Sunday, November 28, 2010

Advent prayer and reflection

Advent can be a very busy time. In between the Christmas shopping, parties and special events it can be very hard to stop and reflect, which is the real purpose of this season of preparation for our celebration of the birth of Christ.

However, Christmas, when it comes (not till midnight on Christmas Eve officially speaking!) means much more if you have managed to spend even a little time preparing for it spiritually as well as materially.

There are lots of ways you can do this - pray as you can, not as you can't.

You might like to make a Jesse Tree . This is a symbolic representation of the Old Testament stories which lead to the birth of Christ - his spiritual "family tree" if you like. I have provided a reading and thought for each day to go with the making of this.

You might like to use some of the other traditional Advent symbols - the Advent Candle which burns down through a section a day, Advent calendars, or an Advent wreath, or just take some time to read the Bible, to pray or simply to sit still in silence for 10 minutes a day.
There are suggestions and advice here.

If silence is new to you, there is a good website here to help you make the most of it.

You might also like to try an online Advent calendar - is a site sponsored by the Church of England, with thoughts for each day.
The Irish Jesuits also do a very good daily prayer website - sacredspace - which I recommend.

What really matters is that we make a decision to do something spiritually during Advent, even if that is a decision to do nothing, but to do it deliberately for 10 minutes or so each day!

I hope you have a holy Advent, so that Christmas, when it comes is full of blessings.

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