Preparing for Advent

Advent begins next Sunday but we should be thinking of it NOW so we are ready for the First Sunday

The origins of the Advent wreath are found in the folk practices of the pre-Christian Germanic peoples who, during the cold December darkness of Eastern Europe, gathered wreaths of evergreen and lighted fires as signs of hope in a coming spring and renewed light.

Christians kept these popular traditions alive, and by the 16th century Catholics and Protestants throughout Germany used these symbols to celebrate their Advent hope in Christ, the everlasting Light. From Germany the use of the Advent wreath spread to other parts of the Christian world.

Traditionally, the wreath is made of four candles in a circle of evergreens. Three candles are violet and the fourth is rose, but four white candles or four violet candles can also be used. Each day at home, the candles are lighted, perhaps before the evening meal– one candle the first week, and then another each succeeding week until December 25th. We prayer to accompany the lighting.

The first day the wreath is in the home.

As our nights grow longer and our days grow short we look on these earthly signs–light and green branches–and remember God’s promise to our world:Christ, our Light and our Hope, will come. In the words of Isaiah the prophet:

The people that walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those who lived in a land as dark as death a light has dawned.
You have increased their joy
and given them gladness;
They rejoice in your presence
as those who rejoice at harvest,
as warriors exult when dividing spoil

Let us pray:

O God, rejoicing, we remember the promise of your Son. As the light from this candle, may the blessings of Christ come upon us, brightening our way and guiding us by his truth. May Christ our Saviour bring life into the darkness of our world, and to us, as we wait for his coming. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Then the first candle is lighted.

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Friday,29th. November at 7pm. we have our ADVENT FESTIVAL in the Chapel.

Tuesday, 10th. December, our CAROL SERVICE is 7pm. In St. Edmunds Church, The Avenue. Wednesday 18th. December, CHARLTON CAROL SERVICE at 2.15 in our Chapel Tuesday, 24th. December, MIDNIGHT MASS is celebrated in our Chapel on the stroke of twelve. EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO ALL THESE ADVENT CELEBRATIONS