Advent is coming! Advent is coming!
One, if by land, two, if by sea / And I on the opposite shore will be / Ready to ride
Feeling a little like Paul Revere these days. I keep warning people–Advent is early this year! Get your candles! Make your plans! It’s coming. A very late Thanksgiving and a very early Advent this year means that Advent begins in November, before St. Andrew’s Day. Who even really knew that was possible?
If Advent is going to be a time of preparation, now is the time to give a little thought to how you will keep the season. Here are a few of our practices to get you thinking in the right direction.
Reading the stories of our redemptive history and coloring together is the anchor to our days during Advent. We use the Children’s Story Bible by Catherine Vos (it’s a three generation book in our family!) and let the stories speak for themselves.
A Book for Every Day
Winter is the time for stories, and nothing is better than a basket full of storybooks and the morning free to read. We unwrap a book every day (from our stash and the library). Presents–and presence–from the beginning.
Keeping these feasts at the beginning of Advent really sets the tone for what is coming. Here are our St Andrew, St Nicolas, Virgin of Guadalupe, and St Lucy Day celebrations from past years. For our simple celebrations, I incorporate three elements–food, art, and story.
And all the rest…
Advent wreaths, cards, gifts, parties, handwork…not to mention church! Now is the time to think through these choices. So that the comfort and joy doesn’t become obligation and stress.
One of my family’s dearest Advent practices is praying St. Andrew’s Novena from his feast day to Christmas Eve:
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born Of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.
It is traditionally prayed 15 times a day.
This video about the prayer is worth watching: https://www.facebook.com/ewtnonline/videos/685998940617/
Blessings to you and your family this Advent, friend!
Yes, sweet, Susan, I love to pray the novena…and cherish our own novena miracle: http://www.kortneygarrison.com/2014/01/15/joseph-hunt-at-one/
Advent preparations are underway here as well. Popped a little advent present in the mail for you today ?
You are too good to us, Rachael! Love you so!
I love Advent and we’ve done different things over the years. In the past we’ve done the Jesse tree with the printables from Ann Voskamp’s blog. This year we’re reading “Jotham’s Journey” and lighting the advent wreath and I’m reading the advent plan along with She Reads Truth. And of course lots of picture book reading!
Danielle– your plans sound perfect. Yesterday afternoon, I breathed a sigh of relief. The preparing for Advent work was mostly done (still need gold coins for St Nicolas Day!). Now we could settle down into the *real* work of preparing. And the practices really nourish and change us. From glory to glory!
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