It’s hard to believe but Advent is already upon us, which means Christmas is not far behind. This marks the start of a new liturgical year in the Church calendar, and begins a season of preparation, expectation, and hope as the weeks crescendo to the climactic celebrations of the birth of the Christ child.
We’ll get our Advent season started this Sunday, November 27, with Advent Wreath Making! Parishioners of all ages are invited to come and make a wreath after the 10:15am service. Please register here so we have enough materials for everyone.
Later that afternoon at 5:30pm we will have our much beloved Advent Lessons and Carols service with our choir leading us through some of the most beautiful music of the season.
As Advent continues, we’ve decided to take the idea of the Incarnation, that is, the idea of the Spirit becoming flesh in an act of Divine creation, as inspiration for our worship and programming for the next few weeks. As our thematic verse for the year reminds us, “This is the day that the Lord has made….”
One of the chief ways this process of inspiration, creation, and connection takes place is through art. Which may be why these seasons of Advent and Christmas have long been seasons that inspired many artists and art forms. So this year, we are going to spend some time looking at “Art in Advent.”
Our Adult Formation time on Sunday mornings (9:15am-10am) will be given over each week to a different art form as it relates to the season of Advent and Christmas.
- We will begin on December 4 with parishioner George Vick, who will lead a class on visual art—painting, glass, sculpture, etc.—that takes as its subject an aspect of the Christmas story. He will draw on works that are all part of the collection at the Chrysler Museum where he is a docent.
- On December 11, I will lead a session on some of the fabulous music of the season thinking about why these hymns and carols hold such a special place in our hearts.
- And on December 18, we will have an Advent Poetry Reading. Come with a poem connected to the seasons of Advent, Christmas, or Epiphany and be prepared to share it with the group.
We hope these sessions are fun, informative, and formative as we go about our Advent preparations.
Sunday Book Study
Additionally, on December 4, 11, and 18, from 11:45am-1pm, I will lead a Sunday Book Study on the book, Art + Faith: a Theology of Making by the artist and author Makoto Fujimura. It’s a short but fascinating book about how he conceives of the artistic process as emblematic of the divine activity in our lives and in our world. We’ll split the book into thirds and talk about a section each week. Parishioners need not sign up but are expected to secure a copy of the book on their own and read the first four chapters of the book in time for the opening session. If purchasing the book proves a financial hardship, please be in touch with a member of the clergy who will be happy to assist.
Finally, to honor this focus on art and creativity in Advent, at the 10:15am Sunday liturgy we will utilize some special musical offerings. The service will begin with a choral introit as we light the candles of the Advent wreath. Also, for these four Sundays we will be chanting the Eucharistic prayer, as well as reintroducing the singing of the Lord’s Prayer. We hope these additional musical elements will help focus our minds on the beauty and wonder of this season so that as we come to Christmas, we will be more than ready for the arrival of the most beautiful, most wonderful creation of all: Jesus, the Christ.
Looking forward with great anticipation to passing through this Advent season with you.
In Faith, Hope, and Love,