The Season of Advent
"The Church calendar (the sequence of six seasons built around the most sacred days of Jesus’ life) is a tool that can teach us to wait expectantly for Jesus and his day. This is especially the intent of the season of Advent. The Christian year begins here – with the four Sundays before Christmas Day and the weeks in between them. For almost four weeks every year, followers of Jesus prepare to celebrate his coming into the world, his “advent,” with waiting. We anticipate Christ’s birth (his first advent) during this first season, so that our entire year will be governed by a hopeful anticipation of his return (his second advent), through a practical, daily preparation for it.
In corporate worship and daily devotions during Advent, we read of ancient Israel’s longing for the Messiah as foretold by the prophets, especially John the Baptist as the last of their order. With them we pray that our eyes would be opened to behold the darkness in the world so that we can lament its suffering and repent for our willing participation in the shadows of sin. As the season continues, shadows and sorrows shrink as light grows, especially in Mary. In her the Light of the world lives and grows. Eventually his birth brings forth the possibility of rebirth and new life for anyone who, like the shepherds in the Gospels, would come to him and give thanks, rejoicing at the angels’ message that “unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ (Messiah) the Lord.” We read and identify with Mary during Advent, so we might believe that (and live like!) the same Light lives and grows within us, as we wait throughout all our days for the time of deliverance at his second coming..."
(Read more here)
Christmas Eve Services
Daily Worship Guide
Advent Daily Worship Guide
All Saints has created a daily worship guide for the season of Advent using daily readings based on the Revised Common Lectionary and set within a simple liturgy that can be read and prayed individually or with a group.
- Download a copy here.
- Pick up a copy on Sunday in the Narthex or in the Bookstore.
*These titles are available in the All Saints Bookstore...
Advent Wreath & Candles
The Advent Wreath and Candles
- "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
- - John 1:5
The Advent Wreath generally consists of four candles (three purple or blue, and one pink) set in a circle of evergreen with a fifth white candle in the center, the Christ candle. The light of the candles reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world who comes into the darkness of our lives to bring newness, life, and hope, calling us to be lights in the world as we reflect God's grace to others (Isa 42:6). The primary reason for lighting one candle on the first week, plus another the second, and so on, is to symbolize the various aspects of our waiting experience - especially the darkness of fear and hopelessness receding and the shadows of sin falling away as more and more light is shed into the world. Finally, as the Christ candle is lighted at Christmas, the light that has been growing throughout the season is plainly visible, and those who have been waiting rejoice together that the promises of long ago have been fulfilled.
Advent candle sets are available for purchase in the All Saints Bookstore if you would like to practice this tradition in your home.