Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Welcome to the Carnival of Anglican Advent Traditions! It is our hope that Anglicans and non-Anglicans alike will be encouraged and inspired to celebrate Advent this year--a whole season of its own.

Advent begins--not always on Dec. 1, as most children's Advent calendars do--but four Sundays before Christmas, which would be this Sunday, December 2. Advent officially begins a new liturgical year on the church calendar.

Christmas is the second season in the liturgical year, and it begins on December 25 and continues for 12 days ("The Twelve Days of Christmas") until it ends with "Twelfth Night" on January 5. (On January 6 the next season, Epiphany, begins.)

Traditionally, no Christmas carols were played, sung or listened to during Advent, and no Christmas tree was put up until Christmas Eve--not before midnight in the strictly observant. (As a child, weren't you always surprised by the stories where the children woke up on Christmas morning and saw the tree for the first time? Now you know why!)

So what can we do during Advent to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ? Our Carnival participants have lots of inspiring ideas for Anglicans and all others who wish to enter into the meaning of this season of preparation:

Kerry at A Ten O'Clock Scholar invites you into her home with five virtual rooms of information and ideas! (Don't miss the Family Calendar, with a neat schedule of what to do, when!)

Anne Kennedy at An Undercurrent of Hostility posts "a hodgepodge of our current Advent traditions and a little sermonizing thereon."

Amy at Experience Imagination tells about a couple of traditions she and her husband stumbled onto that are so good, they've continued them!

Elaine at Blog in My Eye and Laura at 10 Million Miles are starting small this year, and they both recommend Advent devotionals that sound worth checking out.

My post reflects a love of words and the Word, with an emphasis on the Daily Office readings for Advent.

From the other side of the Atlantic, Linds at Rocking Chair Reflections shares what sounds like a uniquely British Advent tradition called the Christingle service. (Is anyone else familiar with it? In her travels, she's only seen it in England.)

Finally, Father Steve Hoskins, a personal friend and rector of Christ Our Hope Anglican Church in Fort Collins, CO, a young AMIA church plant, contributes a meditation on the Anglican tradition of Confession as it relates to Advent.

NEWLY ADDED: From Qatar, Laura at My Quotidian Mysteries describes her journey from evangelicalism to liturgy, and her tradition of capturing the spirit of Advent in poetry each year. (Wheaties, she's a fellow alum.)

And now, check in the comments! I'm posting a few suggestions there from my friend Margie Fawcett. Her blog is currently devoted to updates on her husband John's battle with cancer, but she's speaking on Advent to our Mom's group this Thursday and has several great ideas she emailed to me.

And if you are an Anglican reader or blogger, please be sure and leave a comment with your family's Advent traditions. This Carnival is also about building community among Anglicans online--as it seems we are few and far between. (Non-Anglicans, please feel free to join us in the comments too!)

Thank you so much for joining us, and may you have a very blessed Advent season.


At A Hen's Pace said...

Thoughts from Margie Fawcett:

1. Because Advent is a time of waiting and preparing ourselves for a new birth of Christ in our lives, we do lots of things that have to do with waiting. We mix up a batch of cookies at the beginning of Advent. Then we put them in the freezer and wait until Christmas Eve to bake them. We gift wrap each of our Christmas books and
unwrap one each day.

2. Advent is a season of waiting for the Light of Christ to burst again into a dark world. We use an Advent Wreath and scriptural meditation before lighting the candle at dinner each night. We also use a more hands-on and child-friendly Family Advent
Worship service. This is something I wrote for the use of our church family and families at home. It includes scripture, singing and a chance for each child to scoop sand into a cup and say, "I have sinned." and then place a small candle in the cup and lighting from the center Christ candle to say, "Jesus the Light of the World comes to me." (Email Margie at if you'd like a copy.)
3. Finally, we try to have all of our shopping and wrapping done before Advent starts. This frees up family time for worship, reading, being together and waiting
in peace without the bustle of a commercialized Christmas.

Summer in FL said...

I wish I had something to share. But I'm looking forward to reading all the suggestions and hopefully, incorporating some of them into our Christmas. Thanks for hosting.

Jessica said...

Thanks for putting this together - I've opened a bunch of the links and am looking forward to reading them.

I also like the idea of connecting with other Anglican bloggers - you're right, it can feel like there is a dearth of us!

Bronwen said...

Just "stumbled"? upon your blog in time for the start of advent... me thinks I was directed here for inspiration and reflections during this Christmastide...
We've been doing an alternative advent reflection with our church this year... looking at Fresh Expressions.... do you have that over the water in the States>
PS I'm in the UK and we are helping to arrange our local Christingle service this Sunday. Maybe I'll post the Christingle play the children are acting out explaining the meaning of the Christingle...

Spinneretta said...

Yes, I have heard of Cristingle... I'm English (although in the USA), and Catholic... but I have still heard of it.
I used to watch it on the TV 1st Sunday of Advent. It is a lovely Anglican tradition!

Linds said...

Well done girls! Great links to check out too. Thanks for arranging this festival for us.Sorry you have to scroll down to read the Christingle post. Oops.

Kerry said...

There is a great conversation going on over at StandFirm on the post for this carnival (scroll down to the comments).

The Lent & Beyond people - who host a fantastic page of Advent links - have the archived links posted for the old Advent pages. Their site is currently down (I think), so you have to use these cached Google links.

Here's the link for the StandFirm page:

TwoSquareMeals said...

Oooh! I'm so excited to find other historically biblical Anglicans in the blogosphere. I did a post awhile back about our Advent ideas, but I didn't hear about this until today. You can read it here. I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's ideas.

TLF+ said...

This thread is a great idea!

I like to add to the creche (manger scene) as the season goes along. I don't add baby Jesus until Christmas, and the magi from the East don't show up until Epiphany (I sometimes have their figurines on the east side of a room, and gradually move them west to the manger).

My wife, Melissa, keeps cider warming through much of Advent. It adds such a warm, welcoming aroma to the home... and she did this while managing the kitchen at a large parish school, too. Really cheered her volunteers and she used that time of fellowship for effective evangelism (many of the students' families were unchurched.)

clumsy ox said...

My wife and I are really just dipping our toes into Anglicanism, as it were. I guess we choose a good time to start...

I've been enjoying this whole topic, though. Thanks for the education.

Kate said...

Thanks so much for organising this. I've really enjoyed browsing the ideas and hearing about others' traditions. There's an Anglican Advent blog starting up at on Sunday which might be worth checking out - just thoughts, poems, pictures etc. I think it's being organised within the Scottish Episcopal Church, but obviously all are invited to pop in to see what's happening.

Thanks again for this. It's been very inspiring and thought-provoking.

mer said...

I LOVE the ideas I'm finding here. Thank you so much for doing this.

We don't have any Anglican advent traditions at the moment, but I'm thinking of beginning this year with these two ideas.

Making an advent wreath and having a short daily scripture reading.

Lectio divina using readings from the book of Luke during our weekly family devotional time. We've actually done this a few times with our children and it's been a very beautiful experience!

annie said...

Thanks so much for organizing this! I wasn't with it enough to send you my post, but I'll have something up in the next week about our (growing ) Advent traditions. Blessings this season of waiting!

Catherine said...

This is fantastic - an Advent clearing house. I appreciate it!

Bronwen said...

Hi it's me again! as well as the Christingle service (see above comment)we light one of four white candles each Sunday of Advent finishing with a central red candle on Christmas morning.Actually all the children in the congragation are invited to the front and hold on to the handle of the taper so they all light the candle!! And then we sing a special advent candle song, adding a new verse each week as a new candle is lit... (Can't think of the words now! but I'll get them on Sunday and post them them on my blog!)

Jill said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! I just blogged on our Jesse Tree tradition at my blog

Jamie said...

Thank you for putting this together--it was lovely reading, and it's nice to connect with other bloggers who celebrate Advent.