What is Advent?
Advent begins the Christian year and comes from the Latin adventus, meaning coming or arrival. These four weeks are a time of waiting, love, and hope when the Church prepares for the coming of the Messiah, the Christ child born in Bethlehem, and makes ready for his second coming at the end of time. The collects for the Sundays in Advent echo the Gospel readings and focus on preparation, expectation, and on the power of the light of Christ in contrast to the long hours of darkness at this time of year.
Advent is upon us. It's the season of the church year when we practice our patience, waiting for the Lord Jesus Christ to come in glory, breaking into history, and renewing all of creating. Waiting for Christ is different than idly waiting in line. Waiting for Christ involves preparation, anticipation, and action. We prepare ourselves through study, prayer, and worship. We live our lives in joyous anticipation, not knowing when Christ will come, but living each day expecting his immediate return. We act by serving the one true and living God by loving those around us. Christ is coming. Actively wait. (from Jesus is Coming... and I'm tired of Waiting: Advent Meditation Guide for Students by Scott KeuchenmeisterHall)
Click here to download an Advent Overview from Weaving God's Promises.
Other online articles
A Different Kind of Christmas: Advent Wreath Liturgies from Ministry Matters, a community of resources for church leaders.
Christmas in Two Homes: From Ministry Matters, a community of resources for church leaders.
Worshiping Through Advent: From Ministry Matters, a community of resources for church leaders.
Helping People Spend Wisely: From Ministry Matters, a community of resources for church leaders.
Some links and general resources
Episcopal Relief and Development
This Advent toolkit provides tools and inspiration to help your diocese, congregation or group plan, construct and host an Advent campaign to support Episcopal Relief & Development
Vibrant Faith at Home
Vibrant Faith at Home is full of Free Downloadable activities for all ages.
Room at the Inn
Worship Resources for the Creative Church. A series of worship packets with a peace and justice emphasis.
Praying in Color
Advent Calendar Templates for 2012 “Prepare for God’s arrival! Make the road straight and smooth, a highway fit for our God.” (Isaiah 40:3 The Message)
Click here for 2013 Advent 1
Click here for 2013 Advent 2
From St. Mary's Press, quick ideas for Advent and Christmas Planning.
Rethinking Youth Ministry
Advent Ideas for Youth Ministry: Subversive Art Revisited; Advent-in-a-Box; Which Nativity is Which?
These are free downloadable ideas for your parish youth ministry, or your teenagers at home.
Alternative Gift Ideas & Book Recommendations
Episcopal Relief and Development Gifts for Life
Gifts for Life is a special way to change our world for the better by providing lasting solutions that fight hunger, create economic opportunities, support health education and strengthen communities around the world. With each gift you purchase, you'll receive a FREE gift card or E-card announcing you have made a generous gift in honor of a loved one.
An Advent Sourcebook and A Christmas Sourcebook
By Thomas O'Gorman. The Sourcebook series of anthologies gathers prose and poetry, hymns and prayers from various times and traditions.
The Brick Bible
This is an interpretation of the Bible told in comic book format entirely with Lego characters.
Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story
By Sally Lloyd-Jones and Alison Jay. A beautiful book for children ages 4-10 (or any ages, really!)
What is a Jesse Tree? It is a tree branch decorated with symbols representing the stories of people in Jesus' family tree.
Read more about this wonderful activity for parishes and families. https://www.rca.org/jessetree