No, it’s not a month early! But, as you probably know, December 2nd is New Year’s Day, liturgically speaking! We are beginning a new church year!
“Advent’s theme is, consistent with [a] historical genesis as a penitential observance, focused on God’s call as redeemer and judge of all time. Advent sets our celebration of the Incarnation into this framework of anticipation of this redemption and gracious judgment.
“The tone of this penitence, slightly different from [Lent], is filtered through confidence and eagerness that God is coming, and the call to make ready as a cause of joy. [We may consider then] repentance and making ready; anticipation of a great gift; longing for the reign of God; the deepening of our sensitive to what is broken in a world that needs God’s coming; and the attunement of our expectation that God’s promise will be fulfilled, as the readings shift toward the approach of the Feast of the Incarnation/Christmas” (Planning for Rites and Rituals, Church Publishing, 2018; p. 3).
We will certainly be making sure that these themes are covered in our weekly worship this December, but there are several resources that folks might want to check out for personal study and reflection:
• A two-minute video introduction to Advent can be found here: https://youtu.be/eC0FGQLBp7w
• A more expansive description of Advent can be found here: https://bit.ly/2AkPWtf
• A study/reflection/devotional guide for the weeks of Advent, assembled by a number of Episcopalians (clergy and lay) can be found here: https://www.livingcompass.org/advent
As of THIS writing (several weeks in advance of December 2!), plans are still being assembled, but there should be some opportunities for Advent reflection and preparation in groups/classes as well.
Manifold blessings as we prepare for the Coming of Christ!