Saturday, November 29, 2014

Preparing for Advent

{the finished Advent wreath and the Christ candle waiting at the side for Christmas}

{the three kings}
During our time in South Dakota we really enjoyed the Episcopal church, All Angels, that we attended and formed many special friendships. We were truly immersed in the liturgy of the Holy Eucharist and the church year for the first time. We attended the 10AM service and Bunker, our priest, would always lead the Holy Eucharist, Rite II during that service. Just looking up that link and reading it makes me homesick. There is something special in saying important words so often that they are like your favorite sweater that hugs you on a cold day. For the past year I've been researching more about the church year so that we might celebrate these seasons and special days with greater insight. I decided to begin celebrating in earnest at the start of the Christian year, which begins tomorrow with Advent. 

My prior experience of Advent was seeing an advent wreath being used at church and that is about it. This fall I've been reading about it and learning that it is similar to Lent, a time to prepare oneself for something great that is coming. So, rather than putting all the Christmas decorations up now, we are quietly waiting for that special baby to be born. We'll be using our Advent Calendar to count down the days, lighting the Advent Wreath once a week and decorating a Jesse Tree every day. Then on Christmas Eve, we pull out everything else and the partying starts on Christmas day. And keeps going... for twelve days until Three Kings! Who knew? I never really understood the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas. Now it makes sense. And living in Puerto Rico is a great place to finally understand this, especially with the Three Kings being such an important holiday.

So, today we prepared for Advent by making our wreath with some amazing candles from Toadily Handmade Beeswax Candles. The kids loved rolling them up and got them pretty excited about lighting them during this time of anticipation. We are using Living in God's Time for the liturgy. It should be a fun month!

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