Category Archives: Christian Season of Advent

Advent is the hope-filled, expectant waiting for the coming of Christ.  Advent, which comes from the Latin adventus, means “coming”.  We wait to celebrate what has already happened in history – the birth of Jesus, the Christ – and we wait for what has not yet fully occurred – heaven on earth, which we only glimpse now but which will come to full fruition when Jesus comes again. The season begins four Sundays before December 25th, when we mark the birth of Christ.  Note that, because we count back from the fixed date of December 25th each year to find the start of the season, the dates for Advent change.  This means those store bought Advent calendars that start on December 1st do not apply!  Often the first Sunday of Advent is the last Sunday in November, but that is not always the case!  A better way to daily mark the days in Advent is to have a Jesse Tree (see below) where the sweep of the biblical story and what God has been up to from Genesis to the birth of Christ is recollected in story, symbol and prayer.Advent actually began in the church as a time of preparation for the season of Epiphany, the third most important celebration in the early church after the Paschal (Jesus’ death and resurrection) and Pentecost.  Epiphany used to include the marking of Jesus’ birth, along with the more important marking of his divinity and mission made manifest in the visit of the Magi and especially his baptism.  It would be more than appropriate if our Advent preparations included a view to the season of Epiphany as well as to Christmas.The colour the church uses for Advent is blue (once purple but now blue to distinguish it from Lent).  Blue is for hope, like the blue that lightens the dark night at the dawning of the day.  Blue is for sorrow, the sorrow of the world that we bring the hope of Advent to bear upon.  Blue is also a colour associated with royalty.Amongst others, you will find below resources for a candle lighting liturgy for Sundays, suggestions for Jesse Tree stories and symbols and ways to celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas on December 6th.  We pray these resources act as guide for you all in marking a holy Advent, to the glory of God.   

An Advent Jesse Tree for the Congregation – Texts

Texts to be Read with Congregational Advent Jesse Tree Symbols: (Scripture texts are taken from the New Revised Standard Version) Sunday, Advent 1 Genesis 2: 1-3 (from Genesis 1 – 2:3;  Symbol:  Earth) Thus the heavens and the earth were … Continue reading

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An Advent Jesse Tree for the Congregation, 2011

This is an excellent way to do a quick review with the congregation of the grand narrative of what God has been up to from Creation to the birth of Christ through the season of Advent.  It is also a … Continue reading

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A Short History of the Advent Jesse Tree

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of council and might, … Continue reading

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Advent Candle Lighting, Year A, 2010, Advent 4

Advent 4:  The Obedience of Faith* Sunday, December 19th, 2010   Candle Lighting: Light again the first blue candle, saying:  “Keep awake!,” the second blue candle, saying:  “Abound in hope!,” the third blue candle, saying:  “Celebrate!” . Light the fourth … Continue reading

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Advent Candle Lighting, Year A, 2010, Advent 3

Advent 3:    Celebrate! Sunday, December 12, 2010   Candle Lighting: Light again the first blue candle, saying:  “Keep awake!” and the second blue candle, saying: “Abound in hope!”. Light a third blue candle.   Question: Why do we light this … Continue reading

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Advent Candle Lighting, Year A, 2010, Advent 2

Advent 2:   Longing for Judgment Sunday, December 5, 2010 Candle Lighting: Light again the first blue candle, saying:  “Keep awake!” Light a second blue candle.   Question: Why do we light this candle? Response: We light this candle to remember … Continue reading

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Advent Candle Lighting, Year A, 2010, Introduction and Advent 1

ADVENT CANDLE LIGHTING LITURGY A liturgy for use at home to begin the adventure of what God is up to in Christ.   Advent, which is from the Latin ‘adventus’, means ‘coming’.  We wait in Advent for the coming of … Continue reading

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Advent Wreath Table Centrepiece

  Advent Wreath Table Centrepiece  The Advent wreath, consisting of a white Christ candle and four blue candles, has been used as a way of marking the four Sundays in Advent for at least a few hundred years, if not … Continue reading

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An Advent Jesse Tree for at Home, 2011

We do not have a Christmas tree as part of our Advent or Christmas celebrations.  This was a conscious choice when we were blessed to be able to adopt our son.  We decided instead to have an Advent Jesse Tree. … Continue reading

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The Traveling Nativity Scene

The Traveling Nativity Scene (or Creche) In 1223, St. Francis of Assisi first thought of celebrating the birth of Christ in a new way, by recreating in church the scene of the first Christmas.  Over the centuries it has become … Continue reading

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