Advent is the name of the season where we get ready to celebrate Christmas. As well as buying presents and decorating our homes, Christians use this time to focus on the mystery and majesty of almighty God. Let us take time to be still in his presence.
Prayer for lighting the Advent Candle
(This prayer can be used either in church or at home for lighting your candle)
you made each of us in your image;
amidst the chaos of life
and the sadness of the world,
may we open ourselves to your Spirit
and find your peace in our hearts.
(The candle is lit)God our creator,
be our stillness and our light.
Creaist bob un ohonom yn dy ddelw;
Ymysg anhrefn bywyd
A thristwch y byd,
Boed i ni agor ein hunain i’th Ysbryd
A chael dy dangnefedd yn ein calonnau.
(Mae’r gannwyll yn ei chynnau)
Dduw ein Crëwr,bydd ein llonyddwch a’n goleuni.
Advent Carol for the week
Mortal Flesh by Christian Forshaw
"Let all mortal flesh keep silence…
Christ our God to earth descendeth
Our full homage to demand."
The Christmas Journey
A young woman called Mary lived in Nazareth. One day the Angel Gabriel came and told her God had chosen her to have a special baby who would be the Son of God and was to be called Jesus.
Making an Advent WreathAdvent is a time of waiting but what are we waiting for? We are counting down to Christmas, Jesus' birthday. I'm sure lots of you will have seen Advent rings or wreaths in Church but having one at home gives us a focus when we pray.
The idea of an Advent wreath is thought to have come from Germany and is full of symbolism:
The circle of the wreath, which has no beginning or end symbolises the eternity of God. The evergreens represent immortality. Holly may be symbolic of the crown of thorns and the pine cones are a symbol of new life and resurrection. The four coloured candles indicate the four weeks of Advent and represent the Prophets, the people of God, John the Baptist and on the fourth week, Mary the mother of Jesus - this is the pink candle. The white one, not lit until Christmas Day is for Jesus himself.
They are easy to make and it is something the family can do together. You need a disk of oasis, evergreen foliage, ivy, conifer, holly etc. 1 white candle and 4 coloured ones - ideally 3 purple and 1 pink. Table candles are fine for this. Place the white candle in the centre and arrange the others around the edge. decorate with evergreens and holly, pine cones and baubles as you wish.
Pick a time of day when the family is together, light your first candle and join in the prayer together.
Advent events around the Diocese
If you have any events, concerts or carol services taking place or any other activities in your parish which you would like to advertise or share with us please send details to us via our vision email address: email@example.com and we will be happy to include them in next week's advent page.
For information on events taking place around the Diocese this Advent and Christmas please visit our events page here.
Christian Aid have produced a number of resources for Advent. There are two related resources, Advent reflections and Bible Studies.
My Advent Journey is designed as a prayer resource for adults and invites contributions to the work of Christian Aid:
For children there is also an Advent Journey, a kind of interactive Advent Calendar (without chocolate!) We travel in the company of Waleed Badir, a young Palestinian boy, learning something about his life each week.
Fantastic Family Ideas for Advent activities – from Flame Creative Children’s Ministry:
http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.co.uk/'The Nativity' DVD - first shown on the BBC in December 2010, written by Eastenders scriptwriter Tony Jordan. You can see part of the show on Youtube by following this link. The full DVD can be purchased on Amazon.
Posada - The idea of travelling crib sets comes from an old Mexican tradition. Posada was the tradition of young people dressed as Mary and Joseph travelling from house to house asking for a room for the night and telling people about the imminent arrival of Jesus in the weeks leading up to Christmas. On Christmas Eve they would visit the local church to re-enact the nativity and place figures of Mary and Joseph in a crib. Modern day Posada uses nativity figures of Mary and Joseph who travel from place to place. this gives each 'host' the chance to create their own celebration in their home or place in the community, worshipping and reaching out to their communities with the real message of Christmas, making room for Jesus in their lives.
Messy Church - Advent and Christmas: See a range of ideas (Advent Candles, Messy Nativity, Nativity Sheep Trails, The Gingerbread Nativity - and more) by visiting the Messy Church website.
'Talk Talk for Christmas and New Year' is written by Lucy Moore and Jo Cox and produced by The Ugly Duckling Company. Table Talk is a game to get people talking about the big issues in life; the Christmas and New Year version is an all age resource. It costs £25.00 and is available from their website.
Haphazard by Starlight - An anthology of poems and reflections, one a day from Advent to Epiphany. (2013 SPCK)
Do Nothing . . . Christmas is Coming: An Advent Calendar with a Difference by Stephen Cottrell in 2007. 'Do Nothing to Change Your Life' encouraged us to nurture our inner slob. Now 'Do Nothing . . . Christmas is Coming' turns to what, for many, is the busiest time of year. Published by CHP, you can see more about this here.
Unapologetic by Francis Spufford - A great book for your Christmas stocking! Published by Faber and Faber, read more about it on their website including a video of the author talking about the book.