A verse for this week:
The third light of Advent is the light of beasts-
All Await the Birth, from greatest to the least
The third light of Advent is the light of beasts,
The light of hope we see in the greatest and the least
I hope you are all enjoying this third week of Advent. This is the week I find if I am not careful, all the busy creeps up and makes the holiday season less enjoyable, so I like to try to be as conscious as I can about that.
This week I am celebrating “Ember Days” on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. This is traditional, the Farmer’s Almanac mentions it as days to give thanks for the olive crop. In the Episcopal Tradition, this is often a time of thanks for those in ministry, being ordained into ministry, and all Christian vocations. These are traditional days of fasting and abstinence, and sometimes just what I need to pull myself back into the quiet and centered place that Advent calls us to be.
This is the week that the third candle in the Advent Wreath is lit and it usually is a pink candle, seen as a symbolism of joy and hope. What I love about this week is that to me it strikes at the heart of simplicity and minimalism. We don’t need a lot to be happy. This is the week to hike, play board games, light candles for dinner and be grateful and full of love for all that we have in each other, not in the material things. This can be a great week for adults to evaluate if the materialism of the season has gotten out of control. If it has, my solution would be to tuck away some of the gifts for the time of Christmastide (you can get gifts throughout Christmastide! 12 days!), tuck some away for a future birthday or holiday, and to replace some of those material gifts with coupons for the gifts of time or service.
Many of us also celebrate this wonderful week with a focus on the animal kingdom and leading up to the beauty of the Winter Solstice. This can be a beautiful day with ideas of light – lanterns, winter spirals, make winter suncatchers, dip candles and make candles- all would be lovely! You can get up early and watch the sunrise, but many families I know celebrate the eve of the Winter Solstice. This can be a day to bake sun bread (see the children’s book by the same title), to have tea, to make gingerbread houses! So many wonderful ideas, and I would love to hear what you are doing.
In the back of my mind, I know the fourth week of Advent will be a little short, so I am getting some ideas ready for our celebration (you can see some ideas here), and then we will jump right into Christmastide…I love to pick a centering “word of the year” every year and have already chosen my 2020 word: RADIANT. More about that later!