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Advent

November 28, 2011

So much for a week off school and the prospect of writing on the blog more often.  But then most of our plans for last week didn’t work out quite as intended.  I don’t know where all my energy went, but it was certainly lacking.  It was nice to take a break though and we had a good Thanksgiving.

So, moving on…

We’ve decided to celebrate Advent this year.  Every year I look for ideas that move us closer to the true meaning of Christmas and last year I stumbled across a site about Advent for Latter-day Saints put up by Eric Huntsman, a professor of ancient scripture at BYU.  He says,

“The term “advent” comes from the Latin adventus, meaning “coming” or “appearance.” Advent is the season marking the four Sundays before Christmas and developed as a way of helping Christians prepare not only to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in his First Coming but also to help them look forward to his glorious Second Coming. Although Advent customs may be foreign to many Latter-day Saints, we have found that, like so many seasonal traditions, they are a wonderful way to turn our attention more fully to the true meaning of Christmas.”

I agree!

He includes readings for the four Sundays of Advent, as well as scriptures, stories, and carols for each of the 24 days in December leading up to Christmas Day.  We just did the daily scripture reading last year as I missed the first Sunday of Advent.  But this year I want in!  So I’ve been on the hunt for an advent wreath.  Do people around here not do Advent wreaths?  I couldn’t find anything like what I had in mind so finally ended up with a cheap little green wreath and some short candle holders nestled inside of it. It needs a little dressing up, but it works for now.  The traditional colors for the candles are purple, with the third one being rose.  Do you think I could find purple candles anywhere in this town?  We finally had to settle for burgundy and a very pale pink.  It was the closest I could come.

We lit the first candle tonight and took turns reading the scriptures and talking about hope, before singing “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”  It was lovely.  I’m looking forward to adding in the light of one more candle each week as we move toward Christmas Eve and Christmas Day when we will light the central “Christ” candle.

In recent days I’ve really noticed how much earlier the sun is going down and one thing that I love about this time of year is seeing all the lights everywhere.  We love to drive around and see all the lights on people’s houses and on their trees.  Temple Square is just beautiful all lit up.  How different this darkest time of the year would be without all the cheery Christmas lights and candlelight all around.  Just as different as my life would be without the light of Christ and the sweet knowledge of the Gospel that I have and enjoy and am able to share.

I have another plan for the holiday season, as concerns the blog, but for now I’ll just close with a scripture we read tonight that is one of my favorites:

Moroni 7:41  And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Adrienne permalink
    November 29, 2011 9:49 am

    Hi! I just found your blog through the WTM forum. I was one of your violinists (Adrienne Landes back then) in the Payson High Orchestra. On the same stand with Michael Shumway. I was probably really annoying, thanks for putting up with all of us.

    I like this Advent post. I’ve been looking for a way to do a Jesse Tree, or a full on advent calendar but the first option is too complicated, and the second option doesn’t really teach about Christ. So, this 5 candle wreath seems just about right.

    I homeschool my 3 kids (7, 4, and 2).

  2. gina permalink
    November 30, 2011 6:15 am

    We did an advent wreath every year as I was growing up, but I grew up Catholic. When I converted, it seemed like Mormons just didn’t do advent wreaths. I want to thank you for that link by Eric Huntsman! That is exactly what I’ve been looking for! Now I just need to make a neat calendar for it! It’s going to be a busy day!!

  3. December 10, 2011 11:42 am

    I am so glad that Advent is working out for your families. I have been updating our Advent ideas this year via our Jerusalem blog if you want to see some of my newer suggestions: http://huntsmansintheholyland.blogspot.com/2011/12/third-sunday-of-advent-joy.html. I have also done a little book with Deseret Book connected with the subject, but I do not want to sound like I am marketing it, so I will not give the link here.

    Happy Advent and Merry Christmas!

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