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The Advent Calendar (week one)

Do you have an Advent calendar in your house? The ones I see most often are cardboard  whose 24 doors open to reveal a piece of chocolate or other sweet. I’ve seen others that are little mittens on a string or tiny boxes on a ‘tree’ that hold a treasure or gem inside. Whatever they look like, they’re a special way to count down towards Christmas while getting a treat.

So this space for the next few weeks will be a different type of Advent Calendar – a countdown, to be sure. But the treats will be a bit different –instead of opening the door to find a little chocolate or toy, each day I’ll examine a little treat/jewel of the Anglican Church.  So here it begins; each day I’ll add another Anglican gem in the forum section below.


SUNDAY 02 Dec.: The Primate. (Not a monkey.)

“Overall, he is responsible for leading the church in discerning and pursuing the mission of God.” (see: This is done through personal visits, sacramental duties, administrative responsibilities, and as the representative of the national church.

Our present Primate, The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, has been serving in this office since 2007.  He shares his great passion for “our beloved church” in all that he does.  Archbishop Hiltz is known for his pastoral care, his prayerful manner, his commitment to justice issues, and his sense of humour.

About Laura Marie Piotrowicz

I’m a high-energy priest, now serving in the Diocese of Niagara, catching glimpses of the kingdom in daily life. I consider church to be a verb, and I’m passionate about prayer, eco-theology, and social justice. I love travel, reading, canoeing, camping, gardening and cooking, playing with my dogs, and drinking good coffee.

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0 Responses to The Advent Calendar (week one)

  1. MONDAY 03 December: The Book of Common Prayer

    Today’s treat is the fabulous gem known as the BCP.  Originally written in 1549, it’s the basis for all Anglican worship services around the world. I’ve been blessed to worship from it (or its derivations) on 3 continents (so far!)  This gem compiles the Calendar, the Psalms, the Offices, the 39 Articles, and a wide collection of prayers and other resources. The language is beautiful and poetic (if sometimes difficult), the prayers useful in just about any occasion.  Some of my favourites from this beloved book include the Naval prayer (former Navy chick, what can I say!), all three creeds, and the compline service.

  2. TUESDAY 04 Dec.: The Marks of Mission

    General Synod in 2010 affirmed a plan to “comment the Marks of Mision as a framework for the ministry of the whole Anglican Church of Canada.”

    The 5 marks, which are used throughout the worldwide Anglican Communion, are:

    • To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
    • To teach, baptize, and nurture new believers
    • To respond to human need by loving service
    • To seek to transform unjust structures of society
    • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
  3. WEDNESDAY 05 Dec.: The Anglican Fellowship of Prayer

    The AFP is an organisation that promotes prayer and sees it as a united force in the church. It reaches out to all Christians. The AFP provides resources for individuals and groups, such as booklets, newsletters, cards, and of course information on prayer – types, styles, practices. Workshops are held, prayerful ministry is exercised through volunteers, parish reps, diocesan reps.

    The AFP has a representative in every diocese; you can learn more about this gem of the Anglican church through your rep or by going to

  4. don’t forget the 6th – feast day of the ‘un-Cola’ St.Nicholas  – but very much a ‘give-away type’ especially to the needy people of his diocese. (Myra)  4th C or maybe 5th….

    Is the Te Deum still replaced by the Benedicite at Mattins?

  5. THURSDAY 06 Dec.: Kitchen Saints

    Today, the Feast of St. Nicholas, I want to highlight a certain type of Anglican – the Kitchen Saint. These are the ladies and gentlemen who can be located – you guessed it – in the kitchen.  In the parishes I serve, they are there like a well-oiled machine; setting tables, clearing them, washing dishes, repeat. They are present without hesitation for funeral lunches, coffee Sundays, social events, anytime we gather in community and food (or coffee) is involved.  They are not always seen when they are doing their work, but it is always a blessing to benefit from the results of their labours. In all of the parishes I serve (and have served), these folks are living out an amazing ministry of hospitality and welcome, to friends and strangers alike. The church would be poorer without them. To all our kitchen saints: you are gems! We thank you!


  6. FRIDAY 07 Dec.: The Lectionary

    The lectionary specifies the passages of scripture which are to be used in worship. Each day has specific readings for each form of office, Holy Eucharist, morning or evening prayer, BCP or BAS. Based on a 3-year cycle (we have just begun Year C), it incorporates the liturgical seasons and feasts and holy days.  There is always a thread or theme throughout the daily readings, which can influence our prayers and sermons/homilies for that day.  The use of the lectionary ensures that every three years we work through (almost) all of the scriptures, (the first three Gospels are heard in their entirety on Sundays, the Gospel of St. John is interspersed throughout the years), rather than the preacher choosing the texts themselves.  The lectionary is a valuable gem in the Anglican tradition; it can be found for ay day here on The Community site.

  7. SATURDAY 08 Dec.: Scripture Readers

    Today’s gem, as I see it, are those fabulous volunteers who read. They are willing to stand up in front of everyone else gathered in the community and share – aloud – the word of God. Sometimes the readings are short, others are long. Some are compiled of commonplace words, some readings seem to be a compilation of unceasing unpronounceable names and places. Whatever the scriptures are, they are read. Readers exercise this ministry carefully; some are chosen weeks and months in advance and practice at home, some are asked to read just as they enter the church and bravely, boldly, engage in this task. This ministry is not undertaken lightly, and is always appreciated by the gathered community. It is a tremendous service to the church!

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