Reinventing Advent

I’m taking a much-needed break from novel writing to muse about the holiday season.

Last night, we lit our Advent candle.  My husband has adapted the liturgy for use at home with our kids.  Every night, we say a blessing, light the candle, read Scripture, and recite the Lord’s Prayer.  We had the chance to talk a little about what the Bible verses mean.  It’s exciting to see the kids processing what they read, trying to understand with their hearts the deeper truths hidden in the familiar stories.

I have to admit, this is the one season when I truly miss traditional church liturgy.  The church we currently attend doesn’t do that sort of thing.  Normally, I don’t mind.  But when Advent rolls around, I find myself longing for the days of attending a church with stained glass windows and a pastor who wears robes.  I yearn for the beauty of the old Christmas hymns, sung by a choir with organ accompaniment.

If I’m honest with myself (and I do try to be honest, if nothing else), I know I wouldn’t want all that pomp and ceremony all year.  Most of the time, even though I do like traditional hymns, I enjoy the praise band more (especially when they’re playing an updated version of a familiar hymn).  I like worshiping in a building where neither the music nor the message is overshadowed by pretty architecture.

But then comes Advent, and I miss it.

Which is why I enjoyed our family celebration last night.  It had just the right amount of scripted recitation without feeling like we were just going through the motions.  We are celebrating the joyous occasion of the birth of our Lord, but it is also solemn and holy.  For that fifteen minutes each night, we are honoring the Lord with our words and actions.

How are you celebrating the season?


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