Advent 2012 (Part 1)


I grew up in a church tradition that celebrated Advent. Along with decorating the  tree, lighting the Advent candles at the dinner table was a visual and spiritual marker that represented the beginning of the Christmas season.

We’ve attended a non-liturgical church for the past 16 years that doesn’t celebrate Advent. I was okay with that for a long time.  I didn’t want to engage in any practice that reminded me of some of the things I didn’t like about the church in which I grew up. But, over the past few years, I’ve longed for a practice that bookends the Christmas season. One that didn’t involve consumerism. A spiritual practice. I realized that I missed celebrating Advent.

A few years ago, I told my family that we were resurrecting an old tradition. I pulled my Advent wreath out of the basement, bought the pink and purple candles and a little Advent booklet,  and we began. Now it’s become a sacred tradition in our home.

Yes, that is a Jewish dreidel in my Christian Advent wreath. I put that in because I like to be ironic. Also, Jesus celebrated Hanukkah. So, in my book, it works.

My youngest son has a good friend who is Jewish. He likes that we light the Advent candles, much like his friend lights the candles on the Menorah. I like that, too. I also love the thought that we are joining a community of believers around the world who are lighting their Advent candles around their dinner tables as well. It makes me feel connected to the bigger Church as a whole.

Do you celebrate Advent? If you’d like to begin, just start with any candle. We use a traditional wreath with one purple candles and one pink that mark the four weeks before Christmas. The pink is the last one to be used. We light our candle, read a portion of Scripture, and sing a hymn, such as “O Come, O Come Emanuel.” The Trapp Family we are not. But that’s okay. We aren’t performing. Our kitties are the only ones who hear us.

I will write more about Advent during the coming days. Do you have an Advent tradition?






One thought on “Advent 2012 (Part 1)

  1. Light the pink one on the third sunday of advent. It is a symbol of Joy we are halfway through the waiting period. Our oldest is 21 years old and we have been praying the advent prayers since he was a baby and all four of our kids look forward to this every year. Enjoy

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