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Create a family Advent wreath.Afterthe sun sets on the First Sunday of Advent,turn out all the house lights.Stand for a few moments in the dark-ness.Listen to the house noises,feelthe darkness.Then,light one candleon the wreath and watch the lightradiate around you.Say together ,“Jesus Christ,Light of the world,comeinto our hearts again.”
The church has designated particu-lar colors to carry the symbolismand mood of each sacred season.The liturgical color for Advent ispurple, not red or even green.These colors are meant to create aliturgical mood that key into thegrace of the season. It is importantfor us to put aside the colors of Christmas with all the decorationsand first display the more somberpurple tones of Advent. Put out alittle purple this year in your homeand save the colors of Christmas fortheir own time.
Come,long-awaited SaviorFill the dark placesof my lifewith your amazing LightCome to those placeswhere I have closedthe shutters,drawn the curtainsand refuse to openmy soulto the truththat light brings.Come,long-awaited Savior,change me.Amen.
Something about darkness scares us. We imag-ine things “that go bump in the night.” Itseems to be a universal fear. Everyone runsfrom the horrors of the night into the bless-ings of dawn. Little surprise, then, that theAdvent story begins in the darkness.Everything that scares us about being alone,without God’s love, can be known in the gutfeelings of standing in the dark of night. We are invited on this first Sunday of Advent to experience the darkness so that wecan receive the Light with grace. In the dark-est and longest nights of the solar year, we canpause in the pre-holiday rush and simplystand in the quiet of night.This is the perfect time to take a night walk. We can go alone or gather our family andwalk out into the night. If we can walk in aplace far from the city lights it is all the better. What parts of our lives are filled with theunknown? What light can Jesus bring to thefuture? Of what are we afraid? These ques-tions of the night are the soul work of Advent.The Scriptures call us to keep Advent inquiet darkness so that we can revel in thesplendid sound and light of “
Gloria inExcelsis Deo
By Jeanne Hunt
Who are you and who do you fol-low?
What practical changes can youmake in your holiday plans in orderto keep Advent?
How can you enter into Advent andput off Christmas until these fourweeks have passed?
Is 4:2-6/Mt 8:5-11
Is 11:1-10/Lk 10:21-24
Is 25:6-10a/Mt 15:29-37
Is 26:1-6/Mt 7:21,24-27
Is 29:17-24/Mt 9:27-31
Gn 3:9-15,20/Eph 1:3-6,11-12/Lk1:26-38
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