From the Dean
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” says The Gospel of St. John 1:14. This will become our focus at the end of Advent. Yet, before that, we will focus on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The readings for the first two Sundays of Advent focus on our being ready for him when he comes again.
We usually do get ready for Jesus. We usually decorate our homes for Christmas to get ready. We usually decorate with red and green, pull out little Santa statuary, get a tree, hang ornaments, wreaths, and stockings from the mantle if we have one. These are all part of the United States’ cultural celebration of Christmas, with little focus on Advent.
May I invite you to decorate and set a little time aside to bring the worship of Advent from the Church into your home?
During Advent this year, we will celebrate the Second Coming from November 29 through December 12; then prepare for the birth of our Savior from December 13 through December 24. What I am proposing is that you bring the Advent Wreath into your home and make meal time, or another time of day, a time when you come together with your family to light a candle that mirrors the candles we light at Church.
When we light candles before Mass on the Advent Wreath, we do so “as a symbol” of Christ our “Hope” or Christ our “Peace” or Christ “the Way”. At the designated time, I am asking you to light an Advent candle, read the same reminder that was read at Mass (They will be provided each week), sing the first Verse of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, and then say grace or a small prayer. Sometimes, instead of grace or a prayer people will read the devotional from Advent for the day. This year, we have devotionals from Henri Nouwen for you to use. They will be available on the First Sunday of Advent, November 29.
- Purchase an advent wreath, or make one with five candle sticks. The one I have is this one from the Terra Sancta Guild. You can purchase it here. You can purchase the candles from here.
- Every evening or at a meal, light the appropriate number of candles for that week (For example, during the First Week of Advent you will light one candle, the Second Week two, and so on.).
- Read the reminder, “We light this candle as a symbol of Christ…”
- Sing the first verse of O Come, O Come Emmanuel: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel/ that mourns in lonely exile here/ until the Son of God appear/ Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee/O Israel.
- Say grace or read the devotional for the day. This year the devotional is “And the Word was God” by Henri Nouwen.