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Advent is upon us

December 1, 2013

December 1st already?  I’m not ready for this!  At least I had the foresight to get the Christmas boxes out of storage yesterday so I could dig out the Advent wreath and candles.  We don’t go all out on decorating right after Thanksgiving because we get a live Christmas tree round about Dec. 14.  Well, maybe live isn’t the right word–real, maybe?  Anyway, I’m not a big decorator of the house but love the idea of preparing our hearts and minds for the Christmas season.

For the past couple years, we’ve been reading selections from  Advent for Latter-day Saints put together by Eric D. Huntsman, a BYU professor of ancient scripture.  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.”

So today we celebrated the first Sunday of Advent.  E was quite entranced by the candle.

Last year we added Bro. Huntsman’s book, Good Tidings of Great Joy to our collection, but it’s packed away with most of the rest of my books in storage at the moment, so we’re back to using his website for the scriptural readings for the four Sundays of Advent.  But I did pick up a copy (at a much cheaper price than it’s currently going for!) of the Handel’s Messiah Family Advent Reader which includes insights on the Messiah libretto along with stories explaining Christmas customs and a listening cd.  It has lovely illustrations as well.  I’m looking forward to reading more as we travel through December towards Christmas Day.

I keep saying that I will put together my own Advent calendar sometime with scriptures, quotes, and music, but apparently 2013 was not the year for that.  A few years ago I was able to pull together a Christmas quote a day for December.  I don’t think I can manage that again this year, at least not without simply reposting the same ones, but I do want to share some of my favorites throughout the month.  This one seems especially appropriate to share at the beginning of this season:

Brothers and sisters, this joyful season brings to all of us a measure of happiness that corresponds to the degree to which we have turned our minds, feelings, and actions to the Savior, whose birth we celebrate.

There is no better time than now, this very Christmas season, for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus theChrist. Let it be a time that lights the eyes of children and puts laughter on their lips. Let it be a time for lifting the lives of those who live in loneliness. Let it be a time for calling our families together, for feeling a closeness to those who are near to us and a closeness also to those who are absent.

Let it be a time of prayers for peace, for the preservation of free principles, and for the protection of those who are far from us. Let it be a time of forgetting self and finding time for others. Let it be a time for discarding the meaningless and for stressing the true values. Let it be a time of peace because we have found peace in His teachings.

Most of all, let it be a time to remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the Wise Men.

My brothers and sisters, may the spirit of love which comes at Christmastime fill our homes and our lives and linger there long after the tree is down and the lights are put away for another year.

Pres. Thomas S. Monson ”A Bright Shining Star,” 2010 First Presidency Christmas Devotional, (December 5, 2010)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mama Rachel permalink
    December 3, 2013 11:38 am

    Thank you for the link! I;ve been looking for a good example of how to celebrate the Advent. Pinned it! 🙂

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