The RevGals have invited reflection on the liturgical season that is rapidly approaching. They have invited me to join Mary in pondering… Five things about Advent.
- An Advent calendar came in the mail yesterday. My mom sent it to her granddaughter. The arrival of this calendar inspires gratitude not only for her attention to this detail, but also for all the special rituals that she would facilitate to mark this season as different from the time all around it when I was young. Such as: Weekly Advent dinners with special guests at which we would do readings, light candies in the wreath, pray, and sing… And then enjoy good food and good fellowship; lifesavers tied to a felt strip to be untied one per day from Dec 1-Dec. 24; making Christmas ornaments; decorating… I loved this season of preparation and expectation best of all, as a child, largely thanks to my mom’s efforts.
- For every Advent since I’ve become a mom, I’ve been wrapping up a semester of coursework (either as student or teacher) and preparing for a birthday party for our Advent baby. This year I have an equally heavy load… First Advent in new parish… Just before the first Christmas… And an installation service on Advent 2… And a birthday that same weekend… We have had some Advent rituals and traditions, but not to the same degree as that which I enjoyed in childhood. Life wasn’t less crazy when I was growing up, there were three kids in our household afterall, and my dad is a pastor. But it feels like most of my creative time and energy gets devoted to the birthday celebrations. And so it is. I just wish for C some of the wonder of this season that was so present for me as a kid.
- Several Advent hymns are on my short list of beloved hymns- O Come, O Come Emmanuel; let all mortal flesh keep silent; of the father’s love begotten… And more recently I’ve come to love People Look East. I tend to be sort of a purist about saving Christmas carols for Christmas- at least in worship, but I know this is partially because I love the Advent hymns so much. And we only have four weeks in which to sing them… Though yes… Even less time for Christmas carols…
- I am going to attempt to read and virtually discuss a book with a colleague this advent.
- i am sending so much strength and light and peace to all dealing with infertility, or miscarriage, or still birth, or SIDS while leading or participating in worship in this month in which pregnancy is the chief metaphor and the stories focus on improbably full wombs and live births. These stories can sting. An emphasis on hope can hurt. I remember. I lift you all to light.