What is Advent?
The celebration of the season of Advent dates to the fourth century. We focus on Christ’s first coming as well as when he will return to redeem all of creation. We are filled with both a sense of joyful expectation & humble reverence. Our spiritual focus is on prayer & preparation. The liturgical color for this season is purple, like Lent, representing preparation or penitence.
Advent means coming or arrival-- The coming of baby Jesus, God among us in human flesh. And the coming of Christ again "the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory." In between those two great comings is God’s constant longing for each of us to come to God, to love God, and to let God love us. "Be alert." Notice. Listen. Watch. For what? For the ways God will choose to get our attention this season. For those moments when we notice that our ways are not in alignment with God’s ways. For those shimmering glimpses of the Kingdom of God.
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One way we mark time in this season is with the Advent wreath. Evergreens symbolize new & everlasting life through Jesus Christ. The wreath consists of five candles. One candle is lit during the first week of Advent, two are lit the second week, & so on. The Christ candle is lit on Christmas Day & during the twelve days of Christmas until Epiphany. The growing light reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world coming into the darkness of our lives to bring newness, life, & hope.
Here at St. Peter's, we've created a weekly guide that may be used by individuals, couples, families, and kids of all ages! Each week has a scripture reading, a story from the Jesus Storybook Bible, an adult prayer, a child's prayer, and a song. You will find them at the church in paper form or click the link below to access an online version with links to (some of) the stories and songs.