Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Advent Candle

I hope no one minds if I get a touch...theological today. I'm Christian, and have an odd soft spot for the cycle of the Church calendar. Ask my favorite season, and I'm apt to answer fall or spring...but I hold back the answer Advent and Lent, the two Christian "preparation" seasons, for Christmas and Easter, respectively. I learned in church this morning that the first Sunday in Advent, which is today, is considered the first day of the Church year--lending a new light to the Church season.

For each Sunday in Advent, a candle is lit in service, and each bears a theme for reflection. The first Sunday in Advent is considered the Sunday of Expectation. Following Thanksgiving, what could be more apt? We've spent time appreciating all we have--and then look ahead and, dare I say, within to see what else is in store for us. And it goes beyond hope, doesn't it, expectation? We not only hope, we hope against hope. We know. Whether or not you are religious, I believe I can say there is something you know will come with a conviction deeper than hope.

Below--my favorite Advent hymn, sung by my favorite artist, Loreena McKennitt (nipped from ye YouTube).

I'm trying to take some time to reflect on what I can expect--and of what is expected of me--in the coming years. I had a plan to return to school, and am reconsidering whether that goal was a misguided one. I'm finding a pull back toward family and writing and, even, church, all things that were sacrificed for the time it took to excel in class.

And, of course, taking some time to enjoy this, my favorite Church season and my favorite cultural season, too. Can't wait to decorate the tree, listen to some Bing Crosby, and simmer the mincemeat!


Kat Zhang said...

Beautiful hymn!!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

It's funny. My husband is a pastor, and I didn't even remember advent started today until I walked into church!

I really learned to love the Lenten season while teaching at an Episcopal school in south Louisiana. Before Lent began, we made Hallelujah posters and ceremoniously packed them away before our week-long Mardi Gras vacation (yes, you heard right. ;)

Each Friday, we'd read through the stations of the cross and leave the chapel in silence.

The first Monday after Easter, we unpacked the posters and celebrated. It was all really special.

Rowenna said...

Kat--I love Loreena McKennitt's music--really fun to listen to.

Caroline--wonderful memories, thanks for sharing those!