Advent in the Western Church is almost upon us as it begins on Sunday, December 1 this year. A beautiful time of power and mystery awaits if only as a culture we can live with expectation, anticipation, and abiding.
Advent is not to be rushed nor to be confused with Christmas. We have twelve glorious days to celebrate Christmastide, with many important feasts within that season. No, this is the season for learning to live in the darkness before the light truly comes.
There are beautiful Saints within the season of Advent to journey with. The Anglican Communion included St. Martin (yes, of Martinmas!) and “St. Martin’s Lent”, the beginning of a forty day fast, the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple and Our Lady of the Sign on November 27th, Saint Andrew, Blessed Nicholas Ferrar, Saint Barbara, Saint Nicholas (oh, the back posts on St. Nicholas on this blog!), Our Lady of Guadalupe, Santa Lucia, Saint Thomas. These days hold such beautiful places, spaces and saints to draw from to make Advent a season of its own within your family life.
As for celebrating Advent, popular things to do include making an Advent wreath, using an Advent calendar of some sort, and for those of you with religious leanings, perhaps making a Jesse tree.
Families within the tradition of Waldorf Education often follow a path of Advent that builds up to all of Earth welcoming the Christ, first with the mineral kingdom of shells, stones and bones, then with the plants, animals in the third week and all of humanity in the fourth week, waiting and abiding in expectation and promise.
There are many, many back posts regarding Advent on this blog, and I will keep writing during this Advent season about this time of anticipation.