Through Advent to Christmas

Interior view of St. Clement’s Church, Prague on the Fourth Sunday of Advent © Ricky Yates

As I start compiling this post, so it has just gone dark outside, therefore meaning that Advent has ended and the Christmas season has begun. I’m very aware that I’ve only written and posted one blogpost during Advent this year and that was in no way related to this important liturgical season. So this my small attempt to make amends by reflecting on the past twenty-four days of Advent 2013.

For once, this year Advent started on the day all manufacturers of Advent calenders think it always does – 1st December. For those who don’t know, Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas Day, thus meaning it can begin as early as 27th November or as late as 3rd December. Whilst we should use the season to help . . . → Read More: Through Advent to Christmas

Advent Sunday

The Advent Ring in St. Clement’s Church with the first candle lit for Advent Sunday © Ricky Yates

Yesterday was Advent Sunday which marks the beginning of the Church Liturgical Year. Contrary to what the manufacturers of Advent calendars believe, Advent only occasionally begins on 1st December. Instead it begins four Sundays before Christmas Day. With Christmas Day this year falling on a Sunday, (which is every clergyperson’s delight!), it means that this year, Advent begins on the earliest date possible and lasts a full four weeks.

In preparing for worship last week, I was particularly struck by the opening words of the Collect for Advent Sunday, “Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and to put on the armour of light….”. It is a reminder of one of the great themes of the Advent season – darkness and light, and . . . → Read More: Advent Sunday