Do think carefully about how you will keep Advent this year.
As Lent prepares us to celebrate Easter so Advent prepares us for Christmas. Don’t let Christmas overwhelm you! Take time to be still in Advent. We are helped by joining in what’s on at Church.
Advent doesn’t have quite the rigour of Lent, but if we use it carefully we will find our spiritual lives enriched and our celebration of Christmas will be greater.
First of all remember we are not alone. Joining in worship Sunday by Sunday is important not least to support others and ourselves. The Advent readings and music are especially powerful and speak of light to the darkness of our lives and world. On Advent Sunday (29th November) our Evensong Choir are singing a special Evensong for Advent – a special way to mark the opening of this season. There are special weekday acts of worship and fellowship. At the beginning of Advent the Rorate Mass (this year on Wednesday December 2nd at 7pm) helps fill our imaginations and hopes with candlelight and soothing singing in the stillness of a winter evening. Our Advent meal (Saturday December 5th), by candlelight in Church, is a way to share the joy and hope of Advent together.
Our annual Carol Service (Sunday December 13th at 6pm) helps us to prepare as we hear the story of Christmas in Bible readings and carols together. It’s a great opportunity to reach out to others, family and friends, with an invitation to come along.
Full details of all our Advent and Christmas activities can be found in our 2015 Advent and Christmas Newsletter. You will find there events for all – worship, family activities, times of quiet prayer, our Posada journey…
Of course there are also online resources. Do explore them, and share ideas with others. This year why not try the Bible Society’s #AdventChallenge. Every day in Advent we will put an image of the nativity, selected by a church member, on our Church Facebook page – check it out each day.
At home, at work and at Church may Advent be a wonderful season of hope and expectation for us all.