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Advent Joys

An advent stole depicting stars above aurora borealis. Photo 2008, Matthew Griffin. CC-Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

I love Advent. I love it as the blue frontals and vestments–that come out for such a short time, each year–are draped on altar and are worn atop albs. I love the hymns–from “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” to “There’s a Voice in the Wilderness Calling” to “How the Word Longs for Your Birth” and beyond. I love the waiting and the anticipation, the eager longing for the fulfillment of God’s reign. I love the challenge of preaching on the difficult eschatological lections that we hear. I love being in a community where we sing the litany in procession on the first Sunday of Advent.

I love Advent. And I love all the traditions that are a part of Advent. So here’s my question: what do you look forward to, as we prepare to dive into a new Church year this coming Sunday? What part of Advent is your favourite? Are you getting out blue vestments or purple vestments? What excites you about this season?

 

Matthew Griffin

About Matthew Griffin

I’m a priest serving in the Diocese of Niagara, with both a pastoral and an academic interest in the relationship between liturgy and theology. I enjoy reading, cooking, and spending time with my beloved and our young son.

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11 Responses to Advent Joys

  1. I love Advent. It’s my favourite liturgical season. I adore the blue vestments, the anticipation, the ‘now-and-not-yet’ feeling. My favourite is Advent 2 when we delve in with John the Baptist. The New Year promising new potentials. Love it, love it. The whole season brings me joy. ūüôā

  2. Fr. Bengry

    I like the purple vestments… and the rose vestments oh so rare on Gaudete Sunday. And the Litany too (around around we went!) Happy New Year!

  3. I’m with the rest of you: I love Advent. It’s my favourite time of the year. I love the colours, I love the music, and I even love the controversial wreath (though admittedly, I love it most at home). But I think more than anything else, I love the tension we are forced to live with. The already-but-not-yet of Advent speaks to me more about the state of the world than the rest of the Church year. And perhaps somewhat ironically, that tension also helps me deal with my own struggles around the commercialization of Christmas, carols beginning November 1st, and the temptation to skip Advent altogether. It’s taken me years, but I’ve calmed my internal liturgical police with the realization that while the not yet is important, it doesn’t exist without the already. We’re not there yet. Except we are. But we’re not…

  4. I like(d) the Collect: …’read,mark,learn and inwardly digest’ ¬†((the Scriptures)) . It seems to have disappeared from Advent 2 ¬†– has it been transferred, or simply dropped?

  5. Ali Symons

    I love the music, like “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.” We sang that last Sunday with gusto.

  6. Matthew Griffin

     

    Charlie, that collect got moved with the BAS revisions to the Sunday between November 6 and 12.

  7. @Matthew ¬†— thank you. Imust admit it isn’t very ‘Advent-ive’ ; but it does reflect on something ¬†— ¬†rather — important, yes?

    When did the ‘colours’ get changed from purple to blue? ¬†Isn’t blue for feasts of the Virgin?

    Oh well, can’t argue with City Hall, I guess.

  8. @Matthew ¬†— thank you. Imust admit it isn’t very ‘Advent-ive’ ; but it does reflect on something ¬†— ¬†rather — important, yes?

    When did the ‘colours’ get changed from purple to blue? ¬†Isn’t blue for feasts of the Virgin?

    Oh well, can’t argue with City Hall, I guess.

  9. Charlie, that’s a good question. You’re correct that blue is used for Marian feasts, especially in the Roman/Anglo-catholic¬†tradition. However, the blue you’re seeing these days is Sarum Blue, an approximation of the blue that would have been used in the Sarum Rite, which, as you know, played an important role in the development of Anglican liturgy and the BCP. Perhaps ironically, blue was adopted as an Advent colour in mainstream protestant denominations before it made its way into Anglican use, and to this day, is not permitted the Roman Catholic church, at least in our part of the world.

    All that being said, my understanding is that either violet or blue may be used, though there is likely some local variation in different parts of the country. In any case, its use as ‘the colour just before the dawn’ seems to carry significant meaning in advent, albeit at the expense of losing a symbolic connection with lent. @mgriffin may be able to say more…

  10. “just before the dawn” ¬† ¬† – ¬† I like that. ¬†I suppose a traditionalist might say that represents “pre-ex oriente lux.”

    ūüôā

  11. Dawn Leger

    I love Advent. And I love all the traditions that are a part of Advent. So here’s my question: what do you look forward to, as we prepare to dive into a new Church year this coming Sunday? What part of Advent is your favourite? What excites you about this season?

    [See the full post at: Advent Joys]

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