This Sunday will mark the first day of the Advent season. This year we will celebrate in our home each day by reading, praying, and lighting the advent candles together. There are many resources available, but over the years I’ve settled on a few favorites that I wanted to share with you.
First, you’ll need some advent candles, traditionally in the shape of a wreath. Mr. Thirdrowseat made me the lovely Advent box pictured above this year. I know that this will become a treasured part of our family history. You don’t need anything too fancy, though. You can buy Advent wreaths on Amazon.com for just a few dollars or you can even just use five candles you already have around the house. The candles on the outer ring each represent one of the four weeks of Advent. The center candle is reserved for Christmas day and is called the Christ candle.
We are using four basic resources for our Advent celebrations this year. This website has some great prayers and basic descriptions to use if you are new to celebrating Advent. I particularly love their weekly alternate/complementary prayers for the candle lighting. The first year I celebrated Advent daily with some friends we read through this book. It’s been a few years since I’ve used it, but I remember the time fondly and think that there were only a few readings that we had to skip over for being out of line with our particular beliefs.
Finally, as we do throughout the year, our family practices praying the offices using The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle. It is probably my most recommended resource for the Christian life outside the bible. The daily prayers are a wonderful way to enter into prayer and to quiet my heart. There is a special Advent edition of The Divine Hours, but I would suggest getting the seasonal set in three volumes as the winter book already contains the Advent readings.
How are you celebrating this season? I’d love to hear about your traditions, too.