for Sunday, December 2, 2007
While the rest of secular society is already caught up in the frantic rush of shopping, decorations, parties, and other distractions, the church takes pause during Advent to contemplate the wonder of God's underserved mercy and love in Jesus Christ. Christians approach the Advent season much as expectant parents approach the months before a child is born. There are feelings of exhilaration, uneasiness, longing, and awe as the day of arrival approaches.
Just as parents do everything they can to get ready and put things into good order, God's people prepare themselves at home and at church for the coming of the Lord by exercising the disciplines of Advent: confession and repentance, fervent prayer, immersion in Scripture, fasting, and the singing of the Great O Antiphons
and other seasonal hymns and anthems. Saint Paul's, like many congregations, conducts special midweek Advent worship services and hands out special devotional booklets to give our members further opportunities to prepare their hearts for the coming of our Lord and Savior.
THE ADVENT WREATH
The Advent wreath is one of the most popular symbols used by Christians during the season of Advent. These wreaths, consisting of a circle of evergreen branches set around four candles, are used in both churches and Christian homes. The evergreen circle stands for the eternal life that Christ has won for all believers. The
burning candles represent the coming of Christ as the light of the world The colors of the Advent candles can vary. Traditionally, three purple candles and one rose-colored or pink candle are used. The purple signifies that Advent is a season of repentance as well as expectation.
Hark the glad sound!
The Savior comes.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: