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 wonder at the mystery of Jesus' birth and at his renewing presence in the world today.
Prayer for lighting the Advent Candle
(This prayer can be used either in church or at home for lighting your candle)
you restore light and life to all creation;
open our eyes to signs of your presence
in our daily lives
and lead us by your spirit
to make disciples of others.
(The candle is lit)God our healer,be our vision and our light.
Dduw sy’n adnewyddu,
Rwyt yn adfer goleuni a bywyd i’r holl greadigaeth;
Agor ein llygaid i arwyddion dy bresenoldeb
Yn ein bywydau beunyddiol
Ac arwain ni trwy dy Ysbryd
I wneud disgyblion o eraill.
(Goleuir y gannwyll)
Dduw ein Hiachäwr,Bydd ein gweledigaeth a’n goleuni.
Advent Carol for the week
I wonder as I wander by the Cambridge Singers
The Christmas Journey
The Wise Men's Story
A special bright star shone in the East. The wise men guided by this star started a long journey to visit Jesus. They brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
As you think about the wise men you might like to make some star biscuits to share among your family and friends. They are very easy but you must get a grown up to help as the oven will be hot.
Wash your hands and have the oven set to 170c or gas mark 3.5
You will need:
A couple of large flat baking tins lightly greased, a large bowl, a fork, a rolling pin, a knife, a pallet knife or turner a cup and a star cutter, a plastic freezer bag, oven cloth or gloves
10 oz plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 oz caster sugar
3 oz butter cut up small
2 teaspoons golden syrup or honey
Half a teaspoon vanilla extract
1 small egg.
Here is what you do:
Put flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl, rub the butter into the dry ingredients using the tips of your fingers until it looks like damp sand. It may take a few minutes.
Break the egg into a cup or small bowl and add vanilla and golden syrup, mix well and add to the rubbed in ingredients, mix well again.
Place in plastic bag in fridge for at least half an hour ( you can leave it overnight)
Dust work surface and rolling pin with a little flour and roll your mixture out till it is nearly as thin as a 50p coin. Cut out stars and carefully lift them on to the tray.
Bake for 15-20 mins, remove from oven and leave them on the tin to harden then carefully remove them to a rack to cool.
If you like you could decorate them with icing (the ready made kind in tubes is ideal for this) or small sweets. If you want to hang them on your Christmas tree make a hole in one of the points before you bake the biscuits and when cold thread bright coloured ribbon through to make a loop.
As you hand out your biscuits you can tell everyone about the Christmas star.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.