In 27 days it will be Christmas. Tomorrow, November 29th is the first day of Advent already!
Yesterday, after mass (we’ve been attending daily mass on Fridays because there are less people there . Covid. Ugh.) I stopped outside to snap a few pictures of our large nativity scene in front of the church. Our church, St.John the Evangelist, sits right at the start of “Candy Cane Lane” . This is a street in our city which is known to have every single house ‘light up the night’ with their Christmas displays. Busloads of folks travel to the inner city here every year and all through the season to take photos , give to the food bank, and enjoy the feeling the colourful displays give.
Our grand nativity scene fits right in and many people stop and have their photo taken on the large, sitting camel by the sidewalk (not shown).
But Advent is not just a “feeling” . Yes, it feels good to see all the pretty lights and we ourselves have taken some of our children and grandchildren on sleigh rides down the street with a hot cup of cocoa in one hand and a candy cane in the other.
Advent is also a time to prepare our hearts for Christmas. We believe that ‘Jesus is the reason for the season’ so it’s not just about presents or even family gatherings. And in a way, with Covid forcing us to be away from most of our loved ones it can help us to slow down and think about all the blessings we have because of God.
Tomorrow we will set up our Advent wreath. This is another reminder of the impending birth of Our Lord. We light one candle every week until we light the middle Christ/Christmas candle. Wikipedia says…..
Advent wreaths are circular, representing God’s infinite love, and are usually made of evergreen leaves, which “represent the hope of eternal life brought by Jesus Christ“. Within the Advent wreath are candles that generally represent the four weeks of the Advent season as well as “the light of God coming into the world through the birth of Jesus Christ” although each of the candles can be attributed its own significance as well; in one version of such interpretation, the candles specifically symbolize the Christian concepts of hope (week one), peace (week two), joy (week three) and love (week four). Many Advent wreaths also have a white candle in the centre to symbolize the arrival of Christmastide, sometimes known as the “Christ candle.”
Perhaps this year YOU might want to make your own Advent wreath. It is a great reminder of what Christmas is all about and beautiful too.