One...Twenty years ago when I became an Episcopalian, I discovered the beauty of Advent. Now as a Catholic, I still appreciate the stark simplicity of the Advent season...waiting and longing for the birth of Jesus. Advent helps me keep the emphasis on preparing my heart for the birth of our Savior.
Boo and I will make our Advent wreath Saturday. I wanted to include a photo of it today, but Boo remembers that "we always made our wreath the day before the first Sunday." Of course we did. I always seemed to be running behind. This year I'm ready. Let me just say that we'll have a simple wreath. Nothing fancy.
Two...There are several Advent songs that we'll be enjoying during this season. Here are links to three of them. The first is The Gift of Emmanuel. The words are very meaningful. Pay attention to them. The second is For You O Lord, My Soul in Stillness Waits. This one Boo really likes. He says it helps him remember to be quiet before God. The third is one of my favorites from years ago. I think I sang it at summer camps and campfires for years. Light One Candle is really about the Maccabean miracle, about sacrifice and righting wrongs and is sung by Peter, Paul and Mary. Maybe it's not a "real" Advent song, but it speaks to me. And Boo will sing along with gusto. Who knew he'd know the words?
Three...We are praying the St. Andrew's Christmas Novena this year. Elizabeth Foss has a nice printable of the prayer here. She also has links to further information about the novena. Boo remembers the prayer from his childhood. The novena begins today.
Four...One of the Sundays in Advent I make a cinnamon bun wreath to celebrate. The particular Sunday really depends upon Boo's blood sugar. Somehow, I've never taken a photo of one, but they're similar to this one by Charlotte at Waltzing Matilda. (Charlotte's was made for St. Lucy's feast day.)
Five...The O Antiphons begin on December 17th, I think. One year I designed and made an O Antiphon house with little windows that opened. I can't find it in my Christmas decorations this year, though I'm sure it's there somewhere. Instead, we may make ornaments similar to these by Anne of Under Her Starry Mantle. I'm not as talented as she is, but homemade ornaments are always best.
Six...The hymn we always use for the O Antiphons is O Come, O Come Emmanuel. This is Boo's favorite rendition...maybe because it's slower and he can understand it better.
Seven...We decorate sloooowly for Christmas. Because of Boo's visual impairment and his dementia, I don't make changes quickly and wait until he's familiar with those before I add more. Our Advent wreath is the first decoration. On St. Nicholas' feast day, we put out all the St. Nicholas figurines and hang stockings. On St. Lucy's feast day, we put out Christmas candles and hang a wreath. I've considered putting up a small tree and adding decorations each day, but I'm not sure.
Have a wonderful Advent preparing for the Christmas season.
Seven Quick Takes