The Season of Advent – A Time of Getting Ready
The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word for “arrival” or “coming.” It is a period of preparation for the birth of Jesus. Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas and is the start of the Christmas season, which lasts through the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord. This year, the Christmas season extends from Sunday, November 27, 2016 through Sunday, January 8, 2017. The First Sunday of Advent also marks the beginning of the church year and the beginning of a new cycle of scripture readings for the worship service.
Advent is a time of joyful anticipation as well as a season of preparation for the great Christmas feast. The liturgical color of the season is purple, a sign of penance, which is also used during Lent. There are several spiritual tools that you can use to help you observe this special season.
The Advent Wreath
The Advent Wreath represents the circle of the year and the life that endures through winter. Its origin lies with pre-Christian Germany and Scandinavia and is associated with the celebration of longer days of light following the winter solstice. Traditionally, the Advent Wreath is constructed of a circle of evergreens and three purple candles and one rose candle (for the third Sunday). The lighting of the Advent candles reminds us of the promise of the coming of Jesus, the light of the world.
We will hold our Annual Advent Wreath workshop at St. Andrew’s, Bridgeton, on the first Sunday of Advent, following the 10 am service. This is an activity that is especially suitable for families and friends to share. Materials will be provided. Please sign up in advance.
When you have constructed your Advent Wreath, place it in a central location in your home and make use of the weekly prayers to observe the Advent Sundays of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love in your household.
The Global Advent Calendar #AdventWord
Many people make use of a physical Advent calendar to observe the passing days of the Advent season. This year, you can open your Advent Calendar with a twist… For the liturgical season of Advent (Nov 27 through Dec 24, 2016), you can subscribe to a daily email from the Brothers of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE). The email will contain a daily word and meditation, accompanied by a thoughtful image. You are invited to respond with an image of your own on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, or you may want to watch the calendar grow each day in Advent. When you sign up, you will receive easy instructions on how to send in images and view the Global Advent Calendar.
Two Good Books
Stir up your Spirit during Advent with two good books…Explore the the lives and cultures of women around the world through these selections of World Literature. We begin with Jamaica Kincaid's Annie John (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1985) and continue with Kamala Markandaya's Nectar in a Sieve (Signet Classics, 2010).
Join us Mondays, 11:30am-12:30pm (Nov 21, 28 and Dec 5, 12, 2016) at Church of the Resurrection/Trinity Episcopal Church, Vineland, for discussion.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux provides a teacher's guide for use with Annie John. Penguin/Signet Classics provides a teacher's guide for use with Nectar in a Sieve. You may find them helpful in your own study.
Advent Quiet Day: Join us in the spiritual adventure
Join us as we make our way to Cranaleith Spiritual Center (13475 Proctor Road, Philadelphia PA 19116) for a day-apart.
"Listen to the Heartbeat of God"
Presenter: Meg Brown, RSM
Saturday, December 10, 2016; 10am-3pm
Cost: $40 (includes lunch)
Who is St. Nicholas? What’s his story?
On Sunday, Dec 4, 2016, meet Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, and stay for fellowship, following the 10 am service at Trinity, Vineland. Remind your kids and yourself about the beginnings of Santa Claus in the life of this great and generous Saint. This is a great opportunity to join friends and family and neighbors at this special service and luncheon. Please sign up!
Feeling “blue” during the Christmas season?
On Thursday, Dec 15, 2016, at 2 pm, our Blue Christmas service will be held at St. Andrew’s, Bridgeton. Following the practice of many congregations in this season, this Blue Christmas service offers holy space for people living through difficult times. The service is reflective, accepting us where we really are, and offers healing and hope. This is a time when we can, with others, acknowledge the “blue” feelings we have at Christmas time, attend to the reasons for them, and offer them to God, our great giver of hope. Join us for this reflective afternoon service.
O Come, Let Us Adore Him
2016 Christmas Eve services
5 pm Holy Eucharist at Trinity (V)
8 pm Holy Eucharist at St. Andrew’s (B)
10:30 pm Holy Eucharist at Trinity (V)
2016 Christmas Day service
10 am Holy Eucharist at St. Andrew’s (B)