an advent question

Yesterday was the first Sunday in Advent which, depending on your tradition, may or may not be a big deal.  How do you commemorate Advent? Many churches have special liturgy (prayers and Scripture readings) this time of year.  New Community will be updating our Advent page each Sunday with prayers and readings.

In recent years I’ve been increasingly disturbed at how busy and stressed I can be during December.  As a pastor there is a certain level of unavoidable busyness during Advent, but plenty of my stress is self-induced.  Prioritizing space and boundaries to reflect on Christ’s coming has become very important to me.  Otherwise I blink and realize that Christmas has come and gone.  Not good.

This year I’ve been using The Divine Hours for devotional reading along with New Com’s readings and prayers.  It’s also helped tremendously that much of my extended family has agreed to make charitable donations in lieu of giving gifts.  (It may sound very noble, but I take the most pleasure out of avoiding the mall.)

How about you?  Let us know your habits and traditions with this poll and/or a comment.

One thought on “an advent question

  1. Because we have kids our advent traditions revolve around them mostly. We do have a traditional calendar that we open with them. One used to have candy in it. My son apparently really liked that one, b/c he asked about it this year. Hmmmm. There’s an association that I’m glad we’re not reinforcing this year.

    We try to read a bit of the Christmas story each day, but somewhere in the middle of the month that usually gets redirected by life.

    But here’s something unique that we do that I think is meaningful to both us and our kids. Each year we make a very traditional looking paper link chain made out of red and green construction paper. Yeah – kinda corny, I know. Each link has a name of a person or family that we know and corresponds to a day in advent. Each day one of the kids takes off a link in the morning and we pray for that person/family during the day. I think this is a good way to combat the “me, me, me” thing that Christmas can turn into for kids.

    For personal reading this advent I am using the collects and lectionary from the Book of Common Prayer.

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