Posted by: Amanda | December 3, 2006

Advent

Today is the first Sunday in Advent. 

 The first church that I attended that fully followed the church calendar and really celebrated Advent with a lot of focus was the Nazarene church in San Diego.  I am learning to love liturgy as I find ritual being a tool to focus  me on worship, instead of the “motions instead of worhip of the heart” that I was taught to distrust ritual in the churches I “grew up” in as a teen.

So, today the advent candles were pink and purple.  A friend whose blog I read is an espiscopalean and the was some brief mention of pink and purple in the comments section.  I just didn’t know.

So, thankful for the internet, I discovered that purple is the traditional color of advent, for penitence and for royalty – though  some protestants have been moving toward blue instead.  Rose, or pink at the third Sunday for joy and anticipation.

Learn something new – and as I was reading I found this little nugget, which isn’t exactly new but the succintness, made me think.  I need this! This brings the real worship, anticipation, and celebration of advent/Christmas to the home.  I want this tradition.  I might be late this year, getting only the last couple weeks in, but even if we start next year -this is good:

 I think we need to make this a tradition in our home:

  In the home an Advent wreath is often placed on the dining table and lighted at meals, with Scripture readings preceding the lighting of the candles, especially on Sunday. A new candle is lighted each Sunday during the four weeks, and then the same candles are lighted each meal during the week. In this context, it provides the opportunity for family devotion and prayer together, and helps teach the Faith to children, especially if they are involved in reading the daily Scriptures.

A few years ago, I fell in love with the Book of Common Prayer, the collects have prayers in them that capture in words the longings in my heart, and while I know that the Spirit does not need my words and God hears the groanings of my heart, it is again a tool to focus my prayers in worship.  The same friend above has written me a beautiful email teaching me a bit about the routine of using the BCP in morning, noon, and evening prayers.  I intend to take him up on his offer to figure it out.

Of course, I have no intention of giving up my ‘never ceasing’ prayer of casual snippets, crys and praises through out the day – but this feels so like  a true deepening, a development of discipline in my pursuit of dependance on God and obedience, and delighting in plunging into his prescence.

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