Hi! We will be doing an Advent Study & Play together. By study & play, I mean we will examine some ideas and respond in a creative, playful manner. Whatever that means for you!
Advent, in the Christian tradition, is the time before Christmas Eve. It is a traditional time of preparing our hearts and our lives for the new thing that is to come in Jesus. Simultaneous with Advent, other traditions have their own holy days. For example, Judaism has Hanukkah (Dec. 8-16), Buddhism has Bodhi Day (Dec. 8), Pagans have Yule (Dec. 21), and Kwanzaa, from the Pan-Africans, begins on Dec. 26. There's a lot going on! (If you want more info about Advent and the church calendar, please below the line.)
We will be examining ideas from different traditions with central themes of Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace. By examining, I will provide a quote, picture, or short reading. Then I will ask three simple (ha ha!) questions:
- What disturbs you most here?
- What calls to you?
- How will you respond?
Your job is to process the materials provided and then to respond to these questions in whatever way you feel led to. Some of you will share your thoughts and ideas and some of you will keep them private. It is up to you. I like responding in Haiku. It helps me to distill big ideas into very small words. What do you like to do? Maybe your response if finding a picture on the internet and sharing that with us! Or maybe your response is your own blog response and you can share that.
Will you join me on the journey?
I had no idea what advent was until I started attending a church that followed a liturgical calendar. In a liturgical calendar, the year is divided into seasons much like regular calendars…but different! For Christianity, the calendar goes like this:
- Advent-four weeks up to Christmas eve
- Christmas-12 days of Christmas (I bet you wondered where that song came from!)
- Presentation of Jesus
- Ordinary Time-up to Shrove Tuesday / Mardi Gras (Party!)
- Lent-40 days plus Sundays
- Holy Week-The week starting with Palm Sunday (the Sunday prior to Easter) leading to Easter Sunday.
- Maundy Thursday-Thursday before Easter / Last Supper
- Good Friday-Friday before Easter / Crucifixion of Christ
- Easter Season-50 days or a week of weeks
- Easter Sunday-Resurrection of Christ
- Pentecost-50 days after Easter (or a week of weeks)
- Ordinary Time-up until the next Advent season begins. Quite a long stretch! The last Sunday of Ordinary Time before Advent begins is Christ the King Sunday.
It is a continuous cycle.
This year, the first Sunday of Advent is December 2 and will go until December 24.
- Advent: December 2-24
- Christmas: December 24 (evening)-January 5
- Epiphany: January 6-8
- Baptism of Jesus: January 8
- Ordinary Time: January 9, first Sunday is January 13
- The Ordinary Time after Epiphany is referred to in terms of Epiphany in my tradition. So it is called "the first Sunday after Epiphany." But it is ordinary time.
And if you really want to know…each season has a color!
- Advent-light blue or soft lavendar
- Ordinary Time-green
- Good Friday, the church is often stripped bare of colors or there are black cloths
- Ordinary Time-green
- Christ the King Sunday-Gold
- Back to Advent! Woot!