Tag Archives: Advent

Advent

Peace Angel greeting card by Kinuko Y. Craft. Click image for more.

Peace Angel greeting card by Kinuko Y. Craft. Click image for more.

For Christians, the four weeks before Christmas are a special time called Advent (from the Latin for “to come”), a time spent anticipating the birth of the Son of God. Choosing this date to honor this moment was not accidental. For centuries, people had been eagerly anticipating the Winter Solstice and the arrival of the Sun at the same time of the year. Whether waiting for the birth of a divine child or the rebirth of the Sun, this is a time of anticipation in the darkness of winter.

Different customs help Christians count the days until Christmas: Advent calendars have a new little window to be opened each day; adding a piece of straw every day to the manger in the nativity scene; and the lighting of candles on an Advent wreath.

You can also create your own customs to mark the four Sundays before Christmas or Winter Solstice. I inherited one of my favorite Advent customs from my friend, Helen Farias, who wrote stories based on winter gods and goddesses. She suggested reading one on each of the four Sundays before Christmas while sipping on warming holiday drinks, nibbling on traditional holiday cookies, and lighting the next candle on the Advent wreath. Continue reading

Stir-Up Sunday

Messages from Your Angels by Doreen Virtue

Image from our Messages from Your Angels 2016 wall calendar featuring words of wisdom from Doreen Virtue. Click image for more info.

In England, the last Sunday before Advent is called Stir-Up Sunday, a name derived from the first words of the Collect that is read in church on that day: “Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people.”

These words were creatively applied as an injunction to start making the Christmas puddings and pies, which folklore says should be stirred clockwise with a wooden spoon, with all family members taking a turn in this order: mother, father, children, and visitors. Continue reading