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1 year ago  ::  Dec 06, 2012 - 11:01AM #1
Merope
Posts: 8,789
Advent is upon us.  How do you celebrate it?  What are your Advent spiritual practices?  What are your Advent reflections?  What are you - personally and spiritually - "waiting for" during this season?  And how are you going to wait for it?

I found one Advent reflection on "waiting" here.     

Personally, I love this time in the Church year because the first Sunday of Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year.  For me, itt's, like, New Year's Day in the Church year.  So I always have a sense of spiritual new beginning during Advent.  I don't have an Advent wreath ... do any of you?  Perhaps it would help me focus, especially this year, as my personal life is rather discombobulated.  

And perhaps this thread will help me and other members focus, too, by reading your Advent reflections :-)    
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1 year ago  ::  Dec 06, 2012 - 11:26AM #2
Ironhold
Posts: 10,916

Family - My mom buys everyone - kids and grandkids - actual German advent calendars; the DeCA Commissary on Clear Creek Road at Ft. Hood imports a lot of actual European product for Christmas, including entire cases of the things. (They even import the E. Otto Schmidt leibkuchen tins; the big ones are $90 - $100 each and are so massive that they double as storage chests.)


Me - I talked someone into getting me the Lego City advent calendar for my birthday a few weekends ago. It's a Lego build a day through Christmas Eve. (Today's build: a kid with an arsenal of snowballs.)

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1 year ago  ::  Dec 06, 2012 - 12:46PM #3
Rgurley4
Posts: 7,865

Advent...whazzat?...I guessed it was an RCC / liturgical practice in some churches. As a non-denominational attendant, our focus is on the Biblical accounts of the Nativity and Divinity.


Sounds too complex for my taste...e.g.


www.ewtn.com/library/FAMILY/ADVCUST.TXT


www.archden.org/index.cfm/ID/9492


www.spiritualityandpractice.com/blogs/ma...


 

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1 year ago  ::  Dec 06, 2012 - 1:07PM #4
Mlyons619
Posts: 16,206

Other churches (notably Anglican) also celebrate Advent.

"No freedom without education"
            --Thomas Jefferson

"NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition"
            -- Monty Python
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1 year ago  ::  Dec 06, 2012 - 9:35PM #5
Merope
Posts: 8,789

Dec 6, 2012 -- 12:46PM, Rgurley4 wrote:


Advent...whazzat?...I guessed it was an RCC / liturgical practice in some churches. As a non-denominational attendant, our focus is on the Biblical accounts of the Nativity and Divinity.


Sounds too complex for my taste...e.g.


www.ewtn.com/library/FAMILY/ADVCUST.TXT


www.archden.org/index.cfm/ID/9492


www.spiritualityandpractice.com/blogs/ma...


 





Dec 6, 2012 -- 1:07PM, Mlyons619 wrote:


Other churches (notably Anglican) also celebrate Advent.



Yes, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Orthodox Christians all celebrate Advent.  In the Church year, Advent is considered the time of waiting for the birth of Christ.  So it's a reflective, meditative lead-up to Christmas.  Advent also has an eschatological component, in that many of the Advent readings in these churches address waiting and preparing for the last judgment.

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1 year ago  ::  Dec 06, 2012 - 11:23PM #6
hopebringer
Posts: 1,872

At my church (American Baptist), we have an Advent Wreath and families sign up to do the readings and light the weeks particular candle .  We give the Sunday School kids Advent Calendars to take home.  On the first Sunday in December we have a hanging of the greens service with much participation from the congregation.  I grew up Roman Catholic and Advent was stressed as a time of preparation and many songs carried this theme.  The final candle on the Advent wreath will be lit at the Christmas Eve candlelight service . 

Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth. Tame the dragon and the gift is yours. ~ Noela Evans
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1 year ago  ::  Dec 07, 2012 - 5:59AM #7
withwonderingawe
Posts: 4,928

Dec 6, 2012 -- 11:23PM, hopebringer wrote:


At my church (American Baptist), we have an Advent Wreath and families sign up to do the readings and light the weeks particular candle .  We give the Sunday School kids Advent Calendars to take home.  On the first Sunday in December we have a hanging of the greens service with much participation from the congregation.  I grew up Roman Catholic and Advent was stressed as a time of preparation and many songs carried this theme.  The final candle on the Advent wreath will be lit at the Christmas Eve candlelight service . 





Sounds like a nice tradition. 

Wise men still seek him.
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1 year ago  ::  Dec 07, 2012 - 8:43AM #8
slate
Posts: 219

In my church,  the Episcopal Church, Advent used to be very sacred. It was a time of preparation. There were no decorations in the church until Christmas Eve, except for the Advent candles. One candle was lit every Sunday for the four Sundays preceding Christmas. It was a time for reflection and prayer.  On Christmas Eve, the church was decorated and we had an evening service. Christmas began that night and extended to Epiphany, January 6. Hence, the twelve days of Christmas.  It was a time to reflect on his birth and also on his second coming to take place at the end of time.


 


We've got it backwards.  Christmas begins on December 25.  Celebration is supposed to begin then. Gift-givng should take place on January 6. 


 


The reason we got it so mixed up is because the Protestant Church cut out Christmas.  The people in the Massachusett Bay colony of yore were punished if they celebrated Christmas.  But somehow, the people prevailed and slowly it was allowed with caution.

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1 year ago  ::  Dec 07, 2012 - 3:12PM #9
Mlyons619
Posts: 16,206

The Bible gives no DATE for Christmas, but rather makes reference to events, specifically the time Herod the Great was Tetrarch of Judea and when Caesar Augustus ordered the Great Census of the Roman Empire.


The date of Christ's birth, December 25, was NOT established in the Bible but rather by decree of the Emperor Constantine in 325AD.  It was a POLITICAL decision, to appease Roman merchants complaining about how Constantine's decision to outlaw pagan holidays, including the financially lucrative Io Saturnalia, the Rites of Saturn, the Roman winter solstice festival, would ruin them.

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1 year ago  ::  Dec 07, 2012 - 8:27PM #10
TemplarS
Posts: 6,250

Dec 7, 2012 -- 3:12PM, Mlyons619 wrote:


The Bible gives no DATE for Christmas, but rather makes reference to events, specifically the time Herod the Great was Tetrarch of Judea and when Caesar Augustus ordered the Great Census of the Roman Empire.


The date of Christ's birth, December 25, was NOT established in the Bible but rather by decree of the Emperor Constantine in 325AD.  It was a POLITICAL decision, to appease Roman merchants complaining about how Constantine's decision to outlaw pagan holidays, including the financially lucrative Io Saturnalia, the Rites of Saturn, the Roman winter solstice festival, would ruin them.




Certainly true; but, I think, besides the point.


No matter when people might have chosen to celebrate Jesus' birth, the fact is that it (and what is signifies, the Incarnation) is very signifcant to our faith.


Advent is a time of spiritual preparation; as with Lent.  I don't think it is required of any Christian, but (if, in the US, you can manage to separate it from the pre-Christmas media and commercial frenzy)  if done properly it can be a time of great spiritual renewal.


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