lighting prayers will be sent out each week in the newsletter. I am looking forward to celebrating this season with you this year!