At this time of year the realm of nature becomes still and quiet. People are busy in their homes preparing for the celebrations of the season. Inwardly, it is also a time of preparation, contemplation and hope. We search our hearts, minds, and souls for the inner light that will carry us through the dark days of winter. We wait for Christ with an open heart.
The Season of Advent begins Sunday, November 29. It is also the beginning of the Church year. The word “advent” comes from the Latin adventus meaning “arrival” or “coming,” particularly of something having great importance. In Western Christianity, Advent begins on the fourth Sunday prior to Christmas Day, or the Sunday which falls closest to November 30, and lasts through Christmas Eve, December 24.
Advent is a time of contemplation and anticipation of the birth of Christ. Our days of light grow shorter and the darkness can seem overwhelming at times on many levels. One way of celebrating this season of Advent is through the creation of an Advent Spiral for walking. The tradition of Advent Gardens or Spirals is thought to have originated in Scotland. Evergreen boughs are set up in a spiral shape and seasonally decorated. The space is dark except for a single candle in the center of the spiral. Each participant is given an apple holding a candle. Against the backdrop of quiet seasonal music, participants walk through the spiral to the center, carrying their apple. They light their candles and place it along the spiral path on their return to the start. The surrounding space moves from darkness to light. This is a lovely, quiet way to commemorate the Advent Season in the company of others, and to remember to carry the light within the dark.
This year, St. John’s will again create an Advent Spiral, on Sunday, December 6. Please watch for more details in the Sunday bulletin in regard to the time.
On Saturday, December 12, members of St. John’s will organize at the Nickles’ home at 10am and journey to the Big Horns for our annual Christmas Tree cutting trip. Please note that permits must be obtained prior to that day, as the Lovell Forest Service Office is not issuing these permits.
Another way that St. John’s will be offering support for that inward journey of stillness, quiet and preparation during this season is in the offering of an Evensong service on Thursday evening, December 17, at 7pm. It will be a time of quiet music, sacred reading, communal silence and tending the ground of our inner preparation for Christ’s coming. Please watch the Sunday bulletins for further details.