We've spent most of the last 20 years in Europe, the bulk of our time in Stockholm, Sweden. A year in London, England and a year in Paris, France have been ours to enjoy as well. Our US home is in Desert Hot Springs, CA where we have landed for the time being.
Today is the first of Advent...we enjoy celebrating the season in a special way. Each Sunday of Advent, a family is chosen to read a liturgy, light the candle, and share in a prayer. It is a wonderful tradition and a great way to mark the season.
We also had a baptism today so it was a full Sunday. Full of God's grace and beauty!
Here is our liturgy from today.
Reader One: Today is the first
Sunday in Advent. Advent is celebrated during the 4 Sundays that
precede Christmas as a way to help us prepare for Jesus' birth once
again. The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word adventus,
which means “coming” or “visit.” In this season, we keep in
mind both “advents” of Christ, the first in Bethlehem and the
second yet to come.
Reader Two: Maybe it surprises
you to see 3 purples candles and 1 pink one surrounding the taller
white one. The traditional colors of advent are purple and pink.
Purple is the color of royalty, demonstrating the anticipation and
reception of the coming Christ King celebrated during Advent. Pink
is also one of the colors of Advent used during the third Sunday. It
represents joy or rejoicing and assures us that our waiting period is
almost over! White is the color of the center Advent candle,
representing purity. Christ is the sinless, spotless, pure Savior.
Also, those who receive Christ as Savior are washed of their sins and
made whiter than snow.
Reader Three: So today we light
the first candle of Advent. This candle is typically called the
"Prophecy Candle" in remembrance of the prophets,
primarily Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. This
candle also represents hope or expectation in anticipation of the
(Light the candle the first purple
Reader Four: We light this
candle in gratitude for God's divine and perfect love made visible to
us at Christmas. We light this candle in thanks for our Emmanuel,
God with us. We light this candle as symbol of God's light shining
in the darkness. The Light has come into the world and it shines as
brightly now as it did then. The darkness didn't overcome it then
and it never will.
Reader Five: (prayer)
God of Advent: We are an impatient and
busy people. We are propelled into Christmas and swept away by
activity. Help us to slow down and savor Advent. Help us to look to
the Light of Christ to be our source, that we might be beacons of
that light in the dark world around. Hear our prayer now as we pray
the prayer that you taught us to pray saying:
Our Father in heaven. Hallowed be your
name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive
those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial. Deliver
us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen.
May you sense the Lord's growing presence in your life throughout these 4 weeks before Christmas